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

25 years ago...

PLANS for the Scottish Seabird Centre were taking off, reported the East Lothian Courier on November 14, 1997.

Campaigners for North Berwick’s £2.4 million Sea Bird Centre were celebrating yesterday after news that the project, expected to draw around 60,000 tourists world-wide, will receive a £1 million grant from the national lottery.

The lift-off for one of the most important projects to hit East Lothian in many years – worth an estimated £750,000 a year in tourism – ended months of suspense, as the Millennium Commission considered the application.

Although the lotto-cash is less than half the total cost of the project, organisers say they have already raised another £1 million.

Lothian and Edinburgh Enterprise Ltd (LEEL), will contribute £400,000, while East Lothian Council will donate the site, plus £150,000.

A further £300,000 will be raised through private sector sponsorship and cash from Scottish Natural Heritage and the European Union will make up most of the remainder.

50 years ago...

A BID to turn the Imperial Hotel in North Berwick into flats made headlines in the East Lothian Courier on November 17, 1972.

North Berwick is to lose one its oldest hotels.

The Imperial Hotel in Quality Street is to be converted into flats.

The Imperial has been a popular meeting place through generations.

Being close to a bus terminus and also adjacent to the main shopping centre, it was often remarkable for its cosmopolitan flavour during the holiday season.

People moving into the new flats when they are built will find themselves with an excellent view of the town’s main street and will doubtless appreciate the facilities of the large car park in the town immediately outside.

At Monday’s meeting of East Lothian Planning Committee, the convener, Provost George F. McNeill, said that at a meeting in October the committee granted permission for conversion of part of the hotel into a public house and flats.

100 years ago...

A FOUR-YEAR-OLD presented himself at a polling station in Haddington to vote, reported The Haddingtonshire Courier on November 17, 1922.

An unusual incident occurred at the Haddington polling station on Wednesday.

A boy, James Wilson, 4 years of age, son of Mr William Wilson, baker, Church Street, accompanied by his parents, presented himself and claimed a vote on the ground that his name was on the roll.

It is understood that a man named James Wilson, a labourer at the gas works, formerly lived at the same address.