Spott | Catherine Alison McLeod on the McLeods at Spott, early 20th century

Interviewed and summarised by Diana Hardy

Agnes Gordon (1876-1935) came from a fishing family. Her first husband drowned and she then married Simpson Hart McLeod (1875-1934). He was a farm labourer, hired as a grieve while still quite young. The family lived and worked on various farms including Halls farm and Spott farm.

They had 14 children, six boys (George, Dick, Ned, William, Simpson and James) and had eight girls (Nell, Nan, Effie, Sophie, Elizabeth (Bess), Meg, Jess and Jenny). The children were all born in East Lothian, the eldest in 1895 and the youngest in 1919.

The eldest son, George, was killed, aged 17 years, in 1914. Family members spread to other parts of Scotland, England, America and Australia, Only three lived and died in East Lothian; Helen (1895-1959), Elizabeth (1910-79), Simpson (1907-87. Margaret (1913) lives in Western Australia.

When they lived at Halls, Bess (1910-99) went to Spott School, walking all the way. Meg also went to Spott School for her first two years in 1918-9. Nan McLeod won the Dux Medal at Spott School in 1917.

The family lived for a time in The Square, although some of the children lived at Cocklaw under the care of the older girls, the house in The Square being too small for such a large family.

Kate’s Story was written by Catherine Alison McLeod (b1945), the daughter of Ned McLeod. She and her mother lived for a time at the Halls while her father was working away from home. Kate is married with two grown up children and lives in Haddington.