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'And finally, not everyone’s being doing topical. In fact, here’s the rather lovely 6 Oxgangs Avenue devoted to the history of the development of the area, this week highlighting how the block of flats came into being. Could have been prompted by Who do you think you are? Or just a timely reminder that not everything worth blogging about is in the here and now.'

Kate Higgins, Scottish Roundup 26/08/2012



Thursday, 16 August 2012

6 Oxgangs Avenue Edinburgh EH13 1958-1972



It occurred to me there may be some value and some interest in writing about the families and lifestyle of the families who lived at an ordinary council block of Edinburgh flats during the years when I lived there, between 1958 and 1972. Whenever I'm in Edinburgh and meet up for coffee with my mother and sister the past and our former lives at 6 Oxgangs Avenue inevitably crop up in discussion.

More recently I met up with Fiona Blades for coffee and we had a wonderful blether. Our past lives at Oxgangs dominated much of the conversation too. Each and every one of us who stayed at that block of flats have their own memories and of course different takes and perspectives on the people who lived there and the events that happened.
Photograph taken July 2012 (Peter Hoffmann)
I said to my mother and sister, Anne and later to Fiona that I might stick a toe in the water and start a blog-Remembrance From Times Past; and wouldn't it be great if others would add their own comments too. Apart from being a bit of fun such a blog might also be of interest to the children and indeed grand-children of those who once resided there and also perhaps a very small contribution toward social history.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Peter

Fiona here. It took me a while to get round to responding to your text to visit the blog. It’s good. You’ve done a lot of work, lots of good pictures, lots of information to stimulate thought.

I knew you had a connection to Buchan pottery somewhere but I didn’t know exactly what it was, so thanks for clarifying that. Whenever I think of your grandfather, and I can picture him quite clearly, I think of Buchan pottery. I visited his house on several occasions with you and I must have seen examples of it there because I always make that connection.

In your Bed in Summer item, you spoke about buses and I suddenly remembered the incident with the number 16, when one morning one fell on to its side and slewed into the fence of St Hilda’s Church across the road. I guess it must have been around 1967/8. I suppose it may be mentioned somewhere in the Scotsman Archive. Apparently what had happened was that it had been turning right into Oxgangs Avenue from the main road, Oxgangs Road North (?) one morning, when a lorry going straight on had clipped its back quarter, knocking it off balance. It made a loud BANG as it hit the ground and we were all the window in our house like a shot to see what had happened. We never expected that! Fortunately the bus had been fairly empty and no one was seriously hurt, just a little stunned. Great excitement though. I don’t know how they got it back up again because we had to go to school and it was gone when we got home.

Just one comment about the blog, the script is laborious to read.
I’m going to tell some others about your blog, so hopefully you will get some more comments fairly soon.

Peter Hoffmann said...

Thanks Fiona-good to hear from you. Yes, I remember about the bus toppling over-interesting and illuminating that it was a lorry that had caused the accident-I'd probably have wrongly surmised that it must have happened in winter-a mixture of a right hander and ice-a useful wee reminder of just how easy it will be to get things wrong in future! When I worked on the Edinburgh & Dumfries-shire three wheel milk floats there was always the excitement in winter of going down the very steep Craighouse Road before the 90 degree turn into Craighouse Gardens (Balcarres St)-all the milk boys had to go onto the driver's side to prevent the float going over. Good point on the font-Will's spoken to me before about that.

Anonymous said...

Fiona again.

Hi Peter

The Duffy you can't remember is 'Ann'

I like the reminder about the milk floats. Even as I read I can hear the whining sound of the motor. just as when I saw the picture of the rubbish chute I could instanty smell the odour it effused; a mixture of ash and damp vegetable peelings.

Peter Hoffmann said...

Well spotted-the second I read Ann, her face came back to me immediately. I'll devote a future blog to the milk floats and also some of the adventures a few of us got up to when I delivered milk for a couple of dairies from a small metal two wheeled cart. One of the dairies was Berry's at Falcon Road West-can't remember the one I worked for up at Bruntsfield Place. The chute works on a very simple premise, yet when it became blocked, I was always very impressed when one of the practical men in the stair cleared it-I had assumed it must have taken a great feat of engineering!

Ruth kaye said...

Great blog Peter evokes many memories I especially remember the mini Olympics you used to organise and we would run between the lamposts and you would time us happy days
Ruth blades

Peter Hoffmann said...

Great to hear from you Ruth-thanks for the prompt-definitely a future blog item! For years I had a wee notebook with all the times as well as triple jump on the small grass area across the road.Later on we held a couple of mini-Olympics at the army track at Redford Baracks-second one not completed because we got chased off by the soldiers!

Ruth kaye said...

Hello Peter
Other memories which spring to mind are the games of British bulldog in your front garden and jumping off the shed across the path at the back of the flats there was no such thing as health and safety in those days you just went for it. I also remember creamola foam which I am sure must have been radio active but see that someone has started making it again.

Ruth Kaye said...

Hello Peter
Great pictures I am still doing crazy stuff have an injured shoulder at the moment or maybe it is an old injury from jumping off the roof. Seems like yesterday the years have melted away.
Ruth

paul said...

On the subject of jumble sales. I got a pair of ski's at the Greenbank Church sale.When the snow arrived i took myself up Oxgangs Rd. Nth.and strapped my wellies into the death trap's at my feet.Halfway down i was going great gun's when i realised i had no idea how to stop.Fate took a hand as i shot across The Avenue and the ski's hot the kerb on the other side.I shot out of my wellies and came to a bone crunching stop against the wall of St. Hilda's!With nothing broken(including the ski's)i set off up the hill for another go.Franz Klammer would have been so proud of me.Eventually the snow, and the ski's, disappeared.Just as well,my leg's were going to come in handy in a few year's time.

Ruth Kaye said...

Hello Paul
That was very amusing I remember many a jolly day spent up at hill end ski centre

paul said...

I honestly think we were blessed to have been born before technology ruined the growing up process. My kid's and grandchildren (six of them!)love to hear the stories and find it hard to believe that no-one actually died.If we all wrote a short story and compiled it,it would be a best seller.

Gerry Frew said...

Hi Peter,

I'm now reading your blog in a slightly more structured and systematic way (i.e. starting at the start and working to the end). I thought as better late than never, I'd add the odd comment where a particular memory was jogged - you never know when another person might lit upon the site - it took me long enough :)

Regards, Gerry