The Quilietti Family

The story of a Scots Italian family


For us who live in Edinburgh and who are old enough we can remember the slum buildings which were located at the top end of Leith Street and just down from Princes Street, and this area was called Greenside.  The would-be traveller to Leith may nowadays be daunted by the unpromising and hazardous start to their journey.

Greenside 2013, our ancestors surely would have walked along these old cobbled streets

24 Greenside Place is situated just beside the Tabernacle. This was Emilio Quilietti’s home.

The grimness of Leith started even before the grandeur of Register House was out of sight.  Leith Walk is a long street which traditionally starts right off Princes Street and down to the Foot of the Walk, a very long mile.

Greenside lies on the north-west side of  Calton Hill.   Here lay the populous surburb of Greenside which was built on grounds which belonged to the ‘Carmelities’ or ‘White Friars’, anciently the site of a Chapel dedicated to the Holy Cross.  Near the chapel lay a cross called The Rood of Greenside where it is documented that in 1534 two locals called David Stratoun and Norman Gourley were burned as heretics.  Calton Hill stood behind some 350 feet above sea level and from here the Friars could guard their area with the magnificant views down to the Forth and beyond.

St. James’ and Greenside photographed from above. All gone now.  You can see the burnt-out Theatre sitting beside St. Mary’s R.C. Cathedral.  My family lived in Greenside and St. Mary’s for many years
photographed just before demolition 

At the end of the Napoleonic War Leith Walk was an established carriageway with good houses at the top, cheaper tenements in Greenside where many of the inhabitants had workshops and forges, a sprinkling of timber yards, marble workshops, foundries, flint and crownglass works.  The old waxworks dates back to 1808 at 31 Greenside Street

The population of the City of Edinburgh during the nineteenth century had increased faster than ever before helped by the Highland Clearances, the Potato Famine which not only affected Ireland but also the Scots and also the emigrants which were now starting to appear from Italy, where there Unification caused unseen problems.  In two generations during the middle of the nineteenth century the population had more than doubled.  As soon as the great tenements emptied they were filled up again with twice as many occupants in one room.

Leith’s long history had now abandoned their war wounded and instead of the proud soldiers and sailors marching up from the docks the street was a haven for the injured soldiers and sailors who took to begging to keep themselves alive.

 It was an unsavoury haven for the poor

The public transport system sort of took off at this time as well.  There was at first horse drawn buses followed by horse-trams in 1870.  Cable cars followed in 1899 and electric cable cars in 1910.

Old Greenside

From the 1870s Greenside is steeped in Quilietti and Brattisani family history as is St. Mary’s Cathedral just opposite.

Demolition work started in the Greenside area in April of 1961 by which time our families had all moved out to better housing in the new ‘schemes’ at the outskirts of Edinburgh.

The Greenside flats were nine stories high if you counted the two basement flats which were apparent from the back.  Today there is only one block at the back in Marshall’s Court, and this building was build circa 1933 and was not part of the old grim tenements.

Some famous Greenside Places were

Greenside from Calton Hill

THOMPSON and PORTEOUS Tobacco Factory

The Public Washhouse which was situated at the foot of the Broadly Stairs

LEITCH’S Lemonade Factory

St. Barabas Church and Mission

Fairleys of Leith Street which was the local dance hall.   It was a favourite with servicement both during and after the Second World War.

Of course everyone who is of an age remembers with great fondness JEROMES the photographers.

On Calton Hill on Greenside Row there was a tunnel cellar called THE MIDDEN DOOR where the scavvy kept his barrow and broom.  This was one of the meeting places where the locals would sit and have a chat.

Old Leith Walk looking towards Greenside at the right

Then of course there was the Salon Picture House in Greenside Place where they would famously show all the B rated movies.   This was a cheap form of entertainment and the picture house was always full and always full of fleas.

The Salon

“The Salon had benches in the front rows and an usher kept tracks of when we came in, so at precisely the time when we were about to see the film second time round we were tossed out the back door – to the infamous Greenside area.”

At the back of the Salon stood the Pensioner’s Hall which was affectionately called The Dump.  Locals gathered here and there were local bands who would play.  The Omonds from Greenside were one such band which played on a Saturday night.

a map of old Greenside 1880 showing the narrow lanes and the drying green situated at the rear

Next to St. Mary’s stood the Theatre Royal.   On Saturdays the Actors and Actresses would attend the theatre for rehearsals and this would cause a great fuss with the local children.

Also on Saturdays a ‘Mission’ Band would play at the bottom of Little King Street.   All the children joined in the hymns.  If they all sung loud enough they got a penny at the end of the meetings.

On Leith Street and Greenside Place there were lots of shops.   Jackson’s the Taylors, Littlejohn’s the Bakers and Anneker’s the cold meat shop.  There were not one, but two Duncan’s sweets’s shops in this part of Leith Street.

There was even a wee museum called the Creepy Waxworks Museum.

Down in Greenside there was a Cigarette Factory and the girls who worked there came  into Barnetts for stockings which cost a shilling a pair.

photographed just before demolition
Probably taken circa 1950s

Calton Hill

“Calton Hill became very much ‘off-limits’ in 1953, following the murder of two small girls in the Greenside area at the back of the Playhouse cinema.

Calton Hill was also a great playground for the local boys and girls of course and they would play with their guiders


“Our first mode of transport was the forerunner to the formula 1 racing car, the ‘Guider’. It was a self-built vehicle, built from anything we could get hold of and propelled by kneeling on it and shoving it along from behind with one of your feet.

The prototypes were made of a few planks of wood, a cross-member whittled down, a piece of string which was our steering and four ball bearings for wheels. Where we stole the ball bearings from I cant remember, but they did the job. The onlyproblem was that you could hear us speeding down Elm Row from a mile off!

We then progressed and modernized our “Guider”, by stealing prams and removing the wheels  –  similar to today’s trend, but today its with cars. Times haven’t changed so much after all, have they?

Anyway, our suped-up vehicles were now silent and we rocketed down Elm Row bowling over anything and anyone in our path. The only problem was that we never did devise ways of stopping them, nor a method of self-propelling those vehicles back up the hill. We had to walk, dragging this thing behind us and start again from the top.

Mind you, those self-built thingys turned out to be useful to our parents too. We were told to pick up the shopping  or drive it to Abbeyhill goods railway station for a bag of coal. Not so bad getting there, but, the journey back was a bit heavy going.

So much for the ‘guider’.  I never knew why it was called that. It was never really guided, just aimed down a hill.”

Demolition time of Picardy Roundabout late 1960s

For both the Quilietti family and the Brattisani family Nos. 24 and No. 9 Greenside Place were our families homes for many years.  Then St. James Place opposite, just where John Lewis goes up the Hill today is where Emilio’s sons and their families started off.  No. 9 Greenside Place in the 1960s had Napiers Sho Repair Shop as one of the shops on the street level of the tenement. If anyone reading this has any photos of this tenement please be in touch.

By 1900 the top o’ the Walk was looking somewhat different from today.  There were twenty two pubs in the triangle between Leith Street and York Place, while the supper-rooms [today’s fish and chip shops] were pale by comparison with the up to date ice cream shops of the day.  [When Emilio Quilietti died in 1898 he had 8 ice cream shops].  There were dairies too with polished zinc counters and Littlejohn’s tea room who were famous for its shortbread.  On the steps down to the Low Calton the new Black Bull, which had succeeded the old coaching Inn across the road.   Above the door was a Bull’s head with eyes which lit up at night.

1950s Leith Street

Two tobacconists shops advertised their wares with life sized wooden figures at the door.   One was a Highland soldier taking snuff.   Today he is housed in the Huntly House Museum dressed in a dark green tartan kilt and red jacket.  The other figue is of a sergeant in the Black Watch and it came from Henry Thomson’s shop.


In the future someone else may write about the many changes of recent times and the changing face of Greenside which is today unrecognisable.  We wonder what Emilio and Valentina Quilietti would have though about the two giraffes who stand where they used to live.

No. 24 Greenside Place still stands in the form of C.C. Blooms, the gay nightclub.   So remember if you ever frequent No. 24 and you see a ghostly shape, it may be your great grandfather Emilio Quilietti quietly watching over you.

now demolished St. James’ Place

All the above facts were remembered by Barbara Guthrie who was born in the year 1922 in Greenside, the year before my own dad Joseph Quilietti was born there.  Joe was born in Greenside.

Now if you have read all the above then open up this link and you will find some very interesting Edinburgh words and see if these will bring back some

If we go on some sixty years we find ourselves at the top o’ the walk and familiar shops and cafe’s.   The most famous of the chippie’s was of course the Deep Sea Restaurant.   Nestled on the Island just in front of St. Mary’s on Union Place.    Next door was the famous Bandparts.   If you wanted any music it was there you would go.  And the Central Cafe’ was one or two doors  up from Bandparts.

There were public toilets here as well.   Moir’s Bar was situated where the John Lewis corner is today.   This was reputed to be where the ladies of the night would ply their trade, especially when the fleet was in.

Further up the hill was Burtons.  It was a grand structure a testament to the 20’s.  John Collier was another Taylor.   Everyone would get their suits made to measure then.   No off-the-peg then.


There was an upper balcony where another set of shops and restaurants were nestled.   The Top-Deck Restaurant was a well known establishment which sold reasonably priced food to hungry Saturday afternoon shoppers.    The Top Storey was also situated here.   It was a club of the 60s where many local Bands would play.  No drinking allowed of course.

Leith Street

Shoe shops were also plentiful in the area with Stead and Simpsons and Easiphit situated on the same side of the street as Burtons.

Opposite was the famous Edinburgh photographers where everyone went to have their photos taken.   It was of course Jerome’s.


If only we had all their negatives, what a website that would make.   Just think of the history of Edinburgh in the faces of her children throughout the decades.   I wonder what happened to their archives!

Right next door was the infamous Fairley’s ballroom.    It was a haunt of the sailors who were out on the town.   But many marriages were also made here including my own aunt and uncle.   Carel was a merchant seaman.   On a night out in town he caught the eye of our Betty.   They have been happily married for 65 years now and living in Holland.

Fairleys in all her glory.

Another Tailor called Jackson’s was just across the street from the pub situated underneath Fairleys.    You could in the 60s have a made to measure suit for around £11 I am told!!!  Above Jackson’s was a snooker hall called McLaughlans where the locals would spend many a Saturday evening enjoying their game.

There was another night spot called The Imperial which had an even worse reputation than Fairleys.

The Playhouse which had been completely restructured in 1929 stood at 18-22 Greenside Place,  just next door to where my own grandad was born and my great grandparents lived, which was No. 24 Greenside Place.    Today this address is called CC Blooms and it is a gay nightclub.  Everytime I pass this spot I have a silent thought for my ancestors.

Union PLACE.  No. 11 was a Quilietti/Brattesani refreshment room for many years.  Also along this stretch was also home to the Deep Sea Restaurant and the famous Bandparts

But the Playhouse now re-built could seat over 3000 people.  When it was built it was the largest and  most opulent cinema ever to be built in Scotland and the 4th largest in Britain.  It was the first super cinema.   In 1929 Variety was very much a part of the cinema experience.  Opening on the ‘Glorious Twelfth’ of August, 1929, the Playhouse originally seated 3,040. These were made up of 1,500 seats in the Stalls (coloured crimson, costing 1/3), 680 in the circle (coloured purple, costing 2/4), and 860 in the balcony (coloured old gold, costing 1/- in the front, 9d in the back).There were tea rooms on two floors, plus a tea, coffee and soda fountain lounge .The building is said to be haunted by a ghost called Albert, a man in a grey coat who appears on level six accompanied by a sudden chill in the air. He is variously said to have been either a stagehand who was killed in an accident or a night-watchman who committed suicide.

Picardy Place has it’s own place also in the history of our city.   Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes was born here.   His descendants on both sides of his family were from Ireland and he was born in Edinburgh on May 22nd 1859.

So far as the record extends, Arthur’s grandfather John Doyle was a tailor’s son who started professional life as an equestrian artist in Georgian Dublin. He won commissions from aristocratic patrons, including Lord Talbot, Lord Lieutenant during a politically turbulent period from 1817 to 1821, and the Second Marquess of Sligo.

One thing is indisputable—the Doyles were devout Roman Catholics. Both John Doyle’s sisters became nuns, and his brother James trained as a priest. As the Catholic journal The Month noted, John was the only child of the family who remained “in the world,” and with this situation came a certain austerity.  In 1820 he married Marianna Conan, whose father also worked as a tailor in the Dublin Rag Trade.

EDINBURGH from Calton Hill
The back of Greenside had her own wee streets.  This one was Queen’s Place
This eery photograph encapulates the dampness of Scotland
Year 1915 the tenants of 24 Greenside Row, including Peter Brattesani
3 Greenside Place, Sante Brattesani, Refreshment Room Keeper
1905 – 3 Church Street, Greenside, Sante Brattesani
Another auld map

155 Responses to “EDINBURGH Greenside”

  1. Mary Cesare says:

    My granny lived in Queens Place and my mother worked at Leitch’s lemonade factory. I would dearly love to find an old photograph of that factory. Does anybody know where I might find one? The factory seems to have disappeared without trace in the late 1960’s.

  2. Sheena Robertson says:

    Hi Dientje I married johnny and we live in fife. I remember you and Jeanette, how is she?
    Johnny went. To London st and Bellevue as well. He remembers all the McGhee
    Family well. Sorry to say his sister Mary. Died in 2007. Would welcome any news you have of people from these days

  3. Jim Brown says:

    I stayed in Greenside Row till I was 5 years old I remember my mother talking about the robertsons.? My dad was a bus driver & when he was in hospital getting a operation the Robertsons went round the houses collecting food for my mother as i remember her crying at the door when she was handed the box full of food ! we were poor but the neighbours always looked after one another?

  4. james wilkins says:

    I servered my time as a Blacksmith in the mid 60’s at A.T..Borwn’s which was situated at the bottom of the steps beside Lady Glenorcy Church

  5. mary meiklejohn says:

    Hi to Mary McGhee,

    My gran, also Mary, was born in 1923 to Eva & Charles Mcghee so she must have been your aunt. I would be greatful for any info on the family as Mary died shortly after my mum was born and we dont know the mcghee side at all.


  6. Mary McGhee says:

    For Mary Meiklejohn, I have a lovely photo of your grandmother given to me by our cousin Maureen along with some other information about our family which I would be happy to share with you. You can contact me on my email, Looking forward to hearing from you. Mary

  7. Hilda Shaw says:

    Hello Loved reading all you have here and wondered if there is anyone knows of my Grandparents who had a couple of shops in Greenside at one time, I believe from around the late 30’s up until my Granddads death in 1955 it was then run by their daughter Daisy until the place was shut sometime in the early 1960’s I think . My Granddads name was JACK WALLER and my grandmother was Margaret Mary Waller they originally had a wine & fruit shop and next door a General Grocers shop but by the late 1940′ they only had the grocers shop left in Greenside , the wine part they moved to shop at Ballgreen at the other side of town . I’m not too sure of all their story but do have fond memories of going to the shop and running around with some of the local kids I remember Easter and her brother Peter I believe, who I think had a nickname of Tapper not sure all distant memories but remember many faces which I often wonder what happened to them all . I was only allowed to play when my granddad was not around so if he went out so did I out into Greenside to play with my new pals . I also remember some sort of test of entry to the gang we had to sneak into the lemonade place at the bottom of Greenside, ( just round into the wee street and on the left hand side of the lane . I had to ‘pinch’ a bottle of juice, I remember being advised to ‘bring your coat’, as ,it was pointed out , had wide sleeves and would house maybe a few bottles in one go . Don’t remember how many I got but remember being terrified and sick with worry if i were to be caught, then doubly worried (scared stiff ) incase my Granddad were to hear of what I had done . I remember a lovely lady named Mrs Foley who had a son called Jimmy she live high above the shop on the opposite side of the street along a terraced bit then up the stairs beside the Sherry bottling place I think it was named ‘Sandimans’ but again not sure . My wee sister remembers more about visiting Greenside than me and can still sing a song about being a Greensider and I think she refers to “Grenside Keelies” with much affection, I must add . My grandparents had another daughter named Jean and a son also named Jack like his dad . I am the illegitimate daughter of the daughter named Daisy but never knew her when really young, I grew up referring to her as ‘Aunty Daisy’ as did my young sister all our lives ! My grandmother and Aunty Jean brought us up down in East Lothian going there as a toddler , from the mid to late 40’s moving from 8a Gayfield Square where I was born and where my grandparents lived. I read in other mail of the family ‘Soso’s’ being mentioned I have fond memories of them too and the Father who I can remember buying the ‘Evening News ” from up at the front of Register House . I can recall handing over a few big old copper pennies and this tall black white haired man with a big smile handing me my grandmothers paper, I give him a thought every time I pass the place all these years later . I remember a wee sweaty shop near the top of Greenside and a few years ago I may have remembered the owners name but I have to be prompted now adays . I do know Greenside was a run down area but my memories are all happy one and still remember the excitement of being told we would be going into Edinburgh ( meaning Greenside ) at the weekend . Happy Days thanks for the memory . Loved reading your story .

  8. Hilda Shaw says:

    I just remembered a verse of the ditty my wee sister used to sing about Greenside , this may be the chorus , ” We are the Greenside Swells , We know how to dress ourselves , We know all our manners & spend all our tanners , ……. We are the Greenside Swells !!” Must ask my sister when she is in better health, if she remembers more of it . I remember dressing our shop window ( the store room one to the left of the door way ), for the coronation with a coronation coach & horses ,with red white and blue crepe paper & Union Jacks , just popped into my head this minute! Our shop was quite dark as I remember with smells of tobacco ( cigarettes sold as singles as well as five in a pack ) names like ‘Woodbine ‘,’ Craven A’,’ Blackcat’ as well as the trio of Capstain Players and Senior Service, my grandmother like a smoke to but we did not sell her one she smoked DeMourier, ( not sure about the spelling ) they came in a nice wee flat pinkish coloured box opened like a hinged box to one side wrapped in thin silver paper . We had a big red slicer for the ham and corn beef which got wrapped in greaseproof paper there was a deep potato box they came with lots of earth too, there was a silver thrupenny (three old penny worth coin) nailed to the counter which my Granddad used to think was amusing to watch folk try and pick up ( I always thought he was horrible when he laughed about it ), and a wee square bit of glass in the wall that you could keep an eye on the shop from the back room . maybe my Grandparents stayed in the shop at one time now that I think about it . Also will just add, I remember the murder of the two wee girls by Paddy Lynch in the early 50’s and the feelings that went with it at the time it was so so sad and folks were angry it was frightening to think of it happening in Greenside . I know that Jean & daisy went to London road School and Broughton after that but my Uncle Jack was sent away to be educated down in England where both grandparents came from around the turn of the Century although my Grandmother was of Scottish roots. If anyone knows of them Id love to hear as I don’t know much about there story think my Granddad could have been a bit of a lad as I have heard some tales so far so don’t worry what it is I would just love to know . Thanks again kindest regards HS

  9. Helen says:

    Fantastic memories. Thank you for posting. Lets see what responses come in. Helen

  10. Diana Kesser says:

    I just received my grandfathers marriage certificate. He got married in 1860 at St. Cuberts. It shows he lived at No. 8 Queens Place in Greenside. He was a tailor.

  11. Diana Kesser says:

    I just recieved the marriage certificate of my grandfather James Wilson who lived at No. 8 Queens Place in Greenside in 1860. He was a tailor.

  12. Al Love says:

    My Granny Main my Mums Mother lived at 9 Queens Place from around 1914 till her death ,my Grandad was killed in 1917 WW1 along the balcony on the first flat were the Mackies, not sure of the spelling, in the next stair were the Loves no relation to me there was Billy and George opposite them were Rab and Hendry Fraser on the top flat, Willie Wood lived at the entrance to Simpsons Court Rab Hendry and Willie Wood were In my class at London St. School, My future Wife Betty McKail lived in Marshalls Court she is no longer here, I remember Jimmy Blackie lived at back of Lady Glenorchys in a sort of square Billy McGovern lived down in that area to, also the McCallums I would stay with my Granny at the weekends, on a Sunday the older Guys would play Pitch and Toss and young kids would watch for the Polis. My Sister and I attended Sunday School at Greenside Parish Church and when we came out we would go up the Calton Hill and shout down to my Granny. M y Granny used to go to the Jug Bar of the Argyle Bar and I remember a big white Dog would sit at the top of Greenside Row. Another name that comes to mind is Carl Soso again am not sure of the spelling MEMORIES all good.and I just remember there was to me at the time an elderly Gentleman live beneath my Granny Tim Dolan was his name and he once gave my Granny his collection of Ship Halfpennys to give to me.

  13. Helen says:

    HI Al. What a great post, such memories and names you have to share with us today. Thank you so much for sending. Perhaps the families will read this post and leave a comment. Do you have any photos to share

  14. Al Love says:

    Sorry Helen we were too poor and too young to afford such luxuries as a Camera in fact I remember getting half a roll with what my Granny called Best Butter.

  15. Jill Parker says:

    I’m still trying to find a family connection between my grannies aunty Annie who lived at 89 dean’s court and the two little girls who were murders by paddy lynch. I hear that it was Lesley nisbit who was the relative. My mum who’s from South queensferry would have been about 13 at the time and Can remember the adults talking in hushed voices about it. Any information would be great
    Thank Thanks

  16. Gillian Haggarty says:

    Really enjoyed reading this. Thank you. I’m currently researching my family tree. On a 1891 census there is an address of 2 Greenside Court.

    The photos are super too!!

    Kindest regards

  17. Alex Dow says:

    The photo labelled “Leith Street”, just before the Jerome photo, is in fact “Leith Walk” generally; and “Elm Row” specifically, between Montgomery Street and London Road.

  18. Loved all stories Greenside I stayed at No 2 Glenorchy Place Greenside Row

  19. Margaret Shiels (NZ) says:

    I lived at number 20 Greenside Row (Margaret Smith) and went to London Street and Bellevue School. Arrived Greenside about 1949 and left 1962. The Robertson lived above us and the Bogies above the Robertsons. Old Mrs Hall lived in the same stair as us. Our window looked out on to the washing lines and Cuddy lane was at the side of the wash lines. I was told that the milkman’s horse lived down in Cuddy lane. The McGees live further down the Row and I think it was their sister and her husband that owned the shop on the corner of Queens Place further up the Row. I remember at the top of the Row there was a shop that you had to go down some stairs to get. Then further down the Row opposite some Terrace (can’t remember the name) there were 2 or 3 shops a butcher and can’t remember the others. Then the McGees corner shop and opposite them was a second hand furniture shop. Then half way down but before the big square we all played rounders in was another shop. I don’t know why but I think there might have been a shop up a stair first floor. Then there was a shop right next door to 20 Greenside Row and that was where I spent any monies I had on ‘penny’ drink of lemonade. I also remember the seniors hall at the very bottom of the Row because when they had concerts if there was room they let us in for nothing. I know Greenside was classed as a slum but women took pride in cleaning their door step and keeping the kids clean. I had a great childhood there playing kick the can, truth dare promise or repeat, peever beds using my dads black tin of polish to push with my foot into each box.And of course rounders using the thick end of an orange box and 1 small ball. We spent most of our 6 weeks holiday from school morning to night playing rounders. Great fun. Sometimes a group of us would walk to Abbeyhill swings (the locals hated us because we took over the swing park).
    I also remember the policeman used to take us across Leith Street because it was so busy!!!
    Now living in New Zealand but often come back and yes I walk down Greenside trying to place everything.

  20. Helen says:

    Thanks for posting Margaret, what a very interesting post. Fantastic memories

  21. Helen says:

    You remember so very much, even the names and addresses. Thanks for sharing this very interesting wee bit of the Greenside History.

  22. Margaret Shiels (NZ) says:

    We lived on the ground floor of 20 Greenside and yes I remember the Robertsons. My mum Mrs Smith used to borrow 2/6d from your mum on Tuesday (family benefit day( and pay it back to her on Friday when dad got paid. Do you remember Mrs Hall who used to live next door to you she only came there at the week ends and her gran daughter Pat. I remember having a street party for the Coronation.
    Great reading all the comments and brings back lots of lovely memories. Margaret Smith was my maiden name. I live in New Zealand.

  23. WillanHunter says:

    I lived. at 16 Greenside Place until 1935 when we moved to Stenhouse Avenue West my Grandmother live in the same stair
    I can remember the lady who used to sit on a stool and play records on a gramaphone outside the Playhouse also remembet trace horses using the water trough I am now going on 87

  24. Helen says:

    Great memories William Wonder if you remember any of the Quilietti family. They also lived at Greenside and St. James’ PLACE

  25. Vivian Henderson says:

    Al Love – my great uncle was born in 9 Queens Place in 1879!

  26. James Mackie says:

    Just came across this page, and had to spend time looking at those incredible photos. Read the comments and came across the family name mentioned by Al Love. Spelling was spot on btw.
    I was born in No. 2 Queens Place, on the 8th of August 1953.and am so glad to have found this site, those photos, and my own family name.
    I am now just weeks short of my 65th, and reside in Almere, The Netherlands.

  27. I am on holiday at my sisters and we were remembering our childhood in Greenside. My granny Mrs Watt lived in Simpsons court and her house was used a hideout when the police came on Sunday while my dad and his brothers (Jimmy, John and Henry) played football. We lived in 30 Greenside Row our great grandfather Mr Gray lived above us. The dDerigettis lived on our landing. We used to play with the mccallums, Anna blackie and Eileen Clarke does anyone remember my family.

  28. Helen says:

    thanks for your comment Catherine. Was great to hear your memories. The Derigettis have connections with our family. Great to hear from you. Hope you find some of your Granny’s neighbours

  29. Helen says:

    Thanks James for your comment. It is good to know that you are enjoying the memories. Hope you can find some neighbours who remember your family

  30. Susan Kelly says:

    My Great grandfather, James Smith, lived at 9 Queens Place from at least 1915 until at last 1920.

  31. Jacqueline Lochhead says:

    Looking for information about Catherine Allison or Smith who was living at 9 Greenside Place in 1940.

  32. Margaret Dickson says:

    Hi, What a wonderful account of this area in days gone by. I’ve just found out that my great uncle lived in 12 Queens Place, Greenside, according to the 1901 Census, with his wife Rose and children, Alexander, Jemima, Jane, William and Charles. His name was William Lee (or Lees). Does anyone recall any Lee/Lees from the area?

  33. Ken MacKenzie says:

    What a wonderful website.
    Members of my family lived in #4 Glenorchy Place, off Greenside Row, until they left for New York in August 1871.
    Any chance that you may have some photos of Glenorchy Place?

  34. Helen says:

    Will have a search for you thank you for your coment

  35. Frances Jardine says:

    I am just delighted to come across this fantastic website.

    My Great Great Grandfather, William Wemyss (Coachman) and Great Great Grandmother, Grace Yeaman were married at the Greenside Parish Church on the 9th September, 1839 and their residential address at that time was:

    No. 24 Greenside Place.

    Their children were Grace (1840), Elizabeth (1842), Isabella (1845-1847), Ellen (1847), Wilhelmina (1850), William Scott (1853, my Great Grandfather), Isabell (1855, died young), Catherine Gray (1857) and George Heriot (1860).

    William’s father’s name was Alexander and Grace’s father’s name was Joseph.

    In 1866 the family travelled on the ‘Star of India’ to Hobson’s Bay, Victoria, Australia and all settled in the Melbourne area. I think the older children must have come over earlier because the only Wemyss’s on that passenger list are William, Grace, Catherine and William Scott.

    My husband and I, together with our daughter travelled to Edinburgh last year and visited the Greenside Parish Church and found where we thought 24 Greenside Place had been. Someone told us it had been demolished. Now I notice that it is actually still standing and is currently CC Blooms. Now I want to return and take a walk through that building and maybe some of my ancestors will make themselves known to me.

    Thankyou so much for this opportunity to share.

  36. Kathleen Rogers says:

    Very interesting website! I love reading these stories.

    My granny Cummings was born 11 Queen’s Place in 1902

  37. Steven Derighetti says:

    Hi. My grandfather was Vincent Derighetti and used to run the Deep sea restaurant ne died in 1961.. his wife Margaret was my granny and the had two flats to house their 17 kids…

  38. Helen says:

    Thank you for leaving this comment. There is a connection with the family somewhere and I know my aunty Jeanette Quilietti knows someone from your family. I will have a. Hat with her sometime soon.

  39. May addison says:

    Just found this interesting website while browsing about Leith. My G.G.grandparents were married in 1847 at Greenside parish church, there address was 7 Greenside street and 31 Greenside street. My G.G grandfather was a victual dealer and my G.G.grandmothers father was a coachman. I cant find a Greenside street and wondered if anyone knows of it.and is there a picture of the church. The minister was a William Glover of Greenside street.

  40. Rhona Cruickshank says:

    What a wonderful site. My 3x great-mother, Isobell Wilkie, lived at 1 Queens Place with her parents until she married Alexander Dickson in 1815. Her father, Alexander Wilkie was a Wright.

  41. Frances Jardine says:

    Responding to May Addison July 2020.
    In 1839 My G.G. Grandparents were also married at the Greenside Parish Church. On the Marriage Certificate it states that they were both from 24 Greenside Street, Greenside Parish, Edinburgh.
    I also have not been able to find Greenside Street and wonder whether it might have been where Greenside Row is or Greenside Place. The minister presiding at the wedding in 1839 was a James K Hay
    My G.G. Grandfather was a coachman and my Great Grandmother’s father worked as a mason.

  42. Thomas Cairns says:

    My Grandad and Granny lived in 1 Queens Place as my Grandad was in the Army about 1942 and served in the Seaforth Highlanders. They lost a daughter Margaret who dies at about 3 years old. Any one remember them, please contact me. Grandad was called Tommy Gilchrist Cairns and my Gran was called Catherine Cairns. We do not live in Edinburgh now but still live in uk. Many thanks.

  43. Lena Robertson says:


    You mentioned a lovely memory of a tall black man with white hair whom you bought newspapers from … he was my Grandad John Soso and was married to my Granny Jessie My Mum was Carole Soso and her brother was John Soso and lived at 8 Greenside Row. I would be grateful for any more information or pictures.
    Many thanks

  44. Helen says:

    how lovely to hear from you. I have made your comment public and hopefully we will get some more responses. Thank you. Helen

  45. RONALD FRASER says:

    My family lived at 16 Greenside place from 1930 until my grandmother died in 1961. I was born their in 1947. It was lovely reading about Greenside and the way it was. I spent many days going to the Deep Sea Chip Shop in the 50s chatting with Jonnie. Was the sweet shop at the top on the corner Morganti’s? Also listening to the latest records in the booths in the music shop. The Salon Cinema has very happy memories of Saturday morning matinees. The playhouse was too expensive for us tykes. Went to London Street school and later Broughton.High. Visited leith walk 2 years ago and was devastated to see the mess they have made of the place. If that is progress they can keep it.

  46. Alexandra Duncan nee Simpson says:

    I was the youngest child of 6 2 brothers and 3 sister John Helen James Margaret Edith and me my mother and father were John and Margaret (Peggy) Simpson I was born at number 10 St James Street in 1942 left to get married in 1963 I was married at Greenside Church or Lady Glenorchy as it was known now the Glass House Hotel.
    John Soso was in my sister class at London Street.
    I have many memories of Greenside as I had friend from school who lived there in my class.
    Margaret Sheils I had cousins whose name was Shiels their mother was my fathers sister her maiden name was Simpson but cannot remember her Christian name she had 2 sisters Mary and Agnes and my father John there was another brother James but he died in the Great War.
    I am now the last of my family of 6 and I live in GODMANCHESTER England

  47. Alexandra Duncan says:

    I remember The deep sea fish and chips I only know it was owned by the Mr and Mrs Crolla they had a daughter Pearl a son Johnny and a younger daughter cannot remember her name but she went the Sacred Heart Convent School this was all in the 1950s .
    I do remember the family Derigetti but not with Deep Sea.
    There was another fish and chip shop up from Bandparts we used to call it Bosseye not sure of spelling next to that was a large ice cream parlour run by four Italian ladies called the Moran sisters.
    Round the corner opposit The Cathedral was the Dolls Hospital and some sort of surgical shop also another ice cream shop and Meiklejohns grocers.

  48. Helen says:

    Thank you for adding your memories Alexandra. I am sure they will be appreciated by those you knew

  49. RONALD FRASER says:

    The chip shop up from the Deep Sea was the Central Fish Bar. Much bigger than the Deep Sea but the chips were not as good!

  50. Lindsay Ferri says:

    Alexandra, Pearl is my mother in law! The other daughter was an older daughter by the name of Josephine. Josephine has passed but Pearl’s family still own the current deep sea chip shop that sits in Antigua street. I think the photo that’s labelled as Leith Street could possibly be Elm Row looking down Leith Walk though as I currently live there and the house structures match up perfectly.

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