From There… To Here

The social history of Wester Hailes


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Most of our postings so far have been about previous decades rather than the more recent past. However this item is almost bang up to date – but no less interesting and just as relevant to the story of the many changes that have happened in Wester Hailes over the years.

Capital Collections is the online image library of Edinburgh City Libraries, Museums and Galleries. In 2009, CC’s own photographer, Kevin MacLean, spent some time in Wester Hailes recording what the estate looked like and 75 of the photographs he took can be viewed if you click on: and type in a search for Wester Hailes.

Kevin’s portfolio contains striking images of a variety of subjects including the Union Canal and neighbouring buildings; high rises in Calders; housing in Clovenstone; and the demolition of Dumbryden Primary (the first school built in Wester Hailes). 

Above and below are a couple of photos of the canal to whet your appetite for more.

The second of these is particularly interesting with regard to the the evolution and regeneration of the estate as it shows the canal – closed when Wester Hailes was under construction and re-opened in 2001; the Hailesland multi-storey blocks – reclad and refurbished by the City Council in the 1990s; and, the Walkers development – relatively lower density housing built by Prospect on the site of previously demolished multis.


One thought on “WESTER HAILES 2009 – A PHOTO GALLERY

  1. I was interested to hear that Dumbryden Primary had been demolished I was commissioned to run workshops, create a storytelling bench for the school and 3 sculptures for the canal back in 2000 . It was part of the millennium link project funded by British Waterways and WHALE. I had a fantastic time running the workshops in the school and carving the sculptures in the car park in the Calders next to the canal and had a lot of support from the community which lead to me running regular workshops in the schools in the area for the 3 years . I was wondering if anyone knew what happened to the storytelling bench in the school when it was image of it can be seen on my website