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Res.1.5 Female, c.50 yrs, unmarried, corporation tenant, male interviewer, 28 November 1960

Identifier: EUA IN1/ACU/S3/4/2/1/5

Scope and Contents

INTVEE is unmarried and lives alone in a two apartment flat in a ten-storey block of flats. The blocks are designed in two living house blocks with a central connecting stair and lift block. The inclusive rent and rates is £1. 11. 4d a week. The electric underfloor heating costs another £1 a week. INTVEE decorated the flat herself replacing the original distemper with wallpaper. INTVER describes the living room as about 10' x 13' with a three piece suite of fairly modern design in moquette, dark green, and a large sideboard of 1930 vintage in light oak, a patterned carpet, fairly good German upright piano, a Ferguson television set. Three chairs are arranged almost in a row along one wall facing the piano and television. INTVEE says the heating doesn't come on until seven in the evening so the house doesn't warm up until bed time. It's on between seven at night and seven in the morning and again between eleven and three in the afternoon. INTVER describes the project as looking at the different aspects of life and work from the point of view of residents and services.

INTVEE had been on the housing list since 1952. In the twelve years she had lived in Edinburgh she had been in unfurnished rooms and four or five different addresses. Only one move had been her choice, the others because of landlords putting up rent or altering agreements. She had wanted one of the old peoples houses in Milton Road West but when she was offered this flat she was told she had to take it. She liked the flat but was not keen on the district. She had a choice of second or ground floor. She moved in in 1958. She was told they are supposed to be luxury flats but she couldn't understand why they had put luxury flats out here, there was a stench from the gasworks. She says it's amazing what you'll do after 17 years in other people's houses. She works so is only in at weekends and nights. The flats are alright but the children are vagabonds - they run up and down the stairs, the entrance looks like a slum but they swear at you if you tell them off. The police patrol in their cars but take no notice of complaints.

The road outside is noisy at night, teenagers make a noise and the police van - they never close the doors and have their radio on full blast. INTVER comments that there is a sort of circle with high buildings round it and if the police van was making a noise in the middle, the noise would bounce off all around but thinks it a good thing there is a police box there as the flats are too isolated. INTVEE likes the flat but thinks they are noisy, maybe the underfloor heating means they can't have solid floors. She thinks her floor is the best in the block, others don't realise they are living in flats and carry on creating noise. She says good morning and good evening to her neighbours but sees little of them, there is never any fuss about washing stairs or cleaning windows. If someone came to her door she would open it wide and let them in, some people keep the door almost closed. She came to Edinburgh from Glasgow for work and thought it was the coldest place ever, nobody seemed concerned with finer feelings or asked anything. In Glasgow, the office would have found you a place to stay and invited you for coffee [the summary is annotated in pencil here with "this is the most cherished myth of the Glaswegians"]. A friend of hers wouldn't come to visit her in winter because of the teddy boys, she thought this was nonsense, you get teddy boys anywhere.

At weekends she might go in to town to meet friends or go the Dominion [cinema] in Morningside. She has met friends through work, on holiday, at clubs, digs, or through family. INTVER notices a clattering in the wall and INTVEE says it is the disposal chute, bottles rattle all the way down, some people will send bottles down in the middle of the night. She would like to go back to the West when she retires. She worries what the flats will be like in ten years time, some people who used to wash their stair don't anymore, the children are the problem, the flats are not designed for children, they go up and down the stairs making a noise which brings the mothers and fathers out. She has used hire purchase - for the piano and the television, she doesn't think there is anything wrong with it as along it's within bounds of income. She thinks the corporation had done a nice job of decorating, it was all contemporary, there were four shades of green on the walls and a tomato colour on the ceiling in the kitchen, not the usual cream walls and dark paint in most corporation places. But she had done some decorating herself even though she had never done it before.

She would like more variety of shops like there is at Comely Bank. She won't use the Co-op here because an assistant will serve you with potatoes and then go and handle butter without washing her hands. She doesn't think much of Co-ops in general, she supports private enterprise. When asked if she votes Conservative she says yes. She misses having a good fruit shop nearby. One of the local doctors gave her aspirin for a metatarsul arch "I've heard of aspirin curing a lot of things but have you heard of aspirins for a metatarsul arch?". She went and bought some pads, thinks there's something to be said for paying your own way and that doctors are allowed to have too many patients. She goes to the dentist every six months over in London street. She had arrived in Edinburgh not long after the welfare state was introduced and this was the only one she could get in to. She thinks the rents are high, there's a lot of moving in and out and she thinks this is becuase people can't keep up with the rents. The corporation say transfers are impossible, you have to get an exchange if you want to move but the district makes this diffcult. She thinks there is an attitude in the flats of "I'm all right Jack" but she realises that some people like noise.


  • Other: 28 November 1960

Conditions Governing Access

Public access to these records is governed by UK data protection legislation. Whilst some records may be accessed freely by researchers, the aforementioned legislation means that records conveying personal information on named individuals may be closed to the public for a set time. Where records relate to named deceased adults, they will be open 75 years after the latest date referenced in the record, on the next 1 January. Records relating to individuals below 18 years of age or adults not proven to be deceased will be open 100 years after the latest date recorded in the record, on the next 1 January.


12 Sheets

Related Materials

Res 1.3; Res 5.6; Res 6.11; Res 6.14


Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

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