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Recollections

Portobello

since 1950s

1.

Eric GOLD
East London

-  Jock the Donkey

-  The Skylark

2.

Eleanor WOOD

-  Tower Street Amusement Arcade

-  The Skylark

-  Donkeys

3.

Eric GOLD
East London, England

-  The Skylark

-  Donkeys

4.

Archie FOLEY
Joppa, Edinburgh

-  The Skylark

5.

Carol IRWIN
Linlithgow, West Lothian, Scotland

-  Portobello Open Air Pool

6.

George T SMITH
British Columbia, Canada

-  Portobello Open Air Pool

7.

Eleanor WOOD

-  Tower Street Amusement Arcade

-  The Skylark

-  Donkeys

8.

Michael MELROSE
Edinburgh

-  The Skylark

9.

Hugh LOVATT
Edinburgh

-  The Skylark

-  The Beach

-  Towerbank School

10.

George RENTON
Mississauga, Ontario,  Canada

-  Two Skylarks?

-  St John's School

-  Home

-  Outdoors

-  Return to Portobello

-  Brook Bond Chimps

-  Railways

-  Free Entertainment

11.

Archie YOUNG
Moredun, Edinburgh

-  Di Marco's Café

-  St John's School

-  Neighbours

-  Prefabs

-  Televisions

-  In the Street

-  Eastfield

-  Coillesdene House

-  Toilets and Café

-  Paddling Pool

12.

Jim CAMPBELL
St Fillans, Perthshire, Scotland

George Renton & Family

-  Fish Lorries

-  The Journey South

-  Food

-  Home Again

-  Ice Cubes

13.

Linda MONTGOMERY
Old Town, Edinburgh

The Gibson Family

-  Deck Chairs

-  Lost Children

-  The Beach

14.

Murray WILSON

Power Station

-  Open Air Pool

-  DUCKs

-  Cinema

-  Cassidy Family

-  Powderhall Sprints

-  Trams

-  1929 Riley

-  Change

-  Regards

15.

Thomas QUIGLEY
SW France

St John's School

16.

Sylvia WILSON
nee
MURRAY

Northamptonshire, England

Seabeach Hotel  question

17.

Alistair FRASER

Growing up in Portobello

-  Glassworks

-  Friends

-  Move to Australia

18.

Bob WILSON
Leeds, West Yorkshire, England

The Tea Shop

19.

Patricia MacDONALD
nee
THOMSON

Portobello, Edinburgh

Message from George Renton

-  Message from Archie Young

-  Memories

20.

Keith MILLER

The Skylark

21.

Alistair FRASER
Australia

Potteries

-  Railways

-  Swimming

-  Summer Holidays

22.

Christine ANDERSON
(nee KEITH)
Duddingston, Edinburgh

Portobello Town Hall

-  Friends

-  Demarco's

23.

Brian WARE
Duddingston, Edinburgh

William Arthur Ware

-  Portobello Entertainment

24.

Roger EMERSON
New Town, Edinburgh

Marine Gardens - 1950s

-  Marine Gardens - 1909

25.

Eric GOLD
East London, England

Jock the Donkey

-  The Skylark

26.

Carol IRWIN
Linlithgow, West Lothian, Scotland

Portobello Bathing Pool

-  The Waves

27.

Carol IRWIN
Linlithgow, West Lothian, Scotland

Portobello Bathing Pool

-  Pool Manager

28.

Miles CUMMING
Edinburgh

Cold !!

29.

Sam STORRIE
Charlestown, Fife, Scotland

Bath Place

-  Demarco's

30.

GM RIGG
New Zealand

Buckies

31.

Kevin KNOWLES
Richland, Washington, USA

Open Air Bathing Pool

32.

John NICOLSON

The Skylark

-  Tower Amusement Hall

33.

Archie YOUNG
Moredun, Edinburgh

-  Thomson Hall Youth Club

34.

James McEWAN
Duddingston Mills, Edinburgh

-  Ice Cream

-  Hot Peas

-  Chocolate

35.

Jim SMART
Bournemouth, Dorset, England

-  Marine Gardens

36.

Gus COUTTS
Duddingston, Edinburgh

-  Sunday Walks

-  Marine Gardens Speedway

-  Photos

37.

Jim SMART
Bournemouth, Dorset, England

-  Portobello Rebels

38.

Alistair FRASER

Railway

The Beach

-  Schools

39.

Archie YOUNG

Berry, Drysalters

40.

Silvia (nee DEFFLEY)

Shoe Repair Shop

41.

Eric MESSER
Geelong, Victoria, Australia

Portobello Prom

-  Rowing

42.

George DAVIE
Canada

Portobello Bottle Works

-  Blacksmith

43.

Brian ALEXANDER
Prestonfield, Edinburgh

Speedway Photos

44.

Jan ROBBINS

Schools

-  Portobello High Street

-  Fur Coats

-  Memories

45.

June Robertson WOOD

Mussels

46.

Beverley CROW
(nee CAIRNS)

Home and School

-  Earning Cash

-  Swimming

-  Food

47.

Robert Hutson
Leith, Edinburgh

-  Aerial View:  Seabeach Hotel

48.

Robert Hutson
Leith, Edinburgh

-  Two Pleasure Boats

-  Chrissie Demarco

-  My Home

49.

George Rickets
Casablanca, Morocco

-  Early 1960s

50.

Iain Gillespie Brennan

Entertainment

-  Berry Square

51.

Christina Morris

The Skylark

52.

Sylvia (nee Deffley)
Ontario, Canada

-  Copeland's Restaurant

-  Rankin's Florist

-  Nicola's Ice Cream

-  Wellington Street

53.

Ian McArthur
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

-  St John's School

-  Homes

-  Classmates

54.

Ian McArthur
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

-  St John's School

-  Football Team Photo

55.

Carole Mills (nee Manson)
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

-  Barber

56.

Pat Donoghue
East Sussex, England

The Skylark (again)

57.

Angela Fotheringham
Longniddry, East Lothian, Scotland

The Skylark

-  Eddie Gray

-  Fisherrow Harbour

-  Driving the Skylark

-  Rescue

-  The Lion

-  Forth Road Bridge

-  The End

-  Happy Days

58.

Annette McDonald
Montana, USA

-  The Cassidy Family

-  Cassidy's Tea Rooms

-  Cassidy's Fishmonger's Shop

59.

Annette McDonald
Montana, USA

-  St John's Primary School

60.

Sandra Wanless

Gala:  The Muppets

61.

Tam (Andrew) Corrigan

-  Portobello Promenade

-  The Skylark

-  Memories

62.

Tam (Andrew) Corrigan

-  Portobello Shows

-  Slot Machines

63.

Ronnie Peters  ('Rocky')
Thakham, Bangkuntian, Thailand

-  Portobello Pubs

-  Cullen's Pub

-  Central Bar

 

Recollections

1.

 Eric Gold

East London

Thank you to Eric Gold, East London for telling me the following story from the time when he was living at Craigmillar. 

Jock the Donkey

"When my mother took me and my family to Portobello on the hot sunny school holidays from Craigmillar.  It was like a dream come true, all the shows and a trip on the famous Skylark pleasure boat.

The Cadonna family ran the donkeys and the Amusement Park.  My PT teacher, Mr Cossar, used to work for the Cadonna family and was in charge of the donkeys and the Skylark.

On the beach at Portobello we would queue up for the donkey ride as there must have been about 12 donkeys, maybe more  -  but Jock, I will never forget him.  He was a light grey donkey with black patches.

I said to Mr Cossar, "Can I feed him?" and he said, "OK but watch your fingers," I fed him sweets and my candy floss and Jock and I were friends, so I thought, and I had  a great ride on him thinking I was the Lone Ranger.

But about 2 weeks later I was there again with a carrot for Jock. He ate it and caught my finger in his mouth, but my mother pulled me away from him very swiftly as Jock would have taken my hand off. ..."

The Skylark

   'The Skylark' at Portobello Beach ©
 

"... It was my fault really, and as Mr Cossar was fair and square and said to my mum, "Eric can have the rest of the season free sailing on the Skylark, but don't tell anyone as I am his PT instructor at school in Leith."

So all in all it was Jock that done me a favour as it was the Skylark at Portobello that gave me the urge to go to sea. Not forgetting Mr Cossar too.

I did bump into Mr Cossar in Princess Street years later and we spoke about Jock and the Skylark which cruised the Forth.  Sometimes it would pass Granton, what a treat.

He did ask me what I was working at, and I said that I'm a first class waiter aboard the Queen Mary, He jokingly said "You can work for me on the Skylark (ha ha ha)."

He was the Best PT teacher ever in Edinburgh as he would do other schools too, and had a great sense of humour.

Eric Gold,  East London.  March 20+21, 2006

 

Recollections

2.

Eleanor Wood

Thank you to Eleanor Wood  who wrote:

Tower Street Amusement Arcade

"I was brought up in Tower Street in 1962. I lived in the old block of houses right at the back of the shows. My dad used to empty the machines at night, I would see him with a big silver box full of pennies.

The first song I can remember blaring out was 'My Boy Lollypop'."

'The Skylark'

"During the day the tractor used to pull out a gangway and push it into the sea.  We would walk onto it, once the tide came in, and board my favourite boat 'The Skylark'.

It took you out into the fourth and a wee trip around and back. I loved it.

Does anyone have a picture of the Skylark now?  I'd love to see it again.  What happened to it?

Someone told me it lay on the beach and fell apart, they came along and flung sand over it?  I cant remember that."

Donkeys

"The donkeys were kept next to Rosefied Cottages, on the corner of Mentone Avenue.  I felt sorry for them.  When I went to school Towerbank primary they made such a noise, and it stunk.

Towerbank School, Portobello  -  July 2004 ©

Tower Street was full of wee cottages and old tenements opposite.  Also, I think there was factories opposite.  Dose anyone have pictures?"

Eleanor Wood:  May 16, 2007

 

 Recollections

3.

Eric Gold

East London

Thank you to Eleanor Wood  who wrote:

'The Skylark'

"The Skylark was sailed by a man called Mr Cossar, our gym teacher.  He was related to the Cadonna family who had the pier attractions and the amusements stalls in Portobello in the 1960s, when I used to go there.

I can quite believe the Cadonnas buried the Skylark on the beach in Portobello (ha ha ha ha).

Mr Cossar and the Cadonnas were friends of our family and Mr Cossar said if you can steer the Skylark around Inchkeith Island I will get you a job as captain on the Queen Mary (ha ha ha ha)."

Eric Gold, East London: May 19, 2007

A few years later, Eric got a job on the Queen Mary -  but not Captain!

-  Peter Stubbs:  May 19, 2007

Donkeys

"The donkeys were well kept, wherever they stayed.  The Cadonna family had owned them too and never mistreated them.  They were well fed and the vet called in once a week to give them a check up.

I met Mr Cossar when I was at sea.  He told me about the donkeys.  I was also a friend of John Cadonna.  The Cadonnas and our family were as thick as thieves.

Eric Gold, East London: May 19, 2007

 

 Recollections

3.(continued)

Mr Cossar

Question

Eric Gold, who sent the recollections, above, about Mr Cossar wonders if anybody can remember his first name.  If you know it, please e-mail me, then I'll pass on your message to Eric.

Thank you.    -  Peter Stubbs:  June 3, 2007

Reply

Thank you to Dorothy Jenkins, Canada, for e-mailing me, with a message concerning Mr Cossar and his step daughter, Dorothy, and giving a possible first name for Mr Cossar  - 'Frank'

 

 Recollections

4.

Archie Foley

Joppa, Edinburgh

Thank you to Archie Foley for sending me this photograph of 'The Skylark', and the following comment.

Archie wrote:

'The Skylark'

   'The Skylark' at Portobello Beach ©

"My information is that the Skylark was berthed at Fisherrow when not plying its trade at Portobello, so it probably finished its days there or was sold. Its timbers would have been revealed by now had it been buried on the beach."

Archie Foley, Joppa, Edinburgh:  May 20, 2007

 

 Recollections

5.

Carol Irwin

Linlithgow, West Lothian, Scotland

Portobello Open Air Pool, beside Portobello Power station opened in 1936.  It finally closed in 1980.

Thank you to Carole Irwin for adding the following comment to the EdinPhoto Guest Book:

Portobello Open Air Pool

"Oh joy !!  What memories I had from the open air swimming pool !!    It's where i learned to swim !!.  Long summers, penny biscuits, swimming all day...

You could even bring a favourite record to be played over the P.A.!!

Oh joy!! i remember a lovely chap called Ned who was a channel swimmer !!.  I also remember the famous announcement every hour..'

'THE WAVES WILL BE ON IN 5 MINUTES TIME'

Heaven... "

Carole Irwin, Linlithgow, West Lothian, Scotland.
Message left in EdinPhoto guest book: March 24, 2006

 

 Recollections

6.

George Smith

British Columbia, Canada

George Smith, replying to Carole Irwin's message, wrote:

Portobello Open Air Pool

"Carole Irwin's memory of "a lovely guy called Ned" was possibly  one of Ned Barnie whom I remember inspired us Boy Scouts with a  demonstration of swimming at Dalry Baths where he swam underwater for  over a length.

I wonder if anyone else remembers being taught to swim  by Nancy Riach sometime in the 40's.

She was an Olympic competitor  at, I think, the Munich Games. The training pool was in the basement  of a primary school whose name I have forgotten but it was near  Boroughmuir."

George Smith, British Columbia, Canada 25 March 2006

 

 Recollections

7.

John Wilson

Frome Somerset, England

John Wilson, Frome, Somerset, wrote:

Ned Barnie

"I was so pleased to read Carol Irwin on Portobello and Ned.  He lived in Portobello but he was a teacher of science at David Kilpatrick's School in Leith and a real good friend.  Nothing was to much for him.

I think that Portobello had a man to be proud of.  I am glad that I am not the only one to remember him."

John Wilson, Frome, Somerset, England:  May 22, 2007

 

 Recollections

8.

Michael Melrose

Frome, Somerset, England

 Michael Melrose, Edinburgh, wrote:

'The Skylark'

"The Skylark was still going into the early 1960s.  It was painted a vivid sky blue and had a little funnel. It wasn’t very big.

I remember going out on to a small wooden pier at low tide before going out around the bay on it."

Michael Melrose, Edinburgh:  August 31, 2007

 

 Recollections

9.

Hugh Lovatt

Selkirk, Scottish Borders

 Hugh Lovatt wrote:

'The Skylark'

"I was standing on the Promenade at Portobello, the day the Skylark broke free and smashed into it, just east of the Bath Street end.

The Skylark smashed to smithereens.  What a sight it was!  We all watched it coming slowly in on the high storm waves.  It was about 30 yards east of the Bath street end of the beach, and then it hit the concrete slope and ended up as match wood.  I don't think it was ever re-built."

I was born at 6 Regent Street in 1949.  I think I may have been about, 8 years old when the Skylark broke free.   Sorry I can't be be more specific."

The Beach

"I remember the Shire horses used for cleaning up the beach."

Towerbank School

  Towerbank School, Portobello  -  July 2004 ©

"I  went to Towerbank school in 1954.  Does anybody remember the school then?"

Michael Melrose, Edinburgh:  August 31, 2007

 

 Recollections

10.

George Renton

Mississauga, Ontario,  Canada

Thank you to George Renton who wrote:

Two 'Skylarks'?

"I grew up in and around Porty and Joppa in the 1950s and 1960s.  I've just read the thread about the 'Skylark' and would like to add that although quite young at the time it seems to me that there may have been two boats, one after the other that were named SKYLARK, and I don't mean when they ran the duck.

The second SKYLARK was a better boat than the first.  Perhaps they did a re-fit and changed the deck layout to accommodate more passengers."

St John's School

"I also went to Saint John's school and had Mr Cossar as a teacher. I recall he used to mention his Russian heritage, and would get your attention by saying:  "Right! Sports fans."  He was quite pleasant, but for the most part they where a strap- happy lot, and I got my share.

I remember Maria Di Marco, with long brown hair and olive skin. She would stand up and take double-handers without a tear. I believe her family had a restaurant in Porty, as did the Valvona family."

Home

"When I was very young we also lived on Milton Terrace ** in a prefab.  My late brother, Jimmy Smith, would be known to June and Jim, as he was the same age as June.

Later, we moved to Coillesdene Grove.   I'd walk by myself back to the old neighbourhood, and visit the Campbell's.  Jim's Mom would always have some frozen orange-flavoured ice cubes in the fridge, and his dad drove a van with Mac Fisheries lettering on the side.

A couple of houses up the street, there was a man who had an aviary in his back green.  He had finches.

Further up the street, on a close, lived a large family named  Thompson or  Johnston.  I had two older sisters named Janette, and Marie.  They where closer in age to their kids."

** Please see also see Jim Campbell's memories of Milton Terrace below.

Outdoors

"The surrounding area had lots of vacant tracts of land, such as the the one Jim and Archie would sled down.  David, Harry and Jack lived next to that one.  Their Mum was always baking and made us hot jam turnovers.

All and all, it was a great place to grow up as a kid, and safe. I always wandered alone, with my dog, from Brunstane Farms, to Millerhill Marshaling Yards, Portobello Cemetery, Musselburgh Harbour, the rocks, the beach and Jewel Cottages.  As Rab C. would say: "I walk alone".  I was a born roamer.

If I took any of the other kids with me, there would be a collection of parents waiting at my house and I'd get a killin' when I got home."

Return to Portobello

"I was home in 2006. First time in 41 years.  I visited the old hood, stopped in at the Ormie to see if any of my brothers' pals where about, but my timing wasn't right.

I will be returning next month for about a week.  I plan to drop into Foresters in Porty and see if anyone remembers any of my school chums.

We used to go to the football matches at the glass works."

Brook Bond Chimps

"I wonder if anyone remembers when the Brook Bond Chimps came to the Town Hall, and the collectors' cards that came in the tea packets."

Railways

"Taking the train, I remember riding in the guard's van because we couldn't reach the outside door handle by ourselves.

I remember the baskets of racing pigeons, outside the station master's office.  We always had an eye on the signals when playing near the tracks, hoping it might be an express."

Free Entertainment

"Back then, you didn't need money to have fun all day. Life was free for the taking, one day at a time. 

We came to Canada in 1965. I am happily married with two wonderful girls, one in college, the other in University.

I have been long haul trucking for 32 years.  As beautiful as North America is, it's no' Scotland."

George Renton, Mississauga, Ontario,  Canada:  March 25, 2008

 

 Recollections

11.

Archie Young

Moredun, Edinburgh

Thank you to Archie Young, Moredun, Edinburgh,  who replied to George Renton's comments in 10 above.

Archie wrote:

Di Marco's Café

"The girl who George Renton recalls from St John's School  may have been Margarita Di Marco.  She had two older brothers, Tony and Joseph.

I remember Papa Di Marco in his little Café, opposite the Plough Bar the High Street Portobello. Papa whom my dad knew well had done service in the Italian Army.

However, through time, the three kids took over the running of the Café and Tony the eldest was the Manager.  We enjoyed going in and getting mushy peas and vinegar."

St John's School

"George's recollection of St John's is spot on.  They loved to hand out the belt.   Mr. Meechan was the Headmaster.  His wife, Mary, was a Teacher there as well.  We called her "Crazy Mary". Then we had Miss Gourley, Miss Stone, Miss Jordan and Sister Campion 'Darth Vader' in today's terms.  Mother Vincent she was quite nice."

Neighbours

"George wrote about Coillesdene Grove and the man who had the finches, he also had budgies.  His name was Mr Allen, his son Ross was one of my pals.  Perhaps George can remember the others in the area:

-  the three brothers, Brian, Denis and Garry Dugan,

- Ross Allen,

- Andrew Owenson,

- Albert Johnson,

- Kenny Taylor,

- Andrew Anderson,

- Donald Ball and his sisters Doreen and Dorothy,

- Louie Byres,

-  Robert Ramsay,

-  Jimmy Anderson who was my Best Man,

-  Marie Melville,

- Kathleen Allison,

-  Alan Ramsay,

Michael Bell,

-  the three brothers Scott, Ian and Derek Balfour."

Prefabs

"Then there was the Thomson family, I think there was twelve of them, all living in a prefab.  They were a nice happy family, I think they did well for themselves when they grew up.  Their father drove one of the early Concrete Mix trucks with the big mixer on the back.  After we left Coillesdene I  heard that he was killed when it rolled over, such a tragedy to a nice family."

Televisions

Kathleen Allison's mum and dad had the first TV within the prefabs of Coillesdene.  We would all queue up outside the gate to see if we could get in.  I was lucky, being her pal I was always first, then my mum and dad got a TV, so we were the second family to have one.

Children's Hour started at five o clock till five thirty, then later on for the adults it started at seven o clock till nine thirty.  Of course by this time we would all be in bed.  We were in bed by eight o clock."

In the Street

"I remember Asa Wasi.  Then there was Onion Johnny, he rode a push bike loaded with onions, he wore a  black or dark blue beret.

Another chap on a bike came round to sharpen knives shears and whatever.  On the bike was a grinding wheel, I think his bike had a stand built into it, he would stand it up then lock the grinding wheel to the pedals so it would turn.  It was quite a crafty set-up.

Then the steam road roller would come along and we would all get a free ride on it."

Eastfield

"I wonder if George can remember Roper's Paper Shop at Eastfield, where the old 25 & 26 Bus Terminus was.  You would walk along towards Eastfield.  Roper's shop was on the corner at the start of the buildings.  It's now a house.

At Eastfield there was a Petrol Station and Garage.  Behind that, there was a small caravan site, with only about a half dozen caravans or so."

Coillesdene House

"Back towards Joppa, and opposite the toilets, was the large Coillesdene House.   I remember a lad that I used to pal about with lived there with his family and many others.  Sadly, I can't remember his name.

Coillesdene House was like a temporary lodging house where family's were waiting to be re-housed.  I think the rent then was about five shillings a week.  The room his family had was enormous with elaborate furnishings from the original owner's days.  The council must have made a fortune when they sold it.  Now on the site there is high rise flats."

Toilets and Café

"Across the road were the Ladies and Gents toilets.  My mum was in charge of the Ladies.  Next to that, on the corner leading onto the Prom was a Café.  I can't remember what it was called.

The man who owned it was big in build, bald and had a hearing aid, the hearing aid must have been turned down as we had to shout at him with our orders.  Boy, was he grumpy!"

Paddling Pool

"Behind the toilets the council had built a paddling pool.  This was great in the summer.  It was in the letter 'D' shape

All the kids were happy as Larry, paddling about and sailing their wee boats.  Eventually the morons stepped in and started to throw clear coloured broken glass in it.  Some kids got really nasty cuts.  Eventually nobody would use it and it fell into decay.  It has now gone."

Archie Young, Moredun, Edinburgh:  March 30, 2008

 

 Recollections

12.

Jim Campbell

St Fillans, Perthshire, Scotland

Thank you to Jim Campbell for sending this message after reading George Renton's comments about his Milton Terrace  above.

Jim wrote:

George Renton & Family

"It's been a while since I've been on the site and was delighted to read George's memories of our childhood and my parents. I remember his parents, Mary and George Renton and of course, George, Jimmy, Jeanette and Maria well."

Fish Lorries

 George's dad drove lorries for British Road Services, Ocean Fishing Company - Granton / Newhaven, Joe Croan and Saddlers of Leith.

When I was around twelve, I used to hang around when the lorry was parked outside our house, loaded with fish boxes to go to markets down south - usually Hull or Grimsby.

George would see me and say, "Are you coming?". I would rush into my mum and dad and say, "I'm going with Mr Renton to 'wherever' .

Young George was just a toddler at the time and wanted to join the adventure too, but was regretfully told by his dad, "You're too wee, son - get back hame". Usually Jeanette or Marie would come and get him and drag him back home crying (poor wee soul!)."

The Journey South

The passenger side of the lorry was full of old fish- smelling ropes and the engines were in the cab, with a big padded cover over them. They were very noisy and hot.

Half the time, I fell asleep before Tranent. There were no motorways then and the main road was the A1 south.  At that time, at night, there was hardly any traffic on the road and it was fascinating to go through places like Morpeth and Alnwick."

Food

It felt like we had the whole world to ourselves as we went through deserted towns. The highlight was stopping in one of the aforementioned places, at one of the trucker's Greasy Spoon Cafés. George always used to buy me the biggest mug of tea and delicious breakfast fry-up I had ever seen.

When we arrived at our destination the boxes of fish were unloaded at the market for the morning auction. Mr Renton would then take us to another Café for mugs of tea and toast before we helped him to load the lorry with empty fish boxes for the return journey.

I felt like a king and loved accompanying him on his travels."

Home Again

On getting home, he would say, "I'm away for a kip, then I'm off to 'The Ormelie'." Mr Renton was always immaculate in his bib and brace overalls and polished boots. His swept back hair, with centre parting reminded me of Dean Martin. He was a nice guy and I remember him with great fondness.

Mary Renton was also a lovely person. When the family moved to Coillesdene, I visited them, after I became an engineer in the Merchant Navy, when on leave.

As I had several months' leave to take, George got me a job, for a few months, driving locally for Saddlers Transport, Leith."

Ice Cubes

"I'm amazed that young George remembers the orange ice cubes.  All the prefabs had fridges, a luxury, in these days and they ran off gas. Those were happy times."

Jim Campbell, St Fillans Perthshire, Scotland:  July 13, 2008

 

Recollections

13.

Linda Montgomery

Old Town, Edinburgh

Thank you to Linda Montgomery added:

The Gibson Family

"One of the families whose children I played with when I was young at Niddrie Mill was the Gibsons.  Their father was a coal merchant in the winter time, delivering across Edinburgh, and in the summertime, he rented deck-chairs at the bottom of Bath Street in Portobello."

Deck Chairs

There were two girls around my age, Heather, who was two years younger, and her sister Julia, who has unhappily been dead for many years.  We three were on the beach most days during the school holidays helping out.  By that, I mean:

-  carrying the deck chair to where the hirer wanted to sit, showing them how to put it up -  yes, it's not just in comedy sketches that people get tangled up in their chair, and

-  collecting them after the folks had left the beach.

We would get free rides on the donkeys as well, since the man who owned them kept them in  stables next door to where the deck chairs were kept during the summer.

For doing this we would get lunch in one of the restaurants on the beach, and ice cream and money to spend at the shows or in the arcade.

Lost Children

Sometimes we would meet up with other children who were at the beach with their parents, but had wandered too far away and had got lost, and it was only when it began to get cooler and they were hungry, that they would begin to get upset !

Luckily, there was a place where lost children would go, or be taken to, just off the beach.

The Beach

"As a teenager, I had a friend who lived just near Towerbank school, and she told me that her father, who got up early in the morning to work on the railway, used to take their dog, (a wee west highland terrier) for a run on the beach.

Goodness knows what anyone meeting him must've thought, he would be wearing a pair of swimming trunks and a pair of waders, so that he wouldn't have to wash  sand off his feet and legs before going to work.

On another day at the beach, there was a bunch of local kids playing Cowboys and Indians, and one of these wee lads was wearing one of his mother's sanitary towels as a mask!! In these far off times they were with loops at each end, just handy for looping round his ears. I wonder what his mother did when she found out?"

Linda (now Lyndsay) Montgomery, Old Town, Edinburgh:  July 21, 2008

Recollections

14.

Murray Wilson

Thank you to Murray Wilson who wrote:

Power Station

"I was not a resident of Portobello, but lived for eight months in 1954/55 at Gray's Commercial Hotel in Abercorn Terrace whilst working on the construction of the Portobello Power Station. It was a bit closer to the town centre than the Hamilton Lodge and across the road from a small park."

Open Air Pool

"As you know the power station was right next door to the open air swimming pool.  The pool could be heated by passing the condenser cooling water from the power station through the pool on its way back into the Forth. Another notable feature of the pool was its wave- making equipment."

DUCKs

"DUCKs were mentioned. The power station had one of its own to give access to the cooling water inlets out in the Forth, which were marked by small towers."

Cinema

"Almost next door to Gray's Hotel was a cinema, I don't think it was one of the three mentioned by another of your correspondents.  We used to go there in our slippers.

Cassidy Family

"We had two Cassidys working for us at the power station. The elder was Willie, he'd been gassed in WW1, the other was his son but I don't remember his name. Whether they were related to the café people I don't know."

Powderhall Sprints

"There was a bar run by Chris Lynch, the handicapper for the Powderhall Sprints.

One of our fitters was a past winner of the big race, his name was Sam Downie, but that was not his running name. I think he had won about 1950, he was still competing New Year's Day 1955."

Trams

"Of course the trams were still operating, though getting a bit ramshackle. Coming down from Edinburgh at night if there were few stops to be made was quite exciting, the tram pitched and bucked and the window frames moved relative to the glass."

1929 Riley

 "I had a 1929 Riley 9 car and on rainy or snowy days it could become quite difficult to steer as its narrow tyres tended to get into the depressed tracks and want to follow them.

Change

"Looking at an aerial photo tonight, it seems much of what I remember is no longer there. The power station won't be missed, but I'd think the open air pool would be."

Regards

"Regards to all old Portobelloeons."

Murray Wilson:  November 3, 2008

 

Recollections

15.

Thomas (Tam) Quigley

SW France

Thomas Quigley, who now lives in south-west France, recently posted this message in the EdinPhoto guest book.

Thomas wrote

St John's School

"I attended St John's school in the late 1950s.  I know it changed to a girls' school some time later, but I don't know when.

I recall the names mentioned in some of the other replies.  I'd love to hear from anyone who remembers me, especially the boys from Craigmillar.

I played football for the school, and remember Mr Meechan, the Headmaster.  I also had trails for Edinburgh Schoolboys, along with Jimmy Mines who lived in the city of Edinburgh.

Hoping to hear from someone."

email, November 27, 2008 + message posted in EdinPhoto guest book by
Thomas Quigley, SW France: , November 27, 2008.

Reply to Thomas

If you'd like to contact Thomas, you'll find his email address in one of the two messages that he posted in the EdinPhoto guest book on November 27, 2008.

-  Peter Stubbs:  December 1, 2008

 

Recollections

16.

Sylvia Wilson

nee Murray

Northamptonshire, England

Sylvia Wilson (nee Murray) lived at Greenside Row, then Bingham, went to St Francis' School, Niddrie, then St John's school Portobello.

Sylvia wrote:

Question

Seabeach Hotel

"Does anybody know of any pictures of Seabeach Hotel, Portobello?  I've been searching for a picture of the hotel.  I used to sing there with a band in the late 1950's.

I was also resident singer at the British Legion Club in Portobello each weekend in the 1960's."

Sylvia Wilson (nee Murray), Northamptonshire, England:  December 16, 2008

Messages for Sylvia

If you know of any pictures of Seabeach Hotel, please email me, then I'll pass on your message to Sylvia.

Thank you.    -  Peter Stubbs:  December 18, 2008

Replies to Sylvia

1.

Thank you to Laura Robertson for your reply (sent on September 27, 2009) telling me that your grandparents used to own Seabeach Hotel at Portobello.

I've now passed your reply to Sylvia Wilson.  I hope she contacts you soon.

-  Peter Stubbs:    September, 2009

2.

Thank you to Robert Hutson for sending me an aerial view of streets and the beach at Portobello, taken in 1930.  This view includes Seabeach Hotel.  See Recollections 47 below

-  Peter Stubbs:    August 1, 2012

 

Recollections

17.

Alistair Fraser

Australia

Thank you to Alistair Fraser who wrote:

Growing up in Portobello

"Thanks for the tour (photos) of my childhood in Portobello, and simpler days, now goneI was born there 1947.

My dad was a shunter at Porty railway station (goods yard).  My mother and grandmother owned and ran a boarding house just under the bridge at Brighton Place.

I used to watch the crowds on Trades Week, especially Glasgow Trades, come down in their hundreds past my house.  Cooks Hotel was right on the beach front, if my memory serves me well."

Glass Works

"The other industry, never mentioned, was the glass works.  The horses and carts used to collect sand from the beach and take it to the factory.

My mother would send me out to collect the droppings for he roses.

Large Clydesdales pulled these huge carts, two wheels only, and this went on 5 days a week with three horses and carts doing all the work.  The sand level dropped over the years.  They blamed tides and erosion.   I blame the glass works."

Friends

"I knew Ned Barney very well and used to swim with him My friends included Ken Buchanan, Derek Davidson, and Peter Warrilow, whose dad was Head Photographer with the Daily Mail in Edinburgh."

Move to Australia

"Since retiring from the Army 1991, I have lived in Australia with my familyI try to inspire my children to go and explore.  This stems from my childhood, living in Portobello."

Alistair Fraser, Australia:  January 27, 2009

 

Recollections

18.

Bob Wilson

Leeds, West Yorkshire, England

Thank you to Bob Wilson for posting a message in the Edinphoto guestbook.

Bob wrote:

The Tea Shop

"We used to go to Portobello beach, and you could have a tea tray from 'the tea shop', to take down to the beach.  You got cups, saucers, a tray, and a pot of tea, even milk, sugar and teaspoons.

I remember how religiously we always returned the tray and cups to the shop."

Bob Wilson, Leeds, West Yorkshire, England:
Message posted in EdinPhoto guest book, April 23, 2009

 

Recollections

19.

Patricia Macdonald (nee Thomson)

Portobello, Edinburgh

Thank you to Patricia Macdonald for leaving this message in the EdinPhoto guest book.

Patricia wrote:

Message from George Renton

"I'd like to know more about comments from George Renton (10 above).  He spoke about a Thomson or Johnston family who stayed up a close.

My maiden name was Thomson.  I stayed at 14 Milton Grove, Joppa.  I didn't stay up a close but we did have a grass triangle in front of our house beside a wee cul-de-sac.

Some neighbours that I recall were:

-  Tom Ewing.  He was a postman

-  The Scollings

-  The McKays, who stayed opposite the Scollings

-  The Ledbetters, who stayed across the road

If George remembers any of this i would like to hear from him."

Message from Archie Young

"Archie Young  (11 above) spoke about Thomson family who stayed in prefab.  It was a large family.  The father was killed by cement mixer rolling over.  My father was killed but not by a cement mixer,

I was born in Milton Grove in 1948.  Mum and Dad were Alex and Annie. Siblings were Yvonne, Douglas, Patricia (me), Derek, Elaine, Ronnie, Alexis, Gerald and Stephen.

Then we moved to Bingham in 1958, where my Mum had her 10th baby, Kenneth.

Dad started his own business as a lime spreader, then in 1962 he was killed by his tractor rolling off the back of his lorry.  Could this be one & the same?  I'd love love to hear from Archie concerning this."

Memories

I remember:

-  the  25 & 26 bus terminus.  My sister was knocked down there in 1956.   So sad. 

-  Di Marco's, on the High Street

-  the rag and bone man

-  Onion Johnny

-  the man who sharpened knives

-  the toilets and Café where we used to get our ice cream in summer.

Oh what great days!"

Patricia Macdonald, Portobello, Edinburgh:  Message posted in EdinPhoto guest book, July 5, 2009

Patricia:  I've sent email messages to George Renton and Archie Young, giving them your email address and letting them know about your message above.  Perhaps you'll hear from one of them soon.

Peter Stubbs:  July 7, 2009

  Recollections

20.

Keith Miller

Oban, Argyll & Bute, Scotland

Thank you to Keith Miller for returning to the topic of  the pleasure boat, the Skylark, that sailed from Portobello. 

The boat has already  discussed in Recollections 1, 2, 3, 4. 7. 8. 9 and 10 above.

Bob wrote:

1950s

"Yes, the Skylark sailed from Portobello Beach from the mid-1950s until the early-1960s.

Ed Brown

"I recently found out  that the Skylark was owned and operated by Edward Brown and his brother from the Starlyburn Boatyard, across the Forth in Burntisland."

Ed Brown, owner of the portobello pleasure boat, 'Skylark' ©

"The Skylark was originally purchased and converted to a passenger ferry by the Browns.   Ed Brown died a few years ago after relocating across here to Oban to run another boatyard at Gallanach."

Keith Miller: Oban, Argyll & Bute, Scotland:  November 20, 2009

 

Recollections

21.

Alistair Fraser

Australia

Thank you to Alistair Fraser for leaving this message in the EdinPhoto guestbook.

Alistair wrote:

Potteries

"I lived in Brighton Place, and used to watch the potter making pots etc. when the pottery was was in full swing,

Railways

"My dad worked for the railways when the station was open.  We watched the crowds come down for their holidays for the Glasgow Fair."

Swimming

"Portobello was a busy centre.  The pool was a big attraction for kids like me -  pay at the entrance and spend the day there, or stay until you became so cold that hypothermia was setting in.

I used to pal around with Kenny Buchanan, and try to keep up with old Ned Barney as he set off for the Pans each day.  He was one of my heros."

Summer Holidays

"Our summer holidays were full and we had nothing - maybe a push bike we had made from scrap.  I have many, many happy memories.  We had no internet,  no mobile phones and you made your own fun.

When I see the kids nowadays, I don't feel sorry for themI think, 'Look  what your missing'."

Alistair Fraser, Australia:  Message posted in EdinPhoto guestbook:  January 2, 2010

 

Recollections

22.

Christine Anderson (nee Keith)

Duddingston, Edinburgh

Thank you to Christine Anderson (nee Keith) who wrote:

Portobello Town Hall

"There was dancing at Portobello Town Hall on a Saturday night.  The group appearing at the time when I went there was 'The Mark Five'   I also remember Gene Vincent being there.

Upstairs, there was a Milk Bar where you would get a glass of orange and a packet of crisps - no alcohol !    I remember 'Big Hughie' who took the money and allowed you to in."

Friends

"I still remember some of the people who frequented there:

Mike Collins

Lockie Marshall - His father had a Butcher's shop in Portobello.

Andy Fairholm

Janice Watters

Anne Laidlaw

and many more who were part of the Portobello  circuit."

Demarco's

"Sunday afternoon was  spent in Jakes Locker, then after we went on to Demarcos Café for hot peas and vinegar !!!    

I hope this may jostle some of you viewers  !! "

Christine Anderson (nee Keith), Duddingston, Edinburgh  May 18, 2009

Recollections

23.

Brian Ware

North Berwick, East Lothian, Scotland

Thank you to Brian Ware who wrote:

William Arthur Ware

"I wonder if anyone can help me with a family query.  I am looking for any info (good or bad) about the WARE family in Portobello.

My late dad, William Arthur Ware:

-  had a shoe shop at 233 High Street, Porty, next to the old Bluebell Inn.

was, for a while, 'in partnership' with a McWilliams.

had 4 cars, perhaps a taxi service

-  had a red Norton bike with sidecar.

was supposed to have fruit/veg shops in Porty.

had a caravan in the old caravan park at Eastfield.

always went to Copeland's restaurant for his lunch.

lived in a house behind the wee Gift Box on the Prom. The houses are gone now.

I only lived with him for about a year."

Portobello Entertainment

"I remember the Skylark, the Ducks and the Fun City etc. at Portobello.  A guy called Dave/Davy ran the Magic Mirrors is said to be a friend of my dad.

If anyone has any knowledge of the family I would be pleased to hear from them."

Brian Ware, North Berwick, East Lothian Scotland:
Message posted in EdinPhoto guest book:  March 4, 2010.

Reply to Brian

If you'd like to send a reply to Brian, please either add your reply to the guest book message that he posted on March 4, 2010 or else email me, then I'll pass your message on to him.

Thank you.    -  Peter Stubbs, March 4, 2010

Please see Update 2 below

Update 1

September 2011

Thank you to Sylvia (nee Deffley) for responding to Brian's comments above by adding a message in the EdinPhoto guestbook.  See 'Recollections 40' below.

Update 2

December 12012

Sadly, I received a message from Brian's daughter this morning, Raven White, this morning.  She wrote:

"I wonder if you pass on the shocking news that my dad, Mr Brian Ware has passed away.

Thank you."

Raven White:  December 15, 2012

 

Recollections

24.

Roger Emerson

New Town, Edinburgh

Thank you to Roger Emerson who wrote:

Marine Gardens  -  1950s

"In the early 1950s, when I was under 7 years old, the Marine Gardens were a relic.  The wooden entrance/ticket boxes were still up on Seafield Road, Edinburgh Corporation Transport had occupied part of the site and the rest was a wilderness.

The speedway track (at least that’s what I think it was) could still be seen and the grandstand was still there.  It was an unlovely thing of steel trusses and corrugated iron sheeting, much of it loose and rattling in the wind. 

We were, of course, forbidden to go there, but it was easy to climb from our family flat in King's Road, up the back green wall and into the kind of paradise that only children appreciate.

The older children had built a gang hut out of sleepers and corrugated iron sheets that had fallen off the grandstand and kitted it out with mattresses.  The whole thing was covered in earth and grass.  It just seemed like the most amazing cave.

Roger Emerson, New Town, Edinburgh:  March 12, 2010

Marine Gardens  -  1909

In 1909, Marine Gardens had:

an alfresco theatre

-  an industrial hall

-  a large ballroom, used also for roller skating

-  a scenic railway

-  a rustic mill with water wheel

-  a motor cycle race track

Here are some postcards of the gardens then:

J S & S, Edinburgh  -  Portobello Marine Gardens ©     Postcard by H M  -  Marine Gardens, Portobello ©    Valentine Postcard  -  The Somali Village at Portobello Marine Gardens, 1910 ©

 

Recollections

25.

Eric Gold

East London

Thank you to Eric Gold, known to many as Eric McKenzie, East London for telling me the following story from the time when he was living at Craigmillar. 

Jock the Donkey

"When my mother took me and my family to Portobello on the hot sunny school holidays from Craigmillar.  It was like a dream come true, all the shows and a trip on the famous Skylark pleasure boat.

The Cadonna family ran the donkeys and the Amusement Park.  My PT teacher, Mr Cossar, used to work for the Cadonna family and was in charge of the donkeys and the Skylark.

On the beach at Portobello we would queue up for the donkey ride as there must have been about 12 donkeys, maybe more  -  but Jock, I will never forget him.  He was a light grey donkey with black patches.

I said to Mr Cossar, "Can I feed him?" and he said, "OK but watch your fingers," I fed him sweets and my candy floss and Jock and I were friends, so I thought, and I had  a great ride on him thinking I was the Lone Ranger.

But about 2 weeks later I was there again with a carrot for Jock. He ate it but caught my finger in his mouth, but my mother pulled me away from him very swiftly as Jock would have taken my hand off."

The Skylark
   'The Skylark' at Portobello Beach ©

"My fault really, and as Mr Cossar was fair and square and said to my mum, "Eric can have the rest of the season free sailing on the Skylark, but don't tell anyone as I am his PT instructor at school in Leith."

So all in all it was Jock that done me a favour as it was through the Skylark at Portobello that gave me the urge to go to sea. Not forgetting Mr Cossar too.

I did bump into Mr Cossar in Princess Street years later and we spoke about Jock and the Skylark which cruised the Forth.  Sometimes it would pass Granton, what a treat.

He did ask me what I was working at, and I said that I'm a first class waiter aboard the Queen Mary, He jokingly said "You can work for me on the Skylark (ha ha ha)."

He was the Best PT teacher ever in Edinburgh as he would do other schools too, and had a great sense of humour."

Eric Gold,  East London.  March 20+21, 2006

 

Recollections

26.

Carole Irwin

Linlithgow, West Lothian, Scotland

Portobello Bathing Pool

Portobello Bathing Pool, or Open Air Pool, beside Portobello Power station opened in 1936.  It finally closed in 1980.

Portobello Bathing Pool  -  Valentine Postcard ©

Thank you to Carole Irwin for adding the following comment to the EdinPhoto Guest Book in March 2006:

Carole wrote

The Waves

"Oh joy !!  What memories I had from the open air swimming pool !!    It's where I learned to swim !!.  Long summers, penny biscuits, swimming all day...

You could even bring a favourite record to be played over the P.A.!!

Oh joy!! i remember a lovely chap called Ned who was a channel swimmer !!.  I also remember the famous announcement every hour..'

'THE WAVES WILL BE ON IN 5 MINUTES TIME'

Heaven... "

Carole Irwin, Linlithgow, West Lothian, Scotland.
Message in EdinPhoto guest book: March 24, 2006

George Smith replied to Carole Irwin's message above.

George wrote:

Reply

"Carole Irwin's memory of "a lovely guy called Ned" was possibly  one of Ned Barnie whom I remember inspired us Boy Scouts with a  demonstration of swimming at Dalry Baths where he swam underwater for  over a length.

I wonder if anyone else remembers being taught to swim  by Nancy Riach sometime in the 40's.

She was an Olympic competitor  at, I think, the Munich Games. The training pool was in the basement  of a primary school whose name I have forgotten but it was near  Boroughmuir."

George Smith, British Columbia, Canada 25 March 2006

Recollections

27.

Carole Irwin

Linlithgow, West Lothian, Scotland

Question

Carole left another message in the EdinPhoto Guest Book in September 2007, asking a question about the pool.

Carole wrote

Portobello Bathing Pool

Pool Manager

"Does anyone remember the Manager of Portobello Open Air Pool?  His second name was Wilson and I remember he had a daughter who was my 'Summer Pal'. ***

He went on to become the Manager of the Royal Commonwealth Pool in the '70s.

Can anyone help?"

Carole Irwin, Linlithgow, West Lothian, Scotland
 Message in EdinPhoto guest book: September 18 2007

Replies

If you think you may be able to help to answer Carole's question, please email me and I'll pass on your message to her.    Thank you.

Peter Stubbs:  September 18, 2007

 ***  Thank you to Derek Patience for replying to Carole's question above.

Peter Stubbs:  July 6, 2010

 

Recollections

28.

Miles Cumming

Edinburgh

The Pool

Portobello Open Air Pool - empty - 1985 ©

Miles Cumming, Edinburgh wrote:

Cold !!

"I remember well my visits to the pool.  It was the anticipation which was exciting as a child.

I can vividly recall the sight that greeted me after emerging from the darkness of the changing rooms - the brightness of the sunlight and blueness of the huge pool before me  ...

On my final visit I had learned to swim, but the water was just too COLD!!"

Miles Cumming, Edinburgh, June 5, 2007

 

Recollections

29.

Sam Storrie

Charlestown, Fife, Scotland

Thank you to Sam Storrie who wrote:

Bath Place

"I remember Portobello well.  It was there I met my wife, Moira Henderson.  She stayed in the cottages at Bath Place just off Bath Street.

Her father, Johnnie, was well known as he owned the local dry-cleaners in Bath Street.

Her brother, Eddie, was captain of Portobello Rugby Team.

Demarco's

We met in Demarco's, on the prom, in 1960 and married in 1965. We are still together after 44 years.   We have been in Fife all this time,  but I still miss Edinburgh.

Sam Storrie, Charlestown, Fife, Scotland:  May 6, 2009

Recollections

30.

GM Rigg

New Zealand

Thank you to GM Rigg who wrote:

Buckies

"The fish monger at the top of Broughton Street sold hot fresh buckies by the bag when I was a kid - you either love them or hate them.

The other place you could by them, hot and fresh, was at Portobello beach.  For some reason, they always came with vinegar at the beach.

All the shellfish are delicacies now but were considered poor folks' food then, and you never admitted to eating them."

GM Rigg, New Zealand:  message posted in EdinPhoto guest book,  September 5, 2009

 

Recollections

31.

Kevin Knowles

Richland, Washington, USA

Thank you to Kevin Knowles who wrote:

Open Air Bathing Pool

"We went on a family holiday from Devon to visit family in Edinburgh during the summer of 1971. The weather was beautiful for the 2 weeks we were there and we spent 2 days at Portobello Open Air Bathing Pool.

Our hometown outdoor pool was tame in comparison - much smaller, a single 10’ diving board and no wave-making machine.

Home was warmer though, even if only by a few degrees.  I do remember how cold the water felt up there, but the combination of youth, summer heat, the wave maker and riding the pontoon made it all worthwhile.  It was probably our best family holiday ever, looking back on many happy memories at this pool and numerous other sights around Edinburgh"

Kevin Knowles, Richland, Washington, USA:  September 21, 2009

 

Recollections

32.

John Nicolson

Thank you to John Nicolson who wrote:

The Skylark

"I was born in edinburgh in 1942, and stayed in Pitt Street, Edinburgh.

I worked on the Skylark in the late-1950s. The owner was Ed Brown.  He came from St Monans in Fife, where 'The Skylark' was wintered.

The other boat he had was the 'Silver Spray' which was only used when it got really busy or for evening cruises."

Tower Amusement Hall

"Tower Amusement Hall on Portobello Promenade was owned by Mr Silverstein.  I went to school with his son, Saul."

John Nicolson:  April 5, 2010

 

Recollections

33.

Archie Young

Moredun, Edinburgh

Thank you to Archie Young wrote:

Thomson Hall Youth Club

Portobello Free Church

"Portobello Free Church later became the Thomson Hall, Regent Street Portobello.

I go back to around 1963 when the Thomson Hall had a Youth Club.  This was an excellent venue.  The Club was run very wellI went there with my pals every week.  There were various things to do but our main aim was to start a football team."

Football Team

"The proposal was accepted and we were given the full 'go ahead'.  I can't remember who picked the strips but the colours were not unlike Dundee United's colours, only a lot brighter, white shorts and the socks were the same colour as the top, on first sight you need 'Foster Grant' sunglasses to look at it.

The Football Team was quite good though we never won anything, I played in Right Back. One newspaper report said that we had a formidable defence.  We usually finished fourth or fifth in the Churches' League."

Democracy

"The Youth club had lots of meetings where all the members, no mater how young, helped to make decisions on the running of the club  -  very democratic."

Entertainment

"Dancing was on every week and we always had parents' nights, mainly to show them what we were doing.  On these nights we had an entertainments show for our parents.  Those youngsters who had talent were on stage.  There were two brothers who were great at doing the Everly Brothers.  They always got a great reception."

New Home for the Club

"I can't remember the date but we heard that the club was to close.  Devastated was not the word for it.  We were so determined that all the friendships we made at the club would not die.

We sought out two old cottages (no longer there) on the right going down Bridge Street Portobello.  I don't have a clue who owned them.  Anyway, the insides of the cottages were in a terrible state and falling down, but the exterior walls were sound.

We all got together and met every night to go ahead and rebuild the cottages inside.  These were not large cottages, so we decided to knock a part of the inside wall down, making them one large cottage."

Club Closed

One side was used as the entertainments side, for dancing.  The other other side, going through a door, was the games and meeting rooms.  The club was a resounding success, but as we all started to get older and growing apart, the club closed down after nearly three years."

Archie Young, Moredun, Edinburgh:  April 27, 2010

 

Recollections

34.

James McEwan

Duddingston Mills, Edinburgh

Thank you to James McEwan who wrote: 

Ice Cream

"De Felice at Marionville and De Marco in Portobello were the best for ice cream.

Peas

"I've just remembered, hot peas and vinegar after coming out of Portobello baths on a Saturday morning."

Chocolate

"Fry's 5 Centre  -  whatever happened to that?"

James McEwan, Duddingston Mills, Edinburgh:  April 6, 2009

 

Recollections

36.

Gus Coutts

Duddingston, Edinburgh

Thank you to Gus Coutts who wrote:

Sunday Walk

"Some time in the late-1940s or early-1950s (when we weren't allowed to go out to play on Sundays, but were allowed to go for walks) some of my friends and I went for a walk along Seafield Promenade."

Marine Gardens Speedway

"On climbing the embankment behind the prom we were amazed to see that the remains of the Marine Gardens Speedway were still there.  The oval track itself  was bare concrete, and on the landward side there were the rusting remains of a grandstand."

Photos?

"I'd be interested to know if any photos exist of the speedway either in its heyday or in its dilapidated state."

Please see reply in Recollections 43 below

Gus Coutts, Duddingston, Edinburgh:  November 28, 2010

Recollections

37.

Jim Smart

Bournemouth, Dorset, England

Thank you to Jim Smart for writing again, this time enclosing a photograph that he has titled 'Portobello Rebels', taken around 1950.

Jim wrote

Sunday Afternoon

    'Porty Rebels', Portobello Promenade, around 1950 ©

"This photo was taken around 1950.  As you can see the tide is in, so there would have been no football match on the beach this day.

Chances are, the photo would have been taken on a Sunday afternoon.  As you can see, we are all 'suited'.

It would have been taken mid-way along our walk  -  Bath Street to Joppa Rocks, then back to Seafield, then Seafield to Bath Street."

'The Porty Rebels'

"In the photo are (left to right):

-  Jim Smart (me), Bath Street.

-  Tommy D'Arcy, Pipe Street then 'The Binghams'.

-  Jackie Innes, Bath Street.

-  Tommy Morgan, Tower Street.

-  Billy Dempsey, Adelphi Place."

Jim Smart, Bournemouth, Dorset, England:  February 6, 2011

 

Recollections

38.

Alistair Fraser

Australia

Thank you to Alistair Fraser who wrote again:

Railway

"I lived just under the Railway bridge in Brighton Place.  My Dad was a shunter and worked on the railways all his life.  I used to watch him shunt the goods around the yard from the station."

The Beach

"Portobello beach was my playground,  Porty was the 'Blackpool of Scotland' where the Trade Holidays were taken, and was a thriving holiday destination, till they closed all the railway sub-stations, and that was the endThe Minister was Beeching, if I remember well.

I knew and swam with old Ned Barney, but I wasn't game to go too far.

Schools

Portobello is so dear to my heartI attended Towerbank Primary School then Portobello High, along with my mate, Kenny Buchanan and his brother.

I'm 64 now, and living in Melbourne, Australia."

Alistair Fraser, Australia:  July 4, 2011

 

Recollections

39.

Archie Young

Moredun, Edinburgh

Thank you to Archie Young who added an arrow to the postcard below, to show the position of Berry's drysalter shop.  (Please click on the thumbnail image below to enlarge it.)

Archie wrote:

Berry  -  Drysalter

1950s-60s

"In the 1950s and 1960s, the drysalter's shop arrowed was owned by a family called Berry.  The  father, mother and son or sons all worked in the shop.

It was wonderful walking in there.  It had a particular smell about it.   You would walk up the wooden steps and at the door were brushes, brooms, broom handles, basins, buckets, hand shovels.

Then, there was the beautiful wooden floor and, once inside, it was like Aladdin's Cave."

Archie Young, Moredun, Edinburgh:  August 3, 2011

Recollections

40.

Sylvia (nee Deffley)

Ontario, Canada

Thank you to Sylvia (nee Deffley) for responding to Brian Ware's message in 'Recollections 23' above by posting a message in the EdinPhoto guestbook.

Sylvia wrote:

Shoe Repair Shop

"I used to live on Portobello High Street and was a friend of Doreen Ware. In fact, it was a repair shop, not a shoe shop, that her father owned at the address mentioned.  It was beside the Bluebell.

Motor Cycle

"Yes he did have a motor cycle with a sidecar and Doreen and I often used to ride in it. That would have been late-1950s fifties. Doreen was older than meI lost touch with her once I went to secondary school in the city. "

Help in the Shop

"I remember he used to let us help with the shoe repairs, grinding off the excess leather on the soles and polishing the shoes on the buffer brushes spinning at the end of the machine."

Sylvia (nee Deffley, Ontario, Canada:
Message posted in EdinPhoto guestbook, September 14, 2011

Recollections

41.

Eric Messer

Geelong, Victoria, Australia

Thank you to Eric Messer who wrote:

Portobello Prom

"The pictures of Portobello and cycle speedway brought back so many memories to meI love all the comments about Portobello.

I came from Musselburgh but my grandparents lived at 72 Promenade and I spent many a happy weekend with them on the Prom.

Rowing

"My Dad was captain of the  Eastern Amateur Rowing club.

Around 1952-54, I was coxswain of one of their jolly boats.  I believe that it belonged to Eastern Amateurs.

There were two rowing clubs virtually next to each other, with a Café in between.   I remember the Café had a huge artificial ice cream cone on a stand."

Eric Messer, Geelong, Victoria, Australia:  December 7+24, 2011

Recollections

42.

George Davie

Canada

Thank you to George Davie who wrote, after reading Archie Young's recollections of Portobello.

George wrote:

Portobello Bottle Works

"I was born in Edinburgh in 1939, and served an apprenticeship at the bottle works in Portobello.  Archie Young worked there too. At the time he was an apprentice while I was time served, so he would have been maybe 5 years younger than me.

Blacksmith

"My job was working as a blacksmith / welder.  Archie might just remember coming to the smiddy at lunch time to toast his sandwiches on the anvil after heating a piece of 1/2" plate red hot in the forge.  The bread was toasted in seconds!"

George Davie:  Canada (since 1968):  January 15, 2011

Recollections

43.

Brian Alexander

Prestonfield, Edinburgh

Thank you to Brian Alexander for replying to Gus Coutts' enquiry about photos of the speedway at Marine gardens.

Brian wrote:

Speedway Photos

"There are photos of speedway at Marine Gardens, along with photos of the Old Meadowbank and Powderhall tracks on the SpeedwayPlus web site.

Brian Alexander, Prestonfield, Edinburgh:  January 16, 2012

Recollections

44.

Jan Robbins

Market Harborough, Leicestershire, England

Thank you to Jan Robbins who wrote:

Schools

"I lived in Portobello from around 1956 until about 1988.  I went to Towerbank Primary School where my first teacher was Mrs Cass who was very much loved and respected.

I graduated to Portobello High School went to Edinburgh College of Art and taught at Holyrood High School for some years.

 I even did part of my teacher training at Towerbank, not that they let you in the staff room."

Portobello High Street

"I lived for many years at 252 High Street above Benson's food store which was I suppose Porty's first supermarket.

In Portobello High Street, I also remember Nicora's Jewellers, Henderson's Garage and Robertson's dairy. I went to school with Billy whose Dad owned the dairy."

Fur Coats

"I remember as a child two very odd women who wore fur coats all year roundI believe they were called the Duncan sisters. They were very petite women.

As children we were convinced they were witches!  They lived down the close next to builder's merchants.  I wonder if anyone else has memories of these two very strange ladies."

Memories

"I have wonderful memories of Portobello.  Whenever I come back to Edinburgh I do the walk down memory lane."

The best word that can describe growing up there was 'safe'.  My Mum always knew I was looked after when she was out at workI feel privileged to have spent my childhood there and often tell students I teach how lucky it was to grow up there."

Jan Robbins, Market Harborough, Leicestershire, England:  February 7, 2012

Recollections

45.

June Robertson Wood

Central Coast, California, USA

Thank you to June Robertson Wood who wrote:

Mussels

"I used to go to Joppa to pick mussels.  I  put them in my mother's good shopping bag and, Oh boy, I sure got what's what.  Still, it was worth it as they were so good."

June Robertson Wood, Central Coast, California, USA

Recollections

46.

Beverley Crow (nee Cairns)

Thank you to Beverley Crow who wrote about growing up in Portobello.  If you'd like to send a message to Beverley, please email me and I'll let you know how to contact her.

Beverley wrote:

Home and School

"I lived in Straiton Place and went to Towerbank school.   I loved living thereLife was really good and Portobello was great place to grow up in."

Earning Cash

"I earned my own pocket money delivering papers in the morning and the News in the evening.

In between, I used to work leading the ponies for Eddie Gray who had them in early-1960s.  The people working there were  Sheila Beech, Kathy Chisholm, Brian Skidmore and Pamela, and myself, Beverly Cairns.

I helped Eddie Brown with the Skylark when the tide was in and you couldn’t get on the beach. Once, at the end of the season, I even got to steer the boat back to the harbour at Musselburgh for the winter.

When I was a bit older I helped out in the Amusements Café run by Jackie, serving hot dogs burgers etc.  I remember: Stan and Morris Neil and Robert who all worked in the amusements.

What freedom!"

Swimming

"I remember Ned Barnie, a lovely man who swam the channel and encouraged everyone to swim.

I used to spend a lot of time swim training in the baths before and after school.  I used to go through the boiler room to get access to the pool before opening."

Food

"I  remember:

 going to Demarco’s and sitting in to eat a McCallum - ice cream with sauce and a crumbled flake on top.

St Andrews chippy where we would a tanner bag of chips after a swim in the evening."

Beverley Crow (nee Cairns):  July 14, 2012

Recollections

47.

Robert Hutson

Leith, Edinburgh

Thank you to Robert Hutson for sending me this view of Portobello streets and beach.

Robert wrote:

Seabeach Hotel

"Sylvia Wilson (Recollections 16 above) asked for a photo of the hotel.  It is at the top-right corner of this aerial view."

Portobello Streets and Beach  -  Aerial View, 1930

©  Reproduced with acknowledgement to RCAHMS and Malcolm Cant

Aerial View  -  1930

Key added

Portobello Streets and Beach  -  Aerial View, 1930

©  Reproduced with acknowledgement to RCAHMS and Malcolm Cant

"I lived in Straiton Place, Portobello, and went to Towerbank School.   I loved living thereLife was really good and Portobello was great place to grow up in."

Robert Hutson, Leith, Edinburgh: 6 + 13 July 2012

Please click on the aerial views above to enlarge them.

Recollections

48.

Robert Hutson

Leith, Edinburgh

Thank you to Robert Hutson for writing again, this time giving more information about the pleasure boats at Portobello.

Robert wrote:

Two Pleasure Boats

"There have been a few comments about the pleasure boat that was wrecked and washed up on the beach at Portobello.  My recollection is that there were two boats in the 1950s.

It was the Silver Star that was wrecked.  It was washed up against the Prom in front of the Amusements.  We used to play on it until the council built a brae over it."

Chrissie Demarco

"I also recall that Chrissie Demarco, sister of Bertie who had the ice cream shop on the Prom, lived in one of the houses next the Seabeach, the ones with the flight of steps up to them.

She lived with 'Stan the Pole' who always wore a long leather jacket and a black beret and was always whittling a piece of wood."

My Home

"I lived in Straiton Place, Portobello, and went to Towerbank School.   I loved living thereLife was really goodPortobello was great place to grow up in."

Robert Hutson, Leith, Edinburgh: August 1, 2012

Recollections

49.

George Ricketts

Casablanca, Morocco

Thank you to George Ricketts who wrote:

Early-1960s

"I'd like to get in touch with anyone who remembers me from St John's School, Portobello.  I attended the school in the early-1960s when Mr Meehan was the Headmaster.

Other pupils that I recall from that time are:

-  James Glass

-  John Dodds

-  George Lawson."

George Ricketts, Casablanca, Morocco since 1991:
Message and email address posted in EdinPhoto guestbook:  October 16, 2012

Reply to George Ricketts?

If you'd like to send a reply to George, please email me to let me know, then I'll pass on his email address to you.   Thank you.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  October 17, 2012

Recollections

50.

Iain Gillespie Brennan

Thank you to Iain Gillespie Brennan who wrote

Entertainment

"I was brought up in Portobello.  I was born in 1950 and lived at Niddrie Road, 1957-65.  I went to Duddingston Primary school then attended Portobello Secondary School.

I was into everything a growing laddie would be, so the website brought back many, many fond memories of that period of my life:

Portobello Open Air Swimming Pool - always freezing, even on hot days!

-  De Marco's Cafe, Bath Street, leading down to the beach

The Fun Fair, with its wooden helter-skelter

-  The Ducks, old WW2 Amphibious craft used for pleasure rides.  I never did get a ride on one, but looked on in envy, clutchin' ma spade an' pail.   -  Ah, them were the days.

The list is endless, as my memory is still good at recalling places, events, etc."

Berry Square

"One of my friends, Ali Dixon, lived in Berry Square, Portobello - a motley collection then of run-down cottages and tenements - but they were home to many good and kind people, as I remember them today."

Iain Gillespie Brennan: October 14, 2012 (2 emails)

Question for Iain Gillespie Brennan

Thanks, Iain, for your comments above Iain, including your mention of the people and housing in Berry Square, Portobello.

Linda Philpot in Recollections 18 on the 'Portobello 1920s-50s' page asks if anybody can tell her anything about Berry Square.  I wonder if you might be able to tell her anything.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  October 18, 2012

Recollections

51.

Christina Morris

Thank you to Christina Morris who wrote:

The Skylark

"My first recollection of The Skylark was in 1959, so I suspect that it was sailing before then. 

The Skylark was still puttering to and fro, for sure, in 1965."

Christina Morris:  November 1, 2012

Recollections

52.

Sylvia (nee Deffley)

Ontario, Canada

Thank you to Sylvia (nee Deffley), Ontario, Canada, for posting a message in the EdinPhoto Guestbook about the time when she lived in Portobello.

Sylvia wrote:

Copeland's Restaurant

"I remember Copeland's restaurant. It was commonly called Copey's.  We used it more for the bakery which was wonderful.  It was just two doors along from 246 High St. where we lived.  The baking was done in the basement .

My mother used to send my older sister, Christine, down to the back door of the bakery with a pie dish filled with meat. We could access the bakery from the lower area in our own stair by going down, out the back door and outside to the next stair along.  That's where Copey's was.

If I recall,the baker was called "wee Eck".  He would then put a pastry over my mum's meat and pie funnel and it was all ready to pop in the oven for tea. I cannot remember how much he charged but it was a lovely flaky pastry.  We used to often get an apple charlotte too in the shop for 'afters'."

Rankin's Florist

"My mother was a great baker, but once she went to work there was not the time for baking.  She was a florist at Rankin's on the corner of Bath Street and the High Street, Portobello."

Nicora's Ice Cream

"We lived on the top flat overlooking Nicora's ice cream shop.  My mother would give me a jug and send me across the street to get it filled with ice cream in the summer.  She would lean out of the window and tell me when it was safe to cross the street, and then watch for me coming back.

When we had stomach upsets she used to send one of us over for a syphon of soda water.  Does anyone remember those great heavy bottles?

Wellington Street

"At that time there was an ironmonger on the corner of High Street and what was then called Wellington Street.  We used to have little toy race cars (like dinky cars)Douglas Gemmell and I used to race them down the street.

Of a summer evening we used to sit on the step to the ironmonger's and jot down licence plate numbers. Life was quite simple in these days.

A bunch of us would also congregate on Wellington Street and play the usual street games:

-  red light, green light,

-  tag,

-  hide and go seek,

-  cowboys and indians

-  etc.

We'd play into the long summer evening until our mothers would call us in.  Today's kids just don't know what they are missing."

Sylvia (nee Deffley), Ontario, Canada:
Message posted in the EdinPhoto Guestbook, March 1, 2013

Recollections

53.

Ian McArthur

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Thank you to Ian McArthur for posting a message in the EdinPhoto Guestbook.

Ian wrote:

St John's School

Homes

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

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

Classmates

"Fellow classmates were:

Keith Flynn

Brendan O'Keefe

Martin Craig

Dennis O'Donnell

Eddie Schmelter

Terry Montgomery

Michael Tosney

Anne Kelly

Lorna Rixon

Yvonne Dohan

Eileen Murphy

Kathleen Flannagan.

If anyone knows or remembers me, or knows some of the people mentioned above, I'd love to hear from them."

Ian McArthur, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia:
 Message posted in EdinPhoto Guestbook:  October 8, 2013
and sent by email, October 1, 2013.

Reply to Ian

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

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

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

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  October 9, 2013

Recollections

54.

Ian McArthur

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Ian McArthur has posted another message in the EdinPhoto Guestbook, this time asking a question.

Ian wrote:

Question

St John's School

Football Team Photo

"Does anyone have knowledge of a St. Johns R.C. Primary Football  team photo, taken at Warriston playing fields around 1965-66.

It was taken by the Evening News and was the only photo taken of the school football team of around that time.  It was taken on a Saturday and was printed, I think that night, in the Pink News.

Hopefully someone can help, or put me in touch with someone who can help."

Ian McArthur, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia:
 Message posted in EdinPhoto Guestbook:  8 October 2013

Reply to Ian

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

EITHER:   posting a reply below the message that he left in the EdinPhoto Guestbook on 11 October 2013

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

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  October 11, 2013

Recollections

55.

Carole Mills (nee Manson)

Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Carole Mills wrote:

Barber

"I've noticed that a lot of people have spoken about Portobello.

I wonder if anyone remembers Charlie Turner, the barber in Main Street.  He had a shop with a 'barber stripe' pillar and, outside the shop, a bench seat with a brass plate with his name on it."

Carole Mills (nee Manson), Adelaide, South Australia,  Australia:  March 1, 2014

Recollections

56.

Pat Donoghue

East Sussex, England

Thank you to Pat Donoghue who wrote:

The Skylark

"As a girl, I lived in Bath Street, Portobello, until 1965 when we moved to East Sussex, England.

I spent many a summer day helping with the donkeys, or working in Dimarco's ice cream parlour to earn a half crown for a days work to pay for the shows and rides on the Skylark.

Imagine my delight when on a summers day, years later, I was at the Bewl Water reservoir in Kent with my son and friends when I spied a boat that put me in mind of the Skylark, taking my then toddler son for a joy ride as a treat.

I was astounded to discover a plaque in the boat with it's history.  It was the Skylark that I had known in the 1960s in Portobello, and had not seen since then.  That was a fabulous 'time-warp' for me.

Anyway, one of your contributors was asking what had happened to the Skylark.  I thought I'd share its fate."

Pat Donoghue, East Sussex, England:  April 27, 2014:

The Skylark

In fact:

-  Eleanor Wood (in her Recollections 2)
Archie Foley (in his Recollections 4) and
Hugh Lovatt (in his Recollections 9)

have all speculated about what might have happened to the Skylark, and

-  George Renton (in his Recollections 10)

spoke about there having been two 'Skylarks' at Portobello.

Peter Stubbs:  Edinburgh:  April 27, 2014

Recollections

57.

Angela Fotheringham

Longniddry, East Lothian, Scotland

Thank you to Pat Angela Fotheringham who wrote:

The Skylark

Eddie Gray

"The Skylark was owned and run by Eddie Gray who had a boatyard in Burntisland."

Fisherrow Harbour

"During the season, The Skylark used to berthed at Fisherrow Harbour, Musselburgh.  Eddie, notorious for squeezing the last customer from the beach often used to make it back into harbour as the last whisper of water left on the ebbing tide.  On more than one occasion he didn't quite make it and we had to squelch back over the mud flats."

Driving The Skylark

"I drove the boat for £1 a week, while Eddie lay in the back and took the money, I think I was about 16 at the time.2

Rescue

"We were also the inshore rescue boat for a while.  Once, we had to take a line to a yacht which was in danger of running aground onto the Porty beach. 

I had to strip off then run from the jetty with a rope around me onto the sands, then waded/swam out to the yacht in a high surf, all in front of a whole prom full of tourists.  Don't tell 'Health and Safety'."

The Lion

"The Skylark also ran into The Lion, the biggest thing the Navy had!   I was driving.  It was only a touch but enough to bring a shout from the deck.  Fortunately, all they wanted was for us to post a letter to them!"

Forth Road Bridge

"We also plied from South Queensferry when the road bridge was opened, in the worst pea souper ever."

The End

"The Skylark ended her days in the boatyard at Burntisland."

Happy Days

"Ah happy days!

 I remember:

-  the Cassidys in the pool.

the Cossars on the prom.

-  us, out all day, earning a pittance with the ponies and the boats."

Angela Fotheringham,  Longniddry, East Lothian, Scotland:  July 2+4, 2014

Recollections

58.

Annette McDonald

Montana, USA

Thank you to Annette McDonald who wrote:

The Cassidy Family

"I grew up in Portobello and some of my family still live there.  For my  entire life, I've known the Cassidy family - Veronica, her little brothers and their Mum and Dad.  Veronica  was my dearest, lifelong friend, but sadly she died in a tragic accident only days after visiting me in the USA. Her death was devastating to me and I immediately came home for her funeral.

Veronica and I both went to St. John's Primary School, then to Holy Cross Academy.  The Cassidy family is still around Edinburgh and Peebles."

Cassidy's Tea Rooms

"During the school holidays, I worked at Cassidy's Sheddan's Tea Room in Bath Street, alongside Veronica, and at the little shop attached to the Portobello Pool. Those were happy days."

Cassidy's Fishmonger's Shop

"Mr Cassidy also had a fishmonger's shop in Portobello's High Street."

Annette McDonald, Montana, USA:  July 3, 2014

Recollections

59.

Annie McDonald

Montana, USA

Thank you to Annie McDonald for writing again.

Annette wrote:

St John's Primary School

"I grew up in Portobello and now live in Montana, USA.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 'walk down memory lane', including reading comments from those who went to St. John's Primary school.

Happy days, thinking of Portobello Pool, and the wonderful nuns who taught primary school:

 Sister Campian - not so much!!  

 Mother Vincent and Sister Aloysius were my favorites.

To this day, I carry a small scapula in my wallet, which was given to me by Sister Aloysius when I left to go to Holy Cross Academy.  She was so tough and demanding, but I just loved her.

Classmates

"I keep in touch with a couple of former classmates:

Tommy Banks and

Leonard Connelly.

I'd love to hear from other former schoolmates."

Annette McDonald, Montana, USA:  July 3, 2014

Reply to Annette

If you'd like to send a reply to Annette, please email me to let me know, then I'll pass on her email address to you.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  July 6, 2014

Recollections

60.

Sandra Wanless

Thank you to Sandra Wanless who wrote:

Gala

The Muppets

"I remember the Gala at Portobello, though I don’t think it was called Gala Day.

I was on a float, dressed as Animal out of the Muppets, and I was with the playgroup on the Promenade.  The other Muppets were all mums as well.  We were given 1st Place and Gavin Strang made the award.

We all got Muppeted again to go along Princes Street.  I had a drum kit loaned to me by Bob Martin, the publican of The Marine at the foot of Bath Street.  I was a cleaner at that time, 1975-79, and my daughter Elizabeth was at the playgroup.

I was wearing:

a pink shirt that belonged to my husband, though I can’t remember him ever wearing it.

my pink trousers and a pair of tights, with 100s of lengths of looped pink wool all over.

- two half-ping-pong balls with holes in the centre, for eyes.

The drums were pounded by Animal.  It seemed to take ages to get along the road My face was sore with smiling and laughing but my eyes were weird.  When I took off the head I could not focus."

Question

"My reason for telling this tale is that lots of photos were taken for 'The Evening News', butI have never been able see any of them.  Does anybody remember seeing them?

I now have grandchildren, and would like to show them a pic of their gran as a Muppet!"

Sandra Wanless:  May 27, 2014

Reply to Sndra

If you'd like to send a reply to Sandra, perhaps helping her to find the pictures that she mentions above please email me to let me know, then I'll pass on her email address to you.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  July 6, 2014

Recollections

61.

Tam (Andrew) Corrigan

Edinburgh

Thank you to Tam who wrote:

Portobello Promenade

"I lived at No.21, Portobello Promenade, located just west of the foot of Bath Street. These buildings were demolished after major fire damage and since then have been renumbered, I believe.

I lived next door to what eventually became Erinals, a sort of gift shop which did a roaring trade in beach toys and requirements."

The Skylark

"My 'Uncle Eddie', as i knew him in the mid-1960s(?),  actually ran The Skylark and I fondly remember spending my summers aboard the Skylark, helping people on and off the boat.

 I would remove and replace a small section of the boat's 'fencing' to allow access to the boat from the gangway and back.  The gangway was on wheels and would be towed out or pushed out into the water depending on the tide, by a tractor that was stored in our garden at no.21 along with a large rowing boat."

Memories

"I was born in 1958, and have some really precious memories those times around 1963-66 when I would have been aged about 5 to 8.

The simple smell diesel oil can take me right back to those times, not to mention the smells from a bakery of some kind near the bottom of Bath Street, around the same time!

I remember Norma, my 'first love', who lived in Bath Street.    My, such happy memories."

Tam (Andrew) Corrigan, Edinburgh:  July 29, 2014

 

Recollections

62.

Tam (Andrew) Corrigan

Edinburgh

Thank you to Tam for writing with more memories of Portobello

Tam wrote:

Portobello Shows

"Memories also coming back to me of the time spent in the 'shows' just near to Towerbank Primary School, which I attended for a short time, but have no real memories of.

There are a few old Beatles' songs that take me right back to the smells and sounds in the 'shows'. 

They had a wall mounted box that controlled a juke box, and a cafe that fried onions all day!  

Slot Machines

"Don't ask me about all the penny (or half-penny) machines!  I have very fond memories of them, indeed.

Tam (Andrew) Corrigan, Edinburgh:  July 29, 2014

 

 Recollections

63.

Ronnie Peters

('Rocky')

Thakham, Bangkuntian, Thailand

Thank you to Ronnie Peters who wrote:

Portobello Pubs

Cullen's Pub

"I used to work in Cullen's Pub at the foot of Bath Street in 1966/67. John Cullen was an absolute gentleman.  Ned Barney was a regular for his little tipple.  He always came in for about an hour then left again."

Central Bar

"I also worked in the Central Bar on the corner of Brighton Place and High Street.  Tony Docherty was the manager then."

Ronnie Peters ('Rocky'), Thakham, Bangkuntian, Thailand:  September 27, 2014

 

Portobello  Pictures

Portobello Recollections 1930s-50s

Recollections  -  More Pages

Recollections  -   Contributors

 

 

Links to Other Pages

EdinPhoto - Home Page      Please send me an e-mail ...  with your questions, comments, suggestions or news.      At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.            At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.

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

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