The Calders Estate Sighthill by David McMillan - Part Five

1960

About this memory

(Continued from Part Four)
The backs of our prefabs gave on to a large empty ‘no-man’s-land’ of a field that provided our second - rate diversions. Lighting fires was popular, one or other boy managing to steal some non- safety matches from home. The fires had no real purpose and were lit just because we could. Art for art’s sake in embryo? Often the field’s dry grass would catch alight accidentally causing drifts of grey smoke and general panic. Once I recall a fire engine being involved but the boys, whoever they were, had long since disappeared.
A few of us built a gang-hut there using old fence-posts and rusty corrugated iron. And of course it had to have a fireplace so we fashioned one out of an old square biscuit tin and a piece of aluminium drainpipe for a chimney. It worked spectacularly well and drew like a train. We actually boiled water on it and made tea to drink out of dirty old tin cans that has never been surpassed even unto Betty’s of Harrogate.
Further afield there was Baberton woods (“Babbie Woods”) and later when we had bikes there was Turnhouse Aerodrome site of popular air-displays in the 1950’s.

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