Prestonpans has benefited along with the rest of East Lothian, from European funding, for such as new pavements.
Since 1999, Gordon, Baron Prestoungrange, has been a major private investor in Prestonpans, particularly in terms of its historical records. His input has included funding for publications, teaching resources, local art projects and he has funded various competitions, including one intended to revive the craft of pottery in Prestonpans.
Dr Willie McEwan served Prestonpans exceptionally well not only in his capacity as GP but as an elder of Grange Church (Church of Scotland – opposite Library, now St Andrew’s Episcopal Church). He and his brother George started to practise in the 1930s joining their father, Dr William Snr. at Walford House, which was their home as well as surgery. Dr George retired to Kenya in the 1950s. Dr. Willie was a good friend and physician to all his patients and he retired in the mid 1960s to Walford Cottage, Longniddry where he enjoyed gardening and his life-long love of golf.
Gerald O’Brien (1939-2002), trade unionist and Labour party activist, was one of six children born to a Prestonpans mining family. He rose to be the assistant general secretary of the Labour party in Scotland. He was John P. Mackintosh’s election agent for many years and, after Mackintosh’s death in 1978, continued in that role for John Home Robertson. Gerald O’Brien served as a JP, community councillor and secretary of Prestonpans Labour Club.
(Taken from John Home Robertson’s obituary of Gerald O’Brien, The Herald 27 December 2002).
THIS ACCOUNT OF PRESTONPANS PARISH WAS WRITTEN BY ANNEMARIE ALLAN. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, RESEARCH AND ESSAYS WERE PROVIDED BY THE FOLLOWING:
- David Affleck: Healthcare – Social Welfare
- Douglas Allan: Education
- Keith Anderson: Industry – Cockenzie Power Station
- Jane Bonnar: Revisiting the Past – The Baron Court of Prestoungrange
- Frances Buchanan: Belief – Roman Catholic Church; Healthcare; Education
- Stephen Bunyan: Belief – Episcopalian ministers
- Jim Colville: Leisure – Royal Musselburgh Golf Course – staff & membership
- Annette Gilroy: Belief – Presbyterian Church; Homes (map); Transport (public) Leisure – past and present; Miscellany – Dr McEwan
- George Murray: Economy – Tourism
- Catherine Murray: Shops & Services – High Street shops 1950s, 1960s, 1970s; Economy – Tourism
- Roger Powell: Environment – Natural History
- Andrew Ralton: Economy – Industry: Fowler’s Brewery
And the recollections of
- Annemarie Allan (feast day at Drummohr)
- Frances Buchanan (childbirth in Prestonpans)
- Annette Gilroy (youthful thoughts on religion)
- Walter Muir (Muir & Sons – a family business)
- George Murray (Preston Church weather vane: a reminder of the industrial past).
And VERY grateful thanks to the staff of Prestonpans Library, and those at the Local History Centre, Haddington