Happy 100th birthday Ruby!

19 June 2019

A Port of Leith Housing Association customer has celebrated her 100th birthday surrounded by family. Ruby has been a tenant with us for 30 years and has lived in Leith for over 70 years.

Photo of Ruby holding a bouquet of flowers.

We visited Ruby and her niece at her home in Leith to wish her a happy birthday and listen to her stories about life in Leith. On the street outside Ruby’s home are big, leafy trees, but it wasn’t always this way. Ruby remembers when the street was bare, and the rows of cars were non-existent. Instead, there were tramcars all the way to Granton! Inside, the close used to be lively with neighbours, but today it is peaceful and quiet.

Ruby spent her working years at Macniven and Cameron Ltd, the well-known printing and stationery company on Blair Street. When she wasn’t working, Ruby enjoyed going to the picture houses around the city, including Gaiety Theatre in the Kirkgate. Back then, the bustling Kirkgate had record stores, shoe shops, drapers, tearooms and more.

Photo of Ruby with Heather Kiteley and Eve Smith.

When asked the secret to a long life, Ruby’s answer was “no smoking”, but it could also be that her favourite pastime of all is dancing. Ruby enjoyed visiting dancehalls all over the city, including the famous Palais de Danse in Fountainbridge. It had a hand-cranked revolving stage and served fruit juices at its alcohol-free bar, Cupid’s Corner. Ruby’s favourite dance style? It’s sequence dancing, a ballroom dance with couples all performing the same movements simultaneously around the room.

All of us at Port of Leith Housing Association would like to wish Ruby a very happy 100th birthday celebration!

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