'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

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Hunters Tryst School Sports Day

Hunters Tryst did School Sports Day proud.

It was always superbly organised, very well attended and presented with a sense of theatre.

It was serious and yet it was fun. 

There was drama, disappointment, glory and joy.

Hunters Tryst School Sports Day on the former School Sports-Field Photograph courtesy Stevie Berry

With the smell of newly cut grass and the marking out of the white running lanes for the 100 yards sprint and an oval track laid out on the grass field the sense of anticipation that we'd come to that part of the Oxgangs season was palpable.

Several rows of school benches lined the whole of one side of the 100 yards straight facilitating the sense of occasion, anticipation and theatre.

If parents didn't arrive early with their little ones and little picnics they were condemned to stand at the back and spill out behind on to the grass slope.

Hunters Tryst School Sports Day was a rather glorious and fun Friday morning followed by a half day which for some years coincided with the last day of the summer term.

Rather classy pencils were handed out to the winners of the races. 

The pencils were purple in colour with the name Hunters Tryst Primary School emblazoned in yellow along the side. 

Back in the 1960s these were prized items. Out with Crackerjack I’d never come across such a thing so they were rare and valued. Were they perhaps introduced in 1963? I think at the end of my first year (Primary 1) in 1962 the prizes were perhaps a blue badge for second and another colour for first place?

I'm unsure how well the children from The Stair (Oxgangs Avenue) got on, on Sports Day? 

The only slight unhappiness for me was that my brother Iain wasn't the most athletic of children. Although he struggled at Sports Day he had the right attitude really enjoying the occasion and took it in the right spirit competing with a smile on his face. 

On one occasion he won either or indeed both the sack race and/or the obstacle race and I was overjoyed for him. Having tried to will him to victory for many years I got more pleasure from that win than any of my victories. My sister Anne came to school when I was in P5; she performed quite well usually winning a race.
Ann Breslin; Terry Workman; David Lines and Stephen Drysdale amongst a clutch of fine athletes

There were some excellent athletes at Hunters Tryst – in my class, David Lines and Stephen Drysdale were scarily good and very fast athletes. I also recall Ann Breslin was a nice wee runner who went on to run for Edinburgh Southern Harriers. When I first began to go down to Meadowbank Sports Centre at the end of the summer of 1971 her dad sometimes gave me a lift back to the far end of Oxgangs Avenue where they stayed.

Depending on the year the relay varied between being run back and forward along the 100 yards straight or around the oval track. 

For many years our relay team of David Lines, Geoff Hunter, Graham McKiernan and I dominated however for some long forgotten reason – a dispute over running order perhaps? - but on one occasion I had a fall out and instead recruited a team of my own from the year below who were around six months younger than our class including Terry Workman, Kenny Ruickbie and another lad and took some satisfaction from overtaking my usual team on the last leg.

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