Down Memory Lane

East end of Dalkeith High Street (Photo courtesy Midlothian Council Local Studies)
East end of Dalkeith High Street (Photo courtesy Midlothian Council Local Studies)

At the beginning of October, there was a fire in White’s Close East caused by a spark falling down a chimney.

The spark itself was presumed to have come from a chimney fire. The occupants of the houses above the fire were supposedly evacuated, but the crowd which gathered to watch were kept entertained by a young lad sitting on a window ledge above the fire. Every time the smoke cleared, he shouted down to the crowd, “Is it oot yet? Is it oot yet?” He sat there until the fire was “pit oot”!

A fire broke out at the farm steading at Fala Hall (Blackshiels). The farm workers tried to put the fire out, but it was so bad they telegraphed to Dalkeith for the fire engine, which was hitched up to two horses, and managed to get to Blackshiels in just over an hour - good going when you consider the road and the distance. The stable was saved, but the rest of the steading destroyed. The Advertiser said, “the damage, which was considerable, was covered by insurance”.

Schools

Also in October, the School Board discussed the slow progress which was being made on the building of the new school.

In Dalkeith at that time, there were three public schools and at least three private schools.

The biggest public school was the Burgh School, which at that time was in Mitchell Street. The Burgh School had 600 pupils in infant, junior, senior and advanced departments, and taught up to SLC Intermediate standard. In 1901, 29 pupils gained 37 Intermediate Certificates in Latin, Languages, English, and Arithmetic.

Read more of Alan Mason’s feature in this week’s Advertiser. On sale now.