Fireworks 2010 Competition

We recently held a competition to win tickets to the 2010 Fireworks and asked you ‘Why I like living in the colonies’. Thank you to everyone who entered and a special well done to Eden, Jane, Chris, Mark and Megan. We have published the winning entries below.


Why I like living in the Colonies

From Eden age 9

I like living in The Colonies because all the neighbours are friendly. I like the gardening and spud competitions. I love animals and there are lots of cats and dogs in the Colonies and I know all of them and they all know me. I can play in the street safely and I like all the different gardens and styles. I like the architecture and the fact that we are so close to Glenogle Swimming pool. The Colonies is a great place to be a kid in!

From Jane Bonnyman

because each cobbled street leads to the river, and the cats outnumber people; they govern from tops of stairs or sit within a sliver of soft moonlight and wait on your return; because you can buy a homemade sponge cake or a silver ring from a neighbour’s yard, sell lemonade in plastic cups and make more when it has gone. Each year a Christmas card from someone on your street. Not a city but a village taken out of the Dales, with autumn’s smoke and winter’s snow; the tea lights of warm spring and summer nights never fail to draw in friends who want to live here too; they see why every house has such value.

From Mark Southgate

Quiet cobbled streets, no cars rushing past, Glenogle Pool – refurbished at last! Edinburgh city centre just a short walk away, A garden to sit in on a warm summer’s day, The Water of Leith – riverside walks, ducks and more, Great local shops – all needs catered for, Botanic gardens nearby – a lovely place, Friendly cats bringing a smile to your face, Cosy local pubs, restaurants and bars, A rooftop bedroom with a view of the stars, Sitting on steps enjoying the sun, Neighbourly chats with everyone, Leafy green trees, singing birds and buzzing bumblebees, That’s why I like living in the Stockbridge Colonies!

From Meg Watson

We have lived in the colonies for two happy, memorable and eventful years. As a young couple who have collectively lived in over ten different Edinburgh flats, we were delighted to find a lovely little place to rent that we could finally call home.

The setting is ideal – a stone’s throw from the trendy shops of Stockbridge and the hustle and bustle of the city centre, yet a jump over the Water of Leith from the peace of the Botanics and the blustery freshness of Inverleith Park. But for us, it is the colony community that really counts.

Just after we moved in, our cat Omar decided to go AWOL. Panicking and distressed, we posted flyers through everyone’s doors and on the handy notice board at the end of the street. Our neighbours came out in force to offer support and advice, and then to share in our jubilation when Omar returned (with his tail between his legs) five days later. We may have temporarily lost our wayward cat, but we gained some fabulous friends.

One of my favourite times to be in the colonies is on a lazy summer Sunday afternoon, when colony dwellers are out in their gardens basking in the rare Scottish sunshine and enjoying a beer or two. One such weekend a bowl of our home-made coleslaw made its way up and down the street, shared amongst a number of household’s barbeques and parking off a full-scale food swap. And the best part? We ended up with more sausages than we started with!

Sadly, colony living for us is about to end. We are embarking on a new chapter of our lives in Musselburgh, where we have bought our first house.

Winning tickets to the Festival Fireworks would be a very fitting tribute to the wonderful time we have had living in the colonies, and would truly allow us to go out with a bang.

From Christine McNaughton

“Calm down, madam. This is Sleepy Hollow, not the Bronx.” The visitor to the Colonies had reversed her mini out of Collins Place into a parked Citroen and to the amusement of the attending officer, was intent on placing the blame loudly on anyone or anything in range.

Watching, it occurred to me how rarely one hears voices raised in anger or encounters aggression here. Considering that there may be as many as 350 houses in such a small area, we all live together in reasonable harmony, an eclectic mix of interesting people from all walks of life. This is a village within a city, with all the advantages of both and a great place to live.

Neighbours are friendly without being intrusive and there is an easy-going live and let live attitude, which works well. We can, however, unite with surprising efficiency to fight any threat to our way of life such as preventing the proposed route of the ring road in 1960’s or helping save our baths in 2008.

The closely packed streets of the Colonies follow the course of the Water of Leith, which, most of the time is a source of pleasure and the Bell Park and Rocheid Path bring the feeling of countryside into the area. At others, as in the floods of 2000, the river can be the bringer of distress and expense, but even then the spirit of co-operation and camaraderie among residents was heart-warming.

The sight of a canoe being paddled along Glenogle Road will be hard to forget.

The proximity to a wide selection of amenities within walking distance is a great bonus and the centre of Edinburgh is only a short bus ride away (particularly good at this Festival time). Stockbridge has become very fashionable in recent years and has many small specialist shops, great charity shops, good pubs every type of restaurant and coffee shop one could desire.

In addition, we have one of the best botanical gardens in Europe on our doorstep and Inverleith Park for sports, recreation and dog-walking is even closer.

The Glenogle Baths may no longer be the only place to soak weary bones (before many of us had baths in our houses), but the recent extensive restoration adds further to the attraction of the area.

Few other areas can offer the attractions of your own front door, a small garden (and it is surprising how many species can be accommodated therein,(feline, canine as well as flora)) and well preserved Victorian artisan housing in such an attractive setting.

I cannot imagine wanting to live anywhere else.