Saturday, 27 May 2017

History all around us

This afternoon I went to post a letter. In five or ten minutes I was made aware of history on every side; and all on one block in an inner suburb of Edinburgh.

Nowadays all the tenements have electric door-bells, and a clever switch that can open the street door below. These tenements were built before electricity was harnessed for such uses; but our late Victorian ancestors were just as inventive. They just used mechanical devices.

The ground-floor door-opener has a slightly different design.

The architects did incorporate a last minimal acknowledgement of the heritage of Edinburgh's classical style.

George VI. I was born during his reign. I wonder whether this box was put up just before the war, during it, or shortly after.

The three decades before the First World War were marked by enormously rapid and radical social progress. That is when our local primary school was built.

In those days it was felt proper for Boys and Girls to have separate play-grounds.

Recent history isn't less interesting because it is recent. There were plenty of brownfield sites in the 1990s.

 Come to think of it, we didn't have recycling bins in George VI's time. Though I have been told there were pig-bins for waste food.

This bridge was part of a road improvement scheme in 1841.

The Edinburgh coat of arms is still kept painted.

The old bridge (1766) is still there.

In 1745, somewhere hereabouts, a small troop of Hanoverian cavalry hastily fled as the Jacobite army approached. I hope this photo is legible.

Back on the main road is a sign of changing times in 2017. I wonder if the forthcoming General Election will see a Conservative revival, or whether they will be consigned to what Trotsky called "the dustbin of history"?

This building is now a dental unit of some sort. The inscription, Denta servata fides, is the motto of the Royal Bank of Scotland. It is usually translated as  "Loyalty preserved enriches". (I had to look this up.)