'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

Monday, 17 December 2012

Spring 1971 - An Edinburgh Adventure

On Saturday 6 March, 1971 five of us took off for a spring adventure-Ali Douglas; Les Ramage; Boo-Boo Hanlon; Iain Hoffmann; and myself.

We took the Number 27 bus to Edinburgh Castle to explore our heritage. It was always good fun going out together - great company with many laughs. Although we had a rough outline of the day ahead, we never quite knew what would happen or who we might meet along the way.

Ali Douglas; Boo-Boo Hanlon; Les Ramage; Iain Hoffmann and General Haig
Ali Douglas; Iain Hoffmann; Peter Hoffmann; Boo-Boo Hanlon; and Mons Meg
Iain Hoffmann; Peter Hoffmann; Boo-Boo Hanlon; and a Scottish Sudger!
From the castle we walked all the way down the Royal Mile and then up and over Arthur's Seat. We were in no hurry and walked at an easy pace calling in at one or two of the shops along the way. There were fewer tourists around and the Old Town still had a significant population, so it was local people who dominated.

Ali Douglas; Peter Hoffmann; BooBoo Hanlon and Les Ramage

The climb up Arthur's Seat was a stiff one; even though we were young and fit we quickly built up a sweat and the beginnings of a sound appetite. 

Iain Hoffmann and Ali Douglas (back); BooBoo Hanlon and Les Ramage (front)

At one stage whilst running through the long grass we unknowingly came to the edge of a sharp precipice which would have been all too easy to have gone over.

Ali Douglas and Les Ramage on the edge looking toward Holyrood Palace
We had a general sense of direction. Once we had taken in the summit 360 degree panoramic view of Edinburgh we traversed Arthur's Seat and got sight of Duddingston Loch down in the valley; we'd found our bearings. It was downhill now. We leapt like hares and galloped like horses, occasionally crashing, rolling and laughing as we ran or tumbled down the hill side.

Duddingston Loch By Moonlight Charles Lees

Duddingston Loch was always quite magical, no matter the weather in Holyrood Park there are times when you can completely escape the city. Robert Louis Stevenson enjoyed it in all the seasons a century before and writes in the winter of 1874 of looking down at the skaters on the frozen loch flitting around under the light from the moon and lit torches. My fantasy was to come down on a Saturday afternoon with a rubber dinghy and float around the loch whilst listening to a football commentary on my miniature radio!

Boo-Boo Hanlon; Iain Hoffmann(?); Ali Douglas
After the excitement of Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile and Arthur's Seat the long road through Duddingston to Durham Road was the least enjoyable part of the journey-particularly because by then we were hungry.

Outside Duddingston Golf Course - Boo-Boo Hanlon - a great character and a great friend over the years

We hadn't planned ahead or notified our grandparents, but we knew from old, that there was no trouble turning up unannounced on their doorstep. There was a warm welcome and a massive tea soon followed - bacon and eggs, scones and buns were soon drummed up for us to enjoy. 

After tea, we got a lift back home the seven miles to Oxgangs in our grandfather's large stylish Ford Zephyr car with its American styled tail-fin. It easily accommodated three in the front and three in the back. I suppose we were cheeky in requesting a lift back by 6.30 pm, but Ali (Douglas) had to be back home to see an Aunt and Uncle. We meanwhile still had the energy to play a game of singles and also dodgy ball well into the evening. 

Our Grandfather buying the Ford Zephyr in Hawick circa 1967

Happy, timeless and seemingly endless days of friendship and companionship.

Iain Hoffmann; Brian 'Boo-Boo' Hanlon; and the author 
12 November, 2014, 43 years later, Swanston Golf Club

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Happy days Edinburgh is a great place throw up in