A HISTORIC regiment with links to the county dating back more than 220 years has been granted the Freedom of East Lothian.

Members of the public lined the streets in Dunbar on Saturday as a special presentation and parade took place to mark the historic moment involving the Lothians and Border Yeomanry.

The regiment’s links with East Lothian date back to 1797 with the formation of the East Lothian Yeomanry Cavalry.

The Dunbar, Seton, Salton and Gifford troops eventually disbanded and joined with other areas before reforming in 2014 under the current name.

Councillor Jim Goodfellow, East Lothian Council’s Armed Forces Champion, conferred the Freedom of East Lothian to the Yeomanry, represented by Major Stuart Vine, in the shadow of Lauderdale House, the Regiment’s original home.

Mr Goodfellow, who represents the North Berwick Coastal ward, said: “As well as being a landmark building on Dunbar’s High Street, Lauderdale House is the historic home of the Lothians and Border Yeomanry.

“It is therefore appropriate that we are celebrating this occasion here in its shadow.

“The Freedom of East Lothian is the highest honour our council can award.

“It recognises those who play an important role here: those who represent our county and its values, contribute to the fabric of our civic society or who are integral to the history and tradition of East Lothian.

“In granting the Freedom to the Lothians and Border Yeomanry today, the Regiment joins the Royal Scots Borderers 1st Battalion, renowned artist John Bellany and golf champion Catriona Matthew as worthy recipients of this rarely-bestowed tribute.

“Last weekend, our nation came together to commemorate Armed Services Day, which marks the important part that the Armed Services have played, and continue to play, in our society.

“Today we come together as a county to pay our particular thanks to the members of the Lothians and Border Yeomanry for the part it has played in East Lothian since its earliest roots as the East Lothian Yeomanry Cavalry in 1797.

“It is extraordinary to think that the regiment has represented East Lothian in every conflict since the Napoleonic Wars, including the Great War.”

Following the presentation, the regiment paraded along Dunbar’s High Street, saluting Mr Goodfellow outside the Town House, before continuing on to its war memorial outside Dunbar Parish Church on the town’s Queen’s Road for a rededication ceremony.

Representatives from the council, serving and veteran members of the Armed Services community and their families, support organisations and crowds of well-wishers witnessed the occasion.

Granting the Freedom of East Lothian to the regiment recognises the sacrifices and service made by its members over the years, and reinforces the council’s commitment to all armed services members living within the county.

Major SJ Vine, Squadron Leader, E (Lothians and Border Yeomanry) Squadron, The Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry, said the squadron was “truly honoured” to be given the Freedom of East Lothian.

He added: “The day marks the reinvigoration of the strong partnership between the community and the squadron from which many of those serving, have served or represented through our long history and antecedent regiments live and work – we are grateful for the enduring support.

“It is significant and fitting that we are able to parade through Dunbar and also rededicate the war memorial in what is our spiritual home.

“[It was] a truly proud and memorable day and one which reconnects the ‘County’s Regiment’ with the community whom we serve.”

The presentation and parade were part of a day of celebration of the regiment and Armed Services held in the town.

A civic reception was held at the Town House for the Yeomanry and its supporters where a framed ‘Freedom of East Lothian’ certificate was presented.

The British Legion hosted a family event at its club for 100 people, while Dunbar Museum hosted a special one-day exhibition of the Yeomanry’s military treasures.