In 1964, at the time of the public inquiry into Edinburgh Corporation’s plans for re-zoning the 297 acres of farmland on which Wester Hailes was subsequently built, a local group was formed to oppose the proposals. The Wester Hailes Amenity Association had as its objective the preservation of the land for agricultural purposes. According to WHAA, Wester Hailes was a farming community which contributed “in no small way” to the country’s food supply. The Association also argued that the people who would be made unemployed as a result of the housing development would find it difficult to find new jobs. Furthermore, the land was “fringed by a residential area where residents prize their amenities very highly”.
If you visit the Juniper Green 300 website at www.junipergreen.org.uk and look in the History section, 1857-1957, there is a transcript of Mr John Kermack’s reminiscences in which he describes in quite a bit of detail his memories of the people and the buildings at the south end of Wester Hailes Road as it approached Gillespie Crossroads. There is even a drawing which he has made of the line of cottages where he lived as a child in the 1940s and a photo of his father and grandfather tending the beehives which they kept in the garden.
In last week’s post we included an aerial photograph of the Wester Hailes area taken around the same time. We’ve reproduced it again below with an added zoom facility to allow you to examine the detail more closely.