The Mound




June Robertson Wood

Central Coast, California, USA

Thank you to June Robertson Wood for posting a message in the EdinPhoto guest book.

June wrote:

Soap Boxes

"Do you remember Sundays in Edinburgh?  There was nothing to do for entertainment.

We went to the Mound where all these men would get on their soap boxes and rant and rave about the state of the world.  I don't know when this started or when it ended.

One Sunday, a wee man was giving Americans what's what, then pointed to me and said,:  "That's what they want!  Bottled blondes!"

I can assure all that I was not a bottled blonde.  It's funny the things we remember.  Does anyone else remember these days at The Mound?"

June Robertson Wood, Central Coast, California, USA
 Message posted in EdinPhoto guest book, January 29, 2012



Dave McKinlay

New Zealand

Thank you to Dave McKinlay for posting a reply to June Robertson Wood's question in the EdinPhoto guestbook.

Dave wrote:


"Yes, June.  I remember it well some were very entertaining. Many's a Sunday afternoon my pals and I would spend an hour or so listening more to what the hecklers were saying, rather than the speakers.

Great days, checking out the girls too, especially the blondes!  Thanks for the memories, June."

Dave McKinlay, New Zealand:   January 30, 2012



Jim Woolard

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Thank you to Jim Woolard for posting a reply to June in the EdinPhoto guestbook.

Jim wrote:


"June Robertson Wood's comments on Sunday entertainment in Edinburgh brought back memories of  Sundays at the Chamber Street Museum, trying to meet some girls, then a walk down to The Mound to listen to the hecklers and speakers.2

Wendy Wood

"The one that sticks in my mind was Wendy Wood and her crusade for home rule for Scotland  Does anyone know what became of Wendy?"

Jim Woolard, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia:   January 30, 2012

Wendy Wood

Wendy Wood died in 1981, aged 89.  This was  just two years after the Scots had been granted a referendum on independence.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  January 30, 2012



Allan Dodds

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

Thank you to Allan Dodds for posting a reply to June Robertson Wood's question in the EdinPhoto guestbook.

Allan wrote:

Speakers' Corner

"My parents referred to this venue as 'Speakers' Corner'.  It was frequented by eccentric obsessives who invariably took it upon themselves to hector their audience with quasi-religious outpourings.

It was a practice tolerated by the authorities because verbal heckling was as far as it ever went, and a place  where malcontents could safely let off steam  -  better than the riots that we see today, although Edinburgensians** traditionally did riot over more serious matters."


**  I asked Allan about his use of this word, rather than Edinburghers.  He explained:

"I was brought up in the classical tradition.  Edinburgensis is the Latin for 'from/of Edinburgh', as in 'Universitas Academica Edinburgensis'."

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:   January 30, 2012


"Thank goodness someone invented television where one could be entertained in the privacy of one's own home.

The downside of the demise of such venues is that people now absorb other people's opinions with little opportunity to debate any issues live, unless, that is, by pressing the Red Button, Twittering, Tweeting or just ranting here on Peter's website as I'm doing now!

But the ritualised face-to-face aggression has sadly gone, leaving one vaguely dissatisfied that one hasn't quite managed to put one over on another frail human being and got away with it in public!"


"People used to attend these venues carrying placards to advertise the fact that they belonged to some 'movement' or other.   'The end of the world is nigh' was a regular feature - wrong because I'm still here!

The only placards I ever see now on my regular visits to the city are those advertising tattoo parlours or golf equipment. That's progress, of a sort, I suppose: materialism has replaced ideology.

My own personal solution to the 'soap box' scenario at The Mound in the 1960s was simply to scuttle into the Scottish National Gallery and leave struggling humanity safely behind outside behind its doors."

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:   January 30, 2012


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