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

25 years ago...

A ‘BODY’ on North Berwick Law was an April Fool prank, reported the East Lothian Courier on April 3, 1998.

An April Fool’s joke caused alarm in North Berwick on Wednesday when residents awoke to see a ‘body’ hanging from the top of the Law.

Officers at the town’s police station received a string of calls around 7am reporting that a body was hanging from the ancient whale’s jaw bone.

A police spokesman said that many of the phone calls had been made by residents of Lochbridge Road.

One woman who had noticed the ‘body’ was particularly distressed by the sight.

Two police officers sent to investigate found a home-made dummy suspended in mid air, which they cut down.

The dummy had a ball for a head and was dressed in a pair of trousers and a jacket.

“Viewed in light of today’s date we are treating this as a harmless prank, although I imagine that the dummy could have caused distress if seen from a distance – it looked like a corpse,” said the spokesman.


50 years ago...

A MUSSELBURGH dine and dash was hitting the headlines in the East Lothian Courier on April 6, 1973.

Three Musselburgh men went into a restaurant, had a meal and then flatly refused to pay for it, Musselburgh Burgh Court was told on Monday.

As well as not paying the bill, one of the men pushed a cup and saucer off the table and stamped on the bill.

The three men all pleaded guilty to ordering food and three cups of tea totalling £4.10, consuming it and refusing to pay.

All three admitted previous convictions.

One of the men pleaded guilty to a charge of cursing and swearing and committing a breach of the peace.

The incident happened in the Caprice Restaurant in Musselburgh High Street on February 22.

When a waitress gave the bill to one of the men he refused to pay it and pushed a cup and saucer off the table.

He muttered obscenities to the waitress when she said it had to be paid, took the bill from her and stamped on it.


and 100 years ago...

ELDERLY fishermen were being celebrated in The Haddingtonshire Courier on March 6, 1923.

The paragraph in last week’s Courier regarding an aged lady and her descendants has led to the discovery of not a few fisherman, who appear quite fit at 70 years of age, and considerably older.

There are a number going about at 80 to 84.

One or two confined to the house are nearly 90.

One old fisherman out every day, rain or fair, wet or dry, is 84, and is active and goes regularly to the seaside and links.