'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, 21 June 2020
Oxgangs - A Capital Story
As the African proverb goes ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’
OXGANGS - A Capital Story is an updated version of the book The Stair which first came out in 2012.
Over 400 pages and told through easily digestible vignettes - over 200 in total - the book describes what it was like to grow up in 1960s Oxgangs on a new Edinburgh council housing estate set in the lea of the Pentland Hills.
The book focuses on the sixteen adults and twenty-five children who lived in an atypical stair at 6 Oxgangs Avenue between 1958 and 1972 all set within the social culture of the rapidly changing era.
In the years since the book first came out new information has come to light primarily through the Facebook group Oxgangs – A Pastime from Time Past. At 155,000 words the revised, updated and extended book is almost 40,000 words longer - a third larger than the original thus meriting a new separate print volume.
The Coronavirus lockdown gave me the opportunity to revisit the book through the prism of the group page by posting many of the vignettes on a daily basis providing some entertainment and general escape to members during a period of national emergency as well as allowing them the chance to engage and feed in to the ongoing story - editing it in real time so to speak.
From this process some members‘ comments and memories have been incorporated in to the book helping to expand the story I’ve tried to write and the portrait painted of the early days of Oxgangs from over half a century ago - a ‘capital’ tale of a young Edinburgh community and of a stair of people seen through the eyes of not just the author but also through the eyes of others.
It’s a local story with universal themes too.
I think the book may remain as THE Oxgangs book for generations to come and would make a nice Father’s Day; birthday or come the Festive period a present for Oxgangers young and old or why not simply treat yourself.
N.B. Priced at £15.99 from Amazon this is the print version: the updated illustrated version is also available very under its existing title The Stair.