Portobello - A view from inside

Sun setting across the sands. Sunset on Portobello beach, picking out the chimneys at Seafield A fifteen foot high vent out of water at low tide. The drain vents offer photographers opportunities The last page showed the waterside of a town in Vietnam, this page moves 6,000 miles west to another waterside, that of Edinburgh and its beach suburb, Portobello. This page forms a bridge to the next one which celebrates five years of continuous additions to this Picture Posting section of the site: one every Saturday for 260 consecutive Saturdays. And fittingly returns to Edinburgh, my birthplace. Portobello lies on the north-east coast of the city. However, the page shows rather little of its more obvious thoroughfares and instead picks out a couple of aspects that caught the photographer's eye when he lived there in the late 80s. Indeed that very house is featured (as well as his head). The area has evolved since these photographs were taken and is altogether more comfortable for the middle classes who have adopted it as a very pleasant place to live. Signs of its older seedier self can be seen below in the pictures from the funfair. The sand looking west along the beach with the marks of the morning clean-up. Each morning tractors plough the sand and remove rubbish, the marks remain. Beyond a shower shows as a green haze The sand looking east along the beach, outlines softened by swirling sand. Looking east along the beach, towards the town of Musselburgh, the view is misted by sand being swirled in low eddies. Not a soul in sight at an early hour Two boats in sea with two heads in caps between them. Boats keep close in case of problems while
trainees enact rescues
Two life savers kneeling and demonstrating CPR with casulty between them. The 'casualty', once on the beach, receives CPR (Cardiac Pulmonary Resuscitation) from two life savers Life-saver dragging casulty out of the water walking backwards. This set of images show one of the uses of the beach: local life-saving groups practicing. Getting the casualty out of the water might be by dragging (left), or carrying (right). Below, a competitor being timed Three life-savers walking with casulty at shoulder height. Life-saver running out of sea being timed. Two wind-surfers on beach. Another use of the beach... Wind-surfer running along the inshore waves. ...when the wind is right Waves coming into beach. Surf rolling in, framed by the coast of Fife to the right, the industrial estate of Seafield ahead, and the tenements of Portobello to the left Wooden groin with waves crashing around it. One of the groins which help to stop the sand shifting, its marker needed... Groin warning marker with tide out and sun setting. ...and here the marker redundant except as a photographer's prop View of beach with low water, family in distance and complex hazy light from half obscured sun. Many aspects of life meet at the shore, a complexity here echoed in the light Brighton Park grass with hill in distance showing over houses. Rose bushes in park with trees beyond grass. These shots are from Brighton Park some half mile from the sea. It was laid out in the 1820s, a period when house design reached a happy zenith of both comfort and aesthetic charm. The first houses for affluent Edinburgh residents had been built a few years earlier on the sand dunes overlooking the sea, and the basements of all houses rest, without further foundation, directly on the sand, and so, after 200 years, dispel at least one myth.
Above left, looking south the volcano shaped Arthur's Seat is visible; right, the north side of the park. Below, spring blossom looking west, and to the right, the Georgian Terrace after snow - it was peeping from between the trees in the picture with the roses.
Blossom on tree at park corner. Row of houses in snow. Face on view of the Georgian row of houses. This row of Georgian houses, Sandford Gardens, was built in the 1820s as part of the development designed by the architect John Baxter which placed it on the north side of Brighton Park,
with (below) detached and semi-detached houses on the the other sides
Looking the other way across the park after snow. Snowmen with two children building them. Red hair and day-glow green in the winter grey Sunset and pylon with secondary school lights showing. A modern intrusion into the Georgian skyline are the pylons which run south of the park Woman on children's fair ground ride; paddle steamer. And lastly, on this eccentric view of Portobello... Nessie ride with passengers exclaiming. ...a facet now demolished, but which entertained... A cutout with place for customers heads above strange bodies. ...children for generations - the Portobello Funfair. Its decaying state illustrated above... Inside entertainment from slot machines. ...but still managing to lure in the not so young... Carousels lifting off above the fairgroound with setting sun behind. ...and offer unchallenged views of the sea and sunset Trailers... Fireworks illuminating Edinburgh Castle. To celebrate five continuous years of these Saturday pages the next page has a display of fireworks in my home town - Edinburgh. Houses of Parliament across the Thames. The next page of the Mosaic Section is headed 'Language Imperialism'.
Or go to the contents of the Mosaic Section.
Saturday 5th December 2020 Murphy on duty ...guide to this site

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