Leith Streets as we knew them of the 1950s
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The Alhambra on the corner of Leith Walk and Springfield Street


Henderson Street

Stretches from Great Junction Street right down to Coalhill and Tolbooth Wynd.  It passed the old Kirkgate Church, now demolished with the new South Leith church hall in its place.

The tenements are still intact at this end where Lannie`s ice cream shop was.

Passing St Anthony Street you had St Mary`s Primary school.  The building is still there but the school transferred to the Links Place.  On the opposite side there is still Henderson Street Gardens and the tenements of Henderson Gardens.

Crossing over Spiers Place there was a little painter and decorators shop and next to it Nellie Dickson`s sweetie shop.

A stair then the Store butcher run by Frank.  The baker`s shop and next to it the grocery dept.  A further stair and then Hunter`s accumulator shop.  On the corner was the Edinburgh and Dumfriesshire Dairy.  Going round you came to Joe Muir`s newsagent.  Finally Flanagan`s pub.

Opposite this was Joe di Ponios fish and chip shop and next to this Jack Hayne`s cycle shop.

Carrying on down you passed J.G.Thomsons Bonded Warehouse, `The Vaults` right opposite the Broad Pavement with Conboys the wine merchant and Myles Dolan`s pub.  On Parliament St. there was a small general store, Kate Simpsons. The mens lodging house.

Crossing St Andrew Street you came on the Band of Hope.  From here the rest of the consisted  of shops and stairs.
A chip shop; a small drapery run by Biddy Bell; Greig, newsagent, Coats thechemist and a shoe repairer.  Don`t know the details.

Similarly, on the other side you had a small printers shop on the corner; Dalgleish our Johnny aw things, Bay Horse pub; Spence sweet and veg; two barber shops, Fred Galletta and Roche. Barr`s butcher. Mr Whiteley the dairy and two further shops.  There was also a boarded up entrance that used to lead to an old picture house. Then at the end was a shop owned by an Indian, Cam Dinh.  His daughter, Margaret was among our friends.

















Spiers Place from Henderson Street.


The Shore

The Shore ran from the bottom of Henderson Street right down to the Dock Gates.  A shop on the corner then the Labour Exchange or as we called it, the Burroo.  Crossing over was a tenement with some shops; one of them was Mazzaro`s fish and chip shop.  One of the daughters who ran it was Lizzie.  Then came Broad Wynd.  I think this led up to Lamb`s House. Other shops and premises I remember were-

The Drawbridge Bar; R&D Slymons; Mrs Skivington`s restaurant; T McDonald`s shop; Montgomery`s sea faring supplier and Peggy Lennys.  The King`s Wark or aka the Jungle was and is on the corner of Bernard Street.

Crossing over Bernard Street was Jackie Gillon`s barber shop on the corner with the clock tower above it.  Next to him was Crawfords tearooms.  Moving down was Galloways engineering business; Ship Hotel; Then was a new building that contained the offices of the National Union of Seamen and Social Security.  Before this was built there was an older building where all the Inging Johnnies stayed; Mrs Spence`s shop; Imperial Hotel; Finally on the corner was the Tower Tavern below the clock tower.  No 2 was the stair below the tower.

Crossing Tower Street was the Sailors Home now the Malmaison Hotel.  At the end of Tower Street was the North British Cold Storage.

All this time we had the Water of Leith making its way out to the Forth.

Thanks to Kathleen Cookson, Leith for filling in some of this.



























Henderson Street towards the Shore


Leith Walk (East Side) from Dalmeny Street to Jamieson Place

From my husband Tommy's memory who lived in Buchanan Street until 1958 he recalls going down Leith Walk from the corner of Dalmeny Street where the Clydsdale Bank had a branch; next was Higgisons the newsagents; Fishmonger; Miss Edwards - Fruiterer; then a sweet shop.

Then Storie's the baker - who didn't like their rolls? Possibly another fruiterer, a clothes shop and a pub on the corner of Jamieson Place.  Cross the road was the Post office.  In Jamieson Place itself at the end was Gibsons the coachbuilder.


Lilian Graham, Portobello
E-mail:topcat38@hotmail.co.uk












Jamieson Place Shows former Post Office


Leith Walk (West Side) Balfour Street to Great Junction Street

Public House; Victoria Rubber Mill; Crawfords Saleroom; Ice Cream Shop; Leather Shop; Billiard Hall; Alhambra Cinema; Leith Co-op; Paint manufacturer; Springfield Street; Fyffes Banana Depot; Steads Place; Harburn Hobbies; Mrs Ramsay`s dairy shop on the corner beneath rail bridge at Jane Street.  Unionist Rooms; Stairs to tenement flats and other shops I can`t recall names to.

Leith Walk (East Side) Jamieson Place Street to Duke Street
Post Office; Bobby Combe`s (Hibs player) general grocer; Danish Bacon Company; bookie; bus depot; Bertrams; Evening Dispatch Office; Evening New Office; Lawries Travel Agency; Central Bar.  Many more. Am awaiting your input

Ferry Road and Streets off it (South Side) North Junction Street to Newhaven Road

Berries Pub; Stair; Addison the plumber;

Ferry Road (North Side) North Junction Street to Newhaven Road


The Wool Shop with the Corner Rooms above it;  a shop; then the Library;


Duke Street  F.o. t. W to Easter Road


Constitution Street

T.B. Campbells: Police Station; St Johns Church; Assembly Rooms; Post Office; Optician; Side entrance to Palace Cinema;


Bernard Street

Various Banks

Commercial Street

Customs House.  Various Whisky Bonds; Stalker marine instrumentation

Coburg Street to Bridge Street


North Junction Street (West Side)

Corner Rooms; Home bakery shop; Garage (Dalziel`s Taxi Depot); tenement; Norwegian Church; David Kilpatricks; two shops including then Prince Regent Street;  Mrs Gourleys general shop

North Junction Street (East Side)


Easter Road and Streets off it

Lochend Road

Pilrig Street and Arthur Street

McIlwraith dentist; Dr Somerville;

Manderston Street

Tolbooth Wynd

Reynolds second hand shop; Salvation Army Mens Hostel; Alexander Drysalter, Jeffreys Drapery; Bowdens Mercantile Tailor: Port o` Leith Motor Boat Club

Looking for inputs to above as well as other streets not yet included



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