15 legendary Edinburgh institutions that are gone but not forgotten

Edinburgh has witnessed scores of institutions vanish over the years, never to return.

James Thin
James Thin

But while these institutions may have bitten the dust, our collective memories of them will never fade. From Brattisani's wonderful fish and chips to the great engineering works at Ferranti, we take a look at 15 legendary social institutions from around Edinburgh that are gone but not forgotten.

A favourite of Edinburgh University students, James Thin stationer and bookseller developed a foothold in Edinburgh during the 20th century, with a number of shops including the famous corner store at South Bridge (now Blackwells).
Established in the 1930s, Casey's of Edinburgh produced and sold more gobstoppers, soor plooms and dolly mixtures over the years than you could shake a dentist's drill at. The shops at St Mary's Street and Easter Road were the most famous.

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    Countless great bands played here including The Stone Roses (twice), My Bloody Valentine and The Manic Street Preachers. For a generation, this truly was THE venue. It closed in 2006.
    Rankins' sold fruit, veg and flowers to generations of Edinburgh folk. This institution boasted various outlets in the Capital including several in the city centre.
    Although not Edinburgh-founded, electrical engineering firm Ferranti opened a factory at Crewe Toll in the 1940s. Works team Ferranti Thistle today ply their trade as Livingston FC.
    Founded in 1918, Leith's Henry Robb shipyard employed thousands in the shipbuilding industry. The yard closed in 1984 with the Ocean Terminal shopping centre now occupying much of its footprint.
    Regarded by many as serving the best fish and chips in town, Brattisani's outlets could be found all over the city, but it was the shop at Newington Road - close to the Commonwealth Pool - that is the most memorable.
    Over the years, countless marriages were forged from couples meeting at the Palais de Danse. Converted into a Mecca bingo hall in the 1960s, the building was demolished in 2016.
    One of the city's best-known ice cream parlours and a long-time rival of Musselburgh's S. Luca, Boni's is sorely missed but not forgotten. It closed in 2002.
    This art deco gem opened in 1930 and was originally called the New Victoria. The 2,000-seater cinema later became the Odeon and hosted countless bands on top of its usual roster of films. It closed in 2003.
    Starting from small beginnings in 1832, bookseller John Menzies would go on to dominate the market, boasting outlets all over the country. After 1998 the firm transformed into Menzies Aviation and Menzies Distribution.
    Once commonplace all over Edinburgh and beyond, Martins the Bakers were as popular as Greggs is today. The outlet pictured shows the company's 'Light Bite' snack bar.
    Famous as the place where Olympian sprinter Eric Liddell trained, Powderhall hosted all manner of events, including athletics, greyhound racing and speedway. The stadium closed in 1995 and the site redeveloped for housing.
    Occupying one full side of North Bridge at its southern end, Patrick Thomson department store was the place to shop and be seen doing it for the best part of a century. It became Arnott's in 1976, closing for good six years later.
    St Cuthbert's Co-op opened its first store at Edinburgh's Ponton Street in 1859 and would go on to become one of the largest co-operatives in Britain. It merged with Dalziel's of Motherwell in 1981 and was rebranded as Scotmid.