From There… To Here

The social history of Wester Hailes

Run Away Success!

Runners on the canalThe 2014 Wester Hailes Fun Run/ Walk was all about the fun of taking part. Serious runners lined up with families, children in buggies, fancy dress runners and those who planned to walk round. A new route took everyone along the canal, as well as starting and finishing at the WHEC. The Lord Provost welcomed everyone to the day before taking off his chain and joining the competitors! Chloe Hynd, winner of the Edinburgh Libraries Baton competition got the race underway with a wave of her winning baton.

The Fun Run is organised by a group of local organisations including Prospect Community Housing, Wester Hailes Community Council, CHAI, The Health Agency, SCOREscotland, KCYC Youth Club, WHEC, Clovenstone Community Centre and Police Scotland. Many thanks as well to the Pentlands Neighbourhood Partnership and the Wester Hailes Land And Property Trust whose funding supported the event so generously.

The original Wester Hailes Fun Run took place during the 1980s and 1990s. It was a very popular event attracting serious runners but also those who were more interested in the fun element. It WH_FunRun17eventually stopped in the mid 1990s and was sadly missed in the area. After being highlighted as a great way to bring the local community together, it was decided by a group of local organisations and residents to bring back the fun run to see if the great community spirit of the original event could be passed on to the present.  The Digital Sentinel put together some great videos of the 2014 Fun Run which show how much of a community celebration it was.  The one below shows everyone warming up before the run.  You can see the other videos and photos at The Digitial Sentinel’s site.





This year, thanks to support from the WHEC, people taking part were timed. If you were part of the event, see if you can find your time below!  Either click on the link or check out the chart.  It’s the first year of trying this, so the Planning Group hope that the times recorded match what you think you achieved.  For those who couldn’t be identified, there will need to be a reminder next year to wear your number on your front, or just to remember to wear your number at all!


  2014  Fun Run Results

Wester Hailes Fun Run results 2014

Wester Hailes Fun Run results 2014




Howzat Scotland and Wimblebore!

Pat McHat

During football’s closed season, what do sports commentators find to talk about?  Nowadays there’s always a match showing somewhere across the vast satellite network and if you’re prepared to take an interest in the Under 21 Euros or the Under 19s Championship you can even follow a tournament.  Of course there is also the Women’s Euro 2013 in July in Sweden.

However a couple of decades ago with fewer channels, there really was a closed season, leading to some sports writers being short of material.  The Sentinel’s reporters  rose to the challenge most years, although they were able to reduce the number of football free topics by book ending the season with reflections on the past year for football, and then predictions on the season coming up.

Nevertheless, the holiday months were an opportunity for Pat McHat to consider more summery sports, in particular tennis and cricket, both of which at that time were perhaps not overly popular north of the border.

In July 1995, Pat writes to his doctor, concerned that he had developed an interest in cricket, leading to him checking the latest score when he thinks no-one is looking.  You can read his letter in full here.  Despite his cricket consternation, in 1999 he covers the Cricket World Cup, reminding readers that it used to be a popular sport in Scotland.

Tennis, or more specifically Wimbledon also comes to the rescue of the summer sports column.  However Pat is not overly impressed by the quality of tennis star on offer as the title of his July 1996 report, “It’s Wimblebore” hints.  Once upon a time, he says you were guaranteed a high quota of talent, tantrums and thrilling five-setters.  But he feels the game now lacks charisma and is more Yawn than Lawn tennis.

However, it remains difficult to resist the lure of football and the 1998 World Cup provides a great chance to reflect on the players’ highlights of the hair kind as Pat considers how much French hairdressers must have benefitted from an influx of international footballers as customers.

Wester Hailes had its own summer sport of course in the form of the Fun Run.  Back in the 1980s, they also organised a gruelling Triathlon with a 40km swim, 10k run and a 34km cycle..  60 people took part in the first one held in 1986 and you can read more about it here.  The 2013 Wester Hailes Fun Run/ Walk takes place on Sunday 16th June starting at 10.00am at Hailes Quarry Park.

fun run poster 2013 jpeg

Wester Hailes Fun Run 2013

Fun Run 1992After we blogged last year about the history of the Fun Run in Wester Hailes, a group of organisations and residents decided it was time to bring this popular event back to the area.  The 2012 Fun Run was a great success despite some torrential rain, with a great range of people turning out to run despite the terrible weather conditions!

fun run finish

This year the 2013 Fun Run is taking place on Sunday 16th June starting at 10.00am in Hailes Quarry Park.  The route is still 5k, and you can run, walk or jog, it’s up to you!  Completed entry forms have to be returned by Friday 7th June.  The route includes a large part of the old route that used to be used, including the infamous Greenway hill, but most competitors manage to climb it, and there’s a water station at Clovenstone Community Centre for those who need a breather!

If you would like to know more, please contact Caroline Richards on 0131 272 5025 or you can download the entry form here. 

At the grassroots level

In a flurry of publicity, Gordon Strachan has stepped forward as the new football manager for Scotland. While football at a national and premier division level grabs the lion’s share of media attention, many people take part in football matches that rarely attract any coverage. Yet it is as fiercely competitive and as important to the players and supporters as any professional match.

Wester Hailes football

The Sentinel did provide an opportunity for the local teams to gain some profile, attract new players and advertise matches. It regularly featured individual teams and covered issues affecting the game at a local level. In 1983, it reported on the Clovenstone Stars, explaining their history and giving details of recent matches. The report also highlighted the financial implications for any team competing without a sponsor. The costs of pitches and referees alone came to £300. The team worked to raise funds and received a donation from the Clovenstone Association of Tenants. You can read more about the club here.

The paper also gave the headline spot to the need for better local football facilities in 1992. Local football teams set up the Wester Hailes Football Federation to lobby for local pitches, pointing out that they were currently having to play home games over at the Jack Kane Centre in Craigmillar. You can read the full report here.

Some of the teams in the Wester Hailes Football Federation were featured in a Sentinel Spotlight column. The Artful Dodger FC was one of the oldest teams in Wester Hailes and first played under the name of Station Tavern. When the Sentinel interviewed them, the team were experiencing mixed form caused mainly by their regular goalkeeper being out of action.

Westburn FC started in 1992 and after a shaky start quickly rose through the ranks. The Sentinel reporter identified their success in obtaining sponsorship which meant the team could focus on playing rather than being concerned about fundraising.

Hailes Athletic also managed to generate sponsorship leading to new strips, a new manager and a new name, Longstone IFC. The reporter found their decision to enter the league structure at the lowest division puzzling as even with success every year, it would take them 5 years to reach the top. You can read about them here.

Sporting Views

Often forthright in their views, the sports column was a regular feature in the Sentinel.  We’ve brought you a selection from the two main contributors over the years- McRobert on Sport and Pat McHat.

McRobert On SportNovember 1990: All Mouth and Sheepskin Jackets- a critical look at TV football commentators and whether they do a good job.  (And this was in the days before Sky Sports News!)

March 1992: The Saga Continues- 20 years ago, an interesting consideration of Rangers and how much was being spent on players back then.

January 1996: Temptation- Pat McHat finds it hard to resist temptation but Pat McHatpromises not to say anything cynical about a list of usual suspects

December 1998: They’re taking the myth- How the myth of Sisyphus perfectly illustrates the current state of Scottish football. (He was the one who had to keep pushing a boulder up a hill all day every day!)

Pages From The Past

This week we’re taking a look back at December 1994.  The headline story is Clovenstone’s win over a rent increase, and a Message For Malcom as local constituents protest over the proposed increase on VAT on fuel.  Other stories include

  • Cleaning up Hailes Quarry Park as contamination seeps into waterways.
  • News from around the neighbourhoods with Wester Hailes Park Co-op looking for some new faces
  • Hailes FM’s 3 day set of programmes
  • Details of  WHALE’s Wester Hailes Christmas Show- The Tree
  • Pat McHat reports on the recent Coco Cola Cup battle between Celtic and the mighty Raith Rovers.

You’ll find all these stories and more by clicking here.

McRobert On Sport

We’ve featured Pat McHat’s sport columns a couple of times, but Mr McHat was not the first to record thoughts on sporting matters for the Sentinel.  During the early 1990s McRobert on Sport was a regular back page feature.  Often forthright in his views and choice of words, he highlighted sporting issues of the day.  Showing that some things never change, these columns sometimes sound extremely current!  Just click on the title to read more.

Show Goes On: The comedy value provided by the chairmen and board members of Scotland’s top football teams.

Money? No Contest! How has money affected the game of football?

It’s a funny old game: The plight for the England football manager (Graham Taylor)

Summer’s Sporting Dead End: Why doesn’t Scotland have a national summer sport?