Remember when: The history of Fountainbridge

Jackie the milk horse on his rounds in 1975. Picture: TSPL

Jackie the milk horse on his rounds in 1975. Picture: TSPL

1
Have your say

IT is probably most widely renowned for being the birthplace for 007 actor Sir Sean Connery.

A blue plaque erected on the site of his childhood home is a lasting reminder of the area’s connection to Hollywood.

Cupid's Corner at the Palais de Danse two years later. Picture: TSPL

Cupid's Corner at the Palais de Danse two years later. Picture: TSPL

But Fountainbridge has, historically, always had a lot more going for itself than just being the birthplace of a James Bond actor.

From the early 19th century until the late 20th century it was home to two of the city’s major industries. In 1856 the North British Rubber Company was established alongside the Union Canal. That same year the McEwan’s Brewery opened up on the north side of Fountainbridge and Dundee Street.

And the Edinburgh Meat Market was established in 1884 on the corner of Fountainbridge and Semple Street. It followed the creation of the city’s first municipal slaughterhouse on the site of today’s Tollcross Primary School.

Now the area is to go back to these roots with the creation of a new market in the area, run by the founders of the Stockbridge and Leith markets.

Staff dressed as gangsters pose beside a stretch limousine to advertise the opening of Fat Sam's in September 1986. Picture: TSPL

Staff dressed as gangsters pose beside a stretch limousine to advertise the opening of Fat Sam's in September 1986. Picture: TSPL

Although the Meat Market is long since gone, its legacy lives on as its striking facade was kept during the recent regeneration of the area.

This picture from September 1986 shows the Meat Market in another life – as the location of Fat Sam’s, the Chicago-style diner and bar which was a popular venue in the city for many years.

Another popular Fountainbridge venue which no longer exists was the Palais de Danse. Drinkers gathered round the Cupid’s Corner bar in November,1958 during a night out.

And a once familiar sight that now banished to the history books is that of Jackie the milk horse from the St Cuthbert’s Co-operative horses stable in Grove Street.

Staff in the Fountainbridge telephone exchange in 1956. Picture: TSPL

Staff in the Fountainbridge telephone exchange in 1956. Picture: TSPL

Children playing outside the gates of Asa Wass Rag Skin & Metal Merchants in 1969. Picture: TSPL

Children playing outside the gates of Asa Wass Rag Skin & Metal Merchants in 1969. Picture: TSPL