Edinburgh Recollections

The Union Canal




Stuart Burgess

Devon, England

Thank you to Kim Traynor who wrote about exploring in the west of Edinburgh as a child.

Kim wrote:


"The Union canal was accessible all the way out to beyond Sighthill - after that it was countryside and not so interesting.

You could always gather frogspawn, catch sticklebacks, minnows and leeches, although the leeches were fairly disgusting, especially if (as I did once) you found one attached to your big toe.


"You might take a 'piece' with you to stave off hunger -  a 'piece on jam' or butter or whatever the filling.  It could be a 'sangwich' or an open slice of bread.

We seemed usually to have a 'plain loaf' for bread, and only occasionally a pan loaf, but I think that was simply a matter of taste rather than economy."

Stuart Burgess:  Devon, England:  September 17, 2009




George T Smith

Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Thank you to George T Smith who wrote about catching fish on the Union Canal.

George wrote:


"The 'Bungy' bottle was a wine bottle with a deeply recessed base intended, I believe, to collect sediment. These formed the basis for catching minnows.

The recess was given a sharp blow via the fireplace poker struck with the coal hammer. The bottle sometimes shattered but the blow more often made a hole in the bottom.

The next step was the bait:  insert a few crumbs into the bottle then lower the corked bottle by a string into the dark green waters of the canal and wait as long as a twelve-year-old's patience allowed and retrieve.

Put the catch into another bottle and repeat till time for tea."

George T Smith, British Columbia, Canada December 19, 2009


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