Old Penicuik – from primitive to palatial

This photo of an old fashioned kitchen reminded Jim Neil of his childhood home

This photo of an old fashioned kitchen reminded Jim Neil of his childhood home

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When I first saw this photograph, I thought, “That’s our kitchen at Pryde’s Place!”

Pryde’s Place was the row of houses on the other side of the Edinburgh Road from the Angle Park and we lived there from 1931 until 1940. It was demolished in the late 1950s or early ’60s.

Our house consisted of “a room and kitchen”… that is, one bedroom (where my parents slept) and a kitchen that also served as both a living room and my bedroom.

I have to tell you that the photograph is NOT of our kitchen, but the resemblance is uncanny. I remember lots of detail, probably because I was confined to bed for a lengthy spell after a bad attack of diphtheria and had plenty of time to study the room, especially when we played “I Spy” to while away the hours.

The gas cooker and the vertical rack for holding pots are situated in the same place as ours. The kettle on the cooker hob looks similar to ours, as does the black iron one in the fireplace. Even the poker propped next to the oven is in the same position and I know this because I used to get into trouble for wielding it like a sword.

There is one major difference in the fireplace that tells me this isn’t our house. We had only one oven and that was straight through from the fire. Our fire had vertical bars that small pieces of coal would fall through so we had a grid that hung in front of the firebars.

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