'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

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Bed in Summer

We had to go to bed far too early on summer evenings when we were young. We children had the back bedroom which faced toward the Pentland Hills and the scree slopes of Caerketton and Allermuir. It was south  to south west facing and therefore enjoyed the sun from lunch time until early evening. The curtains would hardly contain the light and I would lie in bed on the top bunk watching the shadows of the numbers 4, 27 or 16 Edinburgh Corporation buses move and circulate around three of the four walls of our bedroom. Occasionally there would be the sound of footsteps going past of an adult returning home from work to Oxgangs Street or going out for an evening outing. Worst of all were the sounds of other children laughing and shouting, still out enjoying themselves playing. I suppose it must have been the same for the Hoggs, the Blades and the Duffy children too? It may have been a small comfort if we'd realised we weren't alone-a century before Stevenson clearly experienced the same thing too.

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. Fiona Blades

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. Fiona Blades

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 instantly smell the odour it effused; a mixture of ash and damp vegetable peelings. Fiona Blades

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! Peter Hoffmann

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