For many years, Oldhamstocks was represented on the East Lothian County Council by a series of independent councillors. None put their name to ‘conservative’ yet it was generally assumed that most had sympathies to the right. From 1966-74, Victor Cowley was the Oldhamstocks (and Innerwick) county councillor. In 1973, he was also Vice Convenor of the council.
Under the new local government system of 1974 the Traprain Regional Division was created to encompass the former burghs of Dunbar, East Linton and North Berwick. Victor Cowley became its first councillor and was followed in this role by Norman Hall (1978-82), Dan Buchannan (1982-86), Major John Stephenson (1986-94) and Dugald McIntyre (1994-96).
The division had four wards, each with representation at district council level. Oldhamstocks fell within the remit of East Linton Ward (with Whittingehame, Stenton, Spott, Innerwick, West Barns and the country area) and was served by a continuous run of Conservative councillors from 1974-96: John Crozier (1974-77), the Rev Harold Eggo (1977-84) and Peter Crichton (1984-96).
Both regional and district councils were wound up on 30 March 1996 to form a unitary authority with new boundaries. Jean McEwan (Labour) won the 1995 election to represent Tyninghame (including Oldhamstocks). Further boundary changes in 1999 split the burghs to form new wards with landward areas. Kevin Jarvie (Labour) was elected to serve Dunbar East, including Oldhamstocks.
An Oldhamstocks Community Association (President, Cecil Sanderson) is listed in the 1960 Yearbook. East Lammermuir Community Council was established in 1975. All members were elected but contributed their time on a voluntary basis. Issues they considered ranged from road maintenance, utility supplies and environmental concerns to planning applications.
THIS ACCOUNT OF OLDHAMSTOCKS PARISH WAS WRITTEN BY SALLY SMITH. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION WAS PROVIDED BY THE FOLLOWING:
- Stephen Bunyan: Local Government – politics
- William Christison: Economy – Agriculture
- Margaret Watson: Environment – natural history
And the recollections of Jean Yule, interviewed by Sally Smith