'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, 29 September 2013

Comment From Alan Brown

Comment: Hi Peter, First off can I just say your blog is fantastic! All the photos and stories just bring Oxgangs back to life, the trips down Braidburn valley everything you've mentioned throughout this Blog has had me going 'We used to do that too!' (did you roll your easter eggs down the 'grass steps' at the Braidburn Valley?). As I got older, I can remember Burn jumping all the way through the Braidburn Valley, trips to 'The Gully', Crab Apple fights (crab apples were collected from the trees by the Braidburn and stored in bags for each team then the battle would commence ~ what a mess we made!), British Bulldogs, walking up the Pentlands, Skateboarding down Naffi Hill. I also owned a Raleigh Chopper 1976 model, it was the best bike I ever owned although the Gear stick position was in a dodgy place.

I can remember Callum Orr, he was in my class (72'-75'). I have a vague recollection of him bringing some fantastic toys to school, a bright and clever lad, he seemed like the ultimate model pupil at Hunters Tryst. Teachers ~ I can only remember Headmaster Mr Conway and a Mrs Sym but not much else, I can remember the strong smell of sawdust which seemed to follow the Janny as he stalked the corridors in his long Brown coat and pail.
I realise that my time at Hunters Tryst began long after you had moved on but I wonder if you have any recollection of a Scot/Dutch family who lived in one of the stairs on Oxgangs St, either one of the ones next to the main road or the next one up. My classmate and pal Tony (Whinnier?) I can't remember the exact spelling. He had an older brother Stuart? and an older Sister, I think. They spoke English with heavily accented dutch which always had me laughing. They were good friends of mine and I always wondered what happened to them as I left H.T. in '75. Cheers, Alan Brown 

Response: Thanks Alan-my sister Anne had a similar view of Callum and held a candle for him. I didn't really know him and he started doing well at athletics after I stopped-he was a good all-rounder competing in decathlon reaching international level. There's a Power of 10 website that may give you some information. The last I heard he was the head of an academic institute in the Midlands area. If we were off on an adventure toward the Pentland Hills we occasionally were in the NAFFI-it always had an unusual feel to it compared to the likes of The Store. I had forgotten until you mentioned it, but the original janny at Hunters Tryst was a Mr Phillip who had a tied house outside the school at Oxgangs Rise-he too wore a brown warehouse coat, so I assume they were standard issue from Edinburgh Corporation-I guess with 300-400 kids there was always someone being sick thus the trail of sawdust! Sorry I don't recall the Dutch family-I moved away in 1972 so perhaps they arrived after me.


Alan B said...

Peter, were you aware of the BAR-OX gang. I was always intrigued by the BAR-OX graffiti that was on the corner of the buildings at the junction of Oxgangs Avenue and Oxgangs Crescent, it was there for years, I was never aware of any gangs in the 'gangs.

Unknown said...

I remember the graffiti on the gable of the end block of Oxgangs Avenue as you came down the hill from Greenbank: "Welcome to Bar-Ox Land". And on the road at the top of the hill you could see from the top deck of the bus the official white painted warning sign "SLOW" on the road before the hill. And then a second official "SLOW". Followed by an unofficial "QUICK QUICK SLOW" spaced out as you entered Oxgangs. Great humour – 10 out of 10.