'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, 14 March 2013

Photies From The South-Oxgangs And Its Neighbouring Edinburgh Communities: Colinton Village Garages

It's occasionally occurred to me that perhaps an interesting linked follow on from The Stair would be to publish on the blog an occasional photo gallery, with a few comments. Similar to commencing the blog last summer it's not something which I've really thought through and getting a hold of personal photographs from individuals who lived in Oxgangs, Colinton Mains, Swanston Village etc. over the decades would be challenging. 

I don't think it should be restricted to the general period of The Stair i.e. 1958-1972, but could be from a century ago right up to today. I know that one of the followers of The Stair kindly offered to go out and take any photographs for me that I might need for The Stair as he is one hundred and seventy five miles closer to Oxgangs than me! With the changing seasons, new building developments, etc. there must be some interesting possibilities especially if one were able to intersperse these with photographs from time gone by. If any readers have any thoughts, suggestions, ideas (Perhaps I should explore putting a notice in Oxgangs Library?) or better still, photographs they might like to share, please get in touch! This could be done through the blog or by e mail-the address is:

Photograph by Gordon Boyd
These two photographs would appear to have been taken over half a century ago. I vaguely recall seeing the old garage as it was as a wee boy, when I was in my grandfather's old converted Bedford van, when we bought some petrol at the old Swanson's Garage further up toward Merchiston Castle School. Now that I think of it I seem to recall he worked at the old butcher's shop that existed almost next door to Waddell's Garage at Spylaw Street.The butcher's shop was long established and on the go when we left Colinton for the Highands in 1996-despite walking past it each week and whilst walking Atticus when he was a very wee boy it never occurred to me that my grandfather had worked there-funny thing, memory! The garage still exists today and isn't too different-back in the late winter in January d'Artagnan and I enjoyed a meal with friends at the Spylaw Tavern next door. It still has a charm to it.

The second photograph (below) is interesting-selling petrol and Standard Vanguard cars on a shoe string-the site now has a large modern chemist's on it. These cars were produced between 1947 and 1963. I remember the site well when it remained unused for years. When we stayed at West Mill Road, Colinton for seven years it stood empty-I hadn't realised that it had formerly been a garage. Talking of garages, when we first moved to West Mill Road, three old Summer Wine gentlemen ran a hole in the wall garage for fun and an interest-it too had an old world charm to it.

Photograph by Gordon Boyd

Sunday, 10 March 2013


Many congratulations to Fiona Blades who's added an M.A. with merit to her qualifications-brilliant news about one of the original members of The Stair!

Fiona at The Stair circa 1964

Fiona, Autumn 2012

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Comments From Ruth Kaye(Blades) And Peter Hoffmann

Comment From Ruth Kaye (Blades): Thanks for the photies Peter I appreciate them. I have another friend in Scotland whom I am jealous of as she often posts wonderful photies of her trips around Scotland. I certainly miss the wide open spaces that is for sure. I do like living in the big smoke but at the moment Wembley is all consuming and has taken over my life but it is enjoyable. I spent most of Sunday mingling with the Bradford fans. I do admire Fiona and Liz for doing so much studying later in life I could not be bothered to bury my head in books I would rather be writing them. I do need to plan a trip to the auld country soon-I do miss it. Warm regards Ruth.

Response: Aye, I think it was Disraeli who said, 'When I want to read a good book I write one'!