Auntie Famie

Mrs H had an auntie die this week. It was her Auntie Famie.  I never met her as she’s moved to England a long time ago, along with her husband Bob Todd.  I only found out her name was Famie Todd after she’d died, which was downright spooky because I had an Auntie Famie, who married a man called George Tod!  So we both had Auntie Famie (Tod/ds).  Weird.

Anyway, my Auntie Famie was actually my Dads Aunt, so she was my Great Auntie Euphemia.  My Grans’ sister, Euphemia Moore Bell was born on February 5, 1906, in 3 Faraday Place, Addiewell, her father was William and her mother, Mary. She married George Robertson Tod on December 24, 1932 and died on March 18, 1994, at the Eastern General, at the age of 88.

Her Mum died when she was 2 years old, and she was farmed out to her aunt and uncle in Dalzel, Lanarkshire. I mainly lived with her and George from when I started primary school aged 4, up until I got the key to my Mum and Dads house when I was about 9. They lived 3 doors down from us in Temple Park Crescent and as I had a lisp as a youngster, she was always Mamie to me, as I couldn’t handle the letter F back then..

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 George as a young man. He was a violin maker, and had a workshop in his house, as well as playing in orchestras and dance bands.*
Picture 3 shows Famie and George as I remember them in the seventies.
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*picture taken by Drummond Shiels, Photographer, 70 & 72 Lauriston Place, Edinburgh


Euphemia Bell and George Tod wedding banns

As you will read elsewhere, I spent a lot of time in my childhood with my Great Aunt Euphemia (Mamie) and Great Uncle George. They got married in 1932, and here is a scan of their wedding banns. The banns were read on the 18th December, and they married on Christmas Eve. George was living at 1 Prospect Place, Edinburgh at the time, and Mamie was at 18 Breich Terrace, Breich.

Famie and George wedding banns

At the time Breich Terrace was full of miners cottages, where folk who worked at the Breich shale pit lived. The pit and the cottages belonged to the Pumpherston Oil Company. It doesn’t seem to have been a safe place, judging by this extract from the Scottish Mining Website.
George was obviously a bit of a chancer claiming he lived in Newington, which is a posh bit of Embra. Prospect Place, which is no longer there, was in the Dumbiedykes, which were cleared in the sixties when the cooncil were knocking down slums all over the place. It was right next to Holyrood Park, which is where he got Newington from, but it wisnae posh. It’s even worse now, as they chucked up some high rise flats after the demolition.

Prospect Street is the street on the left of this picture. The hill, upper left , is at the base of Salisbury Crags in Holyrood Park.

Dumbiedykes Prospect Place