Jim Meikle wrote
Window Frames and
enjoyed the many recollections on this site . I have many memories of them
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
and for asking a question about the old
Maid' pleasure boat.
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
After sending recollections of Wee Jackie's barber
King's Wark, Leith, Keith Torrie added:
"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.
Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh: September 14,
Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland
Thank you to Danny Callaghan who wrote:
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
Danny Callaghan, Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland:
March 30, 2011
Mel Roccio, whose grandfather Jimmy Roccio owned
The International Club in Princes, wrote:
"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
Mary and Michael owned Michael's
Café in the Kirkgate."
about the Nash, Michaels Café or any of my family members would be greatly
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.
Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh: March 2,
to Liz Wood who wrote:
"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
to Liz Wood
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
Environment Scotland to see if they have any photos of that
part of Kirkgate on their RCAHMS Canmore web site or elsewhere in their
Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh: 7 February 2016
to Cathie Bonthrone who wrote:
"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