Friday, 30 October 2020


 Binns is , or rather was, a department store at the West End in Edinburgh. As a boy I would wonder if my mother would finish her shopping quickly enough for me to be home to see Dr Who. As a boy I was fascinated by the mechanical clock which had soldiers marching round on the hour, a sight to behold! Binns was on a corner and a convenient place to meet folk, in fact I arranged to meet Jan there on out first date.  As a teenager I lived across the road from some elderly sisters who were named Maule, related to the family that owned the store when it was called Maules. 

The shop was taken over latterly by House of Fraser but was never the same. Now it is being done up to be a Johnny Walker Whiskey Experience and is in the state you see below from photos I took this week.

The building is covered in printed cloth showing the exterior as it once was, an interesting effect I have seen elsewhere. You can see the mechanical clock depicted too. Let’s hope they restore the clock to its former glory to captivate once more...


  1. Binns had a store in Grimsby too, though it never had anything half as interesting as that clock, so as a kid it never really figured on my radar. And I never met any future wives outside so it doesn’t have the same resonance as an adult either. Mind you, I never lived there as an adult so wasn’t likely to :-)

    Nevertheless I enjoy trips down memory lane like this. So thanks for sharing yours Alan.

    1. A chap I went to uni with was the curator of the Grimsby museum not to mention a wargamer. I think they missed a trick not having a clock in your Binns, so much potential for mechanical fish and trawlers going up and down through the waves...

  2. Great post! I enjoy hearing people's stories of living history of the towns and cities we grew up in.

    Dunfermline now is a very dirrernt Dunfermline than 40 years ago. So many changes and the same with Edinburgh. Progress has many facets...