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


25 years ago


HOPES were rising that a special attraction could be built in North Berwick, reported the East Lothian Courier of May 3, 1996.

A plan to build a new £1.5 million state-of-the-art seabird centre in North Berwick has reached the short list in its bid for lottery funding.

Officials from the Millennium Commission are due to visit the town in the next few weeks to discuss the project with the Scottish Seabird Centre Consortium led by local businessman and keen ornithologist, Bill Gardner, and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

If successful, the consortium could receive up to half of the total cost of the initiative, and if match funding could be secured by the end of the year the centre could be open for business before the year 2000.

The purpose-built facility would be located on the site of the harbour pavilion, and linked to live, remote controlled cameras on lighthouse towers on the islands of Fidra and Bass Rock, which has a 100,000-strong gannet colony.


50 years ago


A TRANENT man was lucky enough to win two competitions just minutes apart, told The Haddingtonshire Courier on May 7, 1971.

When 25-year-old Mr Bruce Fraser was told he had won a travelling alarm clock, he did not know quite what he would use it for as he had not planned travelling anywhere.

But the decision was made for him when, minutes later, he was told he had also won a four-day, all expenses-paid trip for two to Paris in the Spring, in another competition.

Mr Fraser, branch manager of the Central Hardware Department of the Tranent branch of East Lothian Co-operative Society, won the clock in a competition organised by Hoover Cleaners and, even more coincidental, won the trip to Paris in a competition run by Goblin Cleaners. In fact, one could say he really ‘cleaned-up’.


100 years ago


A MAN was in court charged with neglecting an animal, reported The Haddingtonshire Courier on May 6, 1921.

On Monday morning, at the Burgh Court, before Bailie Phail, Mr James Thomson, live stock dealer, Letham Drive, Haddington, was charged with having, between Thursday, 7th, and Monday, 11th April, in a pen at the burgh slaughter-house, ill-treated and caused unnecessary suffering to a bullock entrusted to his care by failing to provide it with food and water, contrary to the Protection of Animals Act.

Mr George Rattray, solicitor, on Mr Thomson’s behalf, tendered a plea of guilty, subject to explanation.

The case was an unusual one, he said, as the bullock did not belong to Mr Thomson but to Mr Mason, farmer, Amisfield Mains, who had sent the animal in for slaughter.