Developer turns focus on photos at Fountainbridge

The opening of Fat Sam's in 1986 is set to be displayed at Springside. Picture: Alex Brown

The opening of Fat Sam's in 1986 is set to be displayed at Springside. Picture: Alex Brown

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The heritage of Fountainbridge is to be celebrated with pictures from the past as the area is set for a new £200 million development.

Once home to the famous Fountain Brewery and celebrated as the birthplace of the wellington boot, Fountainbridge has been a vibrant industrial heartland in Edinburgh for centuries.

The first “Welly” is said to have been produced at the North British Rubber Company which lay next to the Union Canal and it is also said to have created 
Britain’s first traffic cones.

In the brewery and rubber company, Fountainbridge held two of the Capital’s industrial powerhouses but the working-class tenements housing the workers – where Hollywood legend Sean Connery was born – were said to have become some of the worst slums in Edinburgh between the 1950s and 60s.

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Now the heritage of the neighbourhood is to be celebrated with the help of our readers.

Grosvenor, the developers behind the Springside project that has already created student accommodation, an apartment block and public square, and the Evening News have teamed up to showcase the area’s past, present and future.

We are urging readers to unearth historic photographs of the neighbourhood that could be displayed on hoardings along the development site on Melvin Walk, alongside images from the Evening News archive.

The first historic image has been unveiled by 
Robin Blacklock, project director at Grosvenor, who said: “The Fountainbridge area is full of rich history that we want to bring back to life. Through forgotten photos or pictures that might have been stored away we hope to unearth more of the local stories that make Fountainbridge’s past so fascinating.

“The hoarding is a celebration of the area’s heritage which encourages residents past and present to contribute. In doing so we hope to make our own piece of history in Fountainbridge.”

While several phases of the Springside development have already been 
completed, the firm still aims to deliver an office and retail 
complex, as well as a four-star hotel and more residential accommodation.

A spokesman for the heritage project said: “We are keen to encourage Evening News readers to root around in their garden sheds, wardrobes or under their beds to unearth old photographs of the Fountainbridge area. The best of these photographs will be incorporated into a hoarding that will go on display in the next few weeks along Melvin Walk.”

Send it in

PROPERTY group Grosvenor, in partnership with the Evening News, is encouraging readers to have a look in their garden sheds, wardrobes or under their beds to unearth old photographs of the Fountainbridge area.

The best Fountainbridge image submitted by a reader will be featured on the hoarding along Melvin Walk – with a pair of Hunter Boots and a £25 voucher for Loudon’s Café and Bakery also up for grabs.

Eight pairs of tickets to Cineworld will be awarded to the runners-up.

The subject matter of all photographs must be the Fountainbridge area.

Photos should be sent in low-res format initially to photos@springside.co.uk – alternatively, a photocopy of the image can be posted to:

Photos@Springside

Mitchell House

5 Mitchell St

Edinburgh EH6 7BD.

We will be unable to return original photographs – so please post a copy.