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

Sayings and doings of 25 years ago...

THE school bell rang for the last time for a secondary school headteacher, reported the East Lothian Courier on June 27, 1997.

Knox Academy headteacher Anthony Ellis retired today (Friday) after 20 years at the helm.

Mr Ellis arrived in Haddington on June 15, 1977, from Castlebrae High School in Edinburgh, where he was the very first headteacher.

However, in recent months he has endured a rocky time with a succession of allegations of bullying at the school and a disappointing report on its performance by Her Majesty’s School Inspectors.

Mr Ellis, a graduate of Durham University, began his career at Richmond Grammar School where, by amazing coincidence, John Knox, the father of Presbyterianism in Scotland, sent his children.

In an interview with the ‘Knox News’ letter, Mr Ellis spoke fondly of his time at the school.

“I wish to thank the staff for their support over the 20 years of the ups and downs of school life, some of which have been extremely humorous,” he said.


50 years ago

THE Haddingtonshire Courier told on June 30, 1972 of a ‘mystery blaze’ that took hold of a historic mansion house.

The magnificent grey stone mansion house at Newbyth, East Linton, was gutted by fire at the weekend.

The blaze could be seen for miles around as flames leapt from the unoccupied Georgia Gothic building on the Newbyth Estate.

Mr Ian Kinloch, of Markle, East Linton, spotted the fire and immediately raised the alarm.

He then telephoned Mrs Shelagh Elliot, wife of Mr W. R. C. Elliot, managing director of Tennent Caledonian Breweries LTD., and owner of the estate.

Mrs Elliot then contacted the mansion’s owner, Mr R. J. Jell, of Saltoun House, Pencaitland.

“By the time we arrived on the scene,” said Mrs Elliot, “the flames were leaping out of the windows. It had gone up very quickly and bit by bit the roof fell away. There was a bright red glow in the sky.”


100 years ago

A GOLDEN wedding made news in The Haddingtonshire Courier of June 30, 1922.

In presence of a large gathering of friends and relatives, Mr and Mrs Alexander Martin, who have numerous relatives in Dunbar, celebrated their golden wedding at Burnmouth last week.

Mr Martin, who, from his youth, followed the calling of a fisherman, ceased going to sea several years ago, after having been engaged for a long time during the summer months at the crab fishing at Skateraw.

He first went to sea in his father’s boat, called the “Ann” – an opendecked boat of 37 feet keel.