'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

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Comiston Farmhouse, 1920

Harvest Field, Braidburn Valley, with Comiston Farm and the Pentlands in the distance, 1920
('Mark', The Living Memory Association)

A rather wonderful photograph from almost a century ago.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Comiston Farmhouse Destruction

Followers of the blog may have enjoyed the significant part it played recently in solving the 'Comiston Walled Garden Mystery'. Unfortunately the lovely Comiston Farmhouse is likely to be pulled down and replaced with blocks of flats. I have attached details of a site devoted to trying to prevent this from happening. Below are some photographs which I took just after the 'mystery was solved-I'm glad I did given its imminent destruction. It's unfortunate as I'm sure there is a win-win situation out there.

Thank you Peter,

It's amazing the things which the internet can reveal and inform us about.

This would be a real shame as it's the last building in the area which gives any key as to what it was like before all the development.

I was out and about with an old friend yesterday investigating some of the past industry and railway around Kilwnning and Irvine and right in the centre of a modern development the farm buildings were retained and turned into a community centre. If an old building survives this long it doesn't seem right it should be flattened when we are now more and more aware of destroying our past.

This made me rush off and look to see if the old buildings in use as a community centre at Oxgangs Road North are still there and it seems from Google Street view that they are.


Douglas Blades

Friday, 22 April 2016

Army Tank, Pentlands

For those followers of 'The Stair' who didn't see Tom Thorbun's very interesting post on the 'Like Warriors' website, he gave me the thumbs up to also post it on 'The Stair' too. 

By way of preface, the more mature readers of the blog will recall the army tank which was sited in the lea of the north side of the Pentlands, not far away from the T Woods. 

When we were young, many Hunters Tryst Primary School pupils ventured up there, not only to play in the tank, but to also gather used (or unused live ammunition!). Some boys could be seen in Oxgangs and at school walking about with the ammunition proudly on display, until a dictact went out from the school to prevent it from happening, backed up by some police involvement too! 

Here's Tom's post:

'The tank was placed up there by my father John Thorburn for firing practice; he worked as an engineer at Redford Barracks and would come home to Firrhill Crescent in a 12 ton Scammel with crane hook at the rear. He would also take us around Colinton Mains in a jeep.

We used to play up at the tank and on one occasion after collecting empty shell rounds, we found a mortar; being about 8 years old at the time we did not realise the danger and carried it down the road,only to be stopped by a police car at a distance and were told to gently lay it down!

We didn't do that again, but I do remember collecting gooseberries from a field near the Edinburgh by-pass and sitting on a large metal object with fins at one end...we ran like hell! Many years later I informed the police of this find and they told me to relocate it and report back. Needless to say I never did as it was a distant memory, but I believe German bombs were jettisoned over the Pentlands as they flew back from Rosyth bombing raids and the like. 

The Army practice area is at Flotterstone, Castlelaw Rifle Ranges which I helped to build over a two year contract with the Property Services Agency and the Army. It took me out of the office and into the hills....l loved it but couldn't understand why we had to wear protective hats when the ground was full of unexploded mortar shells underfoot!

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Further Update Comiston Walled Market Garden 'Mystery' From Ken Watt

Isn't it great what can be done when people work together and share information! I received this e mail this morning.

Hi Peter,

I stumbled onto your blog and saw a post about a disappeared walled garden at Comiston. I wondered if you've seen this Edinburgh Council website ?

It shows maps and aerial photos from the last 160 years of any part of the city. I find the 1940s RAF shots very useful for research.

Comiston Walled Garden, 1946

I was able to find the missing bungalow and walled garden with this. Perhaps Raymond Nimmo, who asked where it was would like to see it.? (Duly done-thanks Ken-may make for a good framed photograph!) The site of the walled garden is now Pentland Drive.

Kind regards.

Ken Watt

Juniper Green