Nostalgia: ‘Not many schools can boast an inflatable gym’

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RETIRED janitor Jim Scott, 62, has vivid memories of the time he spent working at the Capital’s Ainslie Park secondary school between 1973 and 1975.

Housed in an impressive art deco building built in the 1930s, Mr Scott said the school, which also boasted an inflatable gym, provided an attractive and unusual learning environment for the pupils educated there.

He said: “It had been built as an art deco building in the 1930s, I believe. It was a lovely place even if it was built in the Pilton and Granton areas, which had their problems.

“You had the main building and ground, and as the school branched into technical subjects, the authorities had to provide outbuildings.”

Mr Scott said the school – later taken over by Telford College – was distinguished by a range of stand-out architectural features.

“It had these big, open staircases and rounded windows, which always impressed me,” he said.

“The building was this sandy colour and it had a very nice front with a long, open driveway.

“But it was always very cold because the windows were single-glazed and were designed to let a lot of light in. I remember one of the problems was keeping the place warm.”

But Mr Scott, who recently retired as janitor of Buckstone Primary after spending 33 years at the school, said the most bizarre facility offered by Ainslie Park was its inflatable gymnasium.

“If you imagine half an egg – that was the shape of it,” he recalled. “And you had these fans which blew air in and this kept the whole thing up and open – pretty strange compared to your average school gym.”