New life for page featuring images of old Edinburgh

Alan Fergus took this picture of Portobello outdoor pool
Alan Fergus took this picture of Portobello outdoor pool
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It looked set to go down in history as a runaway internet success.

That was until Lost Edinburgh – a Facebook page dedicated to photos of the city in bygone days – itself became a thing of the past because of copyright issues.

Calder Road in the 1970s

Calder Road in the 1970s

But now nostalgic Edinburgh residents are in for a treat, with the makers of the hit page announcing its return.

The page, which was mothballed in August, was an overnight sensation, attracting more than 20,000 “likes” within just nine days of being created.

The two friends behind it – Mike Robertson and David McLean – were determined it was not going to disappear and in recent months have been busy collecting snaps from the public, all with full copyright permission.

They even say they have thrashed out a deal with the Royal Commission for the Ancient and Historical Monuments Scotland (RCAHMS), where many of the images on their first page originated.

Mr Robertson, 26, a musician who lives in the city centre, said: “Every single comment has been great. Everyone loves the fact the page is back. It’s great to get photos from ordinary people.

“Photos which have been taken by government organisations are always taken for a reason, but these are really random. The pictures capture iconic parts of the neighbourhood, all the little nuances in the community.”

Many of the images on the original page belonged to RCAHMS, which subsequently made a request for the images to be removed. A spokesman said the overriding issue was that Facebook’s own terms and conditions for the posting of photos meant granting the website rights over the images.

But the pair say they are preparing to sign an agreement with the RCAHMS to use some of its images on the site.

“The RCAHMS is more than happy to work with us,” said Mr Robertson. “Because of the way copyright works it’s impossible for them to grant us full usage, but they have agreed that they will issue us images to use as thumbnails, and there will be a link to their website.”

Among the images featured on the new Facebook page are snaps of Portobello Outdoor Pool, along with photos of ticket stubs and posters dating back to the 1930s.

There are also images of Sighthill, where three high-rises were recently demolished, in the 1970s.

Mr McLean, 26, a hotel worker from Roseburn, said: “The page is gathering momentum once again. There’s been a lot of positive feedback, and it’s really great to see people sharing memories of places like Sighthill and Carrick Knowe.

“It will be a long process, but we will get back to where we were before, legitimately.”

The pair aim to set up their own website.