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...

A PETROL bomb attack in the centre of Haddington was front page news in the Courier on September 19, 1997.

An arson attack in which a petrol bomb was thrown through a window of the Procurator Fiscal’s office in Haddington is being probed by detectives.

One theory is that the attempt was meant to start a serious fire – possibly to destroy evidence in a forthcoming court case.

In fact the fire, in an interview room, caused only smoke damage and ruined a carpet.

Important files and statements on pending cases were all in metal filing cabinets on the floor above.

An alarm system was activated when the ground-floor window was shattered in the building next to the Sheriff Court in the County Buildings at 1.27am yesterday (Thursday).

Officers in a police patrol car in the area were alerted by radio from their HQ, and dashed to the scene.


...and 50 years ago

PLANS to add hundreds of new homes to a village were revealed in the Courier on September 22, 1972.

A massive private housing development is in the pipeline for Macmerry.

Applications by Scottish Residential Estates, which have been submitted to East Lothian Planning Committee, could result in the village being increased in size by between 500 and 600 houses.

The two applications, which involve a total of 125.78 acres of Greendykes Farm on the north and south side of the A1 trunk road, have been ‘continued’ by the Planning Committee for reports by the Mineral Valuer, the National Coal Board and the Department of Agriculture.

When these have been received, the committee will consider the Development Plan implications of the applications.

Mr Alex Harkess, a director of Scottish Residential Estates, told the Courier: “We have agreed with Mr Rennie the terms for the acquisition of the land and our intention would be to develop the entire area at something like seven to eight houses to the acre.”


...and 100 years ago

A THEFT by an uncle in Pencaitland was the subject of a court case reported in The Haddingtonshire Courier on September 22, 1922.

In the Haddington Sheriff Court, on Wednesday, David Aitchison, labourer, of no fixed residence, was charged with having, between Sunday 17th, and Monday 18th inst., stolen from a lockfast box at the farm of Templehall, a sum of £7, belonging to Alexander Aitchison, labourer.

He pleaded guilty, but said he only took the sum of £5, 18s 6d.

The fiscal stated that the theft was a somewhat mean one.