More views of Dunbar

More views of Dunbar

This month features more photographs from the W Black publication Views of Dunbar. Firstly, there is a photo of Black’s shop and warehouse.

W M Black at 126 High Street

The photo above shows Black’s shop and warehouse. As you can see, the shop was a drapery and, although the windows are not clear, it appeared to sell quite a range of items. The photo is given more poignancy by the little girl in the doorway, who looks quite well dressed, so perhaps was part of the Black family?

A catch of fish laid out in rows at Dunbar Harbour

In this photo, which looks as if it was staged for the camera and was entitled A Good Day’s Work, rows of impressively large cod are laid out in rows. The photo was probably taken around the early 20th century or late 19th century. The two boys in the photo are very well dressed and may have been related to the photographer. It is very unlikely that they were the children of fishermen at that time. In the background, against the castle wall, is an upturned sailing boat which may be being repaired or repainted.

Artillery practice above the harbour

This is a fascinating photo of soldiers practising canon fire at Dunbar Barracks, overlooking the harbour, with the castle walls to the left. One canon has just been fired and at the bottom left, another group of soldiers – jacketless and looking quite casual – appear to be waiting to fire their canon. In the middle of the photo, the jacketed soldiers appear to be on parade, with perhaps a sergeant major in front of them barking out orders. At the top right, where the soldiers are grouped, there appears to be shells on the ground. As this photo was taken well before the First World War, the use of such canon would be common. The soldiers are likely to be from the East Lothian Militia or the Haddington Militia (Charlie Carruthers suggests) but “Militia Artillery units (from all over Scotland)  were deployed to Dunbar every summer for annual training on guns mounted in Castle Park” according to the John Gray Centre, so it could be soldiers from other parts of Scotland.

The Dhu Rock before the swimming pool

This photo predates the opening of the outdoor swimming pool in Dunbar and while it may be familiar to visitors to Dunbar today, to those who remember (and swam in) the pool, it may look odd. You can read more about the origins of the pool on the excellent John Gray Centre website. There is a link to the previous photo here as on the top right, you can see the canons perched near the edge of the cliffs.