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The Fourth Statistical Account of East Lothian

Transport & police

Oldhamstocks is not on a 'through route' to anywhere and is two twisting miles from the A1. The nearest railway station at Cockburnspath ceased taking passengers in 1951. In 1945, buses operated twice daily two days a week, some turning at Thorntonloch and others meandering around hamlets before depositing passengers in Dunbar. For a while there was also a Sunday service and in the summer, one on Thursdays. Services southwards to Berwick were operated from Cockburnspath, a long walk but a faster cycle ride.

In 2000, buses continued to be a mainstay for those residents without cars but the service was very limited with just two in-and-out local services per week. Most residents drive and it is not unusual for there to be two cars per household. Since Dunbar is on the main east coast railway line, this has proved a popular alternative for commuters into Edinburgh and for those travelling to London.

The elderly in Oldhamstocks have a harder time, relying on friends for transport or to do their shopping. Those living nearer the A1 at Birnieknowes, Dunglass and Bilsdean are better served by both local buses and a direct bus service operating several times daily between Berwick-on-Tweed and Edinburgh. All of the bus services are subsidised and it is safe to predict that in time they will disappear since usage is variable and given the option, most will prefer to drive. A more hopeful scenario is that bus journeys will become more popular as Edinburgh parking and road use charges begin to bite, and also as a result of the present policy of heavily subsidised fares for pensioners.

There are a number of excellent walks in the parish, some of which are included in a locally produced leaflet Cockburnspath Walks, published in 1996. Apart from the routes which take in the bridges and the sea, there are several paths in and around Oldhamstocks village which lead into the hills.

Police

Until 1983, a resident policeman in Cockburnspath covered the parish on foot or bicycle.

Local police services in 2000 were provided from Dunbar and, out of hours, from Dalkeith. There was no regular patrol of the parish.

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