'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, 28 February 2013


I've made an initial start on putting together a much needed index (See left, LABELS)-I'll update further in the coming weeks!

Monday, 18 February 2013

Comment From Ruth Kaye (Blades)/Response From Peter Hoffmann

Comment From Ruth Kaye (Blades): I too am missing the blog and makes me realise that you should keep a diary you forget so many things and I am sure there would have been many a funny story to tell. I annotate believe the detail about the bus Douglas that fair made me chuckle!

Response (Peter Hoffmann): Lovely to hear from you Ruth-I miss your regular, quirky wee comments. I'm just back in (2.00 am after a lovely drive up a quiet A9 on a cloudless evening with the stars out and a fantastic moon) after a week down in Edinburgh-I met up today with one of your (many!) big sisters, Fiona, at the Botanics for coffee, scones, walk and a three hour blether-emotionally exhausting for both of us (!)-you cropped up a few times (in the nicest possible way!) so perhaps your ears were burning! It was an absolutely glorious day-more than a wee hint of spring. Earlier in the week we'd also met up with my mother at Swanston-there's a nice cafe/restaurant there now. Earlier in the week I tweeted a couple of photies of Swanston Village and of a walk on the Pentlands thinking that you in The Big Smoke might particularly appreciate!

Fingers crossed, but Fiona is awaiting the results of her MA, to add to her previous brilliant achievements-she's quite remarkable and a great role model for anyone out there who is keen to dip a toe in the water and pursue academia after the first flush of youth-total respect, but even back in the 1960s at The Stair I was always very aware of how bright she was.

I'm 500 pages through editing the 600 pages of The Stair-I'm aware there are one or two wee gaps e.g. Easter so who knows what might appear-however I'm more than happy to publish contributions!...Isn't Douglas amazing when it comes to transport details-really quite uncanny-I've also exchanged one or two e mails with him and his recall of journeys on old steam trains is astonishing!

On a sadder note, Mr Bill Leslie previously at 4/1 Oxgangs Avenue died just over a week ago. He was the much loved father of two daughters, Janice and Catriona and I'm sure followers of The Stair's thoughts, sympathies and best wishes go out to them both. Interestingly Bill was a Highlander, born in Newtonmore-I wonder if Catriona was named after the heroine in one of Robert Louis Stevenson's novels. I can picture her quite well. Her sister, Janice was much older than me and I can't quite recall her so much, but I do seem to remember that she had a boyfriend (husband now?) who had a very stylish little French car-was it a Renault Dauphine?

ps On a happier note the week away and drive up was well worth it-d'Dartagnan took part in his first major British Senior Open down south-at the oldest UK fencing tournament-The Merseyside Open, really just for some fun/experience-full field of 108 and he ended up finishing 5th, but incredibly, the first Brit, behind two Frenchies/Slovak/Bulgarian and also winning the Under 18 medal! He's asleep now and back to school tomorrow, meanwhile I'm still in a mild state of pleasant shock!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Comment From Sandy Shaw

Comment: I like your blog post. Keep on writing this type of great stuff. I'll make sure to follow up on your blog in the future. Locksmith Edinburgh on Saturday Afternoons-You Grunt, I'll Groan!

Response: Thanks for your very kind comments, Sandy-there are approximately 200 daily blogs from last summer to Hogmanay, some of which may be of interest-I'm currently editing them into a book format. Since I stopped them I've had a few requests to re-enact-who knows I might be tempted!

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

NEEEP!-Bonus Post From Douglas Blades On Bus Crash At Oxgangs!


Looked at BLOG tonight. Front page was Aug 2012 and mentioning the bus which toppled over. It was Leyand PD3 with Alexander body and reg ASC 655B. Here’s a photo of it on another service on the front cover of Buses magazine.

I'm fairly certain (and George Upstairs has confirmed so) that this is off the ECT Leyland PD3/6 Alexanders double deck 655 (ASC 655B) bus that came a cropper at Oxgangs on Wednesday June 18 1975 when it fell over one day and was subsequently scrapped. I have memories of finding the hulk in Shrubhill Works and managing to acquire this. Mind you someone with a fleet body list for Edinburgh should be able to verify it. The serial number is E/1/3463/5. Alexanders were for many years in the 1960s to the 1980s the coach-builder of choice for Edinburgh-based up the road in Falkirk they are of course, still in business.

As for the accident I have the Edinburgh Evening News for the day-and nine were hurt in the accident-a lorry hit the bus as it turned right from Oxgangs Road North and Oxgangs Avenue.

From George Upstairs: So you're right Mike. Also, see the beast itself.

Comment From Circle1939: It wasn't actually the accident which resulted in 655 being scrapped. The crane sent out to get the bus managed to distort its offside doing so and that was enough to put 655 off the road for good.

I have two angles on the bus story. Our father, Charles Blades, was shaving at the side window in the large bedroom and that window looked out towards the junction – I wasn't in at the time but the story was related later – when he  exclaimed to our mother, Helen, that bus is toppling over – or words to that effect!

I think I was away to work at the Transport Dept by the time it happened but Mike Ashworth is correct, they did make a mess of getting it back up again so it had to be written off. I too visited the remains in Shrubhill after the event. The engineers had coincidentally just been considering having an exercise in raising a toppled decker when this happened. Normally they would bolt a large iron upright bar to the two upper hubs and perhaps drive a couple of large metal pins against the wheels on the ground to stop the thing slipping. Well, whatever they did they couldn't raise it hence the crane and infliction of terminal damage!

And as you can see from above – someone managed to retain the body plate a souvenir!