Skip to content

The Fourth Statistical Account of East Lothian

Leisure

Since the use of Gladsmuir Church Hall was abandoned c1970, the only leisure facility in Gladsmuir village is a small play park on ground that until 1968 belonged to Gladsmuir farm. From 1945 until the 1970s, the hall was used for church dances, whist drives, Sunday school, Christmas parties and, occasionally, for wedding receptions. The 1st Gladsmuir Guide Company and the 1st Gladsmuir Brownie Pack were registered in 1948, following encouragement by Mrs Allison Greenlees of Huntingdon - one of the early Scottish guides. Both groups met weekly in Gladsmuir until c1968, when they moved to Macmerry school hall. The guide company disbanded in the 1990s; the brownie pack was still going in 2000.

During the 1960s, the Gladsmuir Racing Pigeon Club was popular.

A social club was formed in Macmerry in the Miners' Welfare Institute hall in the late 1950s. Originally all the committee members had associations with mining, but now membership has been extended more widely. There is live entertainment in the club most Saturday evenings and the club organises a variety of activities, including computer classes run in conjunction with Jewel and Esk Valley College.

In the Macmerry village hall, a playgroup operated for some years, but has now closed. There is however, a baby and toddler group. A youth club meets in the village hall, and an over-50s club in the Miners' Welfare Institute hall once a month. A lunch club for pensioners meets in the village hall twice a week; it also organises outings for pensioners in the summer and holds a Christmas party.

The bowling club in Macmerry was formed in 1963, and now has 60 members. The green operates from April to September and the club premises are licensed.

The Macmerry St Clair Football Club, which began in the late 19th century, was still active in 1960. They latterly played on a field situated between Whiteloch farm and Winton.

A Model Aircraft Club operated in the north-east corner of Hoprigmains farm from c1966-90 before moving to Drem aerodrome.

Since 1990, both residents and visitors have been able to make use of the go-kart centre (see Economy).

Penston Brass Band got its name from the village of Penston on its foundation on 6 April 1842. The band was formed from the 300+ inhabitants of the mining communities that flourished when coal was the leading industry in the Macmerry/ Penston area. Naturally, most of the founder members were miners. Though Penston village has dwindled from a thriving village to a cluster of farm cottages, the band is probably as strong and as 'weel kent' as ever. Some household names to have been associated with the band over the years are the Gray, Watt and Ross families among others. At one time there were no less than 13 members of the Gray family involved with the band, with George Gray conducting between 1912 and 1954. John Gray and John Watt were awarded Life Membership medals.

Possibly the highlights of the band's accomplished history came when they qualified to compete in the National Finals in London in 1962 and 1974. Walter Ross took over the band in 1954, maintaining one of Macmerry's finest and proudest traditions. The band, which is self-supporting, still rehearses in Macmerry and still plays at galas, fair days, and garden fetes.

<< Previous | Next >>