From There… To Here

The social history of Wester Hailes


Neil Kinnock talks to the Sentinel

With interest gathering over the Labour leadership election, we’ve gone back to 1984 when Neil Kinnock gave an interview to the Sentinel.  As a community newspaper, the Sentinel was becoming known for its ability to mix local community news with reports on events and issues from the wider world.  Neil Kinnock was in Edinburgh to make a policy speech at the Eurofest Concert for peace and jobs so the Sentinel took the opportunity to interview him. 

 He talked about a range of issues, including the problems of damp in the housing in Wester Hailes, the European elections and the importance of the promotion of jobs and training.  He also gave his thoughts on community newspapers, stressing their value particularly in presenting a more balanced view of areas such as Wester Hailes where the national press were only interested in negative stories. 

For the full story please click here

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Canal plans in jeopardy

What was happening in Wester Hailes 17 years ago?  The Sentinel Newspaper reported on local issues and was owned and managed by the people of Wester Hailes.  In 1995, the Millennium Commission appeared to turn down the plan to re-open the canal link between Glasgow and Edinburgh.  This included of course, the section that ran underneath Wester Hailes.

British Waterways who were co-ordinating the £100 million bid were asked to amend some of the plans and resubmit the bid later in the year.  For more details on this story and others, please click here  

Other stories included  

  • The local community in Westburn had been campaigning for pavements to be built at Westburn Avenue/ Murrayburn Road to improve road safety for residents. 
  • An interview with John Robertson reveals whether he was planning to stay with Hearts or thinking about signing for Hibs.
  • Wester Hailes in the year 2020


Bridging the Gap

photo by Kevin Walsh 2000

Weighing 15 tons and spanning 3o metres, this footbridge was put in place in February 2000, linking Westburn to the Calders.  It came all the way from South Wales and was brought to the site with a police escort.  It needed a 200 ton crane to place it on its mounts!

And do you recognise this bridge?!

photo by Kevin Walsh