Our Place In Time In Wester Hailes

Demolition of high rise blocks at Hailesland

Demolition of high rise blocks at Hailesland

A mixture of long term and newer residents came along to Wester Hailes Library on Saturday morning to discuss the history of Wester Hailes. The session was part of the varied Saturday Morning Programme organised by Community Learning and Development, and focused on how Wester Hailes had developed as a community using material drawn from the old Sentinel newspaper.

People shared their memories from the earlier days and enjoyed looking at some of the photos and copies of the Sentinel that are also online on the From There To Here blog and Facebook page. The session started with a video produced by Eoghan Howard called Let’s Meet At the Underpass which shows key moments in the history of Wester Hailes alongside a song about the Underpass that is now being developed as the Harvesters Link to lead to the Healthy Living Centre.

The group then had a whistle stop tour of the area’s history including looking at 3 community maps which captured in detail the shape and layout of Wester Hailes at the time.  There was also an opportunity to find out more about the original architects’ vision for the area and the contrast with what was actually built. The session then covered some of the main developments brought about through community action and showed how much the landscape and housing had changed as a result. Local stories were shared including one about Radio Forth’s live coverage of the first demolition in Hailesland, when radio silence resulted after an enthusiastic countdown finished ahead of a delayed explosion!

Our Place In Time is a partnership between several community organisations, local residents and a variety of academic and other institutions.  It mixes social history with digital technology and has co-ordinated a range of projects including the Totem Pole, the Code Books and the Community Connections Festival held earlier this year.  At the end of the session on Saturday, people were reminded that their memories were important and were encouraged to share their stories online using whatever format suited them best from words to video, audio and photos.

The old Sentinel newspaper office.

The old Sentinel newspaper office.

The Saturday Morning Programme is organised by the South West Community Learning And Development team.  Running weekly during term time it offers a mix of free learning and information sessions from cooking and family first aid, to computing and Business Start Up training. The next 2 sessions are A Visit To The Scottish Parliament this Saturday and a session raising awareness about Legal Highs on Saturday 21st November.  For more information about these and future sessions please contact Anne or Christine on 0131 458 5959

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