At Prospect Community Housing, we’ve always been interested in the story of Wester Hailes. We were established back in 1989 by the local community to create a better place to live for local residents, with homes that people wanted to live in. We have always aimed to play an active part in supporting initiatives that promote a stable, vibrant community.
The West Edinburgh Times, the successor to the Sentinel, closed down in 2008, leaving behind a huge collection of papers and photographs. Prospect offered to provide a home for this archive. We wanted to share this resource as widely as possible and decided that a blog would enable this to happen, and let other people share their views and stories as well. From There To Here posted its first entries in June 2010. After a year of weekly blogging, we wanted to enable more interactive dialogue around the photographs and set up a Facebook page in 2011.
Being involved in these social history projects has brought us into a collaborative partnership that includes other community led organisations, universities and research institutions with a focus on using new technology to explore the past and present within a neighbourhood. Creating more interactive opportunities with history has been a key theme of the local digital and social media projects that have formed and interlinked as the partnership Our Place in Time. These projects, with their emphasis on dialogue, sharing memories, stories and views have over the last couple of years built up a complex and rich picture of Wester Hailes past and present that often challenges the negative portrayals and on-going stigma associated with the area.