My sister, Anne, would be in a push-chair - very handy for transporting a blanket and picnic.
For those families such as us who lived at the four Stairs it was a long walk, because we were going from one end of Oxgangs Avenue to the other and from there onward through Braidburn Valley to the far end - a fair old distance. However, it was slightly downhill and as the Gaelic saying goes We had the sun on our face and the wind (just a zephyr) at our back.
|Back Garden of First House Greenbank (Peter Hoffmann)|
|(Photograph by Rustythespian)|
|Outdoor Theatre Performance at Braid Burn Valley (Photograph by Mr W. R. Smith)|
This was a sylvan little spot.
The water in the burn was shallow, still and clear.
We would go barefoot in the burn and with our little nets fish for minnows and sticklebacks. The nets had been bought at the start of the school summer holidays, from T. F. Francis' drysalters shop at 29 Oxgangs Crescent shopping precinct.
|(Outdoor Theatre Braid Burn Valley, Peter Hoffmann)|
This was the hard part; not just because it signalled the end of the picnic and the afternoon but because with our little legs it was a very long walk home.
We were at the far end of the valley; the cinder path was long and wynding and before we left the park we had to negotiate a slight uphill incline out of Braidburn Valley. However, at least there was the doo'cot to look at. And then there was the challenge of walking all the way along Oxgangs Avenue - a long weary walk in to the west. The sun was in our faces making us too hot and the breeze was against us. We were all a little weary from being on the go all afternoon and were all looking forward to getting home and our tea.
|(Braid Burn Valley - The Long Walk Home to The Stair, Peter Hoffmann)|
|(Approaching the border line where two communities, Greenbank and Oxgangs (almost) meet, Peter Hoffmann)|
Instead it was to be found at Greenbank. It was where two worlds met. The doo'cot served as a metaphor and perhaps summed up the difference between two communities at the border-line; the gap between the working class, council owned, grey housing schemes of Oxgangs and the middle class, privately owned bungalows and villas of the leafy suburbs of Greenbank.
Even the two names seem to jar against one another - the tougher sounding Oxgangs against the soothing image of Greenbank