In the 1980s, retired meteorologist Richard A. Hamilton OBE contributed much to the community; he was the driving force behind many village initiatives – the Gifford Crafts & Teas and the Gifford Society – and the editor of the useful Social Life in Gifford.
The parish has produced at least three sportspeople of note:
William W. Wood, bowler, won the following: Gold Medal (Rink) World Championship 1984; Gold Medal Commonwealth Games 1990; and singles – Gold Medal Commonwealth Games 1982; and Silver Medal World Championship 1984 & 1988.
Diane Martin played golf for Scotland before turning professional in 1988.
Claire Jeffrey won Bronze Medal in 4x100m freestyle relay at the Special Olympics in Connecticut; Gold Medal for 50m freestyle and 50m backstroke in the Scottish Senior Championships for Swimmers with learning difficulties. She also skis in the Special Olympics. (Claire was born with meningitis and has co-ordination difficulties).
From 1996, Gifford resident Sanna McIndoe (died 2002) produced the East Lothian Concert Opera, a non-professional group whose concerts gave pleasure to many.
Events in a national context
The end of food rationing was welcome in 1954 and I remember fuel tokens being issued at the time of the Suez crisis. Small businesses found it difficult to carry on as fuel was so short.
In 1960, national service ended, but several young men still joined the forces as an alternative to the shortage of interesting work locally.
The three-day week in the 1970s did not affect the parish directly as there was no major industry.
With regard to joining the EEC, farming rules and regulations have greatly increased and farming has declined.
Twinning with a country community in the Bordeaux area was discussed in 1970s but did not happen.
There was resentment at Scotland being the guinea pig when the poll tax was introduced in Scotland in 1989, a year before it was introduced to England.
THIS ACCOUNT OF YESTER PARISH WAS WRITTEN AND COMPILED BY MARGARET MASLOWSKI. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, RESEARCH AND ESSAYS WERE PROVIDED BY THE FOLLOWING:
- Ian Arnott: Townscapes, Buildings and Landscapes of Distinction
- Stella Arnott: Local Government – Gifford Community Council
- Sonia Baker: Townscapes, Buildings and Landscapes of Distinction – Yester
- Colin Calvert: Economy – Forestry
- Andrew Gilmour: General – Co-ordinator of the Gifford Millennium Exhibition
- Mary Renton: Environment – Climate
- May Tait: Economy – Agriculture, Redshill
- James Willox: Education
- and the recollections of Margaret Maslowski, and Ray Wilson (Longyester school)
Thanks also to Gillian Lonergan, Archivist, The Co-operative College, Manchester, and to Jill Gordon at the Scotmid Property Department, Edinburgh for information on St Cuthbert’s land ownership in Yester parish