Bolton | Transport & Leisure

The road network has remained identical throughout the period. Public transport (bus only) has remained poor and infrequent.


Until 1967, the old school – which was attached to the old schoolhouse near the war memorial – was used as a village hall. In the early 1970s, the extensions on the side of the old school were demolished, and the remainder of the original building was incorporated into the schoolhouse.

From 1967, the community took over the school building at the far end of the Orlits. By 2000, it was used by the Bowling Club, and for such as Christmas parties, BBQs ‘in hall if wet’, and other celebrations.

To celebrate the Millennium, villagers redecorated the hall, and a mural, Bolton: 1913-2000 and beyond, was made for the inside. The mural was designed and the work organised by Sue Fraser; the children involved all ‘signed’ it with their handprints – Sean (4), Rosie (7), Eve (6), Eleanor (8), Amy N (11), Tom H (13), Thomas P (5), Amy H (11) – and Val (47) and Sharon (35) assisted. Various aspects of the village were portrayed: two children c1913, and two more c2000 (complete with mobile phone and personal stereo, standing in front of the Orlits). The school (now hall), the church, the war memorial and the main tool of the village, the tractor, were all included.

With a declining and ageing population, the village could no longer sustain the number of clubs it once had. The Bolton SWRI, established 1926, finally closed in 1987, when membership had dwindled to just nine.

A Ladies’ Guild and Sunday school thrived as joint ventures with Saltoun, operating month or week about respectively. The Guild came to an end in the mid 1970s, but the Sunday school continues.

A youth club, again a joint venture with Saltoun – intended for the 11-16 age group, folded in Bolton during the late 1960s, having extended its age range well into the mid 20s! The club’s equipment went to Saltoun.

Bolton’s sole surviving club in 2000 was the Bowling Club. Established pre-war, by then it was the only survivor out of about eight in the county that made up the East Lothian Scottish Carpet Bowling Association. The others were – Morham, Garvald, Longyester, Crossroads, The Boggs (Pencaitland), Haddington, and Athelstaneford. Eight players were required for league games. In 2000, Bolton had 16 members, although some came from outwith Bolton. They bowled on a carpet-covered, raised (perhaps 6″) platform some 3′ wide and 24′ long, targetting a tacket or button, on the carpet. In its heyday during the 1950s-80s, the club had 24-30 members. Bolton members were the East Lothian Carpet Bowling Champions in 1944, and the League and Knockout Cup Champions in 1983.