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My Home Town: Portobello

Portobello Prom from Seafield Road

I live in Portobello, Edinburgh with my husband Ian & 2 daughters. We have lived here for 15 years & love the area. Portobello is Edinburgh's seaside, which in it's hey-day attracted people from far-afield for days out & holidays. They used to come out on the old trams. These days it is quite different, but still a lovely place to be. Some people still come for days out, but with the advent of package holidays & ease of travel many people go abroad instead.

Portobello has an amazing community web site, which has lots of interesting things on it. In particular it has collections of old postcards of Portobello, some dating back over 100 years from when it was a resort.

Porotbello Kilns, one of which collapsed during renovation work, Autumn 2006'

In the past Portobello had a thriving pottery industry, with the very distinctive Portobello pottery: a thistle on a pale blue background. The pottery industry is long since gone, although we do have 2 old kilns left. Last year the city council decided to renovate the kilns and one of them partially collapsed, luckily no one was hurt.

Portobello was voted 'urban village of the year' in 2004, this reflects the really good community spirit that exists here. Many places have now been taken over by supermarkets & local shops in the High St have closed, but in Portobello we recently fought off a bid by a big supermarket to move in, & we have lots of local shops: butcher, fishmonger, 3 chemists, a deli, & a growing number of restaurants & cafes. Long may it last!!

3 pyramids built out of sandbags on Portobello beach during the summer of 2007

For the past few years Portobello has had a community arts project each summer called Big things on the Beach, with the one in 2007 proving very popular with local people. The artist behind this years project was Hill Jephson Robb, who during the period 20th May - 20th June built 3 pyramids on the beach with sandbags which had been filled by local people. The result was magnificent, & the party thrown to celebrate was brilliant, as you can see from these photos! (Whilst the picture at the top of the page is great, don't forget to look at the series further down the page too)

Trial run of hovercraft between Portobello & Kirkcaldy, July 2007'

Also during the summer of 2007 we had a trial run of a hovercraft between Kirkcaldy & Portobello for 2 weeks. This proved hugely popular, and it looks as if the pilot project may well result in the set-up of a regular service. As the service was so popular many folk were disappointed not to get a place after queueing for a long time, but your canny correspondent, caught the first 'flight' of the week, with the aim of having breakfast in Kirkcaldy, before her return, unfortunately, she hadn't reckoned on a Monday holiday on the Fife side, so had to return for a late breakfast at Kitchener's deli in Portobello! But I'm sure the food was better there anyway! (Sorry Fife, no offence meant!

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