Nostalgia: The Banana Flats

The flats under construction.

The flats under construction.

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THEY are the flats perhaps best known for being the home of Sick Boy in Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting.

There’s no denying the fact that 
Cables Wynd House – better known as Leith’s Banana Flats – has had a colourful past.

Mrs Mary Eves in the kitchen of her new home at Cables Wynd in Leith in April 1966.

Mrs Mary Eves in the kitchen of her new home at Cables Wynd in Leith in April 1966.

The building – and, most importantly, the lives of the people living in the 204 flats within the block – has been immortalised in a new photography exhibition at Leith Library.

Student photographer Derek Anderson – himself a former child resident of the Banana Flats – has gathered together a story of the rich tapestry of people living within the block for the unique and fascinating insight.

They include the stories of Mick, who boasts a fine collection of VHS tapes which he still watches, a Robert De Niro “look-alike” who has red velvet sheets on his bed and “John”, who enjoys an active life despite having lived with a tracheotomy for the last 20 years.

Although the Banana Flats are a familiar sight on Leith’s skyscape, it wasn’t that long ago that they were being constructed as part of the

Aerial of Great Junction Street in Leith where it crosses the Water of Leith looking east. Also in picture, Leith hospital (centre) and the Cables Wynd housing development (top)

Aerial of Great Junction Street in Leith where it crosses the Water of Leith looking east. Also in picture, Leith hospital (centre) and the Cables Wynd housing development (top)

redevelopment of Leith.

Nicknamed as a result of their curved look, the first residents moved into the block in 1966.

In April of that year, Mrs Mary Eves couldn’t contain her smile as she busied herself in the kitchen of her new home, and as she relaxed with her knitting in her new living room.

New flats being built at Cables Wynd as part of the redevelopment of Leith in January 1966.

New flats being built at Cables Wynd as part of the redevelopment of Leith in January 1966.