Inveresk Musselburgh | Miscellany


In 1961 Musselburgh joined the twinning movement, which had been started after world war two to build up contact, friendship and understanding between communities in different countries. The Musselburgh Town Council signed a twinning agreement with Champigny sur Marne, a town 10km south-east of Paris.

In 1983 there was a further twinning agreement with Rosignano Marittimo, in Tuscany, Italy, which is also twinned with Champigny. The three towns have pledged to develop contacts between their inhabitants and to promote cultural, social, educational, economic and sporting exchanges.


Mrs Jessie Burns was the last provost of Musselburgh (1971-75).

William Caird (1908-2002) MBE was a native of Musselburgh; he served on the Musselburgh Town Council (1958-75), as Provost (1969-71), as chairman of the community council from 1975, and on East Lothian Council (1975-87). In 1987, he received the Lothian Award from Lothian Regional Council.

Robert Fairnie (1900-78) was awarded the MBE and BEM for services to fishing throughout Scotland.

In golfing circles, the name of Alex Hay, a Musselburgh man, is well known. Even non-golfing people will have enjoyed hearing him, in the company of Peter Allis, giving lively and humorous television commentaries on most of the major golfing occasions.

John Knight taught Science at Musselburgh Grammar School from 1920 but he was also a gifted and very highly regarded amateur photographer. His work was invariably of exhibition quality and many of his studies featured local scenes. He became a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society and in 1971 in recognition of his work he was given honorary membership of all photographic societies in Scotland. He was also a founder member of the Old Musselburgh Club.

He died in 1980 and, in recent years, East Lothian Council acquired a collection of his photographs and slides. These are stored in the Local History Centre at Haddington where the public can view them by appointment.

Sir David Lowe KBE (1899-1990) continued running the family market gardening firm started by his grandfather at Kirkpark, Inveresk c1860. He latterly moved to Elvingston, Gladsmuir. He was awarded the Victoria Medal for horticulture; he served as Deputy Lieutenant for East Lothian and as president of the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce.

Elizabeth Millar MBE (1914-2000) was the last fishwife to go with the creel.

Musselburgh athlete Yvonne Murray came to prominence in 1985, when she took seven seconds off the Scottish 3000m record in Athens. The following year she went on to win a silver medal in the European Indoor Championships in Madrid and a bronze in the Commonwealth Games. In 1988, at the Seoul Olympics, she won bronze; a silver at the 1990 Commonwealth Games and European gold in Split in 1990; 1994 saw a gold at the Commonwealth Games and a silver at the Europeans. Yvonne was awarded the MBE in 1991.


  • George Archibald:Belief – the Roman Catholic Church; Leisure – Fisherrow Community Centre, Sport; Economy – industry – mining employment
  • Joe Boyle: Shops & Services – pre-war shops
  • Scott Brennan: Belief – Musselburgh Community Church
  • Stephen A. Bunyan: Belief – St Peter’s Scottish Episcopalian Church
  • Jim Colville: Economy – golf
  • Janice Cooper: Healthcare – the Red House Home Trust
  • William Durran: Loretto School
  • Stephen J. Edwards: Townscapes, Buildings & Landscapes of Distinction; Leisure – Musselburgh Conservation Society, Annual Design Awards; Shops & Services – demolition, reinstatement & new shops
  • Jane Fairnie: Belief – Musselburgh Congregational Church; Leisure – the Fishermen’s Walk, the Fair Day Association
  • Simon Fairnie: Economy – Fishing – the mussel beds, sea fishing and harbour facilities
  • James Grant: Belief – the Fisherrow Coast Mission
  • Eilish Guy: Education – the First Step Community Project
  • Sheila Henderson: Leisure – Musselburgh Amateur Musical Association; Musselburgh Horticultural Society; Musselburgh Museum Committee
  • Alec Hogg: Police
  • Dr Clifford Lutton: Healthcare
  • Moira McDonald: Belief – St Ninian’s
  • Sheila McIntosh: Education – information on Musselburgh Grammar School
  • George Montgomery: Revisiting the Past – Musselburgh War Memorial Remembrance Association and the new memorial
  • Rod Reeves: Miscellany – twinning
  • M.J. Rowley: Economy – Industry – Cruden Investments Ltd
  • John Shearer: Belief – Musselburgh Baptist Church
  • Lesley Smith: Economy – the Brunton Theatre
  • Fiona Stark: Education – Campie school
  • Dave Stillie: Leisure – Honest Toun Association
  • George Wanless OBE: Local Government
  • Neil Woodcock: Transport – Musselburgh railway stations

And the recollections of: Margaret Urwin (on life in Musselburgh during the late 1940s); Jim Brown (post-war experiences of a horticultural worker for Lowe’s of Musselburgh); and Donald Manson (an apprenticeship in Brunton Wire Mill)

Many grateful thanks also to Anne and George Archibald, Stephen J. Edwards, Jane Fairnie and Kate Shilton for their advice and helpful comments on the text.

Thanks are also due to the Musselburgh News for permission to quote from their article on the Musselburgh Horticultural Society, 1987 December 11