WE TAKE a look at the stories making headlines in East Lothian 25, 50 and 100 years ago.


25 years ago


A CELEBRITY backing an appeal was front page news in the East Lothian Courier on April 26, 1996.

TV naturalist Prof. David Bellamy has flown north to see threatened Pressmennan Wood for himself – and said he was “amazed” that the area itself was so little known before now.

The celebrity conservationist was taken around the wood by local campaigners who had invited him to come and support their plea to stop the chop of around 550 ancient sessile oaks which would take out a third of the wood.

Prof. Bellamy noted that the site was only five miles away from the birthplace of John Muir, the “father of conservation” who created national parks across the United States.

He said: “John Muir would turn in his grave.

“We’re leaving Scotland to go bald and bare.”

Prof. Bellamy, who used to travel around the area regularly and has flown over the Lammermuirs at close range in a helicopter, was strongly opposed to plans to dispose of the tress.


50 years ago


HADDINGTON was in need of a supermarket, reported The Haddingtonshire Courier on April 30, 1971.

The need for a greater choice of shops in Haddington was emphasised by Mrs Pauline Duffield, one of the local Labour Party’s candidates in the coming municipal election, when she spoke at the annual Ratepayers’ Meeting in the Town House last week.

More than 200 people attended the meeting at which the Council’s achievements during the past 12 months and plans or the future were put under the microscope.

Mrs Duffield, a newcomer to the municipal scene, said her main reason for deciding to stand for election was one of growing concern – a concern for the town of Haddington and concern for the people who lived in it.


100 years ago


A TRAIN driver was injured at Haddington railway station while cleaning his train, told The Haddingtonshire Courier on April 29, 1921.

On Saturday, Mr Walter Bell, engine-driver, residing at Longniddry, sustained a serious accident while engaged cleaning the front of his locomotive at Haddington station.

Missing his foothold near the top of the engine, he fell heavily upon the rail, his right thigh being fractured.

It was decided to convey the injured man to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary by means of a van and engine specially run for the purpose.

At Longniddry, Mrs Bell was taken on board, and accompanied her husband during the remainder of the journey.