From There… To Here

The social history of Wester Hailes


Pages From The Past

Snow’s been in the headlines for the UK although its mainly south of the border this year.  Back in January 1986 Wester Hailes became a Wester Wonderland as snow laden scenes were photographed by the Sentinel.  Its front page story featured the story of a boy falling through ice into the canal near Calders Adventure Playground.  He had been playing there and the ice had cracked.  Fortunately help was on hand but the Sentinel was able to highlight the dangers of walking on ice-covered water. Other headlines included

  • A report looking at concerns over the high number of young people from Wester Hailes in trouble with the law.
  • Community News from Westburn, Calders, Hailesland and Clovenstone.
  • A double spread on all the fun of the snow.
  • Record reviews and a fashion spot with 6 ideas for sweaters.
  • Sentinel Sport with a feature on Ernie Plimmer winning the New Year Veteran’s Professional Sprint at Meadowbank. 

You’ll find all these stories and others by clicking on Sentinel February 1986.

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Pages From The Past

This week Pages From The Past is going right back to January 1979 to see what was happening then.  The main story reports how the Wester Hailes community became involved with Radio Forth’s Snowline.  An emergency number for the area was provided after FISH Neighbourhood workers became concerned about people needing help due to the weather conditions.  The report highlights the enthusiasm shown by local people volunteering to help those who might be struggling. 

 Other stories include

  • Concerns about the proposed by-pass road with the map showing the line the road would follow
  • WHEC’s new swimming pool opening and a report on problems being experienced with the building’s heating, resulting in the Third and Fourth Years being sent home much to the annoyance of the First and Second Years!
  • News from around the areas
  • Music report Sounds Familiar which despairs of the choices made by the BBC for the best hits of 1978
  • Photos from the smash hit Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs, WHEC’s Christmas panto.

You can read all the news by clicking here on Sentinel January 1979.


Snow hits Wester Hailes

photo by Kevin Walsh

Its not the first time that Wester Hailes has been hit by heavy snow although this is probably the worst conditions there have been for many years! The Sentinel reported on the weather conditions but also took action when it was needed.  Back in 1987, they set up a help line to make sure that those who were struggling with the extreme conditions received the practical help and support they needed.  From hot meals to mending burst pipes, the Sentinel and the Rep Council co-ordinated the emergency response.  The Lothian Regional Council provided funds of £100,000 for voluntary groups who were helping others across the city.  You can read about the Sentinel’s efforts by clicking here .

We’ve also brought you the following picture, taken in February 2001.  Snow storms created wide spread chaos with roads blocked and trains stuck in drifts.  Swans looking for food ended up on the tow path pecking at the buds on the newly planted trees along the canal. 

photo by Kevin Walsh

Finally, here’s another snowy scene.  We’re not sure when this was taken but as you can see, it was definitely in winter!  If you have more information about this photo, it would be great to hear from you.

photo by Kevin Walsh