Nostalgia: Take a promenade into the past

The new Talisman express train passing through Portobello Station on its first run from Edinburgh to London.

The new Talisman express train passing through Portobello Station on its first run from Edinburgh to London.

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THE song goes that we do like to be beside the seaside, and many people in the Capital are. Portobello, however, doesn’t always get the recognition it craves as something of a beach resort – or as close as you can get to such a thing under the ever-changing skies of Scotland.

But this week, the News told the latest tale confirming the growing spring in Portobello’s step. Beach huts are set to pop up along the front, offering a variety of goods and services such as an art gallery, a cafe or a shop selling beach items or dog toys.

Portobello High Street in the 1890s

Portobello High Street in the 1890s

Meanwhile, Porty Rock is returning to the town’s sweet shops.

For all its seaside credentials, a look back at Portobello shows there is much more to it than its beach and seaside 
offerings.

Its High Street can be a hive of activity, and even dating back to the late 19th century it had a familiar look about it, although the tram tracks which ran through the junction of Brighton Place and Bath Street are long gone.

Portobello has plenty of history, with one of its claims to fame being that it was one of the stops on the first ever 
Edinburgh-to-London run of the Talisman Express in 1956. Described as the “businessman’s express” it covered the journey in six hours and 40 minutes.

The High Street in September 1954

The High Street in September 1954

If only transportation on narrow pavements was so easy, with one mum coming unstuck as she tried to squeeze her pram between a wall and a lamppost.

With its residents known for standing their ground when it comes to change, it’s no surprise independent retailers continue to thrive in Portobello. The latest battle sees campaigners fighting a new Sainsbury’s earmarked to take over a historic hardware store. Who will win remains to be seen.