Businesses on Main Street East

— #13 East Main Street

Overview Businesses on Main Street (East) The Italian Connection The Willow Tree Legend
The key to the businesses is to be found below.

Shops and Businesses on Main Street (East)

15 Grocers: Welch
16 Sweet Shop: Marshall
17 Butchers: Boyd
18 Dressmaker: Gulliver
19 Hairdresser:
Anne McIntyre

20 Newsagents: Miller
21 Greengrocers: Rutherford
22 Launderette
23 Cafe & Ice Cream: Renaldi
24 Butchers: Leith Provident Co-op
25 Chemist: Leith Provident Co-op
26 Haberdashery: Beehive
27 Hardware: Rutherford
69 Dairy
70 Drapers: Milne
71 Cafe & Ice Cream Shop: Crolla
72 Leith Provident Co-op
73 Leith Provident Co-op
74 Bakers: Mathieson
75 Wood Yard
76 Chip Shop: Finlay
77 Smibert’s Pub
78 Sweet Shop: Falconer


In all, there were 82 business along the length and breadth of Newhaven during the fifties.  One resident, with an acute memory for detail, relates her experience as a child of the times running errands for her mother.

By Myra Jamieson

On the north side of  the street, were a number of tenement buildings, one of which was known by all locals as the Klondyke.  On the street level below the houses was a complex of shops where Crolla’s, an ice cream parlour and cafe (71), and the Leith Provident’s store were located (72 & 73).  On the other side of the Pend was Finlay’s Fish and Chip Shop (76).  It was good but, I think not as good as Giserteri’s at the west end of Main Street, my favourite.  My granny had her fish shop just along from Finlay’s. 

Next  door to Smibert’s Pub (77) was Jeannie’s (78) although we knew it as Steele’s, a previous owner — toffee cups, toffee apples on sale.

3_3159 An old postcard of the Main Street which is dominated by the buildings of the Klondyke and neighbouring tenements. There is a busy-ness about this scene which would have been typical of that time,

Across the road — watch out for the trams and the occasional bus! — there was Joe Ranaldi (23). Not a high class ice cream shop in the style of Crolla’s but the best value for your money.  For 3d (no value today — just over one new penny) you could buy Vantas in a bottle (known as anti-freeze today, I would think).  Good value for your pocket money. He had a slot machine as well.

The Launderette (22) was just along from Ranaldi’s. It was a meeting place and gossip shop!  You were in big trouble if your Mum or Granny had put in extra soap powder and it overflowed. Rutherford’s (21) was a greengrocer but I was not in there a lot.

At the foot of the Whale Brae was Miller’s (20) the newsagents. He sold his shop to a Mr Eadie. Miller’s had a brilliant sale. He sold stuff he must have had in his shop since the war — the First World War, I would think!  It took years for Mr Eadie to be accepted as it was always known as Miller’s.

6_6300 The well-stocked interior of Joe Ranaldi's shop with his wife and bairn behind the counter. Courtesy of Francis Ranaldi

On the other side of the Whale Brae was Frank Boyd, butcher (17), who owned a fishing boat moored in the harbour. On a summer night, weather permitting, he would take groups around the bay — no life jackets, no health and safety.  Andrew’s the Chemist was situated at the top of the Whale Brae. Also Mrs Livingstone’s wool shop and a whole different set of shops there.

Continuing along the Main Street, we must end at Welch’s (not the fishmonger at Newhaven Harbour, a different Welch).  Run by Alice, it sold boiled ham and Rainbow Crystals, Rainbow Crystals were sherbet crystals in different colours. Eat too much and your mouth coloured red and your tongue burned — all for thruppence (3d — see above).

I can’t end without mentioning the public houses of Newhaven:— The Marine Hotel, Maggie McFadyen’s, The Drift Inn, Boatie Row (later Barney Battle’s), The Ship Inn, Smibert’s and The Peacock. That was the 50’s Newhaven — well dressed, well fed . . . and alcoholic!”

3_3224 Main Street at the foot of the Whale Brae, housewife with the ubiquitous shopping bag in the foreground. Photo courtesy of The Liston Legacy.