Edinburgh Photo Library
- Paisley Close

Paisley Close

On 24 November, 1861, the 250 year-old houses at 99 and 103 High Street, on the Royal Mile, collapsed. 35 of the occupants were killed but as the debris was being cleared away, a young lad was heard to shout out from within the collapsed building "Heave awa' lads, I'm no deid yet".

The memorial inscription above Paisley Close, which was built in place of the collapsed houses, has a more anglicised, middle-class interpretation of what was said - "Heave awa' chaps, I'm no' dead yet".

The tragedy (and the overcrowding which was prevalent at that time) resulted in the creation of a Medical Officer of Health in Edinburgh for the first time.

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