30 years of affordable housing celebrated at former mill

GroupResidents and staff from Hillcrest Housing Association celebrated the 30th anniversary of a housing development forged on the site of a former textile mill at a special community event in Dundee.

Attendees had the opportunity to catch up over BBQ and birthday cake, get souvenir photographs taken with Oor Wullie, and discuss the history of Weavers Yard and the wider Upper Dens development.

Emily McCulley, Hillcrest tenant participation officer and part of the team responsible for organising the event, said: “It was very important to both the residents and staff that we marked the anniversary of this landmark development with an engaging and appropriately grand celebratory event.

“To meet this challenge we have hosted an afternoon of food, fun and memories that has brought staff and residents together.

“We would like to thank everyone who helped to make the day a success, Arnolds Catering for the delicious BBQ, Clark’s Bakery for the fantastic birthday cake, and Alison Carrie and Ben Gibson for delivering a special historical insight into the former mill.”

Alison Carrie and Ben Gibson
Alison Carrie and Ben Gibson

Historian and author of If These Wa’s Could Talk, Alison Carrie teamed up with Hillcrest community housing officer, Ben Gibson, to give a short, fun and interesting history of the development during which they invited residents to talk about their experiences of living in the mill.

Hillcrest Housing Association’s Upper Dens development, formally the largest textile mill in the world, cost £7.5 million to convert and was crowned the ‘Most Innovative Regeneration Scheme in Britain’ by the Royal institute of British Architects in 1987.

The original mill was developed by the Baxter Brothers who became the world’s premier linen manufacturers over 1840-90.

This event was part of a year of celebrations for Hillcrest Housing Association, who is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

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