Inveresk Musselburgh | Revisiting the past

The Old Musselburgh Club was founded in March 1961. It has published a number of books on Musselburgh’s past.

In 1987 the East Lothian Community History & Arts Trust published The Way We Were in Musselburgh & Fisherrow, a series of recollections collected by ELCHAT’s Musselburgh Local History Group.

A number of local groups decided that Musselburgh needed a museum and the first Musselburgh Museum Steering Committee was started in 1987, under the chairmanship of Paul Lambie, local architect and artist. Between 1987-2002 the committee has held ten large successful exhibitions on local topics such as schools, fishing, the Roman remains at Inveresk and the mills. Two rooms in the Old Town Hall are provided free by the council (E.L.D.C., then E.L.C.) for working in and for the storage of local photographs and artefacts, with the exhibitions being held in the main hall. The group’s aim is to have a permanent home for a museum for Musselburgh, ideally in the Tolbooth, where the works of the 500 year-old Hanseatic clock are stored.

More than 50 years after the end of the second world war the work of the Musselburgh War Memorial Remembrance Association ensured that the names of 214 servicemen from Musselburgh, Wallyford and Whitecraig who were known to have died, would finally be included on an official roll of honour. Initiated by Ruth Knight, the long awaited memorial was the result of tireless effort by the association. The committee was formed following a public meeting in 1996 under the chairmanship of George Montgomery. Public support was amazing and suggestions were put forward for a suitable site but the derelict fountain at the Mall was the eventual choice. So began several years of research, negotiating and fund raising by the committee to achieve their goal.

The cost to restore and convert the fountain was to be £58,266 and by 1999 the fund stood at £31,000. East Lothian Council offered to meet any shortfall and in April 1999 the go ahead was given to builder John A. Smith of Athelstaneford to commence work. On 14 November 1999 over 1000 people attended the dedication service symbolising the end of a 54-year-old campaign to honour the 214 sons of Musselburgh and district who died.

After the laying of the wreaths at the cenotaph at Inveresk, the Central Band of the Royal British Legion, followed by the local youth organisations, led the parade along the High Street to the new memorial. It was a momentous occasion for members of M.W.M.R. committee who brought about the restoration and conversion of the old fountain; as well as the support of East Lothian Council, local residents and local businesses gave invaluable support and donations.

Musselburgh Rotary Club commissioned and paid for a coat of arms in 1992.