Pair salvage signs after Niddrie pub is demolished

Mac MacIntyre with his new treasures
Mac MacIntyre with his new treasures
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THE legacy of a recently demolished pub is living on – on a local garden shed.

The Duddingston Mull, which had served the Niddrie area for 50 years under various guises, was knocked down last week to make way for a supermarket after being sold by owners Punch Taverns.

But some artefacts from the bar have been saved for posterity by collectors and Niddrie residents Eleanor and Mac MacIntyre, whose garden plays host to a plethora of weird and wonderful objects – including a butcher’s model, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and a toilet pan flower pot.

Eleanor, 53, said: “All the people round here used to drink in the Duddingston Mull, it was a real loss to the community. We were driving past the bar after it had been shut down and saw demolishers moving in, and thought we should try to salvage something from it, otherwise it would all just end up on the scrapheap.”

The couple are now proud owners of the signs and the gates from the bar, which was previously known as the Marischal Arms and the Cleekim.

Eleanor added: “We went through all the proper channels to get them – there’s no point in getting yourself into trouble over these things. It’s just a bit of fun for us, but we also think it’s important to save things for future generations. It’s part of the history of the community and that’s what we like to think of it as – historical salvage.”

Friends of the couple often help add to their collection with ornaments and statues they pick up on their travels.

Eleanor said: “One that we got was a statue of a policeman, but it was a bit naughty so we had to add some pants to it before we could display it in the garden! I couldn’t really pick a favourite item though.

“The Snow White and Seven Dwarfs are very special because the mould was broken right after, so there will never be any more like them.

“The neighbours love it, they’re always asking what we’re up to and what we’re thinking of getting next. There’s always people lifting their kids up for a better look over the wall. A wee girl actually asked the other day, ‘Can I have your house when you die?’, which was quite funny.

“It’s just daft, but we love it. The funny thing about us having the stuff from The Duddingston Mull is that we didn’t actually go in there as neither of us drink. But we know it meant a lot to other people.”

Craigmillar councillor Mike Bridgman said: “The pub has a long history in the area and I’m pleased that someone has taken these artefacts to keep the history of the town going, and to keep it local. It’s good to see people taking an interest.”

The Duddingston Mull had a colourful reputation, with allegations of illegal dog-fighting and stolen goods being found on the premises.

Peter Stanton, 70, who worked as a barman for more than 20 years, said: “It was a good pub – if you were a regular there was no better place and it was great for darts or dominos. It got a bad reputation that it did not deserve.”