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A selection of my photographs, many from Edinburgh throughout the year.   Also photos from Scotland, London, Iceland, Italy, Hong Kong and elsewhere     Many old maps of Edinburgh (Old Town, New Town, while City), Leith and Newhaven.  Includes several old transport maps and a comparison of old maps with recent aerial photos.   Old engravings, mailly of Edinburgh scenes.  Some from the 1820s, some from the 1890s,  some others - includes many hand-coloured examples from the 1820s.   News from Edinburgh today  -  Events, Collections, Buildings and Gardens, Transport   This site includes     1. Post card portraits taken in studios in Edinburgh:    2. Post card views either takeen/published by Ediburgh photographers or views of Edinburgh, or both.y Edinburgh    Views of Edinburgh, grouped into three sections:     1. Street views:    2. Buildings:    3. Around Edinburgh   Views of transport around Edinburgh  -  Horse drawn trams and buses, cable cars, electric trams, buses and a few railway photos.  Also several maps of Edinburgh's bus and tram routes.   Links to pages with Photos of Groups   Frequently Asked Questions

  Summary of the updates added to this site each month since the site was launched   Links to Dumbiedykes pages  Link to Granton pages  Link to Leith pages   Link to Newhaven pages   Links to Portobello pages   Link to My Recent Talks

 

Recollections

The Grassmarket

 

Recollections

1.

Graeme Charles Munro
Adelaide, South Australia,

Grassmarket + Gypsy Brae, Granton

Home in the Grassmarket

Causeys

1.

Reply

George Smith
Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Colombia, Canada

Gardens

2.

Peter Nolan

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

The Clock

Wartime

3.

Peter Nolan

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Musicians

4.

Tom Heaney
Tenerife
and reply from
Julie McCusker

Old Pals

5.

Jim Di Mambro

South Africa

Tom Heaney

6.

Jim Di Mambro

South Africa

Dex Hennant

7.

Jim Di Mambro

South Africa

My Great Grandfather

Grassmarket Musicians

8.

George Stewart

South Edinburgh

Barrie's Mission

9.

Bob Sinclair

Queensland, Australia

Daft Jimmy

10.

Mick O'Rourke
Clermiston, Edinburgh

My Family

Christmas

Barrie's Summer Outings

11.

Graeme Charles Munro
Adelaide, South Australia,

Barrie's Summer Outings

12.

Margaret Cooper
Colindale, North London, England

Return to the Grassmarket

Hostels, Tenements and Shops

Punters

Coal Briquettes

13.

Cathy Luppino
(née Cormack)
Pennsylvania, USA

Memories

View from the Vennel Steps

Bonfires

Books

14.

Avril Finlayson Smith
Strathdale, Bendigo, Victoria, USA

Living in the Grassmarket

Neighbours

The Beehive

Return Visit to Edinburgh

15.

Cathy Luppino
(née Cormack)
Pennsylvania, USA

Grassmarket  -  No.17 and No.25

Work

16.

Liz Burnett
Edinburgh

Our Family

Neighbours

Leaving the Grassmarket

Memories

17.

Cathy Luppino
(née Cormack)
Pennsylvania, USA

Reply to Liz Burnett

18.

Liz Burnett
Edinburgh

Our Family

Neighbours

Leaving the Grassmarket

Memories

19.

Ian McArthur
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Homes

Victoria Street

Play in the Grassmarket

Schools

Boys' Club

Pubs

West Port

Remember Me?

20.

Ian McArthur
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Barrie's Mission

-  Thanks to Micky

-  Mission for the Homeless

-  Sunday Services

-  Fitba'

-  Bus Outing

-  Father Ronan

21.

Ian McArthur
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Irish Workers

-  Cheap Hotels

-  The Week

-  The Orange March

Grassmarket Characters

-  Daft Jimmy

-  Cane Man

-  Tuesday Lost

22.

Ian McArthur
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

The Meti Pen

23.

Wilma Tomerlin
(née Gibson)

Southern California, USA

The Foot of the Vennel

24.

Darryn McGreevy
Edinburgh

Bookie's Runner

Betting Shop

25.

Mimi Olds
Rolla Missouri, USA

My Family

26.

Darryn McGreevy
Edinburgh

PC Basher Thompson

27.

Elma Gauson
(née Thomson)

Turriff, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

PC Basher Thompson

28.

Elma Gauson
(née Thomson)

Turriff, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

PC Basher Thompson

29.

Bryan Gauson
Turriff, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

PC Basher Thompson

 

Recollections

1.

Graeme Charles Munro

Adelaide, South Australia,

Grassmarket and Gypsy Brae, Granton

1930s - 1950s

Thank you to Graeme Charles Munro, Adelaide, South Australia, formerly of Edinburgh, who wrote after seeing a picture of the Grassmarket in the early 1900s:

Postcard published by John R Russel of Edinburgh (JRRE)  -  Edinburgh astle from the Grassmarket ©

 

Graeme wrote:

Home in the Grassmarket

"I was born in the house just above the carriage roof on the right-hand side in 1936.

I was only four when I left, I am 70 now, and live in Australia. Having been here for 40 years."

Causeys

[Cobble Stones]

"And do you know, the stones in the road were all removed in the late 'fifties and dumped at a place called Gypsy Brae along from Granton Harbour, millions of them for weeks and weeks.

 It was my brother's job to make sure the trucks dumped them in the right place. He got fed up with the job eventually and signed on in the army for 22 years.

The cossies were actually white granite."

Graeme Charles Munro, Adelaide, South Australia.  18 August 2005

Causeys

'Causeys' were the granite setts, or cobble stones, that once paved many of the streets of Edinburgh.

Gypsy Brae is now part of Edinburgh's Waterfront development.  The road is now closed, but the line of the road can just be seen on the enlargement of the map below, running north-south between the trees to the west of the three gasometers - towards the upper-left corner of the map.

Edinburgh Waterfront  -  Aerial Photo, 2001 ©

Thank you to George Smith, British Colombia, Canada, for the further comments on 'Causeys'.

Gardens

Causeys or causeway setts were a source of garden paths and patios when they were lifted from the streets.

George Smith, Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Colombia, Canada

George has also provided an interesting comment on  the causeys in Chamber Street.

 

Recollections

2.

Peter Nolan

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Thank you to Peter Nolan for sending me his memories of growing up in the Grassmarket.  Peter tells me that he was born in 1936, his father's parents were Irish and his mother's parents were Italian.

Peter was born at 54b Grassmarket, Edinburgh, and emigrated to Canada around 1968.  Recalling his early years in the Grassmarket, Peter wrote:

The Clock

"When you came down the Herriot Bridge to the centre of the northern side of the Grassmarket, about 20 yards to the left there was a stairway that went up three flights. People lived along that top floor.

At the end of the corridor, there was a wooden  ladder where I, as a small boy, would climb up then push open a trap door, then we entered into the  clock itself.

It was just a wonderful place to be brought up."

Wartime

"During the War Years the German Prisoners of War would repair the cobble streets in the Grassmarket and many of the mothers in the area would take flasks of tea and sandwiches to the prisoners.

In the middle of the Grassmarket there were two air-raid shelters."

Peter Nolan, Canada,:  March 3 + 4 +14, 2008

 

Recollections

3.

Peter Nolan

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Thank you to Peter Nolan for writing again, and sending me this photo of his father and three other musicians in the Grassmarket:

Musicians

    Grasssmarket Musicians ©

Peter Nolan, Canada,:  March 14, 2008

 

Recollections

4.

Tom (Tam, Tommy) Heaney

Tenerife

Tom Heaney wrote:

Old Pals

"I was raised in the Grassmarket Edinburgh from 1942 and left there when I got married in 1960.  I'm looking for some of my old pals:

Dougie McCusker

James Conway

Jamesie and Eric Thom

-  lots of others.

I now live in Tenerife.

Can you help?

Tom Heaney, Tenerife:  April 10, 2008

If you'd like to contact Tom (Tam, Tommy) please email me, then I'll pass on your message to him.

-  Peter Stubbs:  April 10, 2008

Answer 1

Thank you to Julie McCusker, grand-daughter of Dougie McCusker for passing on the sad news about Dougie.

Tom: 

You appear to have changed your email address since you contacted me a couple of years ago, so I cannot send Julie's reply direct to you.  However, I hope you find it here. 

Here is what she wrote to you:

"I'm sorry to say(if it is the same person as you asked about) but my grandad died a few years ago from cancer of the throat.   I'm sorry to be the barer of bad news, but my grandad lived a good, happy, and how can we say it semi- healthy life, and when he passed away he had his family round him.

Anyway, I wish you all the luck for finding the rest of your old friends."

Julie McCusker:  January 19, 2010

Recollections

5.

Jim Di Mambro

South Africa

Jim Di Mambro read the message from Tom Heaney and wrote:

Tom Heaney

"I remember Tom singing in the clubs and he should remember me, Jim Di Mambro, Butch and The Bandits.

Tam also used tae collect money for some clothing shop.  I would love tae here from him.

If ye read this Tam,  please email me."

Jim Di Mambro, South Africa:  May 29, 2008

Here is Jim's email address for anybody who would like to contact him.

 

Recollections

6.

Jim Di Mambro

South Africa

Jim Di Mambro wrote:

Dex Hennant

"The first real band we started in Edinburgh was with Dex  Hannant,  We played Shadows numbers

I've now contacted Dex had and had a reply from him.  .Fantastic, after 35 years"

Jim Di Mambro, South Africa:  June 5, 2008

Here is Jim's email address for anybody who would like to contact him.

 

Recollections

7.

Jim Di Mambro

South Africa

Jim Di Mambro read the recollections from Peter Nolan above, then replied::

My Great Grandfaither

"My great grandfaither, one Antonio Tommasso, he  lived in the last stair (I think) before you would turn left intae the Cowgate. He went thro three wives and sired 33 bairns.

Grassmarket Musicians

Regarding the photie of Peter Nolan's father's band, my auld man knew Sammy Pacitti.  I don't know if Peter Nolan would have known any of the Tommasso or Di Mambro families."

Jim Di Mambro, South Africa:  June 5, 2008

 

Recollections

8.

George Stewart

South Edinburgh

Thank you to George Stewart who wrote:

Barrie's Mission

"I cant find the page, but somewhere on the EdinPhoto site I'm sure someone was asking about Barries in the Grassmarket.

I'm pretty sure the building was known as 'Barrie's Mission'.  The mission basically helped out under-privileged kids at Christmas - in fact, all year so they must have had a heart of gold."

George Stewart Stewart, South Edinburgh:  August 25, 2008

 

Recollections

9.

Bob Sinclair

Queensland, Australia

Thank you to Bob Sinclair who wrote:

Daft Jimmy

"I remember Jimmy Millar, if that was his real name.  He was sometimes referred to as Daft Jimmy.

Jimmy was well known around the vicinity of Greyfriars, Chambers Street and the Grassmarket, and was well known to those in the Grassmarket mission.  Like many others he was taken in every now and then and deloused and bathed, fed, and let loose on the streets again.

The students knew him and were fond of him to the extent that the put him up as a candidate for the Rector of Edinburgh University. He was put up against either James Robertson Justice or Sydney Smith or somebody of that stature. He did lose but had a lot of support from the students.

He was well known for kicking his feet out sideways and announcing "They're aw in there". Not only did he do it when passing Greyfriars Kirkyard but in many other places in his travels. The students were kind to him and slipped him a comforter - usually a fag"

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 1, 2009

 

Recollections

10.

Mick O'Rourke

Clermiston, Edinburgh

Thank you to Mick O'Rourke who  read the comments about the Grassmarket Mission (Recollections 8 and 9 above) then added his own memories of it:

Mick wrote:

My Family

"I was raised in the Market during the 1950s and early-1960s.

My family were the Flynns and Devlins.  Both families lived at 17 Grassmarket, next to the VennelMost of the Flynns went to America

My uncle, Jimmy Devlin, was very well known. He was the superintendent of The Victoria Hostel for men in the area of the West Port now known as Webster's Land.  The hostel was for working single men.  At that time, most were Irish."

Christmas

"I went to many Christmas parties at Barrie's Mission.  We got a good scran and a wee present.  Barrie's Mission was in the Grassmarket, opposite the Castle Trades Hostel.

Ah done well at Christmas.  There was also a pairty in the Sacred Heart, Lauriston  Halls."

Barrie's Summer Outing

"We went on the Annual Bus Outing, run by the MissionIf memory serves, we went to Spylaw Park, Colinton.  But for us, it was the end of the earth!

The outing was a real highlight for the bairns of the area during the summer.  This is the song we used to sing on the bus:

'Ah'm no gaun tae Barries trip,  Ah'm no gaun again.

Ah'm no gaun tae Barries trip. it ayeways comes oan rain'."

Mick O'Rourke, Clermiston, Edinburgh:  July 25, 2010

More Memories

Another contributor to the EdinPhoto site, Jimmy Kelly, also remembers Barrie's trips to Spylaw Park or Colinton Dell.  In his recollections of growing up in Dumbiedykes, Jimmy remembered the same verse that Mick O'Rourke remembered above.

 

Recollections

11.

Graeme Charles Munro

Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Graeme Charles Munro has now been living in Australia for 45 years, but he tells me that he still remembers the words of the song sung on Mr Barrie's Grassmarket Mission outings.

Mick O'Rourke gave these words in 'Recollections 10 above:

'Ah'm no gaun tae Barries trip,  Ah'm no gaun again.

Ah'm no gaun tae Barries trip. it ayeways comes oan rain'

Mick O'Rourke, Clermiston, Edinburgh:  July 25, 2010

However, Graeme added:

Barrie's Summer Outing

Verse 2

"The song actually had two verses.

The second verse was:

'Ah'm no gaun tae Barries treat,  Ah'm no gaun at a'.

Ah'm no gaun tae Barries trip. its always cauld wi' snaw'. "

Graeme Charles Munro, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia:  June 20, 2011

 

Recollections

12.

Margaret Cooper

Colindale, North London, England

Thank you to Margaret Cooper for posting a message in the EdinPhoto guestbook.

Margaret wrote:

Return to the Grassmarket

"I was pleasantly surprised, on my last visit, to see how nice the Grassmarket was."

Hostels, Tenements and Shops

"In the late-1940s, there were many men's hostels, and the residents would all loiter outside looking quite sinister.  They were shabby and unshaven.  There was no benefit system in those days.

The hostels looked so rough, as if they could be home to another Burke and Hare. All around were tenements.  Up the West Port, there were many really rough looking second hand shops.

Punters

"Carry on down the High Riggs to the bottom where, on the corner, there was a large pub where the bookies would hang out taking bets, and where they and their punters would scatter at the first sign of a policeman."

Coal Briquettes

"We used to go to a really tiny second-hand shop next door to the pub to buy briquettes when the coalman couldn't or wouldn't deliver to us  -  well, we were four flights up.

We kids would trek up there with the old go-kart and get the briquettes.  We would get about twelve for a shilling."

Margaret Cooper, Colindale, North London, England:
Message posted in EdinPhoto guest book:  August 23, 2011

 

Recollections

13.

Cathy Luppino (née Cormack)

Pennsylvania, USA

Thank you to Cathy Luppino (née Cormack) for posting a message in the EdinPhoto guestbook.

Cathy  wrote:

Memories

    A Stereo View by C Bierstadt of Edinburgh Castle from the Grassmarket ©

"I've read with much interest notes posted about the Grassmarket. A few of the names I remember well. My two sisters and their families live Edinburgh and we still blether about old times in the 'Market' .

I worked for The North British Rubber Company in Fountainbridge. (By that time it had been bought over by U.S. Royal.)   I worked in the office there, but my Dad worked in the mill, starting as a young boy and retiring in his late years."

View from the Vennel Steps

"My Dad was born in the tenement building next to the wee church at the top of the Kings Stables Road, as seen in the ever-popular photo of the castle taken from The Vennel steps.

Engraving in 'Modern Athens'  -  Edinburgh Castle from The Vennel ©

 I remember the Beehive Inn, right across the road from us."

Bonfires

"Who remembers the big Bonfires between Heriot Bridge and Castle Wynd?"

Books

"If anyone is interested, there are some memorable photos in the issues of the 'Edinburgh Then' booksI think published by the Scotsman.

Someone told me a long time ago that you can take your heart out of Scotland but you can never take Scotland out of your heart.  Too true!"

Cathy Luppino (née Cormack), Pennsylvania, USA
Message posted in EdinPhoto guest book: May 7, 2012

 

Recollections

14.

Avril Finlayson Smith

Strathdale, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia

Thank you to Avril Finlayson Smith for posting a reply on May 10, 2012 to Cathy Cormack's message in the EdinPhoto guest book.  (See Recollections 13 above,)

Avril wrote:

Living in The Grassmarket

"Cathy  -  I thought you'd be interested to hear that my husband Tom and I lived in 8 Grassmarket in 1957, on the second floor which you can see from many pictures taken of the building.

For a long time ours were the only window that were white. We bought this place from my boss Mr Black of H.G, Black and Sons, China Merchants.  His main shop was further up the road.

He bought the 2 warehouses below the flats, so had to take the flats too.  One was being vacated by a family of Mum and Dad and 5 children, it was only a room and kitchen. We bought it, then did it all up, hence the nice painted windows."

Neighbours

"I have many happy memories of the people who lived in the Grassmarket. When our son was born, it was amazing the money that was left in his pram when we had to leave it outside to go into shops there, like Gerrys for rolls.

That was the custom in these days to do with a new baby - to put a silver coin in the pram or in their hand, so even with many on the dole there, they were very generous."

The Beehive

"By the way, the Beehive was up the road from this building not opposite.  I think it was Baxendales the Ironmongers that was opposite the building."

Return Visit to Edinburgh

"On our first trip back to The Grassmarket, we visited our first home there.  It was then one flat, the two separate flats having been made into one and the shared toilet made into a lovely modern bathroom. It was so kind of the owner to let us see through her house.

I hope this is of some interest to you, Cathie.  By the way, my Grandpa and an aunt also worked in the Rubber Mill too."

Avril Finlayson Smith, Strathdale, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia
 Message posted in EdinPhoto guest book: May 10, 2012

 

Recollections

15.

Cathy Luppino (née Cormack)

Pennsylvania, USA

Cathy Luppino (née Cormack) replied, thanking Avril for her Recollections 14 above.

Cathy wrote:

Grassmarket

No.17 and No.25

"I lived at No.25 Grassmarket, which is a short distance from the bottom of the Vennel steps.  Gerry Cozzi lived in the first stair to your right from the Vennel. I think that was No.17.

The Flynns and the Devlins lived in that stair too.  They were , good friends with my Mum, Dad and Granny.  Gerry's sister and family also lived there. Her name was Mrs. Fagan. She worked in Gerry's.  Gerry's ice cream shop was between No.17 and No.25. The Beehive was directly across from No.25."

Work

"My Mum and Dad did odd jobs for Mr and Mrs. Fairley, in between the other jobs that they had.  People had to work really hard in those days."

Cathy Luppino (née Cormack), Pennsylvania, USA
Message posted in EdinPhoto guest book: May 11, 2012

 

Recollections

16.

Liz Burnett

Edinburgh

Thank you to Elizabeth Burnett who wrote:

Our Family

"My family came from No.3 Grassmarket.  

My dad was Peter Kelly.

-  My mother was Maggie Gordon.

My brothers  were Peter, James and Gordon.

My sisters were Margaret and Eleanor Kelly."

Neighbours

"I remember:

-  Beesie Devlin from the Grassmarket who I think will be related to Mick O’Rourke (Recollections 10).

-  Katie Fairgrieve who lived up the West Port.  She worked in Assa Wassi's scrap yard.

-  The Reilly family - Freddie, Bobby, Lizzie, Nanna, Johnny, Molly and more.  They are cousins of our Kelly family.

-  My uncle Jimmy Gordon.  He used to live at 28 West Port, across from Portsbury Square.  He was an undertaker with St Cuthberts.

My cousin Bobby Reilly.  He used to live up Burke and Hare Close.

 Molly Reilly.  She was married to Frankie McGlynn.  They lived at 3 Grassmarket then moved to 7 ."

Leaving the Grassmarket

"We moved to above Baxendale’s to 28 West Port, then moved out to Stevenson Avenue.  My mother was very friendly with the Devlins and the Flynns."

Memories

"I remember:

West Port, just down from the Globe Public House, which led round to the backie.

-  Barrie’s trip was great.  You got a pack of buns and a pie and a tin mug round your neck for your drinks.

Memories eh!"

Liz Burnett:  July 13, 2012

 

Recollections

17.

Cathie Luppino (née Cormack)

Pennsylvania, USA

Here is a message that Cathie Luppino (née Cormack) posted in the EdinPhoto guestbook in reply to Liz Burnett's comments above.

Cathie wrote:

Reply to Liz Burnett

"I've just read your Recollections 16 above with my sister who was here in the USA on holiday.  I was showing her this website and came across your posting. I wrote Recollections 15, just ahead of you on the list.

Between the two of us we remember most of your relatives!  I believe your sister Eleanor was in my class at St. Ignatius.  All the names you mentioned were familiar to us.

We lived in No.25 (the Pend) just between Charlie Porter's and Gerry's Ice Cream shop.  Gerry used to park his ice cream van in our pend. He would give us cheap ice cream cones and sliders when he got back from his rounds in Edinburgh and Portobello etc.

Lean times, but good memories! My sisters are Jean (Cormack) Kay and Tessie (Cormack) McCallum."

Cathie Luppino (née Cormack), Pennsylvania, USA:
Message posted in EdinPhoto guestbook, August , 2012

Message for Cathy Luppino

Hi Cathy: 

I hope you find this message.  Thanks for sending several contributions to the EdinPhoto web site.  However, you have sent them all to the EdinPhoto web site, rather than to me by email, so  I don't know your email address.

Can you please email me, then I'll know your email address and will be able to pass it on to anybody who tells me that they would like to contact you, such as Liz Burnett (Recollections 18 below) who asked me recently.

Thank you.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  October 15, 2012

 

Recollections

18.

Liz Burnett

Edinburgh

Thank you to Elizabeth Burnett for writing again.

Elizabeth wrote:

People

"My brother, Peter Kelly, and I have have now remembered a few more things from the time when we lived in the Grassmarket.

We remember:

-   Molly Fielding and Patricia Donaghue.  They went to school with us.

-   Peter Cullen, who lived at 3 Grassmarket.

-   Joe and Fea Paton family who lived up West Port.  One of their brothers won the Pools.

 Tommy Reilly, my cousin, coming home at the end of the war, after having been in a Japanese Prisoner of War Camp.  It was a big homecoming with flags and bunting out.

Shops

"We remember:

-   Riddle's, seed merchants.

-   Alfie Fairlie, Newsagent..

-   Graham's, a wee general shop at the bottom of Castle Wynd steps, where we bought 'Vantis' drinks.

Liz Burnett:  August 21, 2012

Recollections

19.

Ian McArthur

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Thank you to Ian McArthur for posting a message in the EdinPhoto Guestbook, telling about the time when his family lived near the Grassmarket in Edinburgh Old Town.

Ian wrote:

Homes

"I was born in High Street, Edinburgh, and went to St. Johns School at Portobello, 1960 onwards.

I later moved to Victoria Street in the Old Town, just down from Edinburgh Castle, while I was still at St John's, and used to get the No.42 bus to and from school."

Victoria Street

"We lived at No.3 Victoria Street.

It was between Ristorante Milano and the Cauldron BarOur neighbours were Eni Lee and the Quinn family on the top floor."

Play in the Grassmarket

"I used to play in the Grassmarket with:

Franny McGann.

Alex Bull.

Kenny Smyth.

I remember:

Mary Maull's, newsagent.

Gerry's, for rolls.

Bert, the butchers."

School

"I knocked around with a few guys from St Ignatius, then went to St. Andrew's Secondary School at Stockbridge from 1966/67 until we merged with Holy Cross to form St. Augustine's, out at Broomhouse.

I remember:

-  John Hanlon

-  Paddy McGinnity

-  Brian Hart

-  Michael (owl)

-  Fanny Black

-  Keith Black

-  Jimmy Nairey.

Boys' Club

"I also remember attending the Tweedie Memorial Boys' Club, which I think was half-way up the West Port, walking from the Grassmarket."

Pubs

"As I got older I frequented pubs in the Old Town:

The Last Drop.

White Hart Inn.

The Black Bull.

 and of course

The Cauldron, which was just below our flat."

West Port

"I also remember people  from the West Port:

The Black Family, Franny and Keith.

Rab Canale

Gordon Glancy.

Remember Me?

"I'd be only too happy to hear from people who may remember me, or who just remember the days at school and may be able to mention names I've forgotten.

If you are out there, please shoot me an email to catch up."

Ian McArthur, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (since 1981)::
 Message posted in EdinPhoto Guestbook:  8 October 2013 + Reply posted in Guestbook on
 20 September 2013 in response to a message  posted by James Palmer on 15 December 2012.
ALSO:  email, October 1, 2013.

Reply to Ian

If you'd like to send a reply to Ian, you can do that by

EITHER:   posting a reply below the message that he left in the EdinPhoto Guestbook on 8 October 2013

        OR:    clicking on the email link below that message in the EdinPhoto Guestbook and sending an email to him.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  October 9, 2013

 

Recollections

20.

Ian McArthur

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Thank you to Ian McArthur for writing again,

After reading Mick O'Rourke's memories of Barrie's Mission in Recollections 10 above, Ian McArthur wrote:

Barrie's Mission

Thanks  to Micky

"The more I look through this website, the more I find, and can relate to.  Micky O'Rourke posted a wonderful recollection of Barrie's Mission.  Thank you, Micky.

Here are my own recollections."

Mission for the Homeless

"Barrie's Mission was, I think, a Church Of Scotland Mission, initially set up to look after the homeless in and around the Edinburgh area and a place to go on a Sunday if you were down on your luck and hungry.

Sunday Services

"However us kids used to frequent it when it went 'up market' and started holding services on a Sunday, even if you were a Catholic like me.

We used to go Barrie's after going to Mass at St. Pat's or St. Francis' on a Sunday.  Mass finished at 10.30am, so we would run up to the Mission for 11.00am, singing:

'Ah'm no gaun tae Barries trip, Ah'm no gaun again.
Ah'm no gaun tae Barries trip. It ayeways comes oan rain
'

We would lob in there early to get at the front and sit on the floor, sing a few songs and get a cup of tea and a biscuit.

Fitba'

"The Mission also had a good fitba' team which I played for on occasions."

Bus Outing

"The bus outing was a huge hit, all us toerags with mugs or cups hanging round our necks, secured with a bit of string, off to Spylaw Park at Colinton.

We thought this was a trip to the country or even another country (lol).    Geez, it was great!"

Father Ronan

"I remember being called to see Fr Ronan at St. Francis church on a Thursday night after Cubs had finished, and was asked to explain how I was front and centre in the photo of Barrie's trip to Spylaw Park holding up one end of the 'JESUS SAVES' banner.

We had all had our group picture taken, once we arrived at Spylaw Park. Unknown to me, it was also taken by the Evening News and was shown in the paper a few days later."

As far as the priests were concerned, Barrie's Mission  was the opposition!"

Ian McArthur, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia:  October 12, 2013

 

Recollections

21.

Ian McArthur

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Ian McArthur wrote:

Irish Workers

Cheap Hotels

"I remember the cheap hotel in the Grassmarket which housed lots of Irish Navvies.  Actually, there were two hotels:

 One was called Castle Trades Hotel

-  The name of the other escapes me Im sure someone will let me know.

I also remember that the workers all wore donkey jackets and hobnail boots and were always covered in mud. Working, digging ditches will do that I suppose.

They all drank in the pub directly opposite the Mission, which I think was The Grassmarket Bar.

The Week

"Friday and Saturday nights were noisy, with lots of drinking, singing and, later, fighting, but by Monday night they were all skint and hanging out till Friday when they were paid again.  So it would all start again!

The Orange March

"In July, the Orange March would pass by on its way to King's Stables Road and then on to Lothian Road.

As soon as the marchers got within site of the Trades hotel, the hotel windows would fly open and all sorts of bottles, cans and lots of other garbage would fly out the windows.

I remember watching both sides shouting and screaming abuse at each other, but that's all that really happened.  There was never really much contact.  The rozzers saw to that!"

Grassmarket Characters

Daft Jimmy

"I  remember Daft Jimmy (mentioned in Recollections 9 above).

Cane Man

"There was was another guy who used to fashion cane into items like babies' rattles and baskets.  He used to have a really bad lisp, and was always going on about the Paakeeshhtanees as back then was the first time we saw a large increase in the Indian and Pakistan communities.

Of of course the new kids on the block always cop the blame for some people's misfortune."

Tuesday Lost

"Talking of misfortune, there was another guy who used to be seen around the Grassmarket.  He was called 'Tuesday Lost'.

I'm not sure why he got this name, but the rumour is that he put all his money on a horse called Tuesday and supposedly it lost. This left him with nothing, and so he came to be living in the Castle Trades.

Ian McArthur, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia:  October 12, 2013

 

Recollections

22.

Ian McArthur

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Thank you to Ian McArthur for writing again, this time asking a question.

Ian wrote:

Question

The Meti Pen

"Can anyone remember 'The Meti Pen'?

It was a close, I think in the Grassmarket.  I remember the words coming out my mouth on occasions, but for the life of me, I cannot remember where it was.

I have a feeling it may have been Wardens close which was at the far east end of the market close, to the well."

Ian McArthur, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia:  October 15, 2013

 

Recollections

23.

Wilma Tomerlin (née Gibson)

Southern California, USA

Thank you to Wilma Tomerlin who wrote:

The Foot of the Vennel

"I was researching the building at the foot the Vennel steps which was at one time a Salvation Army Women's Hostel.

My aunt, her husband and sister-in-law used to arrange 'Concert Parties' to entertain the women. My Aunt said that  their efforts were greatly appreciated and much looked forward to.

Needless-to-say I just had to explore those marvelous steps.  I succeeded in gathering quite a few images leading me from The Grassmarket to the top of the stairs and the lane alongside the old wall to Heriot Place then ending at Lauriston Place."

My Grandmother's Shop

"My Grandmother had a shop in The Grassmarket where she sold newspapers, cigarettes, sweeties, etc. for many years. She bought it at the beginning of World War I.

I never saw it, but after questioning my Edinburgh cousins and checking old Post Office Directories, I've finally pinned down the location to 88 The Grassmarket.

It's now has an orange shop front and is named 'Costume Ha-Ha'."

Wilma Tomerlin, (née Gibson), Southern California, USA:  October 27, 2013

 

Recollections

24.

Darryn McGreevy

Edinburgh

Thank you to Darren McGreevy who wrote:

Bookie's Runner

and

Betting Shop

"My grandfather, Alex McGreevy, was a bookie's runner many years ago, then after he passed away my dad, Owen McGreevy, opened one of his first betting shops in the Grassmarket."

Darryn McGreevy:  Edinburgh:  31 December 2014

 

Recollections

25.

Mimi Olds
Rolla Missouri, USA

Thank you to Mimi Olds who wrote:

My Family

"I was born in the West Port and also went to the little kindergarten up the Vennel Steps, as did all my sisters.

My sister still lives in the same house.  Our family has lived in the neighborhood longer than any other family, and when my mother was alive they had her light the Christmas tree in the Grassmarket because she was the oldest resident

I still have a lot of family living there a and enjoy going there for a visit."

Mimi Olds, Rolla, Missouri, USA:  27 August + 15 September 2015

 

Recollections

26.

Darryn McGreevy

Edinburgh

Thank you to Darryn McGreevy for writing again, this time about PC Basher Thompson.

Darryn wrote:

PC Basher Thompson

"Regarding previous posts, I can remember my dad always talking about Basher Thompson with great respect.  In fact he used to say that nobody had a bad word to say about him.  Basher apparently ruled the Grassmarket single- handedly.

I think Dad was doing his National Service when Basher died.  My Granny wrote to him and told him that both sides of the Grassmarket were lined with people in respect."

Darryn McGreevy:  Edinburgh:  10 October 2015

 

Recollections

27.

Elma Gauson (née Thomson)

Turriff, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Thank you to Elma Gauson who wrote wrote:

PC 'Basher' Thomson

"I was delighted to read about my uncle, Basher Thomson.

My father was David Thomson.  He and Basher started out boxing together, but my dad went on to play football instead and got a gold medal for playing for Scotland in the 'Under 21s'.

As well as Basher's Box, mentioned on the EdinPhoto web site, a plaque in memory of Basher has been installed in the Grassmarket."

Elma Gauson (née Thomson), Turriff, Aberdeenshire, Scotland:  23 August 2015

 

Recollections

28.

Elma Gauson (née Thomson)

Turriff, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Thank you to Elma Gauson for writing again. 

Elma added:

PC 'Basher' Thomson

"I recently spoke to a great character who had an uncle who knew Basher well.  This man was a bare knuckle fighter from Romany stock.

One night, he had had too much to drink and Basher told him to quieten down and to get home.  The man replied with a gesture and said "come on then, show me what you have got."

Basher obliged and the two punched each other for some time before the man said "good night," and went home. 

They just acted as if nothing happened when they next met!"

Elma Gauson (née Thomson), Turriff, Aberdeenshire, Scotland:  23 August 2015

 

Recollections

29.

Bryan Gauson

Turriff, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Thank you to Bryan Gauson who wrote:

PC 'Basher' Thomson

"Basher, I believe, was also the Police Heavyweight Boxing Champion for many years."

Bryan Gauson, Turriff, Aberdeenshire, Scotland 15 January, 2016

 

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Recollections

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