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Great Tapestry of Scotland and Edinburgh’s Art Deco Heritage 10: TSB Bank London Road

A couple of weeks ago, mostly on the good lady’s volition, we travelled to see the Great Tapestry of Scotland which was on show at the Scottish Parliament building. Its exhibition there finishes sometime in September and it will eventually end up in Melrose when the new rail line to the borders is complete.

It’s quite an impressive collection – of embroidery rather than tapestry but Hey-ho – of over 100 panels stitched by volunteers from round Scotland each one illustrating a piece of Scottish history.

I may get round to posting other views of the panels but this one featured Dumbarton Rock, which in 870 AD (or 870 CE if you prefer) fell to the Vikings:-

on the way back to where we’d parked I captured the building below on pixels. I’d passed it many times before in the car but never stopped near enough by. It’s the TSB bank in East Norton Place (London Road) Edinburgh.

The pillars on the corners are good. The street sign on the bank also says East Norton Place. From the other side the pillars are again stand outs. The style of the number 30 is nicely deco too.

Edinburgh’s Art Deco Heritage 9: Nicolson Street

I spotted these windows the last time we were in Edinburgh.
They are at the start of Nicolson Street, just after South Bridge travelling south.
They seem to belong at the moment to a restaurant called Spoon.
It’s the overall shape plus the bend to the frontage that gives the Deco feel.

Art Deco Style Windows, Edinburgh

The nice stained glass detailing is more Art Nouveau than Deco however.

Restaurant windows, Nicolson Street, Edinburgh

Edinburgh’s Art Deco Heritage 8: George Street

I spotted this when we were at the book sale in Edinburgh on the 11th May. It has the look of deco about it. From this angle the stepped back roof isn’t too apparent.

Art Deco Style Building, George Street, Edinburgh

It abuts the very deco Capital Building on the corner of St Andrew’s Square.

There’s another very geometric building on its other side.

Modern Deco Style, George Street, Edinburgh

A bit too much glass to be true deco but there are lots of strong horizontals and verticals.

Here are the two from an angle which also shows the Capital Building on the extreme left and the roof stepping.

Art Deco Style, George Street, Edinburgh

Edinburgh’s Art Deco Heritage 7: Rose Street

A difficult one to photograph this as Rose Street is so narrow. I took this photo a couple of years ago. I thought I had posted it here but, on checking, it seems I hadn’t.

So. Here it is now.

Art Deco Building Rose Street, Edinburgh

This is the doorway. Definite deco features. Photo taken last Saturday.

Art Deco Doorway, Rose Street, Edinburgh

St Andrew’s & St George’s Church War Memorials

There are various plaques to war dead in the stairwell of St Andrew’s & St George’s Church, George Street, Edinburgh where we attended a Christian Aid booksale last Saturday.

One is for the “members of this congregation” and beside it is one for Edinburgh Stock Exchange:-

St Andrew's & St George's War Memorial

Edinburgh Stock Exchange War Memorial

Below these is the St Andrew’s Church Roll of Honour.

St Andrew's Church War Memorial

The WW2 memorial is on the opposite stairwell.

St Andrew's & St George's, Church WW2 Memorial

There are more plaques in the lower portion. Due to the gubbins surounding the book sale I couldn’t get close enough to photograph them as I would have liked.

St Andrew's & St George's Church, WW2? Memorials

Edinburgh’s Art Deco Heritage 6. Comely Bank Road

We were in Edinburgh on Saturday and walked along Comely Bank Road, near Stockbridge but going west.

I’d always thought the houses there were in thirties style but since I usually drive along there hadn’t noticed the corner shop fronts.

This is a close up on the frontage of the shop which corners on Comely Bank Road and Learmonth Grove. Its deco features are obvious.

Close-up on Shop on corner of Learmonth Grove and Comey Bank Road, Edinburgh.

Below is the corner of Comely Bank Road and Learmonth Avenue. The shop in Learmonth Avenue (Shaw’s Fine Meats) still has thirties style windows.

Two Art Deco shops Edinburgh

Next is part of Learmonth Avenue in a view from the opposite side from the above.

Learmonth Avenue, Edinburgh

Clearly thirties. Note the long vertical windows on the stairwells. (Though the shops shown here have been “modernised”.)

This is one of the vertical windows on Comely Bank Road itself. I photographed this one because it’s been painted green.

Art Deco Vertical Window

A couple more photos from Saturday are in my Edinburgh Art Deco flickr set.

King’s Own Scottish Borderers Memorial Edinburgh

Who’d have thought this:-

Boer War Memorial, Edinburgh

(which I have featured before) would be on a postcard?

Boat Trip

Since the weather was good (for once) we took a boat trip out on the Forth estuary last week. We’d been meaning to for years.

This is a seal on a navigation buoy. In the background you can see the Edinburgh skyline.

Seal on buoy

Does the structure in this next one look like a battleship?

Inchmickery Island

Apparently to the Germans in World War 2 it did – especially from the air. They are said to have claimed several times to have sunk it.

It’s Inchmickery Island and was I believe deliberately made to look like a warship. From a distance it’s very convincing.

Our destination was Inchcolm Island.

This is the view on the approach.

Inchcolm Island1

This one shows some of the fortifications placed there during both World Wars.

Inchcolm Island 2

Edinburgh’s Art Deco Heritage 5. The State Cinema

On our stroll to Leith docks on Saturday I noticed this building from the pathway by the Water of Leith. So we climbed up to Great Junction Street and I took a few photos. (Yes I know this is in Leith really but we’ll stretch a point.)

The State Cinema was opened in 1938, turned into a bingo hall in 1972 and later became the Babylon night club. It was B-listed in 1995.

This first picture was taken from the bridge over the Water of Leith.

State Cinema 1

Here we have typical deco styling: horizontals,verticals and also trianguloid bits. Note the painting on the bridge parapet. It’s a bit deco too.

State Cinema 2

This view shows a typical deco curved wall and entrance canopy. The trianguloid bits on the red columns are more obvious here.

It’s a pity the building has fallen into disuse. On the Scottish cinemas website it looks a bit less dilapidated.

There is a plan to refurbish it though. (The cinema parts at the back will go but the entrance building will stay.)

State Cinema 3

The pyramidal roof on the square tower looks a bit odd but judging by the old photo in the Scottish cinemas link above it seems to be original.

Nature in the Heart of the City.

On Saturday we walked the Water of Leith from Arboretum Avenue all the way to the Port of Leith.

On the way there we saw this heron which may be one of the ones we have seen in the Water of Leith before. We were puzzling what it got to eat as we could see no sign of fish in the river whenever we had a suitable view.

Heron 1

On the way back…

We saw the heron looking intently at the bank, then stalking slowly and deliberately towards the river’s side. When close in its neck started to sway sinuously the way I suppose a snake’s does. It stopped, then started the neck sway thing again.

Then it pounced. Quickly.

There was now a small mammal in its mouth, a vole or mouse probably. I scrabbled to get a picture. I hope you can make out the mammal.

Heron 2

This is a few seconds later.

Heron 3

Not much later the mammal had been completely swallowed.

Now we know what it eats….

Nature red in tooth and claw.

Not to mention beak.

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