In this week's Kith and Kin, Peter Munro from the Borders Family History Society, discusses his work with Kelso Writers and support from the National Records of Scotland...


One of the other ‘hats’ that I wear is as a trustee of Kelso Writers, a Scottish charity, which seeks to help emerging writers begin or improve their writing skills.

A few months ago, charities across Scotland were invited to apply for some of the equipment used by census field staff last year, for the 2022 census.

That equipment comprised 400 Chromebooks and 130 mobile phones.

The National Records of Scotland decided to donate the equipment as part of the legacy of the census. I suspect that the retail value of the second-hand equipment wouldn’t have been a huge amount and the equipment will be long out of date by the time of the next census, probably in 2031.

Kelso Writers was allocated two of the Chromebooks and I went to collect them last week.

I had to collect them from the National Records of Scotland office in Ladywell Rd, Edinburgh, on the edge of Corstorphine. That seemed to be a difficult journey without a car.

However, I hate driving in Edinburgh and I frequently find it impossible to park anywhere near the place I want to be.

So, when I go to Edinburgh or when I go to cemeteries to look at gravestones, I use the buses. The most feasible way to do this is to use the journey planner on the Traveline Scotland website,, or its smartphone app.

I’ve generally found that the journey planner is excellent. I can use a road name, place of interest (for example, Borders Family History Society) or post code for both the start and finish destinations, specify the time I want to go or arrive and whether I want to use bus or train or both.

It provides bus times, route numbers, walking directions, fares and maps; though the walking time is very optimistic — I usually double it.

The journey planner advised me to take the route 51 bus from the Borders to George St, Edinburgh, walk down to Princes St, catch the route 26 bus to Corstorphine and then walk for seven minutes (it took me 20 minutes with my trolley).

It seemed odd that the National Records of Scotland would be located in such an out of the way place.

Then I discovered the Lothian Buses website,, and the more useful Transport for Edinburgh smartphone app.

That suggested I got off the 51 bus at the National Museum of Scotland in Chambers Street, Edinburgh and catch the route 31 bus to Corstorphine, with the walk as before, and that’s what I did.

You may imagine my surprise when I arrived at the National Records of Scotland to see a route 1 bus stopping opposite.

The Transport for Edinburgh app has a bus routes display which is useful to see where you might change buses.

Their trip planner has three route options ‘best route’ (the default), ‘less walking’, and ‘fewer transfers’.

The ‘less walking’ option showed the better route for me; that is, to take route 31 to Stevenson Grove and then to take route 1.

The app also shows where the bus you’re on is on a map.