Issue 111 - Spring

Those of you who are regular readers will recall East Lothian Life Editor, Pauline Jaffray, was taken ill last October. Pauline was not well enough to be back at her desk to produce this issue of the magazine and so once again, I find myself writing this editorial on her behalf. So many of you have contacted me to ask how Pauline is progressing and to pass on your good wishes and prayers. She has been enormously touched by so much kindness and concern for her welfare.

It has been wonderful for me to have received so much encouragement and offers of help to produce this spring issue. Articles have flowed in from regular contributors. Ian Goodall has done sterling work rushing around the county taking photographs. He snapped The Dunbear as bright sunshine gave way to a snowstorm and balanced precariously on a clifftop to get a shot of Gin Head. Ian’s cover photo of the diving gannets is a reminder in Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters of how much there is to explore, discover and protect along our magnificent shoreline.

The Rugged Pathway annual pilgrimage follows an inland route, on foot, between Haddington and Whitekirk, passing sites associated with early Christianity, but also gives the participants an opportunity to enjoy the diversity of the local landscape. In Saddle Up, Stuart Macpherson encourages us rethink cycling as an activity for all ages, not just for the young and suggests we would find benefits in adjusting our travel priorities. Annie Rayner has also been travelling around the county, but in relative warmth and comfort On the Buses. She offers an alternative view of the surrounding countryside and towns – and yet an environmentally friendly option of getting from A to B.

Rosemary Everett draws our attention to another activity which has environmental appeal. In Creating Riches from Rags she brings to life the almost forgotten rural tradition of making rag rugs. Travelling further back in time, David Affleck offers an insight into the lives of the families who owned, managed and worked on the Whittingehame estate, 250 years ago.

Spring started to arrive earlier than expected in many parts of the country. The bright yellow heads of daffodils were nodding in the wind in early February, even before the icy blasts following in the wake of storm Ciara, slowed things down. Richard English, the countryside ranger, draws our attention to the tiny, almost exotic wild flowers that brighten the East Lothian landscape every spring, in his article Early Risers.

It is to be hoped that winter is now past and we can enjoy some gentle warmth from the sun’s rays and watch the fresh green leaves begin to unfold and dress the trees. Look around our beautiful county; there is always something to gladden the heart.

Ailsa Fortune

(for Pauline)

Front cover: Gannets diving near Bass Rock, by Ian Goodall, North Berwick Photographic Society


06 East Lothian Homes - Northfield House Ailsa Fortune
11 East Lothian History - Schaw’s Hospital and the Mary Murray Institute Ailsa Fortune
18 East Lothian Property - Putting your House on the Market – a Seller’s Guide Emma Bruce
32 Experience East Lothian - On the Buses Annie Rayner
34 Muddy Boots 73 - Thornton Glen and Innerwick - Allen Skinner
44 East Lothian History - Gin Head: A.S.E.E. Tantallon - Nicholas McDonald Lyons
50 East Lothian History - Whittingehame – the Kirk, the Estate and its People David Affleck
74 Sunny Dunny - Dunbar: A Holiday Destination for Europe Roy Pugh
80 Travel & Explore - Wonderful Copenhagen - Rosemary Everett
37 Figuratively Speaking - Travelling Light - Lyle Crawford
41 The Lothians and Border Horse - The 2nd Regiment in World War Two Stephen Bunyan
58 East Lothian’s Finest - Willie Anderson Michael Atkinson
60 Rural Crafts in East Lothian - Creating Riches from Rags - Rosemary Everett
63 East Lothian Caught on Camera - Name the Faces Bill Nimmo
76 Art Matters - Drawing from Life Frances Richardson
78 News & Views & Reviews
23 Play Bridge - Watch the Pips! Liz McGowan
24 East Lothian Gardening - Transforming Beech Hill – Spring 2020 Gerry Condron
27 East Lothian Gardening - Scotland’s Gardens Scheme
28 East Lothian Gardening - The Unexpected Garden - Frank Kirwan
38 Saddle up - Cycling Lifestyle Stuart Macpherson
55 Play Chess - Hal’s Time Nearing? Craig Pritchett
67 Cooking is Fun - How Many Cooks in the Kitchen Ailsa Fortune
70 Wine Cellars - Winners, Losers and the Lost Geoffrey Williams
12 East Lothian Antiques - Let there be (Electric) Light - Horace Parkin
14 Spring Interiors - Decorating the Coorie Home - Beth Pearson
22 Money Matters - What’s your biggest fear about retiring? Shane Presley
46 East Lothian Biodiversity - Early Risers Richard English
48 Plants that changed our lives - The Opium Poppy Martyn Baguley
53 The Rugged Pathway Pilgrimage - Tread Rejoicingly! Bill Paterson
56 East Lothian Charities - ELCAP – Changing Lives for the Better Paul White
64 Farming East Lothian - In Defence of Hedges Jennifer Sharp
72 Non-native Plants - Beware the Giant Hogweed - Jennifer Sharp
82 East Lothian Motoring - What is it Worth to Save the Earth? Geoffrey Williams
79 East Lothian Life Classified