Sunset on Portobello beach, picking out the chimneys at Seafield 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. Each morning tractors plough the sand and remove rubbish, the marks remain. Beyond a shower shows as a green haze 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 Boats keep close in case of problems while
trainees enact rescues
The 'casualty', once on the beach, receives CPR (Cardiac Pulmonary Resuscitation) from two life savers
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
Another use of the beach...
...when the wind is right
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
One of the groins which help to stop the sand shifting, its marker needed...
...and here the marker redundant except as a photographer's prop
Many aspects of life meet at the shore, a complexity here echoed in the light
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.
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
Red hair and day-glow green in the winter grey
A modern intrusion into the Georgian skyline are the pylons which run south of the park
And lastly, on this eccentric view of Portobello...
...a facet now demolished, but which entertained...
...children for generations - the Portobello Funfair. Its decaying state illustrated above...
...but still managing to lure in the not so young...
...and offer unchallenged views of the sea and sunset
To celebrate five continuous years of these Saturday pages the
has a display of fireworks in my home town - Edinburgh.
The next page
of the Mosaic Section is headed 'Language Imperialism'.
Or go to the
of the Mosaic Section.