The History of Leith

March 20, 2007

I need your Support


Below is the letter I sent to the “Letters page” of the “Edinburgh Evening News” If you agree with what I wrote could you please let me know and I will let the Edinburgh City Council know the degree of opposition to this decision.

Dear Sir/Madam

I have just read Brian Ferguson’s article concerning Lambs House in the Evening News March 20th 2007 and I am shocked and disgusted at the decision to turn it into more luxury flats. The degree of lack of imagination is completely appalling and in my opinion the quicker this Council goes bag and baggage the better.

They have failed to realise that for over sixty years Leith has tried to get a Leith Museum and instead of using Lambs House for such a project which would bring in thousands of visitors every year they go for the easy option more luxury homes for the well heeled they should hang their head in shame.

I am a Leither and a Leith Historian and I totally oppose this shameful folly on our heritage. Perhaps if Edinburgh Castle was controlled by the Council they would turn that into flats for a few extra coppers.


John Arthur
12/3 Craigmillar Castle Road
EH16 4AR


I am with you 110% on this.

That a community with such an important history should have no museum of its own is shocking. Up and down the country there are numerous small towns which have their own museum telling their story. Why does Leith not have a museum? IS it that, despite having a very individual character it is often treated as just another suburb of Edinburgh?

The last thing we need is another historic building turned into flats. How long before Leith changes its name to Yuppyville?

Good on you for speaking out.


Dear Mr Arthur,
What a coincidence to get an e-mail from you today. I had just been thinking about you. I don’t know if you remember doing a search for me on the Dalgleish family. You had told me that Agnes Paterson’s parents were James Paterson and Christian Lockhart who maried April 24, 1797 at S. Leith Church and there we got stuck.
I have recently found Agnes age 30 and her children ages 9, 7 & 4 in the 1841 census at Baltic Street with a James & Jane Paterson both aged 65. Beside Agnes’s name it looks like it says wife of J. Dalgleish who has deserted her. I have also found Agnes’s death registration and her father is listed as James Paterson spirit merchant and mother Jane m/s Kilpatrick. Would there be a record of a marriage of this Jane Kilpatrick & James Paterson at S. Leith church? The 1841 census said that he was born in Midlothian and she was born outside of Midlothian. Is it possible that Jane is a 2nd wife of James?
I feel like I am actually getting somewhere with this family now. Does Baltic St. still exist?
I looked up Lamb’s House and I hope that the council will come to their senses and keep it for a museum. It looks like a builing with a lot of history. It is sad that so much of our heritage is lost for the sake of monetary gain.
Best of luck
Liz Carter

I agree. Converting space and historic buildings into ‘luxury flats’ – what sort of environment effects will that have on the habitant? something very similar to the concrete jungle of the late past. Also tourists are attracted by history and culture not by crammed up sardine style luxury flats.


Sounds like a good story for the Gazette…as usual, leave it with me and we’ll chase it up and probably speak to you as well!

Thanks, John.


The Leith Gazette


Personally, I would be happy to sign a petition. I can add this to the agenda of the Leith Central Community Council.




Well said. I will try to get a letter in also. Will be away ’til saturday
but but would appreciate meeting up to talk about this, perhaps getting a
campaign going to win hearts and minds.

Rob Munn
SNP Candidate Leith

Dear Arthur,

Mark is very interested in this, and would be happy to do some work on it. Would you like us to put down a motion (it won’t be debated as the election is too soon – but it will be a bit of support for the campaign).

Are you having any meetings?

If so, Mark would be delighted to attend and speak.


Peter McColl
Parliamentary Assistant and Researcher to Mark Ballard MSP
Room MG10
The Scottish Parliament
EH99 1SP

Tel: 0131 348 6419 (RNID Typetalk Calls Welcome)
Fax: 0131 348 5972
Email: Peter.McColl@Scottish.Parliament.UK

Mark Ballard, Lothian MSP, is Green Parliamentary Portfolio holder on Transport and Finance and Public Services

Councillor Cardownie has asked me to thank you very much for your
e-mail, a copy of which he read in the Evening News. He is still
firmly in favour of the establishment of a museum for Leith and will
pursue all possibilities.

Cathy Fullerton
Business Manager
SNP Group
Tel: 0131 529 4054
Fax: 0131 529 4080

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