Your Memories: 'I recall Sean lifeguarding with girls all around him'

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WATCHING Sean Connery lifeguard at the local pool, tucking into a plate of peas and vinegar and taking part in an underwater treasure hunt are just a few of James Kennedy's fond memories of Portobello.

Although the father-of-one spent his childhood in Craigentinney, he was a pupil at the old Portobello High School and his grandparents stayed on the town's Rosefield Avenue, above the Brighton Bar, opposite the existing police station.

During his breaks from school, Mr Kennedy and his friends would run along the pathway to the tunnel in the former Portobello train station, and on to Portobello High Street where they would enjoy hot pies from Copeland's restaurant and bakery.

The 77-year-old laughs: "We met at night in Nicoras ice-cream shop where Neno & Jeno his dad served us with an 'aerated vantice' – an all different flavoured drink – and peas and vinegar."

Mr Kennedy, who now lives on Northfield Farm Road, adds: "We used to go to the Bungalow cinema in Bath Street and the Central in the High Street on Saturday matinees to watch the 'trailers' as they were called. I do remember the first film in the County Picture House in Bath Street, which was Snow White."

He can even recall standing in a queue at Portobello Pool to get his wristband and a locker key.

"I also remember Sean Connery lifeguarding with his white trousers, open neck shirt and tanned skin, and all the girls flocking round him!" he smiles.

"On Thursday nights the pool staff threw various tins of food into the pool. They called this the treasure hunt night which had a static raft and wave machine. It was great fun!"

Mr Kennedy also enjoyed watching the pretty factory girls from Paisley who, during the Glasgow and Paisley Fair, brought their band to Portobello and danced in a big shelter where the indoor bowling now stands.

As a special treat his mum and dad, Margaret and James, would take him to Demarco's on the promenade where he devoured a Knickerbocker Glory ice-cream.

"In the shop there was a grand piano and Mr D would play it," adds Mr Kennedy, a former technical assistant with Edinburgh council. "Times were great and good fun. I have very happy memories."