'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, 31 December 2015

Life in Oxgangs in the 1950s and 1960s by Jim Blyth, now a resident of Ontario, Canada

I was originally alerted to this interesting post by Jim Blyth on the 'Like Warriors' Facebook page; I contacted Jim asking if I could re-post it on this blog for those who may have missed it. It's a super post, pre-dating most of the other blogs on this site, as it goes back to the very early days of Oxgangs.

' I grew up in the prefabs; we moved in around 1951 and lived in Oxgangs Place. The prefab was very cold in the winter the only heating was by a coal fire in the living room; the bedrooms and bathroom were freezing especially in the winter. Rain pouring down on the tin roof was a great sound as were birds hopping across the roof; when it thundered the whole house shook.Opposite our prefab was George Liddle's the joiner who was moved up to Oxgangs Bank just east of the shops in the early 1960's. 

To get down-town we took the number 4 bus; later came the number 27 and years later the number 16. We had to walk to the Braid Hills Hotel to the tram terminus to get to Brunstfield, Tolcross etc. 
Tram terminus at Braid Hills Hotel (Photographer unknown)

We used to play football in the park on Sunday afternoon with guys coming from all over, usually Hearts supporters against Hibs supporters. Gordon Marshall (Hearts) John Grant, Johnny McLeod (Hibs) all lived within 100 yards of each other on Colinton Mains Drive.

Photograph courtesy David McLean, Lost Edinburgh
There used to be farm behind Dr. Motley's and I would crawl through the hedge and steal turnips from the field. 
George Liddle the joiner installed the bell in Colinton Mains Church and I was the first person to ring the bell in the church. Beside the church on Oxgangs Road North the brick building used to be the local store with wooden floors; there was also a butcher at one end; it was later used as changing rooms for the footballers in the park.
Colinton Mains Parish Church
I worked in the dental building at the corner of Oxgangs Road North. and Oxgangs Farm Drive making false teeth; there was lots of business in Oxgangs at the time. I think the prefabs were knocked down in 1964 and we were moved to Oxgangs Crescent. I later moved to Canada in the late 1960's. I found this picture of a prefab online; its not our house.'

Photograph of 'the prefabs' at Oxgangs Avenue, courtesy Douglas Blades

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