A new look takes shape in Dalkeith town centre

An aerial view of Dalkeith in the mid-1960s. Photo courtesy Midlothian Council Local Studies
An aerial view of Dalkeith in the mid-1960s. Photo courtesy Midlothian Council Local Studies

At the beginning of April, the Town Council told us there were 1658 council houses in Dalkeith, half of which had been built since the Second World War, and another 108 were due to be completed by the end of the year.

In addition, up to April, 52 prefabs had been demolished and the final 29 would go by December.

But the council could not keep up with the demand for housing. There were still nearly 300 sub-standard houses in the burgh, another 50 had been condemned and there were 50 newlyweds each year looking for houses.

One suggestion made was that they should encourage more people to think of home ownership.

Apparently the council had the power to offer home loans at very favourable terms to council tenants who could afford to buy a house of their own. I wonder if this ever happened?

Mr Paul of Gorebridge Pigeon Club found a stranger among his birds returning home from a race. This was a thin-looking bird, ringed on both legs.

One ring said “JAPAN 1958 280048”, and the other ring, which appeared to be gold, was engraved with Japanese characters. This meant nothing to Mr Paul who “although an experienced fancier, does not have the Japanese”!

Had the pigeon flown all the way from Japan? Sadly, we will never know, because although the information was passed to the International Federation, nothing further was reported. Though I suppose Mr Paul got another pigeon and a gold ring out of it!

See this week’s Advertiser for Alan Mason’s full feature. On sale now