The sun was still rising as the Lawnmarket started to come to life; women were carrying baskets of fresh produce and the horse and cart was making a delivery to the store at the top of the West Bow. Someone had already descended on Bell, the wigmaker and hair cutter and ragamuffins were out and about, bare-footed and on the lookout for what may be lying around, dropped or just plain old fashioned unattended – anything goes when you are starving.

The menfolks were striking up conversations, discussion around ale and work and everything in between and all this as the sun hadn’t even peaked above the crown spire atop the church of St Giles a short distance down the Royal Mile. The morning air was warm and a gentle breeze had helped move some smog, things a wee bit clearer for a time, until the fires would roar and the reek would return, the haar following in the evening as it rolled all the way down the Forth from the North Sea.

…just another morning on the Lawnmarket during the summer of 1886.

(Original artwork courtesy of yours truly, based on my own antique etching with some artistic license used and fully coloured by hand. Prints are available in the members gallery with usual discounts applicable)