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Recollections

Boswall, Granton, Trinity, Wardie

1950s to 1970s

 

Recollections

1

Phil Wilson

Phil Wilson lived in the Boswall / Granton district of Edinburgh in the 1950s and 1960s.  He is currently [2005] living in Aberdeen, Scotland.

Boswall  Estate

Milk Deliveries

1968  Hurricane

Leith Provident Store

Other Shops and Characters

Football at Inverleith Park

Kenneth G Williamson

Kenneth was brought up in Granton Terrace and now lives in Silverknowes, Edinburgh

Milk Deliveries

Donald Grant

Penicuik, Midlothian, Scotland

Shops

Deliveries

2.

Eric Sloane

Eric Sloane who lived in Boswall Crescent in the 1950s, and now [2005] lives in Emerald, Victoria,  Australia.

Boswall Crescent

Allotments + Tennis Courts

Boswall Drive

Boswell Estate

Door-to-Door Salesmen

Swing Park

Bonfires

Railway Bridge

Leaving Edinburgh

3.

Alastair Whitwell

Alastair  lived at 28 Boswall Green from 1956 until 1975, and now (2007) lives at Penicuik, Midlothian

 Boswall Green

 Milk Deliveries

 Flower Shop

To School by Train

Trinity Academy Primary School

4.

Phil Wilson
Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Pillion on Motorcycle

5.

Alastair Whitwell

Motorcycles

6.

Phil Wilson
Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

 Ali

7.

Alastair Chalmers

-   Football

-   Grocery Deliveries

8.

Donald Grant

 Grocery Deliveries

-   Boswall Avenue

9.

Bruce Johnstone
Haddington, East Lothian, Scotland.

Watson's Shop

Deliveries

Christmas and New Year

Lambretta

10.

Gwynn Tait (née Pape)

Homes

My Parents

My Schools and Work

11.

Kenneth Williamson
Silverknowes, Edinburgh

 Wardie Hotel

Dominoes

12.

Kenneth Williamson
Silverknowes, Edinburgh

 Sports

Football

Rugby

Bowling

13.

Kenneth Williamson
Silverknowes, Edinburgh

-  Timber Yard

Boys' Brigade

Bowling

Railways at Granton

Middle Pier

Caledonian Goods Station

Caledonian Line at Granton

Granton Gas Works

West Harbour Road

Bath Chair

Coal Yard

Coal Deliveries

Fishing Boats

Pubs and Hotels

Football Matches

14.

Phil Wilson
Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

 Malcolm Brechin, Shipbreaker

15.

Douglas Roberts
New Town, Edinburgh

 Shops in Boswall Parkway

 

Recollections

1.

Phil Wilson

Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

The Boswall Estate

"The Boswall scheme was originally built for returning services officers after WW1, and, even when we lived there,  there were some seriously posh people in the district. The lady who lived below us, was from an old colonial family from South Africa and India, and was tremendously nice in an old-fashioned sort of way.

There were also a few ex-military men with rust-coloured overcoats and big moustaches surviving in the early days, walking their boxer dogs occasionally.

In those days to get a  house in Boswall you had to pass an interview for 'respectability', and if you earned over a certain amount, like my Dad, you had to pay the 'economic rent'."

Phil Wilson, Aberdeen, Scotland:  February 2004

Milk Deliveries

"In my early teenage years I was one of a crowd of milk-delivery boys, working out of Leith Provident Store in Boswall Parkway, in the row just to the east of Granton Parish Church. This would be round about 1966-7.

My 'round' was up Boswall Drive, but occasionally I would get lucky, if one of the other boys failed to show on the day, and be given a second round.

I remember doing the Royston delivery, as well as, every so often, Boswall Terrace (which was a really long round although the amount of milk delivered was roughly equal) or rarely Boswall Avenue.

We used two-handled reddish-brown  low, oblong wheelbarrows, and had to load them ourselves. The day started by getting up at four a.m., and starting at five. Usually I would get back home around seven-thirty a.m., have a huge and very welcome breakfast, and get ready for the day at school.

If I got second rounds several times in a week, the money was really quite good for a teenager (though I still can't seem to hang onto it, even now). We worked in all weathers."

Phil Wilson, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Scotland:  February 2004

 

Kenneth G Williamson who replied

Milk Deliveries

"I was reading one of the stories about delivering milk from Leith Provident store at Boswall Parkway. 

I used to deliver milk, once a day during the week and twice on a Saturday.  The Saturday afternoon run was something like the great Oklahoma land race with barrows and people heading off on all directions aided and abetted by whoever you could get to help you.

How nobody was ever knocked down in the melee was amazing. 

The Bert mentioned in the article was the assistant manager who tried to control us to no avail.  The reason he got a ribbing off almost everyone was because he had a speech impediment and 'Political Correctness' had not yet been invented."

Kenneth G Williamson, Silverknowes, Edinburgh:  April 25, 2006

 

1968 Hurricane

"When working as a milk-delivery boy I experienced the great 'hurricane' on January 15, 1968.

It really was a curious experience, listening to my bedroom windows nearly being blown-in overnight, and then having to pick my way across rubble to deliver to the doorstep the following morning in parts of Boswall Drive.

It seems that extreme weather isn't actually anything new."

Phil Wilson, Aberdeen, Scotland:  September 8, 2007

"Winds of up to 125 mph were recorded in parts of Scotland, particularly in the west that night.  Nine people were killed in Glasgow by buildings that collapsed, and at least two in Edinburgh.  80,000 homes were damaged by the gusts in Glasgow alone.

The rubble I stepped over in Boswall Drive was less dangerous, being the connecting arch between two properties on the west side, but the memory of the howling noise and the rattling windows overnight is still strong in my mind."

Phil Wilson, Aberdeen, Scotland:  April 27, 2009

Leith Provident Store

"In those days the store was staffed by a manager (short and stocky), whose name I've forgotten, but his assistant was called 'Bert'.  Bert was a decent chap, tall and gangly and bespectacled, but got a lot of ragging from the boys.

At the eastern end of the shop was the butcher's section, which was run by the expert Jimmy Dalgleish, who unfortunately died, at a too young age, of cancer at the beginning of the 1980s.

The thing that really sticks in my mind is smell of the fresh bread and rolls (the 'pan' loaves wrapped in LP thickly-waxed paper) combined with the powerful smell of fresh milk and cream.

In these days of supermarket bread and milk, the up-to-the-minute freshness of the produce is no longer the same. Part of the delivery task was to supply rolls as well to customers."

Phil Wilson, Aberdeen, Scotland -  formerly Edinburgh  -  February 2004

Other Shops and Characters

"Other shops in the area were 'Birrells' opposite Granton Parish Church,  a draper's which sold wool and cotton supplies in the old manner.

There was also a newsagent's next-door.

Also around that area at the time was a character called (not very originally) 'Jimmy', who was a shell-shocked war veteran, who had a distinctive twitching manner. He was harmless, and would show up for a chat out of the blue, but made little sense when he did."

Phil Wilson, Aberdeen, Scotland -  formerly Edinburgh  -  February 2004

 

Donald Grant, Penicuik, added

Shops

"The shops Phil mentions opposite Granton Parish Church occupy the site on the corner of Wardieburn Drive and Boswall Parkway.  I remember:

-  In Wardieburn Drive, the northern-most shop was occupied by a barber called Smeaton.  I can't recall how many shops were between that and Birrells which was the most southerly but I've a feeling one was a greengrocer.

-  The drapers, Miss Richardson was on the corner site going into Boswall Parkway.  Next to that was a chemist. Next came a Dry-salter owned by Mr Petrie and next door to that came Blacks the newsagent.

- The remaining shops were all Leith Provident Cooperative and originally consisted of a butcher, baker and grocer all in separate shops. They were all eventually combined into what in those days (late-'50s early-'60s) was called a supermarket. That was rather small by modern standards."

Deliveries

"I had several jobs over the years:

-  delivering papers for Duncan's Newsagent and Post Office in Boswall Drive.

-  a milk round for Alexander's Dairy in Granton Road.

- delivering groceries all round the area on an old shop bike, complete with basket mounted on the front for Wilson the Grocer, again in Granton Road

- again on a bike, delivering bread for Mackies the Bakers at Goldenacre.

I hasten to add that I didn't have these jobs all at the same time!"

Donald Grant, Penicuik, Midlothian, Scotland

 

Football at Inverleith Park

"My memories of Boswall are of almost undiluted happiness.

My Dad used to run the local football team for the boys, and I remember 12 of us squeezing into an Austin A30(!) and going down to Inverleith Park, having at one stage to duck down when a Panda car was spotted.

A certain Gordon Strachan from Muirhouse made a guest appearance with us, aged 13, once."

Phil Wilson, Aberdeen, Scotland -  formerly Edinburgh  -  February 2004

Zoom-in to a photograph of Granton Road Station  -  1934 ©

" I remember waving to King Olav of Norway from my gran's house in 1962, as he made stately progress west on the railway, sometime in the late fifties. He waved back too."

Phil Wilson, Aberdeen, Scotland -  formerly Edinburgh  -  February 2004

Recollections

2.

Eric Sloan

Emerald, Victoria, Australia

Boswall Crescent

"I  was born and brought up at 19 Boswall Crescent.

My grandparents Annie (Nanna) and Bob (Pop) MacDougall and uncle Ian brought me up as my mother left for Hong Kong in 1950 when I was 4.

Allotments and Tennis Courts

At that time the central part of the Crescent was a tennis club surrounded by allotments where residents grew their veggies during post war rationing.

The tennis club had (I think) 5 red clay courts with the playing areas marked out in metal strips. There was a clubhouse at the western end of the courts.

In keeping with other writers on the area I remember there was an astonishing class mix in the street.

It was, however, quite egalitarian and largely without snobbery.  Not so the tennis club!  They were very snooty about membership. I recall it attracted a goodly number of comely young lasses, a fact not lost on us as adolescent boys!

Sometime around 1960 the Corporation flattened the lot - clubhouse, courts, allotments -  and grassed it over."

Eric Sloane  -  October 2005

Boswall Drive

Ice Slide

"The northern corner of Boswall Drive, where it drops down into the Parkway was a winter highlight as kids.

When it frosted up we would work for days creating and maintaining an ice slide. It was quite a steep and curving incline.

The trick was to slide around the corner without coming off the ice, 'cos if you did your feet dug in and you went flying. I wore out a lot of school shoes that way.

It must have been an awful nuisance for pedestrians struggling up the hill, if not lethal. I don't remember anybody being hurt though."

Eric Sloane  -  October 2005

Boswall Estate

"The housing did not look at all like council houses.  The gardens were quite generous. We had a front and back garden.

My grandfather was a good gardener and he had an ornamental garden in the front complete with lilac trees and rose trellis.

In the back he had an "orchard" with 9 apple trees, pear, plum and crab apple for jelly.   Our air raid shelter was out there.

There was plenty of space for football practice - my uncle and I were Hybees.  When he married a Jambo I nearly disowned him - to this day I cannot stand the colour maroon!"

Eric Sloane  -  October 2005

The Edinburgh football teams are:

    - Hibernian ('Hibs' or 'Hybees').  Their football strip is green.

    - Heart of Midlothian ('Hearts' or 'Jambos').  Their football strip is maroon.

Door-to-Door Salesmen

"There were the door to door salesmen like "Onion Johnny" - "typical"  French guys complete with berets and heavy accents (if any English at  all), their bicycle handlebars festooned with strings of onions.

The Betterwear salesman who always left ridiculous free gifts like the needle threader (a tiny wire loop device you first had to get through the eye of the needle which was almost as difficult as threading the needle itself).

The rag and bone man to whom I sold my hated sailor suit as an infant - my grandmother chased him with an umbrella to get it back!"

Eric Sloane  -  October 2005

Swing Park

"As kids we used to play in the swing park in Boswall Terrace which was at the northern end of the engineering works.  The swing park was really just a bit of waste ground with a couple of swings in the middle.

We used to sneak through the fence into the engineering works to play on an old rusting steam engine that lay there, usually to get caught and our ears boxed!

Eric Sloane  -  October 2005

Bonfires

"We built gang huts out of ripped out fencing covered with tuffets.  It was also the site for  the Guy Fawkes bonfires.

That was a 'dangerous' time as gangs of 8-10 year olds would roam the streets  armed with bits of broken furniture scavenging for bonfire material.

For weeks before the event the bonfire pile had to be constantly guarded against looters. Having the biggest pile was a matter of fierce pride. On the night we used to throw potatoes straight into the fire and eat the charred remains.  Very tasty, yum!"

Eric Sloane  -  October 2005

Railway Bridge

"There was a railway bridge on Boswall Drive. It had spaces between the side and end piers that were boarded up with sleepers.

A couple of us kids decided to de-board one of them to make a gang hut.  For days we chipped away at the sleepers to get in there. 

I remember we got off a particularly good piece of sleeper and tossed it down on the track. Then we got worried that it might cause a derailment (in your dreams) and scrambled down the embankment to retrieve it just as a train came hurtling through the tunnel all angry and huffy, scaring us to death, dispatching our huge bit of wood into matchsticks.

A couple of years later we used that gang hut as a hideaway to smoke our 5 packs of Woodbine, so we must have succeeded with our de-boarding operation."

Eric Sloane  -  October 2005

After living at Boswall Crescent in the 1940s and 1950s, Eric Sloan left at the age of 17, as he says:

Leaving Edinburgh

"I hitch-hiked from the Haddington roundabout to find freedom and adventure in the great city to the south!  I was last in  Edinburgh in the mid '70s

My roaming days ended when I came to Australia 20 years ago for a six month holiday!  I now live in the  Dandenong Ranges just outside Melbourne to the east.

Eric Sloane  -  October 2005

 

Recollections

3.

Alastair Whitwell

Penicuik, Midlothian

Alastair Whitwell, who lived at 28 Boswall Green from 1956 until 1975,wrote:

Boswall Green

"I am now 56 and live in Penicuik but have some great memories of my youth in the Boswall area of Edinburgh – some memories jogged back into my mind by reading recollections from others on your site.

I lived at 28 Boswall Green from 1956 until 1975 and my recollections of the area are still vivid."

Milk Deliveries

"I too delivered milk in the early mornings, before I set off to Trinity Academy Primary and latterly Trinity Academy Secondary school. 

The barrow I used was a low metal affair and my deliveries from the Granton Road Dairy (owned I remember by Mr & Mrs Alexander) covered Fraser Crescent, Grove, Gardens and Avenue.

I well remember the freezing winter mornings, trying to push a milk laden barrow through 6 inches of snow!

Flower Shop

"My mother subsequently bought over the shop next door to the dairy, and it was called the ‘Flower Shop’'.  It sold fruit, vegetables and of course flowers.

That was when I started to make home deliveries from the shop on my message bike which was a huge thing with a great big basket on the front.

My mum used to get up very early to be at the fruit market at the back of Waverley station at 6am to get the best choice of veg etc.  It didn’t do her much harm as she is now aged nearly 94. 

My dad, Lennie Whitwell worked in nearby Bruce Peebles for over 40 years."

To School by Train

"I can recall going to school by train from Granton Road railway station.

Granton Road Station

    Granton Road Station  -  1934 ©

  The fare was 1d.  At the time it was 2d for the bus! 

Arthur, I can’t remember his second name, was in charge of the station and when he was moved to Waverley we children were all very sad.

He used to know all the children by name and looked after us.  We waited for the train each morning to take us the one stop to Newhaven station and I remember hoping it would be one of the new fangled diesels but for ages it was the old steam train.

They were good fun though as we used to climb into the overhead luggage racks made of string, and play.

The British Railways adverts on this page show that the diesel service from Edinburgh Princes Street  through Granton Road Station to Leith (North) began in May 5, 1958. 

Peter Stubbs,     June 13, 2007

Trinity Academy Primary School

Alastair Whitwell also sent me this photograph of a class at Trinity Primary School, taken around 1960.

Trinity Academy Primary School Class - around 1960 ©

Alastair Whitwell, Penicuik, Midlothian, Scotland  -  June 12, 2007

 

Recollections

4.

Phil Wilson

Aberdeen

Phil Wilson commented:

Pillion  on Motorcycle

"I was pleased to read recollections by Alastair on your site tonight.  I'm pretty sure, if he is who I think he is (we knew him as 'Allie' in those days), that in the late 60s, he was the proud owner of a Norton 500 motorbike, and that I was his pillion-passenger on one memorable (for me) occasion, when he frightened the life out of me by somewhat overdoing it up Boswall Drive and back.

I can't say I knew him well since he was a couple of years older than our lot - very important when you're young - although we used to see him about, and I'm sure he won't remember me as his passenger at that time.

Still its nice to fill in some of the blanks again.

Phil Wilson, Aberdeen, Scotland  -  June 13, 2007

 

Reply

5.

Alastair Whitwell

Penicuik, Midlothian

I contacted Alastair Whitwell, who incidentally still signs his e-mails: 'Ali'.

Ali replied:

Motorcycles

"I can’t remember Phil Wilson, but yes I was the very proud owner of a 500cc Norton ES2 motorbike! 

I rekindled my love of motorcycles a few years ago and now have a Triumph Speed Triple 955cc which is infinitely swifter than the old Norton!!

It's really great to hear that little story from Phil.  I hope he is well and has fully recovered from his life threatening experience all those years ago! 

Please give him my best.

Alastair Whitwell, Penicuik, Midlothian, Scotland  -  June 14, 2007

Reply

6.

Phil Wilson

Aberdeen

I passed on Ali's message to Phil who replied:

Ali

"I thought I was right.  Funnily enough, I have a vivid recollection of  Ali, who, though not part of our 'gang', was always very approachable and friendly.

He was one of the local characters that made Boswall a pleasant place to live in those days. I even remember the leather jacket etc. he wore.

It seems like the bike-ride helped to fix the memory for good!

Phil Wilson, Aberdeen, Scotland  -  June 14, 2007

 

Reply

7.

Alastair Chalmers

Thank you to Alastair Chalmers who wrote:

Football

"My brother and I lived in Boswall Terrace and we remember very fondly the football at Inverleith Park, and piling into Mr. Wilson’s car. If memory serves, I seem to recollect he had a Bubble Car at one stage.

Mrs. Wilson had a very strong Welsh accent and was a larger than life character."

Grocery Deliveries

"My brother got a job delivering groceries, for Watson’s Grocers in Granton Road, after school and on Saturday  mornings and afternoons.

The method of delivery was an old black bicycle with a metal frame on the front for the boxes to be delivered. It had no gears and was hard work.

I took over from my brother when he gave up. We went out in all weathers but  Mr. Watson used to take us in his car, an Austin A 40, if it was really bad.

The pay was thirty bob a week (£1:50 in modern parlance).  That was big money in those days as newspaper boys only got fifteen bob!)

What I remember most was the smell in the shop. It was a combination of smoked bacon and hams with freshly ground coffee which was guaranteed to make you feel hungry.

Happy days!"

Alastair Chalmers:  July 27, 2011

 

Reply

8.

Donald Grant

Penicuik, Midlothian, Scotland

Thank you to Donald Grant who replied to Alastair Chalmers' comments in 7. above.

Donald wrote:

Grocery Deliveries

"Alastair mentions that he and his brother both delivered groceries for Mr Watson's grocer shop of Granton Road and that Mr Watson had an Austin A40.

I wonder if Alastair is meaning Mr Wilson who had a grocer shop on the corner of Granton Road and Boswall Green. Alastair's description of the smell in the shop instantly transported me back to my time delivering for Mr Wilson.

He lived a distance away in either Summerside Street or PlaceHe drove a large black Standard car, not unlike a 1950s Austin A40.  His daughter was one of the first people to move out to the Cornbank estate in Penicuik in the 1960s where I now live.

I don't remember Alastair Chalmers but I do remember a Gordon Chalmers and wonder if that's Alastair's brother."

Boswall Avenue  -  Neighbours

"Incidentally, I lived at 46 Boswall Avenue from 1955 until 1970 when my mother and I moved to Grierson Gardens where I stayed until I got married in 1977.

Our neighbours at No.48 were a Mr and Mrs Muirhead.  Mr Muirhead was a partner in a business in Victoria Street called McKenzie, Gray and Muirhead.  They used to retail and build fireplaces. Their eldest son William (a heart surgeon) emigrated with his wife and young family to Canada as part of the 'brain drain' of the late-1950s and early-1960s.

At No.44 was a family called Finlayson.  Their daughter, Janice, married an American airman who saw service in VietnamMr and Mrs Finlayson eventually moved to the States.

I last heard of  their son, Ronnie, living in Kirkcaldy some 30+  years ago. He must be in his mid-60s by now."

Donald Grant, Penicuik, Midlothian, Scotland:  July 27, 2011

Reply

9.

Bruce Johnstone

Haddington, East Lothian, Scotland

Thank you to Bruce Johnstone who wrote again:

Bruce wrote:

Watson's Shop

"Can I clarify the recent comments on Watson's Shop in Granton Road (Replies 7+8 above).  I was the delivery boy at that shop, almost opposite Wardie Crescent, next to Stevens Newsagents and Borthwick Butchers from January 1961 to April 1963.

On holiday, Alastair Gray deputised.  It was the best paid job in the area – 30 shillings per week plus tips of up to 10 or 12 bob.  I could afford the best seats in the cinema and impress my girlfriend, Sandra.

Working hours were afternoons, apart from Wednesdays; also  Saturday morning and late afternoon.  'Old Jimmy' assisted with deliveries using the barrow. At the time he was classed as 'simple' and Mr and Mrs Watson were very supportive of him.

As described by others, the shop had the smells of ham, coffee and cheese, and seasonal delicacies were always on display. Mr Watson had his 'office', a high desk, at the end of the counter where all orders were updated in a ledger.  His bills were legibly written and dropped into the delivery box for me to collect cash, unless told otherwise."

Deliveries

"All deliveries were local, apart from one to West Pilton every Saturday – a pound of sausages.  There was a guaranteed sixpence tip which was totally justified when there was a west wind blowing.

One customer who owned a 'bookies' had a regular delivery of whisky.  He would peel off two £1 notes from a wad of notes.  It proved to me that 'bookies' were always the winners.

I always remember the large soda siphons that I would deliver to the gin drinkers.  Money was collected at the time of delivery.

I used to deliver to Challenger Lodge, now St Columba Hospice.  In 1961/62 they acquired a West Highland(?) terrier that played the part of Greyfriars Bobby in the late-1950s Disney film.  It used to bark and chase me - not as well behaved as in the film!"

Christmas and New Year

"Christmas and New Year were hectic with drink deliveries.  Tips were fantastic.  Mr Watson's large basement contained a range of beers and other products, now long gone:

 – Fowlers 'Wee Heavies', Bass, Watney, Mann, Usher, Mackeson beers, Parazone,

– Sunlight soap, Oxydol and Tide soap powders, firelighters.

Stocktaking was a big task  -  extra cash though!

Lambretta

"A couple of months after I left, I had saved enough cash, £55 to buy a Lambretta 150cc scooter, VWS 391.  It was well worth the efforts in the wind, rain, snow and the lugging of delivery boxes.

Happy Days!

Bruce Johnstone, Haddington, East Lothian, Scotland:  July 13, 2011

Reply

10.

Gwynn Tait (née Pape)

Thank you to Gwynn Tait who wrote:

Homes

"Eric Sloan (who wrote recollections 2 above) lived in Boswall Crescent.  I also grew up there with many happy memories.

Both my parents grew up in Wardieburn, but then moved around with the army.   When Dad came out of the army they settled in Boswall Crescent staying there until they both passed away.  Mum died in 2012 having lived in the house for 41 years."

My Parents

"My dad, Robert Pape, was one of 12 children.  He went to St David's Primary School, then worked in the ice factory.

My mother was Mary Cormack before she married.  She was one of 6 children.  She went to Granton Primary School, then mended fishermen's nets in a house at Lower Granton Road."

My Schools and Work

"I attended Granton Primary School and then Trinity Academy. Mrs Fields, who taught sewing, was my favourite teacher.

I remember the Embassy Cinema being pulled down and Law's shop being built.  My first job was on their tills. I also did a milk round  from Granton Road with my sister."

Gwynn Tait (née Pape):  October 28, 2012

Recollections

11.

Kenneth Williamson

Silverknowes, Edinburgh

Kenneth Williamson wrote:

Wardie Hotel

Domino Schools

"How many remember the domino schools in the Public Bar of the Wardie Hotel:

'Pairs'

'Best of Three'.

Sixpence during the week and a shilling on a Friday for the winners.  To get a game you 'chapped' the table and waited your turn."

Kenneth Williamson, Silverknowes, Edinburgh:  April 6, 2011

Recollections

12.

Kenneth Williamson

Silverknowes, Edinburgh

Here, Kenneth Williams who was born in 1951, and lived in the Granton / Boswall district in the 1950s, talks about some of the sports he played in teh area:

Sports

Football

"We played football in the field above Granton Square close to where this photo was taken from.

Looking down on Granton Square and across to Granton Harbour  -  possibly about 1950 ©

The game was 'Granton v. Royston'.  Players joined in as they arrived.  There were sometimes up to 20 players on each side!"

Rugby

"I played rugby for Broughton Rugby Club at 'Lockies' -  the field to the north of Wardie Primary School that had been a navy camp during World War II, then became a camp for the homeless:

Lochinvar Camp   -   A Hero's Home ©

The playing surface was not good as the grass had been laid on top of the concrete base for the camp.

Paul Lorimer was in the same rugby team.  He is the boy on the right climbing the stairs in the photo looking down on Granton Square (above).  He lived in the tenements in Granton Road.

Broughton won the League in Season 1981-82

Bowling

"I bowled at Lomond Park, Lomond Road, Trinity.  The bowling green and tennis courts were laid out there around 1910 (?) on land where there had been a pond.  Before that, the bowling club had a small green that could take 4 rinks, in York Road, Trinity.  It was  close to where the Baillie's Lamp Post in York Road now stands:

I also bowled at Queensberry Bowling Club, Pilton Drive North, Edinburgh, not far from the Anchor Inn:

Anchor Inn, 114-116 West Granton Road  -  February 2012 ©

This site was given to the club by the Duke of Buccleuch around 1865 after he decided that he wanted to develop land on the site of the club's earlier bowling green, closer to Granton Square."

Kenneth Williamson, Silverknowes, Edinburgh:  May 25, 2013

 

Recollections

13.

Kenneth Williamson

Silverknowes, Edinburgh

Kenneth Williams has already sent me several recollections of growing up in Granton, and I've added them to the Edinphoto web site.

On September 25, 2013, Kenneth gave a good talk, titled 'Granton's Industrial Past' to an audience at Lauriston Castle, Edinburgh.  During this talk, he spoke of many of his own memories of Granton, including the following:

Kenneth remembered:

Timber Yard

"There used to be a timber yard near Caroline Park.  One day, I went into the timber yard with my young pals and told the men that we wanted to mark out our football pitch.

They allowed us to wander round amongst their saws and other machinery and  gather up as much sawdust as we wanted.  Then we took it up to our football ground and marked out the pitch."

Boys' Brigade

"When I lived at Granton, I was a member of the Boys' Brigade, but not for very long!  I hated marching.

I remember marching along Duke Street, Leith.  The local kids used to throw things at us as we marched, and there was nothing that we could do about it."

Bowling

"I'm a member of Queensberry Bowling Club at Pilton Drive North, near 'The Anchor' at West Granton Road. 

When the club was formed, in 1880, its bowling green was near Granton Square, but the landowner, Duke of Buccleuch, had other plans for the land there, so he gave us the site at West Pilton Drive instead.

One of the cups that the club plays for annually was donated by Granton Hotel at Granton Square.  Inscribed on the cup is the message:

Bowling Cup

To be played for in Celebration of the Defeat of Hitler

Awarded by Granton Hotel

"

Railways at Granton

"We used to play on the railways at Granton,  dodging in and out amongst the engines and wagons that were shunting.

Usually, they were using diesel shunters, but sometimes, in the summer, there was a steam train that would drop hot ashes, so we were able to make a fire with the esparto grass that could be found around the harbour.  That was the highlight of our evening!"

Middle Pier

"The railway line on Middle Pier led to Granton station which had closed to passenger services in 1925.

The lines were raised above the road level, so for anybody who was pushing a pram, it could be difficult to cross the lines if they wanted  to reach the sweet shop on the other side of the lines.

Middle Pier was really 'out of bounds' to us, but I remember the ice factory there with its conveyor belt to deliver ice to the trawlers.

There were also two U-boats in the corner of the harbour.  They had been left there the end of the war."

Caledonian Goods Station

"The Caledonian Railway's Goods Station at Granton was just west of Granton Square, on land now used by Waugh's scrap yard.  The old building there is still standing, but all the railway signage inside it has gone.

As young lads, we used to go into the goods station on board the steam engines.   As we went in, we had to duck and get down on the floor so that we would not be seen.  If we were seen, the driver would be in trouble."

Caledonian Line at Granton

"Tanker trains, hauled by diesels continued to use the Caledonian Railway line at Granton until 1980.  In the final years of the railway, they took aviation fuel from the Texaco Plant near Granton Gas Works to Prestwick Airport.

With the Texaco plant, Shell plant, gas works and other industry all operating nearby, and all the coal in the area, what would have happened if there had been a fire there?"

Granton Gas Works

"Granton Gas Works had its own station, with special trains for the workers.  The station remained open until the 1940s.  The gas works also had its own 2ft gauge steam railway.

Extending to the north of the gas works  station, towards Granton Square, there was a single track railway.  It ran close to a football pitch which had an old tramcar for a dressing room, but one day the tramcar went of fire."

West Harbour Road

"At West Harbour Road, we played with bows and arrows.  We used to put nails on the end of the arrows, then go hunting for rats!

Malcolm Brechin's shipyard was also along West Harbour Road.  They used to break up steam trawlers there."

Bath Chair

"I knew somebody who had a bad injury, so their mother got a bath chair for them from the Salvation Army.  She lost control of it as she took it down West Granton Road towards Granton Square, then she got it stuck in the tram lines at the bottom of the hill and he had to be lifted out of it."

Coal Yard

"At the coal yard near Middle Pier and Granton Square, there was a man called 'Twizzle'.  He used to:

break up coal.

bag it.

-  sell the bags to anyone who was passing by.

-  then go home.

Some days, the coal was all sold by 10.30am.
Other days he was still selling it at 12.30pm."

Coal Deliveries

"For a while, I sold coal from the coal yard.  When customers saw the coal being delivered in the street, if they wanted some, they would hang out of their window.

On one occasion, I carried a sack of coal up to a 3rd floor flat, and knocked on the door.  The lady came to the door  but said. 'I don't want coal'.  I said, 'Why were you hanging out to the window, then?'  She said, 'I was just hanging out'.'

I didn't want to carry the sack downstairs again, so I called on the boss to come to the flat to negotiate.  He came and an agreement was reached.  The lady bought the sack of coal!"

Fishing Boats

"When the fishing boats came into Granton Harbour with their catch, the trawler men would throw fish for the people standing nearby who would scramble under the lorries parked beside the quay to pick up the fresh fish."

Pubs and Hotels

"I remember:

 Wullie Muir Pub.  That was a tough place.

The Tap near Granton Square, with its very long bar.

Wardie Hotel on Lower Granton Road.   It was a wee bit more civilised.  On Friday evenings it had ''Sing Songs' with some of he trawlermen from overseas.

I used o play dominoes there for 6 pence a game  -  but on a Friday it was like Las Vegas.  The big boys came in and it was a shilling a game!"

Football Matches

"We would have football matches, every Sunday at Royston.  Sometimes, there were 20 on each side.

These were 'International' games, with one side made up of sailors from, perhaps, a German or Russian navy ship that was berthed at Granton."

Kenneth Williamson, Silverknowes, Edinburgh:  Lecture:  September 25, 2013

 

Recollections

14.

Phil Wilson

Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Thank you to Phil Wilson for for sending more recollections of Granton, this time in response to Kenneth Williamson's mention in Recollections 13 above of the shipbreaking yard on West Harbour Road.

Phil wrote:

Granton Western Harbour

"Here is a colour slide that I bought recently on eBay, and added to this page on the Ipernity web site:

Malcolm Brechin's Shipbreaker

The photo of the yard at Granton Western Harbour was taken in November 1957.  The ship being broken up is the reclassified Corvette, Royal Naval Frigate F386, HEDINGHAM CASTLE'

Phil Wilson, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire,  Scotland:  February 2004

 

 

North Edinburgh

Cramond - Granton - Royston - Trinity -  Wardie

Maps

Granton:  transport map 1932

Granton:  small map 1870

Granton:  large map 1870

Recollections

Cramond:                        from 1940s

Cramond Island:              1970s

Granton:                           1930s   1940s   1950s   1970s

Granton, Trinity, Wardie:  1940s   1950s - 60s   Shops

Lower Granton Road        all dates

Muirhouse                         from 1930s

Pilton:                               1940 bomb

Royston:                            from 1930s

Wardie School:                 1930s    1940s   1950s

                                         1960s    1970s   1980s

History

Granton, Trinity, Wardie:  from 1544

 

Recollections  -  More Pages

Recollections  -   Contributors

 

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