Our community development in Edinburgh began in 1958 with small family groups relatively from the same area in Punjab. Their initial stop was London from which they travelled to various parts of Scotland eventually settling in Edinburgh. Leith, Hamilton St, Wilkie place, Springfield St and ST Mary's St were the main areas of our residence.
As is norm with a Sikh community a place of worship is an essential part of our life. A Sikh place of residence will always have a dedicated place of worship. As a community develops the want for a common place of worship becomes a need. The Sikh place of worship is known as The Gurdwara and not Temple as it is commonly mistaken. Translated, Gurdwara means the 'doorway to the Guru'. The word 'Guru' means 'that which is takes fro darkness (gu) to light (ru)'.
In 1964 The first Gurdwara in Edinburgh was established at 7 Hope Terrace, Leith, Edinburgh. The house belonged to two brothers, Gholu S Roudh and Mangal S Khanda Roudh, who donated the property to be used as a Gurdwara by the Sikh community. It was a top floor flat with a kitchen, 2 bedrooms and a sitting room. The wall between the sitting room and a bedroom was removed to create a space of worship approximately 28sq yds.
The community members, at that time, whose dedication and hard work made it possible and greatly appreciated by the current members: -
Hazur S. Bhai, Harnam S. Bhai, Sapuran S. Bhai, Jaswant S. Bhai, Munshi S. Bhai, Chiman S. Bhai, Karnel S. Landa, Chiman S. Landa, Molakh S. Digwa, Tunda S. Kasbia, Swaran S. Kasbia, Gurbhachan S. Bhaker, Lehna S. Bhaker, Balwant S. Rathour, Joginder S. Roude, Inder S. Roude, Puran S. Potiwal, Inder S. Potiwal. Swaran S Roude Tagisha, Aujager S Jaga Digpal, Gorkhia S Mall Bhaker, Tehal S Bhaker, Santokh S Bhaker, Sardar S Bhaker.
In 1970 we moved to 11 Academy St, Leith, Edinburgh. This again was a top floor flat but larger. It consists of 3 fairly large bedrooms, Kitchen and sitting room. Similarly the wall between the sitting and bedroom was knocked down to convert into a large worship area.
In 1976 we moved to our current location at 1 Sheriff Brae, Leith, Edinburgh.
The building was previously known as St Thomas Church. It was built in 1843 as a memorial to the Gladstone Family by Sir John Gladstone of Fasque. John Henderson was the architect.
Our area of worship was on the lower floor with a false ceiling covering the second floor pews. After an arson attack in 1989 reconstruction placed two floors in the main building, the upper being the area of worship and the lower converted into the dining room for Lungar (the communal meal after service).
Sewadar: Gurmit S Bhai.
Historic buildings in Leith
Donations by members for the rebuild in 1989.