5 Craigour Avenue
Born in 1951
was born on Friday, 28 September, 1951 in the back bedroom of 5 Craigour
Avenue, Edinburgh. It was around the middle of the day for my mother
recalls hearing the children coming up the road from school for their
lunch at the time that I was born.
My parents were Jack and Joan
Morton who, with my elder brother John, had moved into the house the year
The world I came
into was a post-war one.
My First Memory
"My first memory is of
sitting on a rocking horse in the living room, eating an orange which my
mother had peeled for me. When I finished the orange, I ate the
peel, not something I’d care to do now!2
"Our house was a
single storey prefab, one of hundreds which had sprung up almost overnight
on what was then open countryside on the southern edge of Edinburgh to
accommodate the many newly married ex-servicemen and their families.
The homes were
pre-fabricated in the Blackburn aircraft factory (hence their name).
As and an old Edinburgher recalls:
'In the late
1940s, I can remember seeing pre-fab houses being delivered, going down
Dalkeith Road on the back of low-loader lorries, as I walked to school.
They were like small bungalows sliced in half with sinks, bathrooms and
lots of other things already fitted.' ”
Inside the Houses
"Viewed through modern eyes, accustomed to variety
and choice, it was a very peculiar place. Every house was exactly
the same; when you entered, there was a narrow hallway with two bedrooms
on the left and the bathroom ahead. On the right was a door into the
living room where everyone would have had a dining table, for meals were
taken in the living room.
Heating was by a coal fire with a back boiler to
heat the water. A door at the far end of the living room led to the
kitchen which, wonder of wonders, held a gas powered fridge!"
"Every house had a good sized front and back garden
with a shed for storage. All of our fathers had to dig the debris of
building work out of the gardens before lawns could be laid and vegetable
Our fathers all wore a bits and pieces of old
service dress to work in and in one family photo my father can be seen in
his old army trousers with a pick axe digging out assorted bits of
"There was a broad mix of social classes, my father
was the Buyer at MacKenzie and Moncur, the heating engineers whilst next
door was the local chemist, Mr McPherson who was able to maintain a car
which he kept in a lock up garage down the road.
Across the street was Ronnie Allan who drove long
distance buses to and from London for SMT. Very few people could
afford cars so the streets were safe to play in. That's just as
well, because almost every house soon held several children with so many
of the occupants being newlyweds.
Other kids in the street that I can recall
(at No 2)
- Ronnie Allan
George and Jennifer Hughes
"I recall playing with other
children in the back garden in the sunshine and hiding among the
blackcurrant bushes when we played hide and seek.
In the winter, if there was
snow, someone would get hold of a long, wooden bread delivery tray which
we would sledge down from the top of the road to the bottom with several
of us on board.
One day, when I was 3 or 4,
some kids came past the garden and suggested that I came with them to play
in their garden. Their house was near the west end of Moredun Park Road,
so I drove my pedal car round there with them.
After a while I announced
that I should get home and pedalled away. However, I took a wrong turning
and ended up in Moredun Park Street where I asked the way from a man
cutting a hedge. When I got home it turned out my mother had been cruising
the area in a police car looking for me! I couldn't understand what all
the fuss had been about."
"We moved round the corner
from 5 Craigour Avenue to one of the larger houses in Craigour Loan in
1956 when I was nearly five years old.
We moved all our furniture on
the local coal man's lorry. My brother and I stood on the back.
There was no 'Health and Safety' then!"
Andrew Morton, Musselburgh, East
Lothian, Scotland: September 13, 2014