The first major celebration of the second half of the century was the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II on Tuesday 2 June 1953. The day was commemorated in Gullane by a full-day’s programme beginning with a United Open-air service on Goose Green at 9.30 am, family sports in the afternoon followed by the official opening of the Gullane War Memorial Playing Field. The evening saw an old folks’ entertainment in the public hall and a torchlight procession and bonfire on Gullane Hill at 11pm. The week continued with a Grand Free-to-All Coronation Celebration Dance in the public hall on Wednesday, a special ‘Coronation’ mixed foursomes on No. 2 course on the Thursday and late-night and all-night Coronation revels (10pm till 4am) in the Queen’s Hotel on the Friday.
Twenty-five years later to celebrate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee a fair, opened by Lady Anne-Louise Hamilton-Dalrymple, was held on the Smiddy Green. A variety of village organisations had stalls, providing a mixture of games and merchandise. This event, along with a number of other money-raising ventures, provided funds for the installation of a clock on the wall at the Goose Green bakery. The local authority took on its maintenance and pays for the electricity used. The local group of the National Housewives’ Register produced A Glimpse of Gullane, describing the village at that time.
Each village had its own Millennium celebrations on Hogmanay 1999. In Dirleton a procession with candles and flares went from the church to a bonfire and fireworks display on Dirleton Green. In Gullane a torchlight procession made its way to the Bents car park where an estimated turnout of over 2000 people also enjoyed a fireworks display, the whole event characterised by a great spirit of friendliness and good humour. On January 1 a ceilidh was held in the village hall. Other Millennium-related events in Dirleton included a Rock Nativity presented by the school children and a celebration of traditional sports and games in the castle grounds.
In Gullane the schoolchildren planted the first of 2000 trees for the Gullane Millennium Woodland project. A village calendar was produced, as was a video of events of the year 2000. A viewfinder was planned, and subsequently built, on Gullane Hill as was a plinth and descriptive plaque in the grounds of the ruined church. Another plan, which was later implemented, was the restoration of the Blue Stane, a traditional meeting place for the village youth.
Sir Jamie Stormonth Darling (1918-2000), CBE, MC LLd lived in Dirleton from the mid 1960s until his death in 2000. He was the Director of the National Trust for Scotland from 1949 until his retirement in 1983 and was instrumental in its growth from small beginnings to a large and influential organisation. He was very supportive of the Dirleton community.
Garth Morrison CBE, born 1943, retired from the Royal Navy in 1973, having seen service in submarines. New to scouting he was appointed Area Commissioner for scouting for East Lothian in 1973 and for Scotland in 1981. His appointment as Chief Scout in 1988 continued to 1996. Since 1983 he has attended five Scout Jamborees. From 1994, he has successively served as Chairman of three Lothian National Health Service Trusts. He has served as a Deputy Lieutenant of East Lothian since 1984, and will take over as Lord-Lieutenant from April 2001.
Robert Sinclair (1909-85) followed his father in the village pharmacy, retiring in 1980. Throughout his life he served the community in many capacities. He was a member of the county council for over 20 years, until the demise of that body in 1975, and secretary and chairman of Gullane Community Association. He had been a scoutmaster; founder member of the Gullane tennis and badminton clubs; stage director for pantomimes and dramatic shows for 30 years; a church elder for 40 years and Session Clerk from 1967 until 1978. He was a keen local historian and preserver of many records.
THIS ACCOUNT OF DIRLETON PARISH WAS COMPILED BY THE GULLANE AND DIRLETON HISTORY SOCIETY, AND EDITED FOR THE SOCIETY BY ANNE McCARTHY. RESEARCH AND ESSAYS WERE PROVIDED BY THE FOLLOWING:
- Archie Baird
- Dr W.L. Blackett
- Michael Cox
- Gillian Dick
- Russell Dick
- Liz Fraser
- Mike Fraser
- Anne McCarthy
- Bill Nimmo
- Beryl Robinson
- Maurice Timson
- And the farmers in the parish
Information has been drawn from library sources, the Gullane and Dirleton History Society’s archive, its own publications of members’ researches and specially commissioned contributions.
The content of this work is as specified by the Gullane & Dirleton History Society. There has been no input by the project editor, Sonia Baker, except to ensure that the order of material is consistent with the overall style of the publicatio