Eva Robinson – mair Auntie Eva

My Mums sister.  Evelyn Elizabeth Sarah Grace Robinson – Birth 30 Dec 1918 in South Queensferry, West Lothian, Scotland Death 21 Nov 2003 in Liberton Hospital, Edinburgh, Scotland

Fourth from right front row, with Uncle Bill, second from left.

Eva Robinson













Auntie Eva at the bar in her cooncil hoose in Broomhouse. A young Mr H seems very much at home, something that would become increasingly obvious as time went on. 1967ish, judging by the size of me.

Auntie Eva and Mr H









Here’s Auntie Eva and her husband, Uncle Jimmy Martin partying like it’s 1999, in a a night club, somewhere in Blackpool, at some point in the nineteen fifties. Eva is second from the left, Jimmy second from right with either an unconscious woman or a fabulous ventriloquists dummy on his lap.

Eva and Jimmy Martin










PS – Eva’s son Jimmy called one of his sons Dean.  So my cousin is Dean Martin.  Fact.


The Hamilton Family Bible

Of course, we’re poor white trash from a long line of poor white trash, so the nearest we have to a Hamilton Family Bible, in the tradition of ye posh families is this.

The Big Book of the Bible, as presented to my Dad, Alexander Hamilton, after three years perfect attendance at Breich Church Sabbath School, from 1927 – 1929, when he was aged 6-8. It was presented to him on the 20th December, 1929 and signed by Thomas Aitchison, Superintendent.

The Big Book Of The Bible






















The Big Book of the Bible






















The Bog Book of the Bible

Grace Hamilton nee Robinson – me auld Irish mammy

Grace Muir Robinson

Birth 25 Sep 1929 in 122 Bonnington Road, Leith.  Death 29 May 2008 in Hotel Burstin, Folkestone

Here’s my Mum, Grace Hamilton, at the peak of her powers, proving once and for all, that she was the family intellectual! Although it could be the racing form.

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A proper family gathering. If memory recalls, it was my Auntie Evas 40th wedding anniversary at the Baron Suite (1980). Cabaret by the immortal Matt Monro.

Back row – me (dig that crazy collar, my mammy, my Uncle Bill. Front row – Uncle Jimmy (Evas husband), Auntie Margaret and Auntie Eva.

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Here’s my mammy on a works night oot, sometime in the fifties. She was at Parsons Peebles at the time, at the factory by Crewe Toll.

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My Mum, Grace Hamilton nee RObinson is in the third row from the front, sixth from the left. Two of her best pals are standing alone in the back row, my Aunties Nessie and Betty. Neither were relations, as was the custom at the time. Nessie married Davie and had two daughters, Joyce and Doreen. He was a builder, before losing his business through the drink. So naturally, he bought the Ardmillan Hotel, before losing that and buying a butchers in Gilmore Place, near Viewforth. Where he was arrested for rustling sheep! They ended up living in Orwell Place. Betty was married to my Dads best man, Phil McLuskey. My favourite unrelated Uncle, Phil was the life and soul of the party, largely due to being an alcoholic who worked in a brewery! He also brought ice cream for my dug every Monday night fae Bonis at Tollcross. They lived with his Mum, auld Mrs McLuskey in Lochrin Buildings, before ending up near Powderhall. They’re aw deid bar, possibly, Betty, who was still alive but blind, four years back when my Mum died.

The Hamiltons

My Dads family, the Hamiltons fae Breich and Polbeth.

Back row – Mum, Auntie Molly (Keepe), my Dads sister. Middle – Great Uncle George (Tod) and Great Aunt Euphemia (Famie), my dads aunt. Front row – early hat potential, probably very early seventies.

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My Great Uncle George (Tod) who taught me to swim, took me to the pictures and, along with my Aunt Famie, looked after me as a wee boy, pictured centre, in front of the drum, playing with the Edinburgh Senior Citizens Orchestra at Dalry House on April 22nd 1974.

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A Famie and George special. George and Euphemia Tod were my Dads aunt and uncle. Euphemia (Famie) was my Grans sister. They didn’t have any children of their own, but looked after me, when I was at primary school. They lived 3 doors down from us in Temple Park, and I spent most of my early school years with them.

Picture 1 shows Famie as a young woman, with my Dad, and his sister Molly (Mary) and brother Ian (John), probably in either Breich Terrace or Addiewell, in the twenties.   Picture 2 shows Famie and George as I remember them in the seventies.

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Here’s a few photos of relatives from years gone by.

This is me and my Grandad, Alexander Walker Hamilton, in the back garden at Polbeth, probably about 1967.

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Here’s Uncle Wullie and Auntie Kate with my Great Aunt Euphemia Moore Bell in the same back garden, also in the mid-sixties. I spent a large part of my childhood in Great Aunt Euphemias flat in Edinburgh, as both my parents worked, and she and her husband George Tod were childless. They were remarkably good natured considering they were in their sixties when a three year old was thrust upon them for the next five or six years, until I qualified for my own key to the front door. I couldn’t pronounce Euphemia of Famie as everyone in the family called her. She was always Mamie to me.

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Going back in time, this is Mamie as a young woman, surrounded by assorted members of her family, the Bells, probably in the nineteen twenties, in Addiewell, West Lothian.

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Here’s Mamie, with what is probably her Auntie Kate, (Catherine Toner nee Bell 1852 – 1939) who Mamie lived with after her mother died when she was 2, leaving her miner father with 12 children, hence why they were farmed out to family members .

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Here’s another batch of Hamilton / Bell photographs which mainly came to me via my Great Aunt Euphemia (Mamie) and my Uncle Ian.

This is my Auntie Molly (left, born Mary), my Dads sister, with her mother, my Gran, Mary Hamilton, nee Bell.

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This is Mamie in the back green at 17 Temple Park Crescent, with one of her nephews (either Bill, John or Alex, with unknown dog. We lived in No 11 when I was a wee boy, but with my Mum and Dad both working, I spent most of time at Mamies or playing in this green.

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This is Mamie with A N Other and my Auntie Molly (centre).

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This is Mamie, Euphemia Tod nee Bell, with her husband George Tod, in Princes Street, Edinburgh, opposite Binns, where my Mum worked years later.

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And this is my Dad, Alexander Walker Hamilton, with his Mum, Mary Dawson Bell, in the bottom left corner.

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Here’s three more photos that came from Mamie (Auntie Euphemia) via my Uncle Ian (John Sorely Hamilton).

The two solo pictures are of the same girl, probably Mamie. No idea who the two boys are, although they’re from the same batch, so it must be two of her nephews. The one on the right looks like my Dad, Alex Hamilton, so the one on the left is likely to be Ian or Bill, the other brothers.

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Here’s another couple of Hamilton photographs;

The first is my Grandad, Alexander Hamilton, taken in Polbeth sometime in the mid-nineteen sixties. He died in 1968.

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And here’s one of my Auntie Molly (Mary Moore Hamilton, my Dads sister), daughter of Alexander Hamilton and Mary Dawson Bell , who was born 30 November 1924 in Breich, Addiewell, West Lothian. She died November 2000 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. From the uniform, I would guess this was taken in the forties.

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Here’s a wee Mr H in the back green at West Saville Terrace, Edinburgh where my Uncle Ian (John Sorely Hamilton) had a tied cottage at the industrial laundry he was boilerman at. The cottage had a steep garden which ran down to the railway line, and was perfect for growing tatties on. My Uncle Ian is seen here with his ever present pipe.

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Here’s my Dads cousin, Jean Marshall Linton getting married to Thomas Peuthere Hamilton (no relation, fingers crossed) in 1954 at West Calder. The bridesmaid on the right is another cousin – Euphemia Bell Linton – who was named after my Mamie, my Great Aunt Euphemia. We used to visit Jean and her family in Polbeth a lot. Euphemia Bell Linton was known as Fay, and I remember being taken to see her when she worked at Woolies in Lothian Road, in Edinburgh. Fair play to Fay, who married for the first time when she was 73 (in 2002)!

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Here’s a a very rare picture of me, my Dad (Alexander Walker Hamilton), and my Uncle Ian (John Sorely Hamilton), in the vegetable patch at West Saville Terrace – Ian had a tied cottage, which went with his job at the large industrial laundry he worked at. After my Grandad (Alexander Hamilton) died in 1968, my Gran, Mary Dawson Bell, moved in, staying there until she died in 1980.

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Embrania – Braidburn Valley Shakespearean Festival 1945

Braidburn Valley Shakespearean Festival 1945

So what were you doing in June 1945? Well, I was 20 years shy of being born, but I’m sure all the posh folk up in Morningside and the Braids were marshalling their kids and dragging them off to the Braidburn Valley Shakespearean Festival.

This was held at an outdoor theatre in Braidburn Valley Park, which was very brave of them, even in June, because this is Scotchland. The site is still there, albeit in rundown form, neglected as so many things are in Edinbirgh, now that the council has decided that we’re the Disneyland of the North, rather than the Athens of yore.

Talk a stroll past should you find yourself up there, and picture a long lost time when the words of Shakespeare rang out across a public park, rather than the shrieks of teenage hoors and smackheids.

Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, clicking here will open an electronic version of the programme.

Here are the Southern Light Opera company performing there the following year in June 1946.

Southern Light Opera

Alexander Walker Hamilton, my Dad

Alexander Walker Hamilton, my Dad, Birth 23 Aug 1922, Breich, West Lothian, Death 24 Dec 1980 in Edinburgh Morningside, City Hospital, Scotland.

Alexander Walker Hamilton (Alex), my Dad, died when I was 15.
My Dad, back row right, next to Uncle Phil, as always!


My Dad, pictured late seventies, with family dog, Judy, in the back room in Polwarth Crescent.



Air Force boys – My Dad, Alex Hamilton (left) with best pal and future best man, Phil McCluskey.


Here he is on a classic early seventies night out with my Mum.


And here is with with Auntie Famie and Uncle George.  He lodged with them when he came out of the Royal Air Force at the end of World War II, and we ended up living three doors away when I was a wean, in Temple Park Crescent.


Here’s me and my Dad, looking absolutely delighted to be on holiday, in all our dayglo glory. Probably about 1969.


Here’s my Dad, Alexander Walker Hamilton, in his RAF uniform, getting his picture taken at the Valette Studio, 32 Bank Street, Blackpool, on 2 May 1942.


Here he is with a young Mr H, outside our luxury holiday accomodation at Kinghorn, around about 1971.


And here’s my Dad as a young man, at the races, and looking very dapper, if I say so myself. Obviously my dashing good looks, and way with a hat came from his side of the family!