Social Life

Bridgegate corner site (Provost Walker Court) is widely welcomed, as it will provide twenty-six flats for single persons and couples.

The town gradually adapted to its role as a tourist centre as a number of the larger houses - Minden, Dilkusha, and Lee Lodge - became hotels and other property owners provided differing forms of residential accommodation. Peebles had always attracted visitors, even before the advent of the railways, but now in an age when there was much more leisure time and also a growing proportion of retired people with the means to enjoy holiday breaks, the town's closeness to both Edinburgh and Glasgow made it a popular place to visit and to shop. It was also well-placed as a centre for touring the Border country and its close proximity to Scotland's capital city was an added facility for visitors from overseas and other parts of the United Kingdom.

Peebles folk were also becoming tourists as the 'affluent society' provided the means for more extensive travelling and holidays. Car ownership had become more general and touring was a popular pursuit - sometimes with a caravan in tow - whilst television advertising boosted the attractiveness of 'holiday packages' to foreign resorts.

The long 58½-hour working week in the woollen-mills at the start of the twentieth century, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. with the two forty-five-minute breaks during weekdays and from 6 a.m. to 12 noon on Saturdays, gave way to a 45-hour week in the 1960s (7.45 a.m. to 5 p.m. with one break of forty-five minutes).4 Today it is 39 hours (7.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. with a break of forty-five minutes each Monday to Thursday; 7.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. on Friday). Weekly wages for  men  in  1906  were  27s  7d  (£1.38)  and  women earned  18s  6d (92½p) whilst today men and women are paid at the same rate of £110 to £120 per week in 1989, excluding shift allowance.5

'The car' absorbed part of the leisure time and became a new hobby as it extended the range of visiting for the family and enabled participation in a wide range of social events; this often involved 'ferrying' members of the family to their various interests. Car maintenance and cleaning also became an essential part of the new hobby, being tackled with various degrees of enthusiasm.

As the post-war decades progressed there was more time for relaxing and participating in sport. More people played golf; bowling, too, gained in popularity and during 1989 the Peebles Bowling Club celebrated its 160th anniversary in strong heart. Sadly, the Peebles