Jimmy Meikle


Jim Meikle wrote

Window Frames and Down Pipes

"I thoroughly enjoyed the many recollections on this site . I have many memories of them all.

I was brought up in St Anthony Street, off the Kirkgate.  We lived above Meikle’s Pub, originally owned by my Great Uncle Willie."

Jim Meikle, Leith:  August 26, 2009

Thank you to Jimmy for also sending me his memories of:

-   Jerome's studio
-   Leith Traditions

and for asking a question about the old 'Fair Maid' pleasure boat.




Jim Suddon

Morningside, Edinburgh

Jim Suddon wrote:

A Visit to Leith

"The thing that is no longer apparent now is that a visit to Leith in the 1950s was a visit to another town. The Kirkgate, on a Saturday afternoon or evening, was a really fascinating place to visit.

There were shops there that did not seem to exist in Edinburgh and there were also traders selling all sorts of ornaments from the back of vans.

The Alsatian dog pulling the little boy seemed to be a big seller.  They were made of plaster and in reality were cheaply finished, but people who bought them were given some pleasure.  They could not afford better.

In amidst of the Kirkgate was the Gaiety Theatre with its posters, lights and box office with crowds, possibly coming out or queuing to go in.

The Council pulled all this down in the 1960s in the name of progress."

Jim Suddon, Morningside, Edinburgh:  February 18, 2010




Keith Torrie

Inverness, Inverness-shire, Scotland

After sending recollections of Wee Jackie's barber shop near King's Wark, Leith, Keith Torrie added:

Jacey Cinema

"I remember being taken to see an early James Bond movie, maybe 'From Russia with Love', one night at what must have been the Jacey cinema at that time.

I just remember it was near the Kirkgate and we stopped at a chip shop on the way home towards Ferrier Street."

Keith Torrie, Inverness, Inverness-shire, Scotland: September 14, 2010

Reply to Keith?

Does anybody know where the cinema that Keith mentions would have been?  The only Jacey that I know of is the one that used to be in Princes Street.

If you'd like to send a reply to Keith, please email me, then I'll pass it on to him.

Thank you.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh: September 14, 2010




Danny Callaghan

Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland

Thank you to Danny Callaghan who wrote:


"My father used to always head to Leith, and especially the Kirkgate when it was there, for his sheep's heids, pigs trotters and joints, etc, etc.   Being a methodical person he used to keep a diary which I still have of weight, cost and cooking time of the meat and if it was tender, etc.

However, I now wonder where he went as I have a friend who worked in a Kirkgate butcher as an apprentice in the 1960s.  I'll not name the butchers.    He said the manager had a bit of a, more than strange, sense of humour.    Like most shops in the area there was a bit of a vermin problem and they used to set traps.    When they came in the morning there would always be some victim.   The manager used to take great delight in dropping the carcasses into the mincer with the meat, saying it is all good meat.     No doubt I have eaten some of this mince."

Danny Callaghan, Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland:  March 30, 2011



Mel Roccio

Mel Roccio, whose grandfather Jimmy Roccio owned The International Club in Princes,  wrote:

Michael's Café

"My dad, Sergio (Jimmy's son) came over from Italy, aged 5 in the early-1950s and lived in the Kirkgate with his dad and mum, Jimmy and Evelina.

Jimmy's parents, Mary and Michael owned Michael's Café in the Kirkgate."


"Any recollections about the Nash, Michaels Café or any of my family members would be greatly appreciated!"

Mel Roccio, March 2, 2012

Reply to Jimmy Roccio

If you'd like to send a message to Mel Roccio, please email me, then I'll let you know how to contact him.

    Thank you.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  March 2, 2012




Liz Wood

Murrayfield, Edinburgh

Thank you to Liz Wood who wrote:

Second-hand Furniture Shop

"My grandfather, Willie Munro, used to have a second-hand furniture shop in the old Kirkgate.  The shop was near and on the same side of the street as Laurie Street.

My husband says he remembers it as being between Laurie Street and South Leith Parish church graveyard. He thinks it was next to a whitewashed pend.

The shop had quite a large window and was opposite a narrow street through to the Kirkgate church.  I've not managed to find any photos of this part of the Kirkgate. Does anybody have any ideas on how I could find any?"

Liz Wood, Murrayfield, Edinburgh:  7 February 2017

Reply to Liz Wood

Hi Liz:

You could try contacting:

(a)  Edinburgh Central Library, to see if they have any photos of that part of Kirkgate on their Capital Collections web site or elsewhere in their collection  AND

(b)  Historic Environment Scotland  to see if they have any photos of that part of Kirkgate on their RCAHMS Canmore web site or elsewhere in their collection.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  7 February 2016




Cathie Bonthrone

Thank you to Cathie Bonthrone who wrote:

107 Kirkgate

"I remember my life in Leith as good.   We had no money and poor accommodation when I look back now, but I never felt it when I lived there."

Kinnairds Tea Room

"We lived at 107 Kirkgate, known as Kinnairds.  Kinnairds Tea Room was at the bottom of my stair and there were always parties, weddings or dances going on there.

I stayed at the top of the building and sometimes I would lean out of the back window with my Mother and we would watch the dancers and listen to the music through the glass roof."

Roccio's Ice Cream

"Roccio's ice cream shop was across the road from my stair and it was lovely  -  all glass and mirrors, always shining clean. 

Because of the war, of course, there were very few sweets, even if you had the money and coupons!"

The Gaiety Theatre

"The Gaiety Theatre was in the Kirkgate and that was great too.  I remember seeing Jimmy Logan and Glen Michael when they were starting their careers. 

In the Summer my friends and I would go down the close to the back of the Gaiety and the big stage doors would be open and we sat and watched the dancers doing their routines."

St Mary's Primary School

 "I went to St. Mary's Primary School, then to St. Anthony's Secondary School.   I still have some of my old school friends and we still enjoy a good laugh. 

Happy Days!!!  I now live in Edinburgh - but I am a Leither to the end."

Cathie Bonthrone, Edinburgh:  2 October 2017



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