PART IV

the suspension of municipal elections, essential services maintained but all other resources directed to the war effort.

The post-war era began with the election of a new town council in November 1945 and continued until the reorganisation of local government became effective on 15 May 1975. As in 1918, the first priority was housing to provide for returning ex-Service men and women, many of whom had married during the war years and rightfully expected both housing and employment on their return from active service. An emergency statute of 1944 led to the provision of thirty temporary houses at Kingsland Square later to be converted into permanent dwellings, which to this day continue to be in much demand. There followed housing developments at Montgomery Place, Buchan Gardens and of course Kingsmeadows, by far the largest of the post-war schemes.

Simultaneously there was a clearly detectable shift in the type of population. Whereas previously, newcomers to the town were in the main those taking up employment locally or new professionals joining established practices, the advent of the modern reliable motor-car in the post-war era attracted a new clientele – the commuters whose work took them all over but allowed them to spend weekends and leisure time in a rural area. The population figure of the 1931 Census of some 5,853 persons has slowly pushed towards 7,000 or above and the housing need was substantially met by an ever-increasing provision of housing in the private sector (although this sector was also fairly active in the pre-war era) and such post-war developments were provided in the main by local firms, such as James Clyde & Sons, Peebles; Johnston & Smith, Peebles; Murray & Burrell, Galashiels; and James McLellan, Peebles.

At the same time, the Town Council had to keep pace with the provision of complementary amenities and modernisations. Improvement grants were provided to bring many old houses up to date. In the pre-war era Peebles Gasworks were run by the Town Council and this was a successful revenue-generating undertaking. The Town Council was its own best customer as all street lighting and lighting in all municipal housing schemes was by gas! When the Gas Act 1948, assumed responsibility for gas distribution on a national basis, the Town Council proceeded to convert street lighting and municipal house lighting to electricity as soon as possible.

The town's water supply, abstracted from the confluence of the Kirkhope and Manor Burns at Langhaugh high in the Manor Valley, had

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