Friday, 30 January 2009
Thursday, 29 January 2009
Wednesday, 28 January 2009
This small white painted house looks down on the Cuddy Burn, just a little way along Biggiesknowe from Bridgehouse Terrace. The town at that time consisted of two parts, the old, outside the town walls on the north side of the burn, and that within the walls on the south side. Biggiesknowe was considered part of the old town. At the other side of the house, actually on Biggiesknowe, it looks quite different. Because of the slope, the road is level with the upstairs, and a "bridge" crosses the area of land dug out round the house, to the door. On the other side there is only one small window on the lower level, looking out onto the retaining wall!
This house was built by the father of one James Chambers, a cotton manufacturer in Peebles, as a wedding present to the said James at the end of the 18th century. There James' family were born, William in 1800, and Robert two years later, being the two best known. At a time when most of the buildings were thatch-roofed cottages, inhabited by weavers and labourers, this new slate roofed house must have been thought of as quite grand. The living accommodation was all on the level of the street, with workshops downstairs, and store rooms upstairs in the attics.
The Chambers family moved to Edinburgh after the collapse of James's businesses, where William and Robert were to become famous in the world of bookselling and publishing. Their dictionaries and encyclopedias are still in use today, and many of their works available in print.
Tuesday, 27 January 2009
Sunday, 25 January 2009
This is where Cuddy meets Tweed. Cuddy, or Peebles Water, flows down under the bridge I showed you yesterday, along by the trees, under the footbridge here, and into the wider river Tweed in the foreground. This is a favourite spot to feed the ducks and gulls, and is often where you will find the swan family or maybe a heron. Once there was a cormorant sitting on the nearby cauld (weir), wings outstretched for all the world like a priest blessing the waters.
Saturday, 24 January 2009
On the right is a little row of "colony" houses, similar to those you will find in Edinburgh. The upper floor houses are reached by steps up to the landing on this side, while the downstairs houses have their front doors on the street behind. They have different addresses too. The upper houses are Bridgehouse Terrace and the downstairs ones are Biggiesknowe, which is an old corruption of Bridgehouse knowe, a knowe being what the English would call a knoll or hillock. I'd say the little narrow street was dug out of the slope or hillock behind it. Before the bridge was built entry to the town would be along Biggiesknowe and turn right across the Tree (Trie) bridge to meet the Northgate (road to - and from - the north) and thus into the town.
Friday, 23 January 2009
Thursday, 22 January 2009
Wednesday, 21 January 2009
Go to Edinburgh to try to find something, and come home without! Try Scott Brothers and there most likely you will find what you were looking for!
The shop has passed its centennial birthday and is still popular in the 21st century. An effort to modernise and make it "self service" has been made, but the old feel of the place is still there: you deal with the staff over the counter, and what is great is that the shop front has probably stayed the same for years, and in the back shop the floor is still cobbled. I suspect it would have been a stall for animals, a stable most likely.
Along with boxes and baskets, airers and ladders, etc.displayed out in front, in the spring and summer trays of plants are laid out to entice you down the close at the side of the shop to see more in the yard at the back.
Derek at Scott Brothers told me, after I wrote this entry, that the business started with his great great great grandfather, and that it was wholesale before it became retail. They were the first in the town to stock parts for cars and bicycles, and there was a blacksmith's forge out at the back, one of the brothers being a blacksmith. The part at the back of the shop with the cobbled floor was where the cart was parked and the close at the side was once wide enough for the horse and cart to come through.
Tuesday, 20 January 2009
Monday, 19 January 2009
It took about 9 hours, I believe. You could walk to Edinburgh in much less than that time along the present road, but the route was different then, keeping in part, to high ground above the valley that the road follows now.
The arch on the right would have led to stables, and the main door to the Inn would have been the door behind the pram in the photo.
In the last few years the pub's interior has undergone a major refurbishment and is vastly different to what it was like. Wooden floors, chunky wooden tables and high stools, a "snug" with its own bar and more wooden furniture, warmed by a log fire.... The main bar has a large TV screen to allow customers to watch football games, and next to it is the dining area with old tables, chairs and benches, old fashioned wallpaper on the walls, and various old historical prints and paintings on display.
However the most interesting part of the old inn is behind the window to the extreme left of the building, on the ground floor, next to the red telephone kiosk. Behind the very ordinary facade is a thick-walled barrel-vaulted room, completely built from stone, as a place of refuge and defence, probably in the 16th century. It was called a bastle house, which was a corruption of the word bastille in French.
Sunday, 18 January 2009
Basically, "Against the tide, we flourish", the coat of arms can demonstrate the determination of one salmon swimming upstream against the current to spawn in the upper waters of Tweed. One fish swims up, two (or more) swim down. Equally it can be interpreted as succeeding over adversity, something Peebleans have been used to doing for centuries.
This hangs outside The County Inn.
Saturday, 17 January 2009
At 11a.m on 11th day of the 11th month i.e. 11 November, there is a service of remembrance when wreaths of poppies, representing the poppies of Flanders, are laid at the memorial in memory of all who died.
Friday, 16 January 2009
Thursday, 15 January 2009
Wednesday, 14 January 2009
Tuesday, 13 January 2009
Indeed this part of the building housed the cells which must have held many a miscreant in its long history. Use of the cells, and the prison yard behind, ceased in about 1878.
The more recent courthouse was created in the newer part of the building which was in use till 2001, when considerable dry rot was discovered that rendered the building unsafe. It was deemed to be too big a project for the council to handle and after several suggestions as to its continued use as a public building the decision was taken to sell it.
Today The Courthouse Bar and Restaurant occupies the whole of the first floor - the first floor above the front door - with smaller businesses renting premises on the other floors, while the new courthouse has been moved to the former County Buildings on the north side of the town.
Monday, 12 January 2009
So, here is how Bank House looked before 1975, with that beautiful Italianate tower and its "red door" surrounded by ivy. The four windows to the right of the tower are what remains today, with the old bank just out of the picture, so just over half the house has been demolished to allow the bridge around the corner to be widened. It had to be widened to accommodate the traffic using it, but what a shame the most attractive part of the house had to be sacrificed.
Sunday, 11 January 2009
Saturday, 10 January 2009
Friday, 9 January 2009
Thursday, 8 January 2009
Tuesday, 6 January 2009
Monday, 5 January 2009
If you were born in Peebles, at home or in the hospital here, you are a Gutterbluid, a native, but if like me you chose to come and live here you are known as a Stooriefit, an incomer (with dusty - stoorie - feet from travelling here). The gutter blood takes more explaining but let's just say that today the name is earned by anyone whose parents were resident in the town at the time of their birth! That's because most Peebles babies are born in Edinburgh hospitals since the closure of this one at Tweed Green.
The pavilion at the left side of my photo was where for a small fee you could hire a putter and ball for a game of putting on the Green, or your deck chair to sit relaxing out in the sun. Under the domed roof was another area where you could sit shaded and sheltered from the heat, watching the putting games going on outside. Local people still know this area of the Green as the Putting Green, even though no-one has putted here for years.
The path takes you along the row of pollarded lime trees, past the old washing poles on the left, to the river and Priorsford foot-bridge. Old by-laws permitted people who lived facing the Green to hang their laundry on ropes fastened between the poles, and as far as I am aware it is still perfectly legal to do that still - though of course no-one does! I mean, what would the neighbours say?
Sunday, 4 January 2009
Here then is my first photo of the landmark that is undeniably Peebles, the parish kirk, with its crowned bell tower, taken yesterday afternoon, from the southern bank of the River Tweed, beside the bridge.
I only have a small Casio Exilim 10.1 camera so don't expect professional pics! I'll do the best I can, so hope you'll call in again for more views of Peebles in the days to come!