Cables Wynd House: Leith's iconic ‘banana flats’ through the years

Love them or hate them, Leith’s banana flats are an iconic part of Edinburgh architecture and history - and now a Category A listed building.

Wednesday, 6th November 2019, 5:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 6th November 2019, 5:00 pm
Cables Wynd House, better known as the Leith Banana Flats or as the Banana Block because of its curved shape, is a nine story local authority block in Leith, Edinburgh.

Take a look and see how they’ve changed, and stayed the same, since they were built in 1965.

View of the flats being built at Cables Wynd in Leith, May 1965
Here you can see the new flats being built at Cables Wynd as part of the redevelopment of Leith in January 1966

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Children playing in a park in Henderson Gardens, Leith. Cables Wynd Banana Flats in the background.
Mrs Mary Eves can be seen here in the kitchen of her new home at Cables Wynd in April 1966
Mrs Mary Eves relaxing in her sitting room at her new home, knitting by the fireplace. April 1966
The flats have been used twice by writer Irvine Welsh - first as the home of Simon ‘Sick Boy’ Williamson in Trainspotting and during filming for Wedding Belles, also created by Irvine Welsh
In 2012, a fire broke out in a second floor flat at Cables Wynd House. Here, the fire service can be seen responding to the emergency
The nine storey building is home to 212 flats which, at the time they were built, offered families improvement over the overcrowding and slum housing conditions. 2015
In this picture you can see the front of the banana flats in all their brutalist glory, 2017
The banana flats got their name due to their curved shape. This is a view of the nine storey building in 2018