A LONG-SERVING Wallyford community councillor has retired after 30 years of service to make way for the younger generation, as the village expands with hundreds of new houses.

Tribute was paid to Elaine Di Troia at the group’s recent annual general meeting, which was chaired by Councillor Colin McGinn.

Elaine, 69, a grandmother of three, told the Courier that with Wallyford ever expanding with new houses, she felt it was “high time” for the young generation to “step up” and get involved in the work of the community council.

She said: “It has been an honour and a privilege to have served the community over the years and I have met some wonderful people from East Lothian in that time.”

Elaine, who lives in the Fa’side area of Wallyford, has served as chairperson and vice chairperson over the years.

She explained that the group had helped many other groups, including the gala committee, local playgroup and primary school.

She said: “We funded and produced a local history book, provided the village with a war memorial stone and a mining memorial stone. For years we have organised Christmas street lights, a parade, and Santa has visited to give sweets to the children.

“I would like to wish the new members of Wallyford Community Council good luck for the future and hope they enjoy their time as a member as the village expands daily.”

Beryl Stevenson, who was elected treasurer at the meeting, told the Courier: “Elaine has done a lot of voluntary work in the community as well as serving as a community councillor.

“I would to say a big thank you to her for all she has done all the years she been on the community council.

“All past and present community councillors wish her a great retirement.”

The community council paid tribute at the AGM to Councillor Willie Innes, leader of East Lothian Council, who died recently after a long illness.

A minute’s silence was led by the re-elected chairman Alister Hadden, who said Mr Innes was “a much-loved and respected” councillor and community member, adding that he was “forever a gentleman”.

Sharon Jamieson was appointed secretary at the meeting and new members Jim McLean and Justin Hynd were welcomed to the community council.

In his report, Mr Hadden praised the work of Musselburgh Area Partnership, Musselburgh & Inveresk Community Council and the army of volunteers who supported local communities during the Covid-19 lockdown.

He said: “They supplied so many essential supplies throughout the communities of Musselburgh, Wallyford and Whitecraig, and without them it would have been a very difficult time.”

Mr Hadden added that, with support from Musselburgh Area Partnership and help from local ward councillors, the community council managed to hold meetings virtually during the Covid-19 crisis.

He highlighted local initiatives targeting dog fouling and graffiti, as well as the Wallyford in Bloom project.

A replica of the Wallyford ‘pug’ – a short steam engine which transported coal and bricks to a train on the East Coast rail line – was sited on the Wallyford Industrial Estate road and a new flowerbed was created.

A signpost, in an old-fashioned design and pointing people to local places of interest, was also installed at the industrial estate road.

Wallyford’s three coal mining hutches were kept full of plants to bring a splash of colour thanks to Musselburgh Area Partnership and East Lothian Council’s amenity teams.

The community council donated £75 to Wallyford Primary School to support a project to produce posters to encourage dog walkers to clean up after their dogs along the ‘pug’ path and plant daffodil bulbs in the school grounds.

Preparations are under way for the official switch-on of the Christmas lights on Friday, December 3. The festive parade will start at Wallyford Miners Club car park at 6.30pm.