Cockenzie & Port Seton | Revisiting the past

In 1994, excavations at Fisher’s Road, Port Seton by Roderick McCullagh for AOC revealed an Iron Age enclosure (Scotsman 1994 May 30). The site is now built on, and a new housing development has covered the area.

In the mid 19th century, a number of stone cists (c1500BC) were unearthed in Cockenzie; the skulls are now in the British Museum. The find was noted in the pre-history Annals of Scotland. Cists were later unearthed at the building of Winton Park in the 1920s and at Winton Court in 1989.

The Box Meeting, which dates back to early in the 19th century, was an annual celebration in which the whole village took part. In its earlier days it was when the Friendly Society of Cockenzie & Port Seton – the fishermen – met to distribute benefits to those in need – widows, orphans and the sick. Later, the Box Meeting became a Fishermen’s Walk, with a bonfire the previous evening. The meeting was discontinued in the late 1950s.

The millennium celebration began with the opening of the Millennium Garden, followed by a bonfire and firework display. The next day, the Box Meeting Walk progressed through the burgh, and was made up of East Lothian, Fife and Borders fishing communities, in traditional costume, as well as pipe and silver bands. (East Lothian Courier 2000 September 8).