From There… To Here

The social history of Wester Hailes


Another poetic offering from Wullie Topfizz McG, our bashful laureate. This one’s about tracing the ups and downs of Wester Hailes through the decades, from the swinging sixties up to the present, ending on a tentative note of hope for what the future might hold.

Wullie calls this sort of thing an ” info-poem” or “memorhyme”and has told us that  he is hoping that it will encourage others to put pen to paper and come up with their own creations either on the general theme of the history of Wester Hailes or perhaps about a specific event or project from the past.


We headed West with all the rest towards the Hill of Promise;
stark new horizons all around and highs and lows before us.
Enthused by hope we settled down, to what felt most important,
whatever though the Planners thought, commuter land it wasn’t.
So very soon initial doubts, few buses, shops or schools;
with dampened homes but spirits high, we sought to change the rules.
The powers that were, and seek to be, may not have been too pleased;
but people power had won the hour and some injustice eased.
Enthused by hope we settled down, to what felt most important;
and set up local projects here, but this time independent.
Real progress started to take shape, with jobs and training schemes;
attracting interest from elsewhere and copied too it seems.
How best to take this further now, was seen as the next stage;
in Partnership we placed our trust and how we would engage.
A quick success this proved at first, with funding streams galore;
and 18 multi-stories down, new housing and much more.
In time though, further doubts arose, as to the longer vision;
with Partners losing interest fast, before a fulfilled mission.
Local groups, they must have thought, would take up all the slack;
but funding cuts put paid to that, with closures back to back.
Enthused by hope we’re settling down, to what feels most important;
rebuilding what has been removed, to do what Planning doesn’t.
So very soon initial thoughts, have turned towards the future;
but this time learning from the past, a Hill of Promise feature.

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