Edinburgh South Side Through Time
By (author) Fraser Parkinson; By (author) Jack Gillon
Edinburgh’s South Side has contributed much to the rich story of the city. In 1766, Edinburgh made its first ambitious expansion beyond the city walls with the unique planned development of the George Square. The construction of the North and South Bridge, linking the New Town, Old Town and South Side, was a further boost to development in the area. Nineteenth century industrialisation resulted in tenement housing, workshops and factories filling most available space between elegant Georgian buildings. In the 1950s, the collapse of the Dumbiedykes’ ‘Penny Tenement’ focused attention on Edinburgh’s slums and the removal of a whole community as part of a major slum-clearance drive followed. In the face of a public outcry, modern tower blocks also replaced the historic Georgian buildings on George Square with the loss of the fondly remembered Parkers’ Store building in the Bristo area. In 1975, the South Side was declared a conservation area. This reversed the wave of demolition and resulted in the regeneration of the area and the retention of its historic identity.The mix of communities makes it one of the most colourful areas of Edinburgh, and it holds a unique and special place in the hearts of current and past residents. Edinburgh South Side Through Time takes you on this journey, with old and new images to illustrate how this part of the city has changed over the years.
Fraser Parkinson is a local author who runs the hugely popular ‘Spirit of Leithers’ page on Facebook which traces the social and architectural history of Leith through old images. Jack Gillon is a long term resident of Edinburgh and has worked as a Town Planner involved in the conservation of the city’s heritage of historic buildings for around thirty years and has an extensive knowledge of the city’s history and architecture. He writes extensively on the historical heritage of Scotland and has had several books published by Amberley.