The Calders Estate Sighthill by David McMillan - Part One


About this memory

The Sighthill I knew has vanished. Only a few memories remaining. When I lived there as a boy it was an estate of tin or asbestos prefabricated bungalows built to meet the demand for post-war housing. I loved it. I doubt if a boy could have asked for a more thrilling playground in which to squander his childhood.

No1 Calder Gardens - the (almost) all-metal bungalow similar to the one in the photo. Generous gardens to back and front. Cleverly designed with a fitted kitchen (including a gas powered fridge) and built in storage drawers and cupboards. A distinct improvement on the one-bedroomed tenement flat we left behind in Dalry Road. Great in summer, less so in winter. The windows streamed with cascades of condensation. One inadequate coal fire in the living room was the only source of heating, apart from the gas oven in the kitchen where my mother warmed our clothes for school. Paraffin heaters were common, despite the risk. There was an immersion heater for hot water. One enduring memory is coming home after a night away at my grandmother’s to find my precious goldfish, acquired at great sacrifice from the ragman (“Toys for Rags!”), encased in a solid block of ice in their little jam jar. How I cried! (Continued in Part Two)

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