Trainspotting flats in line for listed building status

A block of flats made famous one of the most iconic British cult movies could soon be listed as a structure of national importance alongside the likes of Edinburgh Castle.

Cable Wynd House – fictional home to the 'Bannanay flats cavalier' Simon 'Sick Boy' Williamson, in Irvine Welsh's 1993 novel Trainspotting.'

Photograph by: Historic Environment ScotlandCable Wynd House – fictional home to the ‘Bannanay flats cavalier’ Simon ‘Sick Boy’ Williamson, in Irvine Welsh’s 1993 novel Trainspotting.’

The 1960s flats stood in as the home of one of the main characters in Irvine Welsh’s ‘Trainspotting’ and are now in line to become the latest capital building to receive ‘listed’ status.

Historic Environment Scotland is to hold a consultation event in Leith about the post-war building – Cables Wynd House, known locally as the banana flats due to their distinctive curved shape, and the neighbouring Linksview House, both largely owned by the City of Edinburgh Council.

Cables Wynd House was made famous for its ‘role’ in the Irvine Welsh book where it featured as the childhood home of the character, Simon ‘Sick Boy’ Williamson.

Cable Wynd House

Photograph by: Historic Environment ScotlandCable Wynd House

Along with the 10-storey building Linksview House, the ‘Banana Flats’ mark an important period in the city – and Scotland’s social housing landscape. The blocks are a familiar sight in the skyscape of Leith since residents first moved into the buildings in 1960s.

A proposal to consider the property for listing by Historic Environment Scotland has reached an initial view that it may meet the criteria as a category A listed property, meaning it would be recognised as being of national importance.

“Scotland is renowned for its rich architectural heritage. While our palaces, abbeys and castles are a key part of this, they are only a fraction of our diverse historic environment which ranges from industrial buildings to the homes we live in,” said Dawn McDowell,
Historic Environment Scotland’s Deputy Head of Listing.

“Cables Wynd House and Linksview House were innovative, ground-breaking designs at the time when they were built and offered a new vision for social housing and for those who lived in them.

“A key aim of listing is to recognise the special architectural importance of these buildings as well as celebrating and sharing their wider social and cultural role.”

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