|By parish*, from the General Registrar’s office|
|By Small Area Statistics – census|
|By parish*, from ELDC||By settlement, from ELDC|
|2001||NO DATA||NO DATA|
*The figures relate to the whole parish and not just the village; the parish figure for 2001 seems suspect, almost having doubled since 1991 for no obvious reason.
From 1951-91, the total population of 448 fell by 50% to 242. This was largely due to the mechanisation of farming. In 1951 the farmer needed several employees, who mostly lived in the cottages at the farm with their families. By 1991 many of these had left, and whereas in the past the workers’ sons usually went into farming, by this time they more often went away to train or find employment.
The situation in the village was somewhat different. There were always a number of retired people and the shops and services in the village were discontinued. However the cottages were largely taken over and modernised and the number used only as holiday homes decreased. The derelict roadside cottages opposite the pub were demolished and replaced by council houses, which were built behind the new village green. In such a small village the addition of 18 new homes must have increased the resident population.
It is almost inevitable that most of the young people moved away. There was no employment for them locally. They took professional courses after secondary school and then moved to wherever their professions took them. If their parents were in the parish they reappeared on visits. Maybe they came back to get married, but very few found their partners locally. Generalisations are not really possible. Unlike in the 19th century when the sons went off to Australia or Canada, by the end of the period one only heard of farmers’ sons taking a year abroad before they came home to take over from Dad!
In the 1920s-30s, when there was a railway from Leith to Gifford, it became popular for families from Leith to come and spend their summer holidays in Garvald. 80 years later the children and grandchildren of those families were an interesting group who could be identified in the village – the Leith Connection.
In the earliest years of this review they were visitors to the village. At that time many of the cottages were in a tumbledown state with no modern conveniences, but the families camped out here. Over the years a number of the cottages were restored. They were available at very little cost and gradually they were modernised. Some were used as weekend cottages, in others the people retired and lived in them. A few of the new houses were bought by members of this group.
In 2000, there was nobody in the village who ‘belonged’ to the village in the sense that their forebears lived there. These families from Leith were the nearest there was to people who ‘belonged’.