Return to top Return to top

Growing up on the Calders Prefab Estate 1949-1965 [Part One]


I lived at 11 Calder Drive from 1949 to 1965.
My parents and sister moved there from Bonaly Road in 1947.

When complete there were 537 Prefabs on the Estate.

Initially there were few amenities.

I remember vans selling meat, fish, bread, milk and coal plus a converted old bus with fruit and veg.

There were two Ice Cream vans, Tommys and Marandola’s, a Rag and Bone man, an “Onion Johnny” and a Chip Van.

Gypsies from the camp on Cultins Road would sell wooden pegs, a tall Sikh in a brown suit would sell cloths and handkerchiefs and a little Italian called Acetola would cut your hair in your house.

On either side of Calder Broadway were some shops.

On the topside was Arnotts the Paper shop which also delivered papers on the estate.
Next door was a Drysalters, run by Mr George Samuel.
It was set more into the ground than the other shops. You went down some steps and it was always dark and smelled of kerosene, firelighters and carbolic. Also had a Esso Blue Paraffin dispenser near the door. Seem to remember he wore a brown overall.

Opposite was Watson and Wells, Haberdashers run by two spinster ladies which when they retired was taken over by a Mr Charles who was semi disabled.

Next door was Coopers the Butcher who also sold bread rolls.

There was also a small Swing park beside the Drysalters.

Other shops on Calder Ave. West and Calder Crossway are mentioned elsewhere.

(Maps A and B refer)

Discuss this memory

Your comment

Edinburgh in pictures

Edinburgh Collected is a community archive of Edinburgh memories. Explore the city’s rich history through images, documents and objects.
Explore pictures

Edinburgh in scrapbooks

Scrapbooks are collections of our community’s memories giving unique perspectives on life in Edinburgh.
Discover scrapbooks

Edinburgh in words

Uncover personal memories of life in Edinburgh, recorded in the written word.
Read memories

Share your memories and make history

Sign up for your free account today, to share your photos and memories, and create your own Edinburgh Collected scrapbooks.
Join today
What type of memory would you like to add?