Oxgangs

About 3 miles SW of the centre of Edinburgh

 

Recollections

1.

Peter Hoffmann

Highlands, Scotland

Thank you to Peter Hoffmann for telling me about two blog sites that he is running, both relating to Oxgangs.

Blog Site

1.

'The Stair'

This site, had about 200 blogs, covering the everyday life, between the years 1958 and 1972, of eight families living on one of the post-war housing schemes on the south side of Edinburgh, set in the lee of the Pentland Hills.

Here is a link to the blog: 

Stair 6, Oxgangs, Edinburgh

Blog Site

2.

'1971 Diaries'

This is a daily blog for the Internet, based on Peter's 1971 diary, written when he was living at Oxgangs and attending Boroughmuir School.

Peter plans to add more to his blog every day during 2016.

Here is a link to his blog: 

Oxgangs Boroughmuir Diaries

With acknowledgement to Peter Hoffmann, Highlands, Scotland:   6 Feb 2013 + 7 Feb 2016 (2 emails)

 

Recollections

2.

Peter Hoffmann

Highlands, Scotland

Thank you to Douglas Blades for allowing me to reproduce the photo below, and also to Peter Hoffmann who wrote:

1960s

Grandfather's Car

"During the 1960s, the Hoffmanns had a general Sunday pattern for many years which revolved around being collected at 'The Stair' by our grandfather any time after 11am to be taken down to Portobello for the day.

We didn't have a telephone and of course mobiles weren't even dreamed of back then.  Anne, Iain and I used to stand at our parents' front bedroom window to look out for our grandfather's car (Ford Zephyr Mk6) coming down the hill at Greenbank.

It's uncanny to think we could see that far from the far end of Oxgangs Avenue, but this was when the prefabs were still there and before the new blocks of flats were built which replaced them."

Oxgangs Avenue

Photo taken from the balcony of 6/6 Oxgangs Avenue

Prefabs in the foreground, Oxgangs development in the background.

Oxgangs Avenue  -  Prefabs in the foreground and high-rise flats in the background.

Douglas Blades (one of 41 members of Peter Hoffmann's 'Stair 6, Oxgangs' blog site.
Thank you, also, to Peter Hoffmann for sending a copy of this photo to me.

"We couldn't be entirely certain that it was his car, but there were relatively few cars on the road back then on a Sunday.

A cry would go up: 'That's Gaga!' -  and we'd all rush to get ready.  Sometimes of course it wasn't and we'd go back to our waiting stations."

Peter Hoffmann, Highlands, Scotland:  April 3, 2013 (2 emails)

 

Recollections

3.

Peter Hoffmann

Highlands, Scotland

St John's Church

Thank you to Peter Hoffmann for writing again about Oxgangs, this time to tell me about the imminent closure of St John's Church, Oxgangs on 30 December, 2013 and to provide the link below.

This Stair, 6 Oxgangs web site reports that the proposed closure of the church with comments and photos.  It ends with several postings on the subject.

Acknowledgement:  Peter Hoffmann, Highlands, Scotland:  November 24, 2013

 

Recollections

4.

Peter Hoffmann

Highlands, Scotland

Thank you to Peter Hoffmann for writing again, this time to tell me about a book that he has written:

The book has been taken from a blog that was  updated daily for five month, from August to December 2012.

This blog was entitled:

Edinburgh, Scotland, 6 Oxgangs Avenue, 1958-1972, The Stair

Peter's book now available as a Kindle edition from Amazon.  Please click on the image below to read more.

'The Stair:  An Edinburgh Childhood 1958-1972:  Summer has gone''  -  A book about growing up in Oxgangs by Peter Hoffmann, available from Amazon for Kindleavailable on Kindle

I asked Peter if he could give me a couple of extracts from the book to add to this page to give people an idea of the content of the book.  He has sent me two (below):

Bed in Summer  and
Field in Winter
extract

Extracts from Peter's book:

Bed in Summer

"We had to go to bed far too early on summer evenings when we were young. We children had the back bedroom which faced toward the Pentland Hills and the scree slopes of Caerketton and Allermuir. It was south to south west facing and therefore enjoyed the sun from lunch time until early evening.

The curtains would hardly contain the light and I would lie in bed on the top bunk watching the shadows of the numbers 4, 27 or 16 Edinburgh Corporation buses move and circulate around three of the four walls of our bedroom.

Occasionally, there would be the sound of footsteps going past of an adult returning home from work to Oxgangs Street or going out for an evening outing. Worst of all were the sounds of other children laughing and shouting, still out enjoying themselves playing.

I suppose it must have been the same for the Hoggs, the Blades and the Duffy children too?  It may have been a small comfort if we'd realised we weren't alone - a century before Stevenson clearly experienced the same thing too."

Field in Winter

Extract

"... ... Where the field really came alive however was when the snows of winter came.  It was then that The Field truly came into its own.

The ground may have been frozen hard as iron and to all extents dead, but it was alive with children and young people both girls and boys.

What a sight it was to behold-a carpet of white, adorned with stick like figures-some quite colourful, but more likely inside the dark blue nylon anoraks that many of us wore at that time-starkly contrasted against the landscape-dark on white, the scenario straight out of a Lowrie painting.

And then when dusk came and the night fell and the street-lights on Oxgangs Road North slowly began to flicker on and the dancing headlamps of the cars and buses carrying the workers home, watchers by the threshold could catch happy flitting figures dancing across the white landscape of The Field."

Peter Hoffmann, Highlands, Scotland:  January 6 + 12, 2014

 

Recollections

5.

Peter Hoffmann

Highlands, Scotland

Thank you to Peter Hoffmann for writing again, telling me about another book that he has written.

Peter wrote:

An Edinburgh Boyhood

"The Top Secret 1971 Oxgangs/Boroughmuir Diaries
 of Retep Nnamffoh Aged Fourteen And A Hauf!"

Volume 2 (Edinburgh Trilogy)

"My latest book (title above) was published today.   I thought it might be of interest to you and your Oxgangs / Boroughmuir followers.  Details of the book can be found on this Amazon page."

Peter Hoffmann, Highlands, Scotland:  23 September 2016

 

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