Wester Hailes Library’s community archive

When the West Edinburgh Times folded in 2008 due to loss of funding, its holdings of press cuttings and photographs were divided between Prospect Community Housing and Wester Hailes Library.

Children playing in front of housing, Wester Hailes

We’ve digitised some highlights from the Library’s fantastic picture archive and made them available via Capital Collections. The images show the neighbourhood during the eighties and nineties and depict all sides of life in the housing estate from dilapidated living conditions, sports teams and new infrastructure and technology to joyous Fun Runners and Gala Day goers in fancy dress. The production and distribution of The Sentinel (the West Edinburgh Times’ predecessor) is also documented.

Young boy crossing finish line, Wester Hailes fun run

Wester Hailes Library plans to hold an event where they’ll be inviting the community to come in and see if they can help put names to faces. In the meantime, if you spot someone you know in the photos online, let us know! Contact Wester Hailes Library if you’d like to find out more about the community archive or access the collection.

You can see more pictures from the Wester Hailes community newspaper archives shared by Prospect Community Housing on Edinburgh Collected. Browse these fantastic photos and memories of living, working and playing in Wester Hailes, or add your own!

Clermiston at 60

2014 marks the community of Clermiston’s 60th anniversary. Once grazing land and the farmlands of Buttercup Farm, the area became a thriving residential area in the 1950s.

At the celebrations to mark St Andrew’s Clermiston’s silver jubilee, Rev. Dr. Ross Mackenzie remembered the beginnings of the church and its community:

Rev. Dr. Ross Mackenzie on his rounds

Rev. Dr. Ross Mackenzie on his rounds

‘In the autumn of 1954 the first congregations walked through mud and dust by new or half-built houses to worship in the wooden hut of Clermiston Parish Church…’

He remarked on the enormous change that had occurred worldwide in the fifties, and how the five years between 1954 and 1959 were particularly remarkable and hectic for the early residents of Clermiston:

‘… a small community of dozens became scores and then hundreds, a wooden hut without water or electricity became in a true sense home to congregations, political parties, garden club, drama club, Saturday film club, health centre, whist centre, and anything else it needed to be to those who used it….

After World War II enormous new towns and communities spread rapidly over the countryside, when people, more than a million of them in the end were moved from the centre of the cities and large towns of Britain. But this was our town, our time, and our place.’

The residents of Clermiston and Drumbrae are marking their neighbourhood’s 60th anniversary with a celebratory event on 28th September at St Andrew’s Church which kicks off a series of local events throughout October. Pictures from our Capital Collections exhibition are on display in Drumbrae Library Hub and the Library are inviting community donations of photographs and memories to help their local history archive grow. Keep an eye on Drumbrae Library Hub’s facebook page for upcoming events.