Bathgate in old picture postcards

Bathgate in old picture postcards

Author
:   William F. Hendrie
Municipality
:   Bathgate
Province
:   Lothian, West
Country
:   United Kingdom
ISBN13
:   978-90-288-3167-4
Pages
:   160
Price
:   EUR 16.95 Including VAT *

Delivery time: 2 - 3 working days ((subject too). The illustrated cover may differ.

   


Fragments from the book 'Bathgate in old picture postcards'

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14. The Steel Yard, or George Place, dominated by the impressive landmark of the steep1e of the new St. David's Church, which was completed in 1906 and replaced the original St. David's, pictured opposite. The foundation stone of the new St. David's was laid in 1905 by Lord Roseberry. It was officially opened on Wednesday 25th Apri11906 and was described as being of 13th century Gothic design. Stone from the original church was used in the building of the steeple, seen in this picture, which was described as being of plain construction from the base to the belfry, from which it flowered out to the top of the vane.

15. This Victorian view shows George Place or the Steel Yard, long before it was dominated by the steeple of the new St. David's Church, which was completed in 1906 and which can be seen in the previous picture. The Steel Yard is believed to have got its name not from the fact that steel was manufactured in Bathgate, but from the days when every Scottish town possessed its own set of measures and Bathgate's steel yard rod was imbedded in the street in this open space in the centre of the town for the use of local inhabitants.

Iron not steel was used to construct the gentlemen's convenience in the very centre of George Place as the Steel Yard was later rechristened and this rather French style urinal caused more controversy in Bathgate over the years than practically any other issue, until as late as the 1970's it was finally rep1aced by immacu1ate1y maintained public toilets in Mid Street. On either side of the controversial toilets can be seen South Bridge Street branching to the 1eft and George Street, or Engine Street as it was known in these days, branching to the right with the Royal Hotel in-between.

The horse-drawn carriage crossing the entrance to South Bridge Street is crossing over into Whitbum Road.

16. This postcard shows the Royal Hotel in the Steel Yard or George Place as it was later called. Above the second storey bay wind ow is printed the word 'Posting', which is a reminder of the days when mail coaches journeying between Edinburgh and Glasgow used to use it as one of their halts where horses could be changed and watered while passengers weary of the bumpy twelve hour journey between the two cities could snatch some food and fortify themselves for the remaining half of the trip with some suitable liquid refreshment. At this time the Royal was owned by Mr. W. White, whose name appears between the two single windows on the first fIoor. The buildings of the Royal Hotel still stand, but somewhat sadly they no longer offer any refreshments to modern travellers as they are now the offices of local solicitors Caesar and Howie.

17. School children stop to stare at the dancing bear performing in the open space of the Steel Yard in front of the Royal Hotel.

18. This view of an almost deserted Engine Sheet or George Street as it became known, viewed from the Steel Yard or George P1ace as it in turn was called, allows a glimpse of the original18th century St. David's Church with its smal1 be1fry. It was demolished in 1905 and rep1aced in 1906 by the present church.

Opposite the old church can be seen the awnings of Hardy's Drapers, where J ohn Hardy and son still do business to this day.

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