Growing Up

This section relates the experiences of 32 very different individuals who spent their childhood and youth in various parts of East Lothian. That so many made the effort to write their reminiscences is largely due to the persistence of Stephen Bunyan, Chairman of the East Lothian Statistical Account Society, and to his wide network of contacts maintained over many years. Some contributors grew up in the nineteen forties and fifties, others in the sixties, seventies and eighties, so their experiences are splendidly diverse.

Some contributors have remained in the county during their lifetime, others have travelled further afield over the years but returned to East Lothian to live, while some are living elsewhere. Their reminiscences, when read in conjunction with the parish accounts, provide a vivid impression of life in East Lothian between 1945 and 2000.

What unites these people is their love of the county and the joy, warmth and affection they communicate in their memories of growing up here. Welcome to their world, a world that, despite the passage of time, still lingers on in this lovely county.

Sonia Baker, Editor

Alex Smeed (1979) 1980s & 1990s in Dunbar

Looking back on growing up in Dunbar in the 1980s and 1990s, I realise how privileged and fortunate I was ...
Read More

Alison Cowe (nee Ford, 1946) – Gullane 1950s

Born in Gullane in 1946, the sea and the rolling sand dunes are the over-riding memories of my earliest years ...
Read More

Arnott Craigs (1935) – Macmerry and then golf at Gullane, 1950s

When we moved through from the Borders to Greendykes Farm, Macmerry in December 1949. I was surprised to see that ...
Read More

Benjamin Tindall ARIAS RIBA FSA (Scot) (1953) – Haddington, and encounters with builders, 1950s

My earliest childhood was spent in the pretty stone building just over the Nungate bridge, in the rough side of ...
Read More

Catherine Walker Acton (nee Foggo 1957) – East Barns, Dunbar, 1960s-1973

I was born in 1957 at the Vert Hospital in Haddington and brought up at Barneyhill, East Barns, Dunbar. I ...
Read More

Christina D. Anderson (nee Kerr, 1931) – Guides & Brownies, Belhaven 1948

I was born and brought up in Belhaven. Late in the 1940s, the 'tree' scheme was being built so Dunbar ...
Read More

Cynthia Stephens (nee Dale, 1953) – schooldays at Miss Duncan’s Academy, Belhaven, 1957-1962

I am the daughter of William Paterson Dale and Kathleen Ann Simpson, and I spent my childhood at Lochhouses farm ...
Read More

Stephen Bunyan – Dunbar Sailing Club

The formation of Dunbar sailing club had an important effect on many young people growing up in Dunbar. The story ...
Read More

Francis Ogilvy (1969) – Winton House Pencaitland, 1970s-1980s

I suppose I thought that my upbringing was as normal as anybody else's and made the most of circumstances at ...
Read More

Giles Weaver (1946) – Greywalls, Gullane 1950s

I was just two years old when my parents started Greywalls on its life as an hotel - April 1 ...
Read More

Gordon Easingwood (1948) – Dunbar 1950s and early 1960s

Like most people, I think my generation was the best era to grow up in. Being a post-war baby, I ...
Read More

Ian Gardner (1969 – Dunbar, 1970s)

Looking back to my childhood in Dunbar, one item stands out which could well have introduced me to the tourism ...
Read More

Jacqui Burke (1964) – Dunbar 1970s

I love to sit for hours watching the ever-changing sea, one minute a peaceful millpond, the next rough, dangerous and ...
Read More

James Douglas-Hamilton (1941) – rescue at North Berwick, late 1940s

When I was a schoolboy at school in Dunbar during one recess, my father took myself and my older brother ...
Read More

Jane Murray (nee Bunyan, 1964) – Dunbar 1970s & 1980s, schooldays and her experiences of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme

We moved to Dunbar from Berwickshire in 1968 when I was four. I attended a playschool run at St Anne's ...
Read More

Janet Helen Hunt (nee Forrest, 1946) – North Berwick 1950s & 1960s, and family memories of Lowe’s farms in Musselburgh & Longniddry

I have spent most of my life living on or near the coast of East Lothian. My family were farmers ...
Read More

Jean McEwan (nee Roy, 1943) – a peripatetic childhood on farms all over East Lothian in the 1940s

Both my father's family and my mother's worked on farms in East Lothian. One of my grandads was a shepherd, ...
Read More

John B. Halliday (1943) Stenton, late 1940s-1950s

How far back can you remember? What are your earliest memories of childhood? Stopping to think about this, my earliest ...
Read More

John Bellany CBE, RA (1942) – Idyllic childhood in Port Seton

I was born at 8 Gosford Road, Port Seton, in the very heart of the village during the war, on ...
Read More

John Wood (1937) – Haddington 1940s & 1950s

Born in 1937 in the Vert Hospital, Haddington, I have spent my life in the town and county. One vivid ...
Read More

Kenneth Stevenson (1949) – Aberlady, then East Linton 1950s

I was born in Aberlady in 1949, which I can remember vividly, with the main street leading up to Edinburgh ...
Read More

Kingston School from the log book

Sonia Baker This logbook provides a rich source of information on education during the 1940s and early 1950s. Built in ...
Read More

Lorraine Weselby (1961) – long hot summer holidays in Dunbar late 1960s, early 1970s

In 1965 my family moved from Nottinghamshire to Dunbar; I remember being disappointed that although I was at school in ...
Read More

Mark Iain Lees (1973) – Dunbar 1970s & 1980s

For the first 25 years of my life I lived at Harbour Court, Dunbar. Living at the harbour, and being ...
Read More

Martin Dudgeon (1953) – Memories of Holt School, Whittingehame House c1966-70

Interviewed by Pauline Smeed Holt School was a boarding school for boys. It was situated in Whittingehame House, built originally ...
Read More

Pat O’Brien (1941) – Prestonpans 1940s and 50s

I was born in 1941 at number 1, Gardiner Crescent, Prestonpans. My earliest memories are of growing up during the war ...
Read More

Pauline Jaffray (1956) – Thornton Glen, Innerwick

My grandparents were 'small holders', a way of life that involved the whole family. Looking back, we children had a ...
Read More

Pauline Smeed (nee Folkarde, 1957) – Dunbar in the early 1960s

The overriding memory of early childhood in Dunbar in the early 1960s is of long hot summers. Happy days were ...
Read More

Peter Ford (1957) – Musselburgh, 1960s

I was born in 1957, the youngest of three children to Jim and Jessie Ford. We stayed in Hercus Loan, ...
Read More

Recollections of Sister Bernard

collected by Michael T.R.B. Turnbull (1991) and now held in the Scottish Catholic Archives GD52/1/1. 'My earliest recollections are filled ...
Read More

Robert Gray (1954) – Morham, and the joys of Cranshaws gob stoppers, 1960s & 1970s

From the age of six (1960) I lived in a council house in the village of Morham, went to the ...
Read More

Ross Drummond

I was born on 15 may 1970 in Simpson’s Memorial Hospital, Edinburgh. Growing up in the 1970s and 80s as ...
Read More

William Doig – Some Reminiscences of a Country School Headmaster

It was during the 1960s and early 1970s that I enjoyed eleven happy years at the village school in Aberlady ...
Read More

Betty Wilson – Street games from 1945

Nowadays there is no end to the variety of games available for children but in the past most made their ...
Read More

Susan Deacon (1964) – Inveresk Village, Musselburgh 1960s & 1970s

I have always used as a talking point the fact that I was born in a park. The fuller version ...
Read More

Thomas Knox Anderson (1927) – Dunbar 1930s-date late 1940s

Pre-1939 Born in 1927, my lifetime has seen the growth of Dunbar from a town on the headland to a ...
Read More

Victoria Fletcher (1942) – Yester House, Gifford during war time and just after

Mrs Marjorie Nettlefold (nee Wagg) came to nurse Grandpa's first wife Margueritte Ralli who died of cancer in 1944. In ...
Read More

Alphabetical list of contributors

Acton, Catherine Walker (née Foggo) - East Barns, Dunbar, 1960s - 1973 Anderson, Christina D. (née Kerr) - Guides & ...
Read More