Blair's birthplace is bulldozed in Edinburgh

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THE building where Prime Minister Tony Blair was born in Edinburgh has been demolished to make way for a massive new housing development.

Developers said today that they had bulldozed the Queen Mary Maternity Home, once an overspill unit for the Simpson's, over the last two weekends as builders set about creating the 19-acre Quartermile development of homes, shops and offices on the old infirmary site.

The Labour leader was born Anthony Charles Lynton Blair at 6.10am on May 6, 1953, in the Lauriston Place building.

His father was a junior tax inspector who spent his evenings and weekends at the family home in Willowbrae studying for a law degree from Edinburgh University.

The young Tony Blair lived in the two-bedroom semi-detached house at 5 Paisley Terrace with his parents, Leo and Hazel, and his older brother Bill, until he was 19 months old.

The Blairs sold the bungalow in late 1954, when the family emigrated to Australia, where Leo had been offered a lecturing job in Adelaide.

Starting off life as a nursing home in 1913, the Queen Mary building offered beds for women of limited means and accommodation for staff.

In 1958, it reopened as the Queen Mary Maternity Home, a place where patients could pay a fee to be attended there by their own doctor.

The building finally ended its active hospital role in 1973, later becoming part of the South Lothian College of Nursing and Midwifery.