Saturday, 2 July 2011


They seemed to be going a bit canny with the demolition work at Victoria Road when this photo was taken on 19 Feb 1988. Perhaps this was the "snaffling the lead tiles off the roof" phase or something!
Anyway, the area in shot stretches from the Butcher on the left (#24) to the Knitting Centre on the right (#38).
I can't make out all the shops but the Central Cafe is there, also Chima, who sold saris and suchlike.
I remember in the mid 60's the 2 Chima daughters were the first Asians to enrol at Balerno Primary School, with Ravi Chima coming into my class.
The other feature in the picture is the lamppost at the top of Wellgate steps, referred to as the Bobbys Helmet.
And if you are in a particularly silly mood, you could do a double take and view the photo through surreal eyes where you might be able to see a wee gnome repairing the inside of the light!
Photo by Neale Elder.


  1. You got a "bespoke" gang jumper from that knitting centre, mainly Hulltoon(black & green)at that end of the toon, there was also a wee specialist bookshop if remember correctly that "allegedly" sold exotic mags in broon paper bags, well, so i was told :)

  2. Does anyone remember a second-hand record and book shop on the north side of Victoria Road a bit up from this viewpont? I used to go there a bit in the late 60's.

  3. It was R.Smith Record Exchange at #72, and was there till early 1970's.

  4. My memory may be playing tricks on me, but didn't the Knitting Centre survive the initial stages of demolition work? I have a vague recollection of the shop still being on the Victoria Road (albeit possibly shut) well into the 1990s, as I'm sure I used to pass it on the bus home, although it may have moved up the road a bit by then (possibly within the shops on the corner of Forebank Road?). Of course, it's long gone now!

  5. I remember the bookshop, it was there from the fifties, when my dad used to take us there to buy American comics, DC, Marvel etc. They exchanged these as well, they were very well thumbed original imports but the wear added to the cache of the horror titles particularly. The man who owned the shop was very quiet and smoked a pipe constantly, he was really nice to us kids though. My gran lived in the close next to the pend in the picture, until she was 'decanted' to a flat in the bottom of the hill multis. The viccie road flat didn't have a bathroom but it was spacious and had a big coal fired range in the kitchen. We used to watch the student processions from the 'big room' overlooking the viccie and throw coins (dangerous!). Gran was never happy in the multi, it had all mod cons, but no soul.

  6. Yip, the bookshop had a great display of comic/mags etc, its all coming back now :-)