A ROW of nine trees thought to be planted to recognise nine trades in Haddington could be recognised with a plaque.

Nine lime trees are planted on the western side of the River Tyne near St Mary’s Parish Church, with the oldest of the trees thought to date back more than a century.

Haddington and District Amenity Society, which folded last October, is behind the plans for the plaque, which would be put in place on the wall along the eastern edge of Lady Kitty’s Garden, off The Sands.

Andrew Robinson, the founding and final chairman of the group, told the Courier: “We had been considering for some time putting up a plaque close to the nine lime trees in the Ball Alley, Haddington.

“The trees are there to mark the presence in the town of the nine trading incorporations from medieval times through to the 19th century.

“The nine trades represented are the baxters, the hammermen, the masons, the wrights, the fleshers, the cordiners, the skinners, the tailors and the wabsters.

“The money for the plaque was set aside at the time the society disbanded in October 2019, and we very much look forward to putting it in place once we have obtained the necessary planning and listed building consents.

“Another of our ‘last acts’ was the installation of a plaque in memory of Frank Tindall on the west-facing gable of 1 Bridge Street, just across the bridge from the Ball Alley.”

Plans for the plaque are with East Lothian Council’s planning department.

The plaque, which will be made of a composite material with a printed image, would measure 42 centimetres in width and nearly 30 centimetres in height.

Documents included within the planning application highlight the wording of the proposed plaque, which needs planning permission as it is on a listed building.

It reads: “This row of nine lime trees is said to represent the nine trade guilds of Haddington.

“No one knows who planted the original nine, but the oldest of the current trees dates from about 1900.

“The line of trees marks the old road between the High Street and St Mary’s Kirk and offers an important reminder of the trades in existence before 1800.

“Trade guilds of Haddington dating from the Middle Ages are represented on this shield: Top row: masons (stone workers), wrights (makers or builders), wabsters (weavers).

“Middle row: hammermen (metal workers), skinners (leather makers), cordiners (shoe makers).

“Bottom row: baxters (bakers), fleshers (butchers), tailors (clothes makers).”