Feast, blether and play on a wonderful day…

The 8th Cornhillers Street Party Sunday 20 August 2017

This year it was decided to move the Street Party to the Restalrig Road end of the Street, and after the Cornhillers Facebook group decided on the date, Itay applied to the council for the license and Morag designed the flyer with the drawing and writing talents of Yasmin (5) and Aiden (9). Phil, Gracie, Yasmin, Itay and Aiden posted the leaflets to all the neighbours, and the posters duly went up.

On the day we decorated the area with balloons, plants, bikes and some bunting. The weather was dry and people helped to set up tables/rugs/chairs and games. Morag had set a face painting area in front of number 24 which was a hive of activity all day with the kids/adult-kids who took the initiative to do it themselves. We had Duplo Lego, Swing-ball, Bowling and a puppet show theatre that proved to be very popular. Cornhillers radio broadcasted the best happy music with intervals for the marvelous locals kids brass band and “Despacito” – Justin Bieber requests.

There was also a real Squash championship and everyone was a winner with a sweetie after hitting the poor butternut squash down with a tennis ball. We had some neighbours from the nearby streets joining us which made the party even livelier. There was also an art activity going on with decorated paper plates, chalk art (Holyrood Boulevard and other stars’ drawing) on the road and a young cartoonist.

The food was amazing with the famous bhajis and spicy sauce, quiche, Thai chicken curry, hummus, couscous salads etc and great home baking: Victoria Sponge, iced lemon sponge, lemon drizzle, cupcakes, rice crispy cakes, tiffin, cookies, and crumbles. At 4pm the sun came out and people stayed on after 6 to blether, feast and play, basking in the warm sunshine.

We all helped to clean up, and were a bit sad that the party had to end.

The Cornhillers


Bhajis and brownies at the Cornhill Terrace Street Party

Cornhill Terrace Street Party 2016. Photo by Mary Hutchison

Sunday 14th August was the 7th Cornhill Terrace Street Party.  

This year we planned for rain and arranged street-closure for two Sundays following the street party, just in case. As it turned out, although a grey day it was dry, and it was warm. Once or twice the sun even managed to shine through the clouds!

At this year’s party the usual fantastic sweets and savouries were shared: crispy bhajis, spicy sauces, quiche, brownies, cupcakes and more. Perhaps the most impressive was a three-layer banana cake, overflowing with chocolate and topped with walnuts. Maybe we should offer prizes next year, or then again maybe not – we don’t seem to need competition to cook up good things, and a great atmosphere.

Of course the most important thing is the people. Every year there are new neighbours to meet, and at least one new baby on the street. The newest and youngest this year is just four months old.

While the grownups chatted our smaller neighbours had fun drawing, making, scootering, biking, and even dancing on the garden walls. There were no Pokemon, just a shared tin can string telephone, and a few sightings of colourful paper monsters. This social media is real life!

This year some of the neighbours were also getting together for action. Cornhill Terrace was designed long before wheely bins (and cars) so our narrow pavements are regularly blocked by bins waiting for collection. A petition has been organised in the hope that, in negotiation with the council, we can agree a better arrangement for waste removal and recycling. If you live locally, our Facebook group will keep you updated.

Others are keen to organise a monthly play street, to give local children the chance to play freely outdoors. One possibility might be to set up in a different area of the neighbourhood each month, to allow more children to benefit. If you live in the Cornhill Terrace or Ryehills area, contact Lucy to find out more.

Thanks to everyone who came. It was a fun afternoon!

The Cornhillers

Cornhill Terrace Street Party 2015

Cornhill Terrace Street Party. Photo by Mary Hutchison

The day of our street party was SUNNY! That’s reason enough to party!

There were tables enough to lay out all the delights brought by the neighbours, chairs, a li-lo and even two garden benches. Whether young or old, incomer or an established resident, everyone was made to feel comfortable and welcome.

Every year we have new neighbours.“We’d just moved in, and got a flyer through the letterbox – very exciting!”

New babies on the block were the twins from No. 4, each wriggling in a papoose carried by a determined partying parent.

The children bring different games each year! This summer we had a coconut shy, swing-ball and a swop shop, while the grownups joined the kids in drawing on the pavement.

As usual there was an incredible variety of home-baking: appetising savouries, mouthwatering cakes and colourful sweets. It’s harvest time too, and Liz brought along some fresh lettuce and courgettes from her allotment. It would be great to see more garden and allotment produce next year.

Somehow, the food just disappears. Everyone did well with recycling and clearing up. We have very little waste, and most was tidied away invisibly at the end of the afternoon by many willing hands. Thank you!

Special thanks to Alan for intrepid bunting-hanging-at-height, and to Lucy for liaising with the Council for our temporary street closure.

To share your photos and stories, join our Facebook group www.facebook.com/groups/cornhillers

See you again next year!

The Cornhillers


Save the date!

Delicious food at the 2015 Cornhill Terrace street party. Photo by Mary Hutchison

Save the date – this year’s street party will be on Sunday August 23rd, from 2-6.

In Scotland you never know what weather to expect, but even in last year’s monsoon, there was no way the neighbours were going to allow our party to be rained off!

We enjoyed all these delicious treats and more, and the children had a great time playing in the rain.

This year, let’s hope for sun.

See you at the party!


Improvised shelter for a street party stall, 2014. Photo by Mary Hutchison

It’s the day of the street party. And it’s raining.

But at least one neighbour is determined to party!

EDIT – The rain didn’t stop us. Despite the downpour, more than a few of us turned up. The kids still got to play, and we met some new neighbours – our local minibeasts!

Cornhill Terrace Street Party 2013

Dancing in the street. Photo by Itay Idan

On Sunday 16 June our fourth annual street party took place. The sun may not have shone, but it didn’t rain. The company was warm, and the kids had a great time!

As always, delicious food, drinks, decorations and bunting were gathered from all over the street. It all looked very colourful!

This summer we provided a notice stand, with information about Play Streets. The idea is to close part of Cornhill Terrace regularly, to allow children to play outdoors safely. To add your support please contact Lucy.

Of course the street party gives local children a chance to play together too, with one boy advertising free scooter driving lessons – a great idea!

Richard Rodger’s book “Edinburgh’s Colonies” was available for people to read. Built by the Edinburgh Co-operative Building Company in the late 1890’s, Cornhill Terrace is itself part of the history of the colonies, and it’s the success of their design that helps make our street such a neighbourly place to live.

Thanks to all who helped make this year’s party a success by organising street closure, providing music, creating and delivering flyers, lending and transporting tables, organising crafts, decorating, recycling, and clearing up.

And a big thank you to everyone for taking part. It couldn’t happen without you!

Related articles

Play streets

Edinburgh Colonies Conservation

Have you heard?

Edinburgh District Council plan to extend the conservation status of Edinburgh colonies, to protect their historic and architectural importance.

They council are in the process of a public consultation, with exhibitions on the proposals at venues across Edinburgh and opportunities to discuss issues with planning staff.

Find out how you can take part in the Edinburgh Colonies Character Appraisal

Partying at the street party!

This year’s street party was a great success, as ever.

The neighbours collectively provided a taste sensation of sweet and savoury recipes, washed down with Pimms, beer, cider and wine.

For the kids there was face-painting, craft, ball-games – and hopskotch! Lucy and Mike provided music, and Aly Barr from number 70 played an acoustic set. Most importantly, it was a great get-together!

Watching local kids of all ages playing freely in the street was a revelation, and inspired more discussion on the Play Street idea. We’ll keep you posted on that…

The weather held out until the very end, causing a quick rush to save what remained of the cakes, the decorations, and the children’s artwork. But considering the summer so far, we consider ourselves lucky!

We’d love to see your photos. If you have any you’d like to share, you can add them to our Flickr site.

Last but not least, a huge thank you to Kirsty Rosie of Prospect Bank Primary School who kindly loaned us six tables.

Hope to see you again next year!

The Cornhillers

Play street idea

Here’s an idea for the Cornhillers to consider…. making our street a play street.  The basic idea is we get the street closed for a couple of hours and the kids come out and play (like the street party but shorter and with less food).  This idea is supported by many councils in the UK and I read an article about it in the Guardian a few weeks ago www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/jun/23/reclaiming-the-streets-for-kids about a street in Bristol where they are doing it successfully.  I guess you can set it up how you want  – every Monday 3 – 5pm, for example.  You need 2 road closure signs from the council, 2 people to manage any traffic at each end of the street and parents are responsible for their own kids.  Ideally, you move the cars out, but not always.  Any cars needing access get led in by one of the wardens from the end of the street….

Is anyone up for trying it out a couple of times in sept / oct.?  Need to consult everyone obv.  For more info, check out www.playingout.net

Also, it doesn’t have to be just for the kids – grown ups could join in too!

Cornhillers Street Party 2012

This year’s street party will be on Sunday 19th August, 1 – 5 pm.

The application for street closure is in. We now need help with publicity – posters, invites etc.

Get in touch if you would like to help! See you there (bring cake)!