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Res.2.21 Male resident, 62 yrs, married, waiting to be re-housed, male interviewer, 28 April 1961

Identifier: EUA IN1/ACU/S3/4/2/2/21

Scope and Contents

Summary includes a description of the street and living accommodation. Other topics discussed include: Neighbourhood; money; work.

INTVEE currently lives with his wife in a tenement in the city centre. They are on the priority list under the clearance scheme. They expected to get the keys to their new house in North Edinburgh in a few weeks time. They have been given no information about their new house or the area. INTVER thinks it is a neglect on the part of the corporation not to show the tenants their new home prior to moving. INTVER describes their location as, "in the middle of a group of older Georgian squares and streets now in a very decrepit condition. The site is an attractive one on a very steep slope running down to the Kings Park with Salisbury Crags towering just a few hundred yards away. The buildings must be nearly 200 years old and look as if they haven't been repaired for 100 of those. The paintwork is old and dirty, the stairs almost mouldering away, the plaster peeling away and dirt and newspapers accumulating in a most depressing way". INTVER goes on to say "when I came out and it was dark my ideas changed a little, the dirt and the filth and the decrepitness was not so apparent in the quiet gas light and the place seemed to come alive. There were little groups of people all over the place, a rather peculiar little fish and chip shop which looked like a front parlour, with a chip stove in the middle of it.....There seemed to be an intimacy which I think is going to be lost when these people move out to the estates”. He describes the stair of INTVEE's flat as particularly gloomy and cavernous with very little paint left and smelling of disinfectant. They have lived there for 20 years renting from factors Gibbs in Nicholson Street. The rent is £1.9.8d monthly. The house is leaking and they have bowls down to collect the water. This is because people have been stealing the lead from the roof before the houses are demolished. The children cause pandemonium in the back yard on a Sunday which gets him down. A firm called Grants used to have a warehouse there but moved it because the kids kept breaking in. His wife is less keen to move and more attached to the centre of town than he is. He thinks the bad behaviour of children these days is linked to money - he knows some who get 15/- pocket money a week. He was careful to tell his daughters not to go standing about anywhere and keep to the main streets. They have a two-roomed flat which the INTVER thinks an odd construction; there's a main door then a little corridor with 2 single ends off it, then the INTVEE's front door leading off into a small hall with a kitchen/living room on one side and the bedroom on the other. INTVER describes it as a bit scruffy and dirty, the furniture worn out rexine and an air of poverty lightened by the expensive Pranal washing machine, modern gas cooker and 17" television, which was hired, and a small modern wireless. INTVEE complains about the water supply - he has one cold tap leading into the sink in the window, they heated their water in saucepans. There's no proper bathroom and INTVER supposed they must wash in the kitchen sink. INTVEE says he is domesticated and points out the curtains hanging up to dry on a line above their heads which he has washed. He also cooks and is quoted as saying "I have a system and I work it all out for days ahead, peel the tatties so that they're all ready for when I come in to cook". INTVER describes the other room as much more pleasant - a Sunday parlour with a put-up bed, clean and tidy, a well proportioned room with 2 largish windows, photographs and a small silver cup inscribed "To the world's best father". They pay £1.9.8d a month rent and will be paying 18/- a week for their new house. He is quoted as saying "I think it will be worth it, this place is really awful, I only earn £8.15/- a week so it isn't going to be easy". INTVER asks him about the move. His wife is worried about the shops but he thinks it will be better for them - fresher air, away from the hustle and bustle of traffic, more peace and quiet. He hoped they'd get a ground floor so his wife wouldn't have the stairs. They get on well with the neighbours but don't blether. INTVER thinks he'll miss the pubs quite a bit and quotes him as saying "Sometimes I'll go to the Rat Trap - that's the Empire bar by the Surgeons Hall and find that there's a pint waiting for me". Asked about missing friends he says he'll still come up [into town] a bit and his wife has said "you're a Hearts supporter so that'll be alright, you'll soon meet people down there that are Hearts supporters as well".


  • Other: 28 April 1961

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.


7 Sheets

Related Materials

Res 3.18


Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

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