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

25 years ago...

‘SCROOGE’ claim over Christmas lights costs’ was the headline in the East Lothian Courier on October 16, 1998.

East Lothian Council has been cast in the role of Scrooge after a threat that Haddington’s Christmas lights may be blacked out this year – and the town may not even have a tree.

For the cost of having council workmen hang and wire up the lights has soared from £6,500 to £10,692.

“I am really upset and angry about this. The community council on their own cannot afford this sort of money. It will certainly be a dull Christmas if there are no lights. After the excitement of the new lights last year, it is just too upsetting to think that the centre of the town will not be lit up,” said community council chairwoman Jan Wilson.

“How do you try and keep people shopping in your town centre?

“Many times I have heard people talking about the death knell of the small trader – but this should be their busiest season.”

50 years ago...

CLAIMS that too many children were in a single class by a local councillor made the headlines in the East Lothian Courier on October 19, 1973.

Parents are threatening to keep their children away from Longniddry Primary School because of overcrowding in one of the classrooms, a County Councillor claimed last week.

Councillor R. Cunningham said to the county Council meeting that a mobile classroom, due to be provided at the school next spring, should be at the school before Christmas because of the overcrowding and the influx of children to the village.

“There is a class with 41 pupils in it”, he said, adding: “The teacher has to move a desk to open the door and cannot open the windows because the children are packed up against it.

“The air as a result is putrid.”

100 years ago...

A SHIP was in distress near Barns Ness, reported The Haddingtonshire Courier on October 19, 1923.

The salvage vessel, “Bonaventure,” of Leith, got into difficulties while proceeding to salvage work on a sunken vessel off Barns Ness Lighthouse, on Saturday afternoon.

A breakdown of the motor engine rendered the vessel unmanageable, and it was driven helplessly before a violent westerly wind seawards.

Observing the plight of the five men on board, the Skateraw lifeboat was promptly launched, and proceeded to the vessel’s assistance, where it stood by until the engine trouble was remedied, and later the “Bonaventure” made for Cockburnspath for shelter from the storm.

The mishap gave rise to a good deal of anxiety amongst the many onlookers on the shore.