IT is a regeneration project that has been a long time coming, but this week residents of the Quarries, part of the £70 million Moredun Park and Hyvots Regeneration Project, spoke of life in the new homes.
Their pleasure at moving into modern energy-efficient housing has been hit, however, by news that their energy bills are set to rise by more than 170 per cent – especially concerning since one of the main aims of the project was to help remove families from the fuel poverty caused by the poorly insulated and partly heated homes of the 1960s.
The old homes in the area may have been a struggle to keep warm – and were far from appealing – but that did not stop a strong community growing up and making itself part of the fabric of the local area.
Back in 1969, groups of local children were out on the green at Gilmerton Dykes Crescent to take part in a children’s jumble sale in aid of the SSPCA, with local youngsters Clifford Tyndall, five, and Josephine McSherry, 14, among those helping out with a “guess how many sweets are in the jar” competition.
The Gilmerton Gala Day was another big local event, and in 1981 it had a special theme ahead of the royal wedding – even having it’s own miniature Prince Charles and Lady Diana, in the shape of youngsters Jonathan and Ruth Hannah.
Sports were one of the biggest pastimes for kids in the area, and the Hyvots Bank primary School annual sports day brought out big crowds of pupils to cheer on their fellow students in a variety of contests.
Community events were for all ages, and the Gilmerton Dykes Women’s Guild were particularly popular, hosting a large Scots Night in Hyvots Bank Primary School in 1964.
And while the regeneration may have changed the face of the area, the community spirit is there to stay.