From There… To Here

The social history of Wester Hailes


Happy New Year when it comes!

In January 1990 the Sentinel carried a double page spread which reviewed not only the year just ended but the entire previous decade which began with a royal visit to Wester Hailes and ended with a revolution in Eastern Europe.

The Sentinel concluded that the 1980s was “a decade of change and conservatism both in Wester Hailes and the wider world”.

“It was the decade of Thatcher, Gorbachev, Reagan, Tommy Smith, Hailes United, Sandy Snozzle” it said. “Prince Charles paid a visit to Wester Hailes and slagged off the architecture – tell us something we don’t know your Royal Highness”.

Here’s some of the front pages that the Sentinel selected to represent each year from 1980 to 1989 with its summary of the key events that characterised them:

Depressingly familiar – youth unemployment is again a huge concern, not just in terms of its immediate effects but for all the longer term problems it’s likely to stoke up.

Good news and bad news the following year, unemployment was continuing to grow but local people were working together to build something for the future – facilities for their kids, which the local authorities had conspicuously failed to do.

And in 1983, the opening of a health centre. The building of its replacement, the new Healthy Living Centre at Harvesters Way will begin in earnest next month…

More next week.


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