The boxed letter in the Courier of May 23 relates to the Richardson family living at Tantallon Terrace, North Berwick, including the architect, antiquarian and archaeologist Dr James Richardson (1883-1970). He was the first Inspector of Ancient Monuments for Scotland and the author of many local reference guides.

Soon after coming to live in East Lothian, in December 1969, I visited Dr Richardson at Tantallon Terrace to learn something of the historic background to the county. Dr Richardson, by then in his eighties, was frail but courteous and very helpful, giving me some books that were relevant to the specialist library I had begun to assemble on behalf of the East Lothian Antiquarian and Field Naturalists' Society, of which I had just become honorary secretary.

Apart from Frank Tindall OBE (1919-1998), who was the East Lothian planning officer from 1950 to 1975, I cannot remember a non-political officer in any position who had more influence on the Scottish and the Lothians local administration than Dr Richardson. But perhaps history will show there are others and so prove me wrong.

Dr Roger Kirby