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

25 years ago...

‘LIFE and death drama at air show’ was the front page headline in the East Lothian Courier of July 24, 1998.

A life and death drama was played out in the skies during the Festival of Flight at East Fortune – but crowds thronging the weekend event were unaware it was happening.

It was only later that many spectators heard that stunt pilot James McTaggart had been involved in a miracle escape when his Starduster Too biplane crashed upside down in a field near Yellowcraig, Dirleton, minutes after his display.

As fuel poured from the aircraft, James, from Inchinnan, near Paisley, managed to scramble clear – amazingly uninjured.

The drama began when his engine cut – probably through fuel failure – as he began to make his way home on Sunday.

An experienced pilot, he picked a grass field for an emergency landing.

But before he made his final approach he managed to restart the engine.


and 50 years ago...

FLYING objects were causing alarm to Pencaitland residents, reported the East Lothian Courier on July 27, 1973.

Some County Council tenants in Pencaitland are annoyed at footballs from the nearby playing fields landing in their gardens, East Lothian Housing Committee were told on Friday.

The county architect, Mr D. Livingstone, told members that several residents of Trevelyan Crescent wanted their garden fences increased in height to keep out the flying objects.

The cost of this would be £700. Mr Livingstone added that replacing the existing hedges with high fencing would create an unsightly frontage to the houses.

“Little would be gained,” he said.


and 100 years ago...

TWO men were sentenced after a break-in at Tyninghame House, told the Haddingtonshire Courier of July 27, 1923.

Sentencing of six years’ penal servitude and four years’ penal servitude respectively were passed on George Smithson, alias William Weatherill, and George Ingram, alias Alfred Ernest Tragheim, in High Court of Justiciary at Edinburgh on Monday.

They were charged with having, on 25th and 26th April, broken into the Earl of Haddington’s residence, Tyninghame House, and stolen a large quantity of articles, including jewellery, watches and furs, and on the same date broken into another house at Tyninghame and stolen a chain purse containing £11 5s, a fountain pen, and two gold seals.

Smithson pleaded guilty to the whole charge, while in the case of Ingram, the Court accepted a plea of guilty to the charge of theft.