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(A)

List of Leith Pubs

Most long since gone   -  and a few comments

(B)

Recollections

of Leith Pubs

 

(A)

List of Leith Pubs

Most long since gone

with thanks to Frank Ferri for also providing the first 50 pubs below

  1.  [Name?]

Laurie St / Constitution St

Comment 1

"I'm told that this pub was Sowersbays"

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  October 12, 2008

Comment 2

"I think this pub was The Alan Breck, named after a character from the works of Robert Louis Stevenson."

David King, Trinity, Edinburgh:  March 13, 2011

Comment 3

"There was indeed a bar called Sowersby's.   It was opposite the Alan Breck.  Sowersby's was  demolished in the mid- to late-1960s, to make way for the Kirkgate high rise flats.

The owner of Sowersby's was my uncle, Johnny Sowersby.  He then went on to work for Wilkes in Henderson Street."

Alison Campbell (née Sowersby):  July 20, 2012

  2.  Angel

Former Flying Angel Seaman's Mission, The Shore

  3.  Artisan

North Fort St

  4.  Barney Battles

Newhaven

  5.  Berry's

Junction Bridge/Ferry Rd

Comment

1.

Frank Ferri

Edinburgh

"The Bars used by wrestlers were Berry's and Cousin's.  These were the nearest to the Eldo,  As kids, we used to hang around there also, waiting for the wrestlers to come out."

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  October 15, 2008

  6.  Berry's Two

North Fort St / Lapicide Place

  7.  Big Pipes

Kirkgate / Charlotte St

  8.  Bill's Bar

The Shore next to Ship Inn

Comment

1.

Frank Ferri

Edinburgh

"I took this photo of Bill's Bar on The Shore at Leith, next to Ship Inn, opposite where DeNero boat restaurant is now moored, around 1960 when I had just bought my first 35mm camera.

Bill's Bar at The Shore, Leith - around 1960 ©

Bills bar, at the time, was the only one on the Shore area (known for its reputation for dancing girls) to discourage ladies of the night.

It was a basic pub with typical low maintenance Formica covered bar and furnishings of the era."

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  August 8, 2012

However, after reading Frank Ferri's message above, Sue McIntosh sent this reply, which I've now passed on to Frank for his reaction.

Comment

2.

Sue McIntosh

Rural New South Wales, Australia

"I am the granddaughter of 'Bill' and spent many hours in his pub, Bill's Bar, while it was closed to the public,, during my childhood.

My mother, Bill's daughter, is still alive and was appalled to read that the comment that the pub was renowned for dancing girls.

My parents, and my grandparents, Bill and Frances, were the only people who ever worked the bar.  My mother says there were never any dancing girls there.

My grandparents owned this pub until the early 1970s and the man in your photo is certainly not my father or grandfather, and the front of the bar doesn't look at all familiar.

Do you think you could be mistaken about this pub.  Might this photo be of another pub on the docks, and the Frank's comments be referring to that pub?"

Sue McIntosh, Australia:  December 9, 2012

The discussion continues.

Frank Ferri replied ...

Comment

3.

Frank Ferri

Edinburgh

"As an ex merchant seaman I was very familiar with the Shore.  I took the picture in question circa early-1960s., The photo is definitely of  Bill's Bar, though the view may have been reversed in printing the photo.

Bill's Bar at The Shore, Leith - around 1960 ©

Bill's Bar was close to the Ship Inn.

I do not suggest the man in picture is Bill

The comments that I sent with the picture may have been misleading.  What I was meaning to say was that the Shore, in general, was synonymous with dancing girls and ladies of the night, but that Bill's Bar did not tolerate this.  No offence was intended to Bill's granddaughter or family."

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  August 10, 2012

... and Susan McIntosh wrote:

Comment

4.

Sue McIntosh

Rural New South Wales, Australia

"The more I look at this photo, the more I think that it is actually Bill's Bar.

Bill's Bar at The Shore, Leith - around 1960 ©

My grandparents, Bill and Frances Phillips lived in Easter Road.  My Mum and Dad, along with my sister and I, lived in Albert Road, but emigrated to Australia in 1967."

Sue McIntosh, Rural New South Wales, Australia:  December 10, 2012

Thank you to Eric Fitzpatrick adding to this discussion with the message below for Sue McIntosh.  (I've emailed Sue to tell her about this message.)

Eric wrote:

Comment

5.

Eric Fitzpatrick

Rural New South Wales, Australia

The Barman

"Sue: The picture could possibly be Bills Bar

Bill's Bar at The Shore, Leith - around 1960 ©

 but the Barman, I think, is a man called Adam who worked in Ma Scott's in Rose Street and in Blue Blazer Spittal Street."

Bar Entertainment

"I remember your Grandparents very well.  I was very friendly with them, and you are right they did not entertain the girls in the Bar.  The only entertainment was your Grandmother who loved to play Connie Frances' record 'Lipstick on you Collar' on the juke box."

Behind the Bar

"Bill used to ask me occasionally to give a hand behind the bar when I was on leave.  He was a great lad!  The only other people, apart from your Mother and Father, who worked there were Maisie the cleaner and her husband Bill.

I remember you and your sister, although you will not remember me I, along with my girl friend, Mary Steven, did the odd baby sitting of you for your Mum and Dad at Albert Road.

All the best to you and your family."

Eric Fitzpatrick, Skipton, North Yorkshire, England:  October 2, 2013 (3 emails)

  9.  Black Bull

Salamander St

10.  Bonnington Toll

Bonnington Rd/Newhaven Rd

11.  Bridge Bar

Bowling Green St top of Bangor Lane

12.  Caledonian Bar

Leith Walk

13.  Coburg Bar

Coburg St

14.  Commercial Bar

Dock St

15.  Copperfield

Marinelo's Leith Walk

16.  Corn Exchange 

Salamander St

17.  Cousins

Corner Great Junction St / Bowling Green St

Comment

"The Bars used by wrestlers were Berry's and Cousin's.  These were the nearest to the Eldo,  As kids, we used to hang around there also, waiting for the wrestlers to come out."

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  October 15, 2008

18.  Dolphin

Crown St

19.  Drift 

Newhaven Main St, overlooking Fishmarket Sq

20.  Hawthorn

Between Bowling Green St & Bangor Rd

21.  Junction Bridge Ba

Sherry's Corner Junction Rd / Ferry Rd

22.  Kings Arms

Smybergs, Simbert, Bowtow, Parrot Shop,
Newhaven Main St

Comment

"I noticed that under 'Kings Arms' you have the name Smybergs, the proper name is Smibert.  Charlie Smibert was my Dad.  He had the pub until 1955.  Prior to that it had been owned by his mother Margaret Smibert (née Gifford) until her death approx 8 yrs previous.

After owning 'The Spread Eagle Hotel' in Jedburgh for a number of years, my Dad and Mother came back to Edinburgh where my Dad managed 'The Balfour Bar' and also 'The Anchor Bar'."

Diane Simpson, Bradford, Ontario, Canada:  February 21, 2013

23.  Lothian Bar 

Bonnington Rd

24.  Maggie McFadyens

Newhaven Main St

25.  Man At the Wheel

Sandport St

26.  Marina Hotel

Newhaven, now demolished

27.  Meiklejohns

Kirkgate

28.  Minto's

Flower of Scotland etc Academy St / Duke St

29.  Mr Smiths

Burns St off Lochend Rd

30.  Myles Dolan's

Broad Pavement Henderson St

31.  New Dock Tavern

Commercial St

32. Nobles  NOW OPEN AGAIN

Constitution St

Comment 1

"I was reading, with great interest, Frank Ferri’s report on my drinking dens in Leith that have now bitten the dust.What threw me for six was Nobles, a great lively bar.  It was my favourite in Leith. I'll email Frank  bout it and ask what has become of it - a yuppie posh bistro I reckon. It was a huge bar and plenty of atmosphere and the landlady was great and stood no nonsense from anyone."

Eric Gold, East London:  October 11, 2008

Comment 2

"Nobles, like many in the license trade in Leith have found business tough. Most pubs in the Shore now sell food. Maybe that's the gimmick, or maybe it's the location.

For a while, they had live bands on Fridays and Saturdays.  Who knows?  It may open up again.

In my old dancing days at the Assembly Rooms, that used to be my last watering hole before dancing"

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  October 12, 2008

Comment 3

"Nobles was a busy joint.  I'd put a bet on that it was the busiest bar in Leith, despite the big cat in Fairley’s (ha ha ha ha)."

Eric Gold, East London:  October 12, 2008

Comment 4

"I see that Nobles has re-opened and is looking very nice."

J Darroch, Edinburgh:  June 16, 2009

33.  North British Bar

(Hares) Duke St

34.  OK

Kirkgate

35.  Old Ship Inn

Fishmarket Sq Newhaven

36.  Old Vic Bar

Junction St now bookies

37.  Olympia Bar

Bonnington Rd

38.  Portland Bar

Corner of Portland St / Hamburgh Pl

39.  Princes

Kirkgate

40.  Schooner

Pitt St

41.  Sinclair's

Corner Sandport S t /Commercial

   .  Sowersbays

See 1 above.

42.  Spiral

Holme's Bar, Constitution St

43.  Spotted Dog

Bonnington Rd

44.  Steamboat Tavern

Commercial St, next to old railway station

45.  Thorntree

Thorntree St/Easter Rd

Comment 1

"The Thorntree Bar was on the corner of Ferrier Street / Easter Road.

Above the Thorntree Bar there was a pawnbroking business, which was entered from Ferrier Street. The the pawnbroker's windowsoverlooked the Easter Road thoroughfare.

I have drunk in the Thorntree Bar and the Football Arms frequently. I'm saying no more on the subject of the pawnbroker."

James Brown, Perth, Western Australia:  October 12, 2008

Comment 2

"Sorry to contradict J Brown, Australia. But why would the pub on Ferrier Street be called the Thorntree, when the second street up from it is called Thorntree Street? - Ferrier Street, Gordon Street, then Thorntree Street.  It doesn't seem logical somehow."

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  October 13, 2008

Comment 3

"Sorry Frank, but logic doesn't come into it. The fact is 'The Thorntree Bar' was on the corner of Ferrier Street / Easter Road.  I lived next door to it.

Check the old Street, Business or Telephone Directory's, in the Central Library, on George the Fourth Bridge.

The Thorntree Bar and the Football Arms Bar (50 below) were both still there in the early-1960s."

James Brown, Perth, Western Australia:  October 14, 2008

Comment 4

"Apologies to James Brown.  I defer to his better local knowledge as he lived in the area."

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  October 14, 2008

Comment 5

"My father was a train driver and worked from Leith Central station so the pictures of Leith Central brought it back to me.

Leith Central Station  -  1987 ©

He also worked in the Thorntree Bar which was on the corner of Ferrier Street at James Brown said.  My mother was also cleaner there."

Lorna Macey, Fife, Scotland:  October 20, 2008

46.  Trade Winds

Merchants, Fairley's of Leith, Commercial St

47.  Vintage

Henderson/Giles Streets

48.  Ye Old Pipes

The Wee Pipes, Carpet Lane

49.  Wright's

Bonnington Rd

Comment

"If this is the pub known as Mag Wright's, I recall a  conversation between my late Uncle Frank Renton, and cousin Robert Roger in the spring of this year.  Bob and I where over from Canada to visit with Frank

I'm sure that Uncle Frank said that the real name of the pub was the Abbotsford Bar.  The street that may have intersected with Bonnington Road may have been  Abbotsford some time before.

Unfortunately, Uncle frank passed away on November 30th. He will be missed by us all. He lived in  Block B Bangor Road, Bonnington Road, Pennywell Gardens, Silverknowes and possibly other places around Leith.

He was a lorry driver, and knew many people and places. He was well known around Newhaven Fishmarket.

George Renton, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada:  December 15, 2008

50.  Ye Old Football Arms

Easter Rd/Ferrier St

Comment

"The Football Arms was on the corner of Thorntree Street and Easter Road.  I have drunk there, and in Thorntree Bar, frequently

James Brown, Perth, Western Australia:  October 12, 2008

51.  Dan Cowan's

Foot of Leith Walk, near Crown Place and Crown Street

Comment

"Dan Cowan’s, this was at the bottom of Leith Walk near Crown Street and Place.

The pub may have had another name and Dan Cowan may have been the name of the owner or manager.  As I lived on the other side of Leith Walk I clearly remember a piper playing outside. This was in the 1930s."

Bill Cunningham, Leith:  October 26, 2008

52.  The Bowler's Rest  NOW OPEN AGAIN

Foot of Leith Walk, near Crown Place and Crown Street

Comment 1

"The Bowler's Rest was owned in the 1960s by Lawrie Riley, a famous Leith footballer."

David Barrie, Adelaide, South Australia

53.  The Drawbridge

Comment 1

"Another old pub that could be added to the list above is 'The Drawbridge'.  It was owned by Jimmy Leslie, a traveller with Melrose Drovers."

Eric Fitzpatrick, Skipton, North Yorkshire, England:  October 2, 2013 (3 emails)

Comment 2

"The Drawbridge pub was on the corner of Ferry Road and Great Junction Street,*** close to Leith Library and Junction Road Railway Station beside the Water of Leith.

*** But see Comment 3 below.  The pub referred to here is actually Junction Bar.

I've now transferred the notes about  'Junction Bar' into Recollections 17 below.

Kenneth Williamson, Silverknowes, Edinburgh.  Chat, October 3, 2013

Comment 3

" 'The Drawbridge' can still be found in Leith, but now it is under another name.  It's next to the King's Wark on the Shore  -  not on the corner of Ferry Road and Great Junction Street as  the picture shows:

Drawbridge - The Shore

    Lower Drawbridge over the Water of Leith at The Shore, Leith  -  Removed 1910 ©

The pub on the corner of Ferry Road and Great Junction Street was 'Junction Bar'."

Eric Fitzpatrick, Skipton, North Yorkshire, England:  October 2, 2013 (3 emails)

Pubs Still Open

Not all the Leith Pubs have vanished.  Many are still open.  Here are some photos of one of them:

Central Bar

near the foot of Leith Walk

Central Bar - near the Foot of Leith Walk  -  exterior ©        Central Bar - near the Foot of Leith Walk  -  interior ©

Central Bar - near the Foot of Leith Walk  -  two men drinking ©       Central Bar - near the Foot of Leith Walk  -  six_men_drinking ©

 

B.

Recollections

of Leith Pubs

1.

Eric Gold
East End, London

Leith Pubs

2.

Frank Ferri
Newhaven, Edinburgh

Jug Bars

The Ladies

Empty Beer Bottles

3.

Bill Cunningham
East End, London

Joug Bars

4.

Ian M Malcolm
St Andrews, Fife, Scotland

Closing Times

5.

Sheila Fraser (née Black)
Bathgate, West Lothian, Scotland

1970-1974

What was S/B

with replies from

Neil Lawrence
Fountainbridge, Edinburgh

Frank Ferri
Newhaven, Edinburgh

John Stewart
Livingston, West Lothian, Scotland

John Stewart
Livingston, West Lothian, Scotland

What was S/B

Pubs - unlikely

Wee Café

What was S/B

State Bingo

6.

Margaret Clarke

Below Queen's Hotel

7.

Tom McLuskey
Canada

More Pubs

-  The King's Wark

-  Billy's Bar

-  The Tower Bar

-  Fairleys of Leith

1940s

8.

Alistair Rankine
Australia

Crown Bar

9.

Frank Ferri
Newhaven, Edinburgh

Crown Bar

Betty's

'Whispering Lounges'

10.

Alice Wilson
Christchurch, New Zealand

Dolphin Lounge

11.

Walter (Wattie) Mason
Leith, Edinburgh

Dolphin Lounge

Caledonian Bar

12.

Alistair Rankine
Australia

The Crown

13.

Mike Crean
Australia

Davy's Bar

14.

Stuart Lyon
Blackford, Edinburgh

Davy's Bar

15.

Kenneth Williamson
Silverknowes, Edinburgh

The Tower Bar

16.

Eric Fitzpatrick
Skipton, North Yorkshire, England

The King's Wark

-  The McCluskey Family

17.

Kenneth Williamson
Silverknowes, Edinburgh

Junction Bar

18.

Dr Meg Bateman

A Pub frequented by Mariners

A Pub known as 'The Church'

 

Recollections

1.

Eric Gold

East End, London

Thank you to Eric Gold who wrote

Leith Pubs - Long since gone

"It's sad to think that these pubs all made a living at one time.  It's a sign of the times and people's changing social habits, I guess."

Eric Gold:  East London:  October, 2008.

Recollections

2.

Frank Ferri

Newhaven, Edinburgh

Thank you to Frank Ferri who wrote:

Jug Bars

"I just had another memory flash - 'JUG BARS', as opposed to Milk Bars;  that's another topic.

 Right up until at least the mid-1960s, most pubs, in Leith anyway, had a 'JUG BAR'.  This usual was a small annex off the pub, usually situated at the entrance, the dimensions being about 6 feet 6 X 12 feet in size, with a small serving hatch inside, linked to the bar for discretion."

 The Ladies

"In days gone by, when women did not openly drink, or before it was acceptable for women to go in to bars, which were by and large was the domain of men only, this was a facility, where generally, elderly ladies could sit and have a quiet drink.

Or in days of old, the wife or old granny would go in, armed with a jug/picture, which was filled with ale, covered with a tea towel and carried back to the house for Dad or Grandpa to consume with his meal after a hard days work at the shipyards or whatever."

 Empty Beer Bottles

"As kids, this is where we would take empty beer bottles to redeem the penny or two penny returnable charge. Sometimes you had to wander into a number of Jug Bars armed with an armful of bottles, before you got all the redeemable money, as each bar tender told you:  "Sorry son, we don’t sell that brand of beer here. So we had move on and on until we got rid of them.  Often we were chased away by the bar staff.

It was a similar scenario with lemonade bottles or jam jars.

Give a bundle of lemonade bottles to a kid to redeem the refund now and they would turn up their noses. This is how WE earned some additional pocket money."

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  October 17,  2008.

 

Recollections

3.

Bill Cunningham

Leith, Edinburgh

Thank you to Bill Cunningham who wrote:

Joug Bars

"I note that Frank Ferri (in Recollections 2 above) refers to Jug bars, but I am sure that in Scotland this would have been ‘Joug Bars’.

Jug would have been thought 'awfy posh'!.

 In England they used the term The Snug."

Bill Cunningham, Leith, Edinburgh:  October 26, 2008

 

 Recollections

4.

Ian M Malcolm

St Andrews, Fife, Scotland

Thank you to Ian M Malcolm for telling me of some of his experiences in and around Edinburgh while he was studying at Leith Nautical College in 1947-48.

Ian wrote:

Closing Times

"The closing time of the pubs was half-an-hour later in either Edinburgh or Leith.  As the Pilrig Bar had a counter which stretched between both towns, patrons moved from one side to the other when the first closing bell was rung.  (Was this before the amalgamation of Edinburgh and Leith in 1920?    - Peter Stubbs)

All pubs in Scotland were closed on Sundays, but as hotels were permitted to serve drinks to travellers, there was a considerable itinerant population.  I heard of a merchant seaman obtaining a drink in Leith by stating that he was en route to Istanbul!"

Ian M Malcolm:  St Andrews, Fife, Scotland:  January 24, 2010

 

 Recollections

5.

Sheila Fraser (née Black)

Bathgate, West Lothian, Scotland

Thank you to Sheila Fraser for posting this message in the EdinPhoto guestbook.

Sheila wrote:

1970-74

"I have been given my grandmother's diaries from 1970 to 1974 when she died.

Every Thursday, there is an entry 'S/B', which I think might be a pub.  It would have been within walking distance of 172 Great Junction Street.  My grandmother went there for lunch.

There are entries:

- 'S/B very quite.  Home at 1.45'

S/B very enjoyable.

If you want to know what the weather was like on a particular day at the time, I can tell you.  She comments on the weather every day, and sometimes twice a day."

Sheila Fraser, Bathgate, West Lothian, Scotland:  May 9, 2010

What was S/B?

If you have any idea what 'S/B might have been, please email me, then I'll pass on your message to Sheila.    Thank you.

Peter Stubbs:  May 11, 2010

 

 Reply 1. to

Recollections

5.

Neil Lawrence

Fountainbridge, Edinburgh

Thank you to Neil Lawrence who wrote:

What was S/B?

"Here are a few pubs from around that era and area that might fit the  bill.

Station Bar

24 Portland Place

Now: The Sports Bar

Strathies Bar

17  Portland Place

Now: Rumba

Swanney Bar

32 North Junction St

Now:  Aska's Bar

Sherry's Bar

269 Great Junction St

Was Dakota, now closed

Skivvy's Bar

15 Duke Street

Now derelict, next to Marksman

What do you think?  A few are very close.

 Neil Lawrence, Fountainbridge, Edinburgh:  May 11, 2010

 Reply 2. to

Recollections

5.

Frank Ferri

Newhaven, Edinburgh

Thank you to Frank Ferri who wrote:

Pubs  -  unlikely

"I doubt very much if 'S/B' was a pub.

In the 1970s, there were 6 pubs in Junction St, not including North Junction St  which has two, but none was sophisticated enough to sell food.

No. 172 Great Junction St, where Sheila's grandmother lived, is the old Co-Op tenement building opposite Bangor Rd.  The nearest pubs to there would have been:

-  The Hawthorn, between Bangor Rd and Bowling Green St.

 Cousin's between Bowling Green St and Ballantyne Rd.

 Junction Bridge (Berry's) on the corner of Ferry Rd.

Wee Café

"However, at 127 Junction St, next to the church, opposite Crabbie's old building, there is  a wee Café - 'Up the Junction',.  It has been there for a long time.

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  May 12, 2010

 Reply 3. to

Recollections

5.

John Stewart

Livingston, West Lothian, Scotland

Thank you to John Stewart for coming up with what appear to me to be very plausible suggestions.

John wrote:

What was S/B?

"Somehow, I don't think the lady in her diary was referring to bars.  S/B suggests to me two places:

1.  Store Boardroom: on the corner of Great Junction Street and Cables Wynd, at the traffic lights.

This was the venue for wedding receptions, etc. until it was demolished and replaced with Telectra House.  This, itself, has been replaced.

2.  The Sally (Salvation Army) / Bangour Road.  It ran lunch clubs, once a week on Thursdays.

John added:

"My mother is now aged 102.  She attended the Salvation Army lunch club at that time.  She is still around.  If I knew the deceased lady's name I could ask my mother if she knew her."

John Stewart, Livingston, West Lothian, Scotland:  3 emails, all May 11, 2010

 

 Reply 4. to

Recollections

5.

John Stewart

Livingston, West Lothian, Scotland

John Stewart, who sent 'Reply 3' above, runs the Old Leither web site.

 He added a question about 'S/B' to that site.

John wrote:

State Bingo

"I received this reply from Moira  in my guestbook:

''Might I suggest that it was State Bingo. They had a pensioners' club, and they had an early session and lunch, one day a week.

The other place that it could have been is Swanfield.  At the top gate, down the wee lane, turn right and there was a wee building.

That was the lunch club.  My grandad went there up until he died.'

Could this be it?

John Stewart, Livingston, West Lothian, Scotland:  May 12, 2010

Recollections

6.

Margaret Clarke

Margaret Clarke wrote:

Below Queen's Hotel

"I wonder if anyone can supply the name of the pub below the Queen's Hotel at the foot of Leith Walk, as shown in photos from the late-1800s to early-1900s.

In any photos that I have looked at, there is always a tram passing just in front, or the photograph is just too blurry."

Margaret Clarke:  August 22, 2010

Reply to Margaret?

If you know the answer to Margaret's question, please email me, then I'll pass on your message to her  Thank you.

Peter Stubbs:  May 11, 2010

 

 Recollections

7.

Tom McLuskey

Canada

Tom McLuskey wrote:

More Pubs

"I was reading and looking with great interest at the recollections of old Leith Pubs and noticed that four of the most well known pubs, not only in Leith but around the world, were not mentioned.  They are:

The Kings Wark

"The Kings Wark was also known world-wide aThe Jungle.  It was right on the Leith Waterfront, a place for sailors of all nationalities to go and enjoy themselves.

It was owned and run by Tammy Glasgow who was always good for a sub when we were waiting on a ship.  He was always paid back when we returned from a trip, sometimes months later but always he was paid back."

Billy's Bar

"Billy's Bar also right on the waterfront.  It was a good bar and was next door to the Merchant Navy Union Hall.

The Tower Bar

The Tower Bar was next to what used to be the Merchant Navy Hostel.  Again, it was right on the Leith Waterfront

Fairlies of Leith

Fairlies of Leith was just across the old bridge from The Jungle Bar.  It had a lounge that was second to none.  With many of my friends, I spent many enjoyable evenings there.  It was close to the Merchant Navy Offices

1940s

These pubs were all active in the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and right into the 1970s.  I hope they  brings back pleasant memories to all who frequented them especially to old seafarers

Tom McLuskey, Canada:  March 19, 2011

Tom:

More Pubs

Thanks for your comments about the pubs above.  I'm happy to include your comments on this page.  However, I think the reason why these pubs had not been mentioned previously on this page is because the scope of this page was originally 'Leith Pubs. Long Gone''

Some of the pubs that you mention are not 'Long Gone'.  They are still in business - though they may be better known now for their restaurant than for their bar.

Peter Stubbs:  May 19, 2010

 

 Recollections

8.

Alistair Rankine

Australia

Thank you to Alistair Rankine for posting a message in the EdinPhoto guestbook.

Alistair wrote:

Crown Bar

"I wonder if anyone remembers the 'Crown Bar' and 'Dolphin Lounge' near the foot of Leith Walk.  I managed this pub when it was owned by Willie Hare from 1972 to 1974 when I emigrated to Australia

It was a great pub then.  The customers were all really friendly, especially the crowd who used to come in to the lounge bar at opening time, 5pm.  They all had their special likes.

I remember some of my staff Madge, Margaret, Marie and Liz.  I  can't remember their last names.

Guinness at 20p a pint.  Those were the days!"

Alistair Rankine, Australia:  Message posted on EdinPhoto web site: July 7, 2011

 Recollections

9.

Frank Ferri

Newhaven, Edinburgh

Thank you to Frank Ferri for sending a reply to Alistair Rankine's message in 'Recollections 8' above.

Frank wrote:

Crown Bar

"The Crown (and its Dolphin Lounge) was a great place, one of the very few in Leith in the 1970s.  It had a nice, classy wee lounge where you could take your wife to.

I knew the Dolphin owners many years ago.  They  moved to the foot of Easter Road to the Persevere, which has a nice, large, tasteful-decorated dining room."

Betty's

"The other place similar to the Dolphin was Berry's, on the corner of Ferry Road and Great Junction Street.  It had soft, quite, non-intrusive background music, with free wee snacks on bar."

'Whispery Lounges'

"I used to call these 'whispery lounges'.  No-one raised their voices.  There was nice, quiet conversation.  Where do you find that now apart from high class hotels?"

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  July 7, 2011

 Recollections

10.

Alice Wilson (née Ward)

Christchurch, New Zealand

Alice Wilson replied to Alistairr Rankine:

Dolphin Lounge

"I don't know the Dolphin Lounge personally as I was to young, but I remember my parents getting all dolled up on a Saturday night for their night out. That was in the late-1950s and early-1960s.  Thanks for reminding me of that "

Alice Wilson (née Ward), Christchurch, New Zealand:
Message posted in EdinPhoto guest book,  July 7, 2011

 Recollections

11.

Walter (Wattie) Mason

Leith, Edinburgh

Wattie Mason also replied to the message from Alistair Rankine.

Wattie wrote:

Dolphin Lounge

"Sad to say, the Dolphin Lounge and Crown Bar is no longer. It  is now Papa John's Pizza Takeaway."

Caledonian Bar

"The Caledonian Bar has also become a pizza bar  -  Dominoe Pizza Place."

Wattie (Wattie) Mason,  Leith, Edinburgh:  Message posted in EdinPhoto guest book,  July 8, 2011

 Recollections

12.

Alistair Rankine

Australia

Thank you to Alister Rankine for replying to Frank Ferri's comments (9 above).  Alistair wrote:

The Crown

"Frank is correct.  Prior to the time when it was bought by Mr Hare, the owners of 'The Crown' opened a brand new pub, 'The Persevere', at the foot of Easter Road.

On the first night, we were worried 'The Persevere' would take all their customers from 'The Crown'.

When 'The Crown' opened at 5pm, not one customer came in.  Then, around 5.30, they started to drift into 'The Crown' with the comment 'The new place is very nice but we like our own haunt.' 

So The Crown  did very well for the two years I was there."

Alastair Rankine, Australia: July 8, 2011

 

 Recollections

13.

Mike Crean

Dorking, Surrey, England

Mike Crean wrote:

Question

Davy's Bar

"Can anyone remember a pub called Davy's Bar near Portland Place, Leith, going past Angelo Santo's ice cream shop, then the chip shop to the corner of Albany Street?

There was a pub on one corner but you went past it and crossed the road. Right opposite was Davy's Bar, you went down a small flight of steps and there you were.

Davy's name may have been Hutchinson.  He was a really nice guy. More importantly, he served one of the best pints of McEwan's Heavy I ever tasted.  He was famous for it.  My mates and I were regulars from 1965 to 1971.

The pub finally closed down when all the development took place around the late-1970s / early-1980s.  It was demolished to make way for the new council houses all around that area.

I hope someone might be able to share the memories of it."

Mike Crean, Dorking, Surrey, England:  August 13, 2012

 

 Recollections

14.

Stuart Lyon

Blackford, Edinburgh

Thank you to Stuart Lyon who wrote:

Reply

"This may bring back some memories for Mike Crean who has written of his memories of this pub in Recollections 15 above."

Stuart Lyon, Blackford, Edinburgh:  August 15, 2012

Davy's Bar

1 Hamburg Place

April 1963

©  Reproduced with acknowledgement to the RCAHMS                    Photo No. RCAHMS Ed1648

 

 Recollections

15.

Kenneth Williamson

Silverknowes, Edinburgh

Thank you to Kenneth Williamson who wrote:

The Tower Bar

The Shore

"The Tower Bar beside the Water of Leith at The Shore was popular with locals and visiting sailors.  'Ladies of the Night' and 'Go-Go Dancers' could be found there."

Kenneth Williamson, Silverknowes, Edinburgh:  Chat, October 3, 2013

 

 Recollections

16.

Eric Fitzpatrick

Skipton, North Yorkshire, England

Thank you to Eric Fitzpatrick who wrote:

The King's Wark

"I agree with Tom McCluskeys comments about The King's Wark in his Recollections 7 above.

The McCluskeys

The McCluskeys, if I am remembering correctly were:

-  Father.  I think he was a bosun

-  2 sons. I think they drank at Bill's Bar and The Drawbridge.

I believe that the family came from the Muirhouse District.

I came from Crewe Road and was on the Leith Pool.** "

**  Eric:  What was the 'Leith Pool'?      -  Peter Stubbs

Eric Fitzpatrick, Skipton, North Yorkshire, England:  October 6, 2013

 

 Recollections

17.

Kenneth Williamson

Silverknowes, Edinburgh

Thank you to Kenneth Williamson who wrote:

Junction Bar

" 'Junction Bar'*** was on the corner of Ferry Road and Great Junction Street, close to Leith Library and Junction Road Railway Station beside the Water of Leith.

*** These comments were originally attributed to 'The Drawbridge', but they actually refer 'Junction Bar'

Corner of Ferry Road
and Great Junction Street

    Junction Bridge, Leith  -  Road Widening  -  1909 ©

On the southern bank of the Water of Leith (across the river from Junction Road Station was Hawthorn's locomotive works.  Engines built there in the 19th century used to be floated across the river then lifted onto the railway beside Junction Road Station.

Junction Road Station
   
Junction Road Station -  1909 ©

When Hawthorn's closed, the Eldorado (a popular place for dancing and wrestling matches in the 20th century) was built on the site.  opposite "

Kenneth Williamson, Silverknowes, Edinburgh.  Chat, October 3, 2013

 

 

(A)

List of Leith Pubs

Most long since gone   -  and a few comments

(B)

Recollections

of Leith Pubs

 

(A)

List of Leith Pubs

Most long since gone

with thanks to Frank Ferri for also providing the first 50 pubs below

  1.  [Name?]

Laurie St / Constitution St

Comment 1

"I'm told that this pub was Sowersbays"

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  October 12, 2008

Comment 2

"I think this pub was The Alan Breck, named after a character from the works of Robert Louis Stevenson."

David King, Trinity, Edinburgh:  March 13, 2011

Comment 3

"There was indeed a bar called Sowersby's.   It was opposite the Alan Breck.  Sowersby's was  demolished in the mid- to late-1960s, to make way for the Kirkgate high rise flats.

The owner of Sowersby's was my uncle, Johnny Sowersby.  He then went on to work for Wilkes in Henderson Street."

Alison Campbell (née Sowersby):  July 20, 2012

  2.  Angel

Former Flying Angel Seaman's Mission, The Shore

  3.  Artisan

North Fort St

  4.  Barney Battles

Newhaven

  5.  Berry's

Junction Bridge/Ferry Rd

Comment

1.

Frank Ferri

Edinburgh

"The Bars used by wrestlers were Berry's and Cousin's.  These were the nearest to the Eldo,  As kids, we used to hang around there also, waiting for the wrestlers to come out."

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  October 15, 2008

  6.  Berry's Two

North Fort St / Lapicide Place

  7.  Big Pipes

Kirkgate / Charlotte St

  8.  Bill's Bar

The Shore next to Ship Inn

Comment

1.

Frank Ferri

Edinburgh

"I took this photo of Bill's Bar on The Shore at Leith, next to Ship Inn, opposite where DeNero boat restaurant is now moored, around 1960 when I had just bought my first 35mm camera.

Bill's Bar at The Shore, Leith - around 1960 ©

Bills bar, at the time, was the only one on the Shore area (known for its reputation for dancing girls) to discourage ladies of the night.

It was a basic pub with typical low maintenance Formica covered bar and furnishings of the era."

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  August 8, 2012

However, after reading Frank Ferri's message above, Sue McIntosh sent this reply, which I've now passed on to Frank for his reaction.

Comment

2.

Sue McIntosh

Rural New South Wales, Australia

"I am the granddaughter of 'Bill' and spent many hours in his pub, Bill's Bar, while it was closed to the public,, during my childhood.

My mother, Bill's daughter, is still alive and was appalled to read that the comment that the pub was renowned for dancing girls.

My parents, and my grandparents, Bill and Frances, were the only people who ever worked the bar.  My mother says there were never any dancing girls there.

My grandparents owned this pub until the early 1970s and the man in your photo is certainly not my father or grandfather, and the front of the bar doesn't look at all familiar.

Do you think you could be mistaken about this pub.  Might this photo be of another pub on the docks, and the Frank's comments be referring to that pub?"

Sue McIntosh, Australia:  December 9, 2012

The discussion continues.

Frank Ferri replied ...

Comment

3.

Frank Ferri

Edinburgh

"As an ex merchant seaman I was very familiar with the Shore.  I took the picture in question circa early-1960s., The photo is definitely of  Bill's Bar, though the view may have been reversed in printing the photo.

Bill's Bar at The Shore, Leith - around 1960 ©

Bill's Bar was close to the Ship Inn.

I do not suggest the man in picture is Bill

The comments that I sent with the picture may have been misleading.  What I was meaning to say was that the Shore, in general, was synonymous with dancing girls and ladies of the night, but that Bill's Bar did not tolerate this.  No offence was intended to Bill's granddaughter or family."

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  August 10, 2012

... and Susan McIntosh wrote:

Comment

4.

Sue McIntosh

Rural New South Wales, Australia

"The more I look at this photo, the more I think that it is actually Bill's Bar.

Bill's Bar at The Shore, Leith - around 1960 ©

My grandparents, Bill and Frances Phillips lived in Easter Road.  My Mum and Dad, along with my sister and I, lived in Albert Road, but emigrated to Australia in 1967."

Sue McIntosh, Rural New South Wales, Australia:  December 10, 2012

Thank you to Eric Fitzpatrick adding to this discussion with the message below for Sue McIntosh.  (I've emailed Sue to tell her about this message.)

Eric wrote:

Comment

5.

Eric Fitzpatrick

Rural New South Wales, Australia

The Barman

"Sue: The picture could possibly be Bills Bar

Bill's Bar at The Shore, Leith - around 1960 ©

 but the Barman, I think, is a man called Adam who worked in Ma Scott's in Rose Street and in Blue Blazer Spittal Street."

Bar Entertainment

"I remember your Grandparents very well.  I was very friendly with them, and you are right they did not entertain the girls in the Bar.  The only entertainment was your Grandmother who loved to play Connie Frances' record 'Lipstick on you Collar' on the juke box."

Behind the Bar

"Bill used to ask me occasionally to give a hand behind the bar when I was on leave.  He was a great lad!  The only other people, apart from your Mother and Father, who worked there were Maisie the cleaner and her husband Bill.

I remember you and your sister, although you will not remember me I, along with my girl friend, Mary Steven, did the odd baby sitting of you for your Mum and Dad at Albert Road.

All the best to you and your family."

Eric Fitzpatrick, Skipton, North Yorkshire, England:  October 2, 2013 (3 emails)

  9.  Black Bull

Salamander St

10.  Bonnington Toll

Bonnington Rd/Newhaven Rd

11.  Bridge Bar

Bowling Green St top of Bangor Lane

12.  Caledonian Bar

Leith Walk

13.  Coburg Bar

Coburg St

14.  Commercial Bar

Dock St

15.  Copperfield

Marinelo's Leith Walk

16.  Corn Exchange 

Salamander St

17.  Cousins

Corner Great Junction St / Bowling Green St

Comment

"The Bars used by wrestlers were Berry's and Cousin's.  These were the nearest to the Eldo,  As kids, we used to hang around there also, waiting for the wrestlers to come out."

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  October 15, 2008

18.  Dolphin

Crown St

19.  Drift 

Newhaven Main St, overlooking Fishmarket Sq

20.  Hawthorn

Between Bowling Green St & Bangor Rd

21.  Junction Bridge Ba

Sherry's Corner Junction Rd / Ferry Rd

22.  Kings Arms

Smybergs, Simbert, Bowtow, Parrot Shop,
Newhaven Main St

Comment

"I noticed that under 'Kings Arms' you have the name Smybergs, the proper name is Smibert.  Charlie Smibert was my Dad.  He had the pub until 1955.  Prior to that it had been owned by his mother Margaret Smibert (née Gifford) until her death approx 8 yrs previous.

After owning 'The Spread Eagle Hotel' in Jedburgh for a number of years, my Dad and Mother came back to Edinburgh where my Dad managed 'The Balfour Bar' and also 'The Anchor Bar'."

Diane Simpson, Bradford, Ontario, Canada:  February 21, 2013

23.  Lothian Bar 

Bonnington Rd

24.  Maggie McFadyens

Newhaven Main St

25.  Man At the Wheel

Sandport St

26.  Marina Hotel

Newhaven, now demolished

27.  Meiklejohns

Kirkgate

28.  Minto's

Flower of Scotland etc Academy St / Duke St

29.  Mr Smiths

Burns St off Lochend Rd

30.  Myles Dolan's

Broad Pavement Henderson St

31.  New Dock Tavern

Commercial St

32. Nobles  NOW OPEN AGAIN

Constitution St

Comment 1

"I was reading, with great interest, Frank Ferri’s report on my drinking dens in Leith that have now bitten the dust.What threw me for six was Nobles, a great lively bar.  It was my favourite in Leith. I'll email Frank  bout it and ask what has become of it - a yuppie posh bistro I reckon. It was a huge bar and plenty of atmosphere and the landlady was great and stood no nonsense from anyone."

Eric Gold, East London:  October 11, 2008

Comment 2

"Nobles, like many in the license trade in Leith have found business tough. Most pubs in the Shore now sell food. Maybe that's the gimmick, or maybe it's the location.

For a while, they had live bands on Fridays and Saturdays.  Who knows?  It may open up again.

In my old dancing days at the Assembly Rooms, that used to be my last watering hole before dancing"

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  October 12, 2008

Comment 3

"Nobles was a busy joint.  I'd put a bet on that it was the busiest bar in Leith, despite the big cat in Fairley’s (ha ha ha ha)."

Eric Gold, East London:  October 12, 2008

Comment 4

"I see that Nobles has re-opened and is looking very nice."

J Darroch, Edinburgh:  June 16, 2009

33.  North British Bar

(Hares) Duke St

34.  OK

Kirkgate

35.  Old Ship Inn

Fishmarket Sq Newhaven

36.  Old Vic Bar

Junction St now bookies

37.  Olympia Bar

Bonnington Rd

38.  Portland Bar

Corner of Portland St / Hamburgh Pl

39.  Princes

Kirkgate

40.  Schooner

Pitt St

41.  Sinclair's

Corner Sandport S t /Commercial

   .  Sowersbays

See 1 above.

42.  Spiral

Holme's Bar, Constitution St

43.  Spotted Dog

Bonnington Rd

44.  Steamboat Tavern

Commercial St, next to old railway station

45.  Thorntree

Thorntree St/Easter Rd

Comment 1

"The Thorntree Bar was on the corner of Ferrier Street / Easter Road.

Above the Thorntree Bar there was a pawnbroking business, which was entered from Ferrier Street. The the pawnbroker's windowsoverlooked the Easter Road thoroughfare.

I have drunk in the Thorntree Bar and the Football Arms frequently. I'm saying no more on the subject of the pawnbroker."

James Brown, Perth, Western Australia:  October 12, 2008

Comment 2

"Sorry to contradict J Brown, Australia. But why would the pub on Ferrier Street be called the Thorntree, when the second street up from it is called Thorntree Street? - Ferrier Street, Gordon Street, then Thorntree Street.  It doesn't seem logical somehow."

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  October 13, 2008

Comment 3

"Sorry Frank, but logic doesn't come into it. The fact is 'The Thorntree Bar' was on the corner of Ferrier Street / Easter Road.  I lived next door to it.

Check the old Street, Business or Telephone Directory's, in the Central Library, on George the Fourth Bridge.

The Thorntree Bar and the Football Arms Bar (50 below) were both still there in the early-1960s."

James Brown, Perth, Western Australia:  October 14, 2008

Comment 4

"Apologies to James Brown.  I defer to his better local knowledge as he lived in the area."

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  October 14, 2008

Comment 5

"My father was a train driver and worked from Leith Central station so the pictures of Leith Central brought it back to me.

Leith Central Station  -  1987 ©

He also worked in the Thorntree Bar which was on the corner of Ferrier Street at James Brown said.  My mother was also cleaner there."

Lorna Macey, Fife, Scotland:  October 20, 2008

46.  Trade Winds

Merchants, Fairley's of Leith, Commercial St

47.  Vintage

Henderson/Giles Streets

48.  Ye Old Pipes

The Wee Pipes, Carpet Lane

49.  Wright's

Bonnington Rd

Comment

"If this is the pub known as Mag Wright's, I recall a  conversation between my late Uncle Frank Renton, and cousin Robert Roger in the spring of this year.  Bob and I where over from Canada to visit with Frank

I'm sure that Uncle Frank said that the real name of the pub was the Abbotsford Bar.  The street that may have intersected with Bonnington Road may have been  Abbotsford some time before.

Unfortunately, Uncle frank passed away on November 30th. He will be missed by us all. He lived in  Block B Bangor Road, Bonnington Road, Pennywell Gardens, Silverknowes and possibly other places around Leith.

He was a lorry driver, and knew many people and places. He was well known around Newhaven Fishmarket.

George Renton, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada:  December 15, 2008

50.  Ye Old Football Arms

Easter Rd/Ferrier St

Comment

"The Football Arms was on the corner of Thorntree Street and Easter Road.  I have drunk there, and in Thorntree Bar, frequently

James Brown, Perth, Western Australia:  October 12, 2008

51.  Dan Cowan's

Foot of Leith Walk, near Crown Place and Crown Street

Comment

"Dan Cowan’s, this was at the bottom of Leith Walk near Crown Street and Place.

The pub may have had another name and Dan Cowan may have been the name of the owner or manager.  As I lived on the other side of Leith Walk I clearly remember a piper playing outside. This was in the 1930s."

Bill Cunningham, Leith:  October 26, 2008

52.  The Bowler's Rest  NOW OPEN AGAIN

Foot of Leith Walk, near Crown Place and Crown Street

Comment 1

"The Bowler's Rest was owned in the 1960s by Lawrie Riley, a famous Leith footballer."

David Barrie, Adelaide, South Australia

53.  The Drawbridge

Comment 1

"Another old pub that could be added to the list above is 'The Drawbridge'.  It was owned by Jimmy Leslie, a traveller with Melrose Drovers."

Eric Fitzpatrick, Skipton, North Yorkshire, England:  October 2, 2013 (3 emails)

Comment 2

"The Drawbridge pub was on the corner of Ferry Road and Great Junction Street,*** close to Leith Library and Junction Road Railway Station beside the Water of Leith.

*** But see Comment 3 below.  The pub referred to here is actually Junction Bar.

I've now transferred the notes about  'Junction Bar' into Recollections 17 below.

Kenneth Williamson, Silverknowes, Edinburgh.  Chat, October 3, 2013

Comment 3

" 'The Drawbridge' can still be found in Leith, but now it is under another name.  It's next to the King's Wark on the Shore  -  not on the corner of Ferry Road and Great Junction Street as  the picture shows:

Drawbridge - The Shore

    Lower Drawbridge over the Water of Leith at The Shore, Leith  -  Removed 1910 ©

The pub on the corner of Ferry Road and Great Junction Street was 'Junction Bar'."

Eric Fitzpatrick, Skipton, North Yorkshire, England:  October 2, 2013 (3 emails)

Pubs Still Open

Not all the Leith Pubs have vanished.  Many are still open.  Here are some photos of one of them:

Central Bar

near the foot of Leith Walk

Central Bar - near the Foot of Leith Walk  -  exterior ©        Central Bar - near the Foot of Leith Walk  -  interior ©

Central Bar - near the Foot of Leith Walk  -  two men drinking ©       Central Bar - near the Foot of Leith Walk  -  six_men_drinking ©

 

B.

Recollections

of Leith Pubs

1.

Eric Gold
East End, London

Leith Pubs

2.

Frank Ferri
Newhaven, Edinburgh

Jug Bars

The Ladies

Empty Beer Bottles

3.

Bill Cunningham
East End, London

Joug Bars

4.

Ian M Malcolm
St Andrews, Fife, Scotland

Closing Times

5.

Sheila Fraser (née Black)
Bathgate, West Lothian, Scotland

1970-1974

What was S/B

with replies from

Neil Lawrence
Fountainbridge, Edinburgh

Frank Ferri
Newhaven, Edinburgh

John Stewart
Livingston, West Lothian, Scotland

John Stewart
Livingston, West Lothian, Scotland

What was S/B

Pubs - unlikely

Wee Café

What was S/B

State Bingo

6.

Margaret Clarke

Below Queen's Hotel

7.

Tom McLuskey
Canada

More Pubs

-  The King's Wark

-  Billy's Bar

-  The Tower Bar

-  Fairleys of Leith

1940s

8.

Alistair Rankine
Australia

Crown Bar

9.

Frank Ferri
Newhaven, Edinburgh

Crown Bar

Betty's

'Whispering Lounges'

10.

Alice Wilson
Christchurch, New Zealand

Dolphin Lounge

11.

Walter (Wattie) Mason
Leith, Edinburgh

Dolphin Lounge

Caledonian Bar

12.

Alistair Rankine
Australia

The Crown

13.

Mike Crean
Australia

Davy's Bar

14.

Stuart Lyon
Blackford, Edinburgh

Davy's Bar

15.

Kenneth Williamson
Silverknowes, Edinburgh

The Tower Bar

16.

Eric Fitzpatrick
Skipton, North Yorkshire, England

The King's Wark

-  The McCluskey Family

17.

Kenneth Williamson
Silverknowes, Edinburgh

Junction Bar

 

Recollections

1.

Eric Gold

East End, London

Thank you to Eric Gold who wrote

Leith Pubs - Long since gone

"It's sad to think that these pubs all made a living at one time.  It's a sign of the times and people's changing social habits, I guess."

Eric Gold:  East London:  October, 2008.

Recollections

2.

Frank Ferri

Newhaven, Edinburgh

Thank you to Frank Ferri who wrote:

Jug Bars

"I just had another memory flash - 'JUG BARS', as opposed to Milk Bars;  that's another topic.

 Right up until at least the mid-1960s, most pubs, in Leith anyway, had a 'JUG BAR'.  This usual was a small annex off the pub, usually situated at the entrance, the dimensions being about 6 feet 6 X 12 feet in size, with a small serving hatch inside, linked to the bar for discretion."

 The Ladies

"In days gone by, when women did not openly drink, or before it was acceptable for women to go in to bars, which were by and large was the domain of men only, this was a facility, where generally, elderly ladies could sit and have a quiet drink.

Or in days of old, the wife or old granny would go in, armed with a jug/picture, which was filled with ale, covered with a tea towel and carried back to the house for Dad or Grandpa to consume with his meal after a hard days work at the shipyards or whatever."

 Empty Beer Bottles

"As kids, this is where we would take empty beer bottles to redeem the penny or two penny returnable charge. Sometimes you had to wander into a number of Jug Bars armed with an armful of bottles, before you got all the redeemable money, as each bar tender told you:  "Sorry son, we don’t sell that brand of beer here. So we had move on and on until we got rid of them.  Often we were chased away by the bar staff.

It was a similar scenario with lemonade bottles or jam jars.

Give a bundle of lemonade bottles to a kid to redeem the refund now and they would turn up their noses. This is how WE earned some additional pocket money."

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  October 17,  2008.

 

Recollections

3.

Bill Cunningham

Leith, Edinburgh

Thank you to Bill Cunningham who wrote:

Joug Bars

"I note that Frank Ferri (in Recollections 2 above) refers to Jug bars, but I am sure that in Scotland this would have been ‘Joug Bars’.

Jug would have been thought 'awfy posh'!.

 In England they used the term The Snug."

Bill Cunningham, Leith, Edinburgh:  October 26, 2008

 

 Recollections

4.

Ian M Malcolm

St Andrews, Fife, Scotland

Thank you to Ian M Malcolm for telling me of some of his experiences in and around Edinburgh while he was studying at Leith Nautical College in 1947-48.

Ian wrote:

Closing Times

"The closing time of the pubs was half-an-hour later in either Edinburgh or Leith.  As the Pilrig Bar had a counter which stretched between both towns, patrons moved from one side to the other when the first closing bell was rung.  (Was this before the amalgamation of Edinburgh and Leith in 1920?    - Peter Stubbs)

All pubs in Scotland were closed on Sundays, but as hotels were permitted to serve drinks to travellers, there was a considerable itinerant population.  I heard of a merchant seaman obtaining a drink in Leith by stating that he was en route to Istanbul!"

Ian M Malcolm:  St Andrews, Fife, Scotland:  January 24, 2010

 

 Recollections

5.

Sheila Fraser (née Black)

Bathgate, West Lothian, Scotland

Thank you to Sheila Fraser for posting this message in the EdinPhoto guestbook.

Sheila wrote:

1970-74

"I have been given my grandmother's diaries from 1970 to 1974 when she died.

Every Thursday, there is an entry 'S/B', which I think might be a pub.  It would have been within walking distance of 172 Great Junction Street.  My grandmother went there for lunch.

There are entries:

- 'S/B very quite.  Home at 1.45'

S/B very enjoyable.

If you want to know what the weather was like on a particular day at the time, I can tell you.  She comments on the weather every day, and sometimes twice a day."

Sheila Fraser, Bathgate, West Lothian, Scotland:  May 9, 2010

What was S/B?

If you have any idea what 'S/B might have been, please email me, then I'll pass on your message to Sheila.    Thank you.

Peter Stubbs:  May 11, 2010

 

 Reply 1. to

Recollections

5.

Neil Lawrence

Fountainbridge, Edinburgh

Thank you to Neil Lawrence who wrote:

What was S/B?

"Here are a few pubs from around that era and area that might fit the  bill.

Station Bar

24 Portland Place

Now: The Sports Bar

Strathies Bar

17  Portland Place

Now: Rumba

Swanney Bar

32 North Junction St

Now:  Aska's Bar

Sherry's Bar

269 Great Junction St

Was Dakota, now closed

Skivvy's Bar

15 Duke Street

Now derelict, next to Marksman

What do you think?  A few are very close.

 Neil Lawrence, Fountainbridge, Edinburgh:  May 11, 2010

 Reply 2. to

Recollections

5.

Frank Ferri

Newhaven, Edinburgh

Thank you to Frank Ferri who wrote:

Pubs  -  unlikely

"I doubt very much if 'S/B' was a pub.

In the 1970s, there were 6 pubs in Junction St, not including North Junction St  which has two, but none was sophisticated enough to sell food.

No. 172 Great Junction St, where Sheila's grandmother lived, is the old Co-Op tenement building opposite Bangor Rd.  The nearest pubs to there would have been:

-  The Hawthorn, between Bangor Rd and Bowling Green St.

 Cousin's between Bowling Green St and Ballantyne Rd.

 Junction Bridge (Berry's) on the corner of Ferry Rd.

Wee Café

"However, at 127 Junction St, next to the church, opposite Crabbie's old building, there is  a wee Café - 'Up the Junction',.  It has been there for a long time.

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  May 12, 2010

 Reply 3. to

Recollections

5.

John Stewart

Livingston, West Lothian, Scotland

Thank you to John Stewart for coming up with what appear to me to be very plausible suggestions.

John wrote:

What was S/B?

"Somehow, I don't think the lady in her diary was referring to bars.  S/B suggests to me two places:

1.  Store Boardroom: on the corner of Great Junction Street and Cables Wynd, at the traffic lights.

This was the venue for wedding receptions, etc. until it was demolished and replaced with Telectra House.  This, itself, has been replaced.

2.  The Sally (Salvation Army) / Bangour Road.  It ran lunch clubs, once a week on Thursdays.

John added:

"My mother is now aged 102.  She attended the Salvation Army lunch club at that time.  She is still around.  If I knew the deceased lady's name I could ask my mother if she knew her."

John Stewart, Livingston, West Lothian, Scotland:  3 emails, all May 11, 2010

 

 Reply 4. to

Recollections

5.

John Stewart

Livingston, West Lothian, Scotland

John Stewart, who sent 'Reply 3' above, runs the Old Leither web site.

 He added a question about 'S/B' to that site.

John wrote:

State Bingo

"I received this reply from Moira  in my guestbook:

''Might I suggest that it was State Bingo. They had a pensioners' club, and they had an early session and lunch, one day a week.

The other place that it could have been is Swanfield.  At the top gate, down the wee lane, turn right and there was a wee building.

That was the lunch club.  My grandad went there up until he died.'

Could this be it?

John Stewart, Livingston, West Lothian, Scotland:  May 12, 2010

Recollections

6.

Margaret Clarke

Margaret Clarke wrote:

Below Queen's Hotel

"I wonder if anyone can supply the name of the pub below the Queen's Hotel at the foot of Leith Walk, as shown in photos from the late-1800s to early-1900s.

In any photos that I have looked at, there is always a tram passing just in front, or the photograph is just too blurry."

Margaret Clarke:  August 22, 2010

Reply to Margaret?

If you know the answer to Margaret's question, please email me, then I'll pass on your message to her  Thank you.

Peter Stubbs:  May 11, 2010

 

 Recollections

7.

Tom McLuskey

Canada

Tom McLuskey wrote:

More Pubs

"I was reading and looking with great interest at the recollections of old Leith Pubs and noticed that four of the most well known pubs, not only in Leith but around the world, were not mentioned.  They are:

The Kings Wark

"The Kings Wark was also known world-wide aThe Jungle.  It was right on the Leith Waterfront, a place for sailors of all nationalities to go and enjoy themselves.

It was owned and run by Tammy Glasgow who was always good for a sub when we were waiting on a ship.  He was always paid back when we returned from a trip, sometimes months later but always he was paid back."

Billy's Bar

"Billy's Bar also right on the waterfront.  It was a good bar and was next door to the Merchant Navy Union Hall.

The Tower Bar

The Tower Bar was next to what used to be the Merchant Navy Hostel.  Again, it was right on the Leith Waterfront

Fairlies of Leith

Fairlies of Leith was just across the old bridge from The Jungle Bar.  It had a lounge that was second to none.  With many of my friends, I spent many enjoyable evenings there.  It was close to the Merchant Navy Offices

1940s

These pubs were all active in the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and right into the 1970s.  I hope they  brings back pleasant memories to all who frequented them especially to old seafarers

Tom McLuskey, Canada:  March 19, 2011

Tom:

More Pubs

Thanks for your comments about the pubs above.  I'm happy to include your comments on this page.  However, I think the reason why these pubs had not been mentioned previously on this page is because the scope of this page was originally 'Leith Pubs. Long Gone''

Some of the pubs that you mention are not 'Long Gone'.  They are still in business - though they may be better known now for their restaurant than for their bar.

Peter Stubbs:  May 19, 2010

 

 Recollections

8.

Alistair Rankine

Australia

Thank you to Alistair Rankine for posting a message in the EdinPhoto guestbook.

Alistair wrote:

Crown Bar

"I wonder if anyone remembers the 'Crown Bar' and 'Dolphin Lounge' near the foot of Leith Walk.  I managed this pub when it was owned by Willie Hare from 1972 to 1974 when I emigrated to Australia

It was a great pub then.  The customers were all really friendly, especially the crowd who used to come in to the lounge bar at opening time, 5pm.  They all had their special likes.

I remember some of my staff Madge, Margaret, Marie and Liz.  I  can't remember their last names.

Guinness at 20p a pint.  Those were the days!"

Alistair Rankine, Australia:  Message posted on EdinPhoto web site: July 7, 2011

 Recollections

9.

Frank Ferri

Newhaven, Edinburgh

Thank you to Frank Ferri for sending a reply to Alistair Rankine's message in 'Recollections 8' above.

Frank wrote:

Crown Bar

"The Crown (and its Dolphin Lounge) was a great place, one of the very few in Leith in the 1970s.  It had a nice, classy wee lounge where you could take your wife to.

I knew the Dolphin owners many years ago.  They  moved to the foot of Easter Road to the Persevere, which has a nice, large, tasteful-decorated dining room."

Betty's

"The other place similar to the Dolphin was Berry's, on the corner of Ferry Road and Great Junction Street.  It had soft, quite, non-intrusive background music, with free wee snacks on bar."

'Whispery Lounges'

"I used to call these 'whispery lounges'.  No-one raised their voices.  There was nice, quiet conversation.  Where do you find that now apart from high class hotels?"

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  July 7, 2011

 Recollections

10.

Alice Wilson (née Ward)

Christchurch, New Zealand

Alice Wilson replied to Alistairr Rankine:

Dolphin Lounge

"I don't know the Dolphin Lounge personally as I was to young, but I remember my parents getting all dolled up on a Saturday night for their night out. That was in the late-1950s and early-1960s.  Thanks for reminding me of that "

Alice Wilson (née Ward), Christchurch, New Zealand:
Message posted in EdinPhoto guest book,  July 7, 2011

 Recollections

11.

Walter (Wattie) Mason

Leith, Edinburgh

Wattie Mason also replied to the message from Alistair Rankine.

Wattie wrote:

Dolphin Lounge

"Sad to say, the Dolphin Lounge and Crown Bar is no longer. It  is now Papa John's Pizza Takeaway."

Caledonian Bar

"The Caledonian Bar has also become a pizza bar  -  Dominoe Pizza Place."

Wattie (Wattie) Mason,  Leith, Edinburgh:  Message posted in EdinPhoto guest book,  July 8, 2011

 Recollections

12.

Alistair Rankine

Australia

Thank you to Alister Rankine for replying to Frank Ferri's comments (9 above).  Alistair wrote:

The Crown

"Frank is correct.  Prior to the time when it was bought by Mr Hare, the owners of 'The Crown' opened a brand new pub, 'The Persevere', at the foot of Easter Road.

On the first night, we were worried 'The Persevere' would take all their customers from 'The Crown'.

When 'The Crown' opened at 5pm, not one customer came in.  Then, around 5.30, they started to drift into 'The Crown' with the comment 'The new place is very nice but we like our own haunt.' 

So The Crown  did very well for the two years I was there."

Alastair Rankine, Australia: July 8, 2011

 

 Recollections

13.

Mike Crean

Dorking, Surrey, England

Mike Crean wrote:

Question

Davy's Bar

"Can anyone remember a pub called Davy's Bar near Portland Place, Leith, going past Angelo Santo's ice cream shop, then the chip shop to the corner of Albany Street?

There was a pub on one corner but you went past it and crossed the road. Right opposite was Davy's Bar, you went down a small flight of steps and there you were.

Davy's name may have been Hutchinson.  He was a really nice guy. More importantly, he served one of the best pints of McEwan's Heavy I ever tasted.  He was famous for it.  My mates and I were regulars from 1965 to 1971.

The pub finally closed down when all the development took place around the late-1970s / early-1980s.  It was demolished to make way for the new council houses all around that area.

I hope someone might be able to share the memories of it."

Mike Crean, Dorking, Surrey, England:  August 13, 2012

 

 Recollections

14.

Stuart Lyon

Blackford, Edinburgh

Thank you to Stuart Lyon who wrote:

Reply

"This may bring back some memories for Mike Crean who has written of his memories of this pub in Recollections 15 above."

Stuart Lyon, Blackford, Edinburgh:  August 15, 2012

Davy's Bar

1 Hamburg Place

April 1963

©  Reproduced with acknowledgement to the RCAHMS                    Photo No. RCAHMS Ed1648

 

 Recollections

15.

Kenneth Williamson

Silverknowes, Edinburgh

Thank you to Kenneth Williamson who wrote:

The Tower Bar

The Shore

"The Tower Bar beside the Water of Leith at The Shore was popular with locals and visiting sailors.  'Ladies of the Night' and 'Go-Go Dancers' could be found there."

Kenneth Williamson, Silverknowes, Edinburgh:  Chat, October 3, 2013

 

 Recollections

16.

Eric Fitzpatrick

Skipton, North Yorkshire, England

Thank you to Eric Fitzpatrick who wrote:

The King's Wark

"I agree with Tom McCluskeys comments about The King's Wark in his Recollections 7 above.

The McCluskeys

The McCluskeys, if I am remembering correctly were:

-  Father.  I think he was a bosun

-  2 sons. I think they drank at Bill's Bar and The Drawbridge.

I believe that the family came from the Muirhouse District.

I came from Crewe Road and was on the Leith Pool.** "

**  Eric:  What was the 'Leith Pool'?      -  Peter Stubbs

Eric Fitzpatrick, Skipton, North Yorkshire, England:  October 6, 2013

 

 Recollections

18.

Dr Meg Bateman

Dr Meg Bateman asks:

A Pub Frequented by Mariners

"I'm interested in a pub in Leith that might have been  frequented by Iain Dubh Macleod (1847-1901), a sailor from Skye,  and other mariners towards the end of the 19th century?

Iain Dubh told a minister in Skye, who suggested he should go to church, that he went to a church in Leith which was much better than the minister’s because it didn’t matter what creed you had, what colour your skin was or what your clothes were like.

- 'What church is that?'  said the minister.

- 'An Eaglais a th' ann an Lìte'  (The Church in Leith), he replied.

Question

Was there a Leith Pub
known as The
Church or The Kirk?

"Do you know of any pub in Leith that was nick-named 'The Church' or 'The Kirk', that might have been frequented by mariners and perhaps Gaels?

I wondered if it was a pub in the Kirkgate.  I see from the list above that there were four pubs there:

Big Pipes

Meiklejohns

-  OK

-  Princes

Iain Dubh Macleod told the minister that it was owned by one Donald or Ronald Bàn.   Do you have any other suggestions?

Dr Meg Bateman:  October 1, 2013

 

Leith Snooker Halls

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