Down Memory Lane

Dalkeith High Street. Photo courtesy Midlothian Council Local Studies
Dalkeith High Street. Photo courtesy Midlothian Council Local Studies

On a Tuesday afternoon at the beginning of September 1901, three young children went missing.

They had gone out to play at 2 o’clock, and by late afternoon hadn’t come back. As the evening went on, the police were informed, search parties organised, and all the police stations in the district alerted. The search went on all night, without success. The only clue was a sighting of the children on the Bonnyrigg Road.

Thankfully, Inspector Forbes got a phone call on Wednesday afternoon. The children had been found the previous night near Liberton, and had been taken into the care of the Poor Inspector. The “Three Little Wanderers”, as they came to be called, were two girls named Thorburn and Sawyers, aged five and three, and a three-year-old boy called Swanston. There is no report as to how they ended up in Liberton.

flower show

The Dalkeith Flower Show took place on Saturday, September 7, in the Corn Exchange. The show was opened by Mrs Wauchope of Niddrie, widow of a famous and popular general. After the opening, she “made an inspection of the exhibits, with which she seemed highly pleased”. The classes were divided into three groups, for gardeners, amateurs and cottagers, though I did note that the same names sometimes won in all three classes.

At a dinner held after the judging, Baillie Chisholm announced he was putting up prizes each year for the best window boxes in the town. This, as usual, caused a bit of a controversy, the people living on the shady side of the streets complaining that they would have no chance of winning!

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