A short walk around Leith

I take a lot of photos and I upload a fair few of those to Flickr and there they sit. I’m a pretty good tagger but other than a lot of decent tags the photos generally lack context and a description. So I thought I might try a little photo blogging.

My parents have recently moved to Leith and I know very little about the area except that it is working class and used to be very industrial. Andy and I headed out to get cash and a newspaper and thought we’d have a wee wander at the same time.

There is still plenty of industry there but the heavy stuff is long gone. The docks are empty and the warehouses are conversions. This was a bonded warehouse (or just a bond) and lies between Breadalbane Street and Anderson Place.

Leith

Andy and I walked through the arch onto Anderson Place to see these tracks embedded in the setts (not cobbles) perpendicular to the road and looking like they were heading straight into the John Lewis depot.

Leith

It was a nice touch not to dig them up but it is a shame the road surface is damaged (there is a more cynical view here. The area where the depot is used to have several lines coming over the Water of Leith from Bonnington. To which we headed to next. We walked along the Water of Leith footpath towards Bonnington completely oblivious to the notion that the Anderson Place tracks and the industrial remains we could see were connected. I did, however, remark that the area was an industrial archaeologist’s dream.

Leith

Nature is so powerful. I wonder how long it is has taken for this building to become so wrecked and so overwhelmed.

Leith

Spying Bonnington Bridge I assumed that I was looking at an old bridge but it was built in 1902-3 to replace the one built in 1812. From this distance you can’t see how ugly and just how much the inscription rectangular thing is out of proportion.

Leith

This waterwheel from nearby Bonnington Mills was a pleasure to see. The building behind is the wonderfully named Bonnyhaugh House.

Leith

I have always said that when I leave London I don’t want to move to another city but maybe I can make an exception for Edinburgh. Even on a bleak winter’s day the view down Pilrig Street was lovely.

Leith

On to Bonnington Road and my eye (as always) was caught by an Art Deco building. It used to be a cardboard box factory but it is a shame it is painted in such an uninspired colour.

Leith

After finding a cash machine on Great Junction Street we went the wrong way to find a newsagent which was lucky in terms of photo opportunities. Such as this line of grey tenements with lovely bright number plates.

Leith

Oh look! More Art deco! This time a tatty old cinema. It was once the State and is now a place of worship for the bizarrely named Bishop Climate Ministries.

Leith

On to Ferry Road (we were near a newsagents now) where we discovered that Leith has a jolly impressive public library (and just as impressively it uses the Library of Congress Classification Scheme).

Leith

Opposite the library is J.D. Ross, a tailor’s shop with a beautiful fifties typeface (well, I think it’s from the fifties and I’m not even sure if typeface is the correct terminology for something on a shop front).

Leith

After collecting the Herald on Sunday, we headed back but not before stopping to look the faded but still grand 1986 gable end mural by Tim Chalk, Paul Grime and David Wilkinson.

Leith

This section with the barrels against the wall felt like an ancient discovery.

Leith

We then headed back to mum and dad’s. It was a cold day but that didn’t stop the hour or so’s walk from being highly enjoyable.

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4 Responses to A short walk around Leith

  1. Great natural photography. I was brought up in the first stair,( 210 Bonnington Road), past the coloured cardboard factor. It was called Stevensons Boxmakers, If I remember correctly it closed with no trouble and was changed into flats..Lived there 1938 to 1960 or so.

  2. Ella Veldre says:

    i just loved the pictures of Leith. I worked there 9 years before coming to the USA.
    When I saw th State picture house that brought back memories. The senior
    secretary at my office (I was the junior) loved ancient old Jeannette McDonald
    and Nelson Eddy moves and we’d go there to see them. Our office was t hrough
    Leith Links and then near the docks. Heinz 57 Varieties had to be near the docks.
    Girlfriends and I would walk through the tiny Fox St., saw the whisky maltings (now
    flats) and into Constitution then around on to I think it was Bernard’s Cres and
    around a corner where the Water of Leith was, over a bridge and then through
    ancfient tenements to Great Junction St. I believe the whole area is trendy
    and fashionable now.. The pictures brought back such great memories for me
    and I am glad I worked in Leith from 1951 to 1960. I lived in the south side.
    Many thanks.
    Ella

  3. Hazel says:

    Thanks for your comments. I’m glad they triggered good memories.

  4. Audrey Ratter says:

    My husbands family was from Leith, and for four years we lived on Dudley Avenue. It used to be called Whisky Row because of the sea captains who loved there. My daughter went to Victoria school and my husband and son went to Trinity Academy.

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