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

25 years ago

‘SAVING teenage lives from being wrecked by drink and drugs’, reported the East Lothian Courier on February 19, 1999.

Calls were made this week for action to curb the joint menace of drug abuse and under-age drinking in Dunbar.

Residents were urged to speak out if they saw under-age youngsters with alcohol and it was suggested that flood-lights be placed at known trouble spots where children gathered to take drugs and drink.

Local groups could also be formed to help drive home the anti-drink and drugs message.

The proposals emerged at a meeting of the town’s community council on Monday, when members agreed that action was needed to stop youngsters ruining their lives and endangering others.

50 years ago

‘SELF-INDULGENT sex the road to ruin’ was a headline in the East Lothian Courier on February 22, 1974.

“The self-indulgent use of sex has created mountains of unhappiness – in disease, abortions, mental disorders and marital failure,” declared the Rev David Levison, convenor of the Church of Scotland Moral Welfare Committee on Sunday.

Preaching in his church at Pencaitland, on his committee’s recent Declaration on the Christian “Alternative Society,” Mr Levison said “The abuse of alcohol is disrupting homes and is at the root of much violence, vandalism and crime – straining the resources of law and order as well as medical services.”

Criticising the material society, Mr Levison said “The system under which we live encourages us all to be ‘getters’ rather than givers.

“Advertisers are winning in this while politicians see the only realistic way to win the modern electorate is to offer a still larger national cake to share, an even higher standard of living.”

100 years ago

A DUNBAR fraudster was sent to jail for 30 days after pretending to be a soldier. . . with one arm, told The Haddingtonshire Courier on February 22, 1923.

At the Burgh Court on Friday before Bailie Sinton, a tramp named Andrew Simpson was sent to jail for 30 days for fraud.

Soliciting alms at various houses in the town, it was explained that he told a pitiable tale of being a discharged soldier, of having lost an arm in the war, that he was suffering from shell-shock, and, with a wife and family to support, was bereft of a pension.

Suspicions being aroused, police got on his track when it was discovered that his story was groundless, and that by trickery he had hooked up his arm inside his jacket, and thus had displayed an empty sleeve.