Remember when: Back to square one

Cars lined up at parking meters in St Andrews Square in Edinburgh
Cars lined up at parking meters in St Andrews Square in Edinburgh
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A NEAT row of Venner parking meters lines the pristine pavement as the rain batters a 1960s St Andrew Square.

Nowadays, the motor vehicles of the era are no more and the cost of parking any car is more technical – and expensive – than when this picture, above, was taken in 1965.

And there have been a few changes made to the buildings in St Andrew Square too, such as the revamp of its bus station and the inclusion of Scotland’s flagship Harvey Nichols department store.

But one change that was on the agenda is now hanging in the balance as the council has suspended plans to partially demolish the square’s B-listed former Scottish Provident building, with further site visits now on the cards. The holidaymakers here on July 2, 1966 would not recognise St Andrew Square bus station as it is in 2013.

Back then, in their masses, they boarded buses quite freely as no strict queuing systems were in place or any emphasis on health and safety existed.

These Hearts supporters, too, would find themselves in a much busier St Andrew Square than the one they were waiting in back in December 1964, keen for their Scottish Omnibus to arrive to take them to Rugby Park, Kilmarnock, for a vital league clash.

If the partial demolition of the Scottish Provident building does go ahead, perhaps there will be some unexpected surprises waiting for builders.

Such was the case in February 1960 when workmen excavating the site for the new Scottish Widows building, unearthed six near-life-size stone statues hidden in the foundations.