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Mid Liberton and the Flood of 2000

The land upon which the Mid Liberton estate was built at the beginning of the 1980s is shown on the Ordnance Su rvey M ap of 1896 as serving as nurseries for market gardens which provided fresh produce for transporting into the growing city.

Along with the nearby dairies of Blackford Glen and Nether Liberton, these were helping to improve the diet and health

of a city whose first environmental health protection was put in place by Sir Duncan Littlejohn around 1870. (He had actually demanded the removal of dairies, with their associated dangers of tuberculosis and other cattle-related diseases, from the city proper, to the suburbs, hence the number of dairies in the area.)

The nurseries eventually passed into the hands of the Edinburgh University School of Agriculture, who continued their use for produce, and even up until recently, residents of the estate would find strawberry runners popping up in unexpected places as a legacy of the land's former owners !

An apocryphal story of the building of Mid Liberton relates that the company who built the northern end of the development went into liquidation before finishing the whole undertaking, and the southern end was completed by a different company, but to the original design.

On the evening of Wednesday 26 April 2000, at about 6.30pm, following three days of heavy rain, the Braid Burn burst its banks and flooded over the roadway and into the homes between 8 and 20 Mid Liberton. The Edinburgh Council, who had been told of the threat at 8.30am in the morning, had not delivered any sandbags until it was already too late.

Neighbours and council workers strove to shore up houses as the waters rose quickly, until reaching a high-water level at about 8.45pm.

As a result of the flooding, several families had to vacate their properties for full repairs to be made. Others had to take remedial action to dry out voids below floorboards, etc.

We are grateful to Colin Symes for Liberton information reproduced from his website - www.colinsymes.u-net.com.

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