Dunbar and District in old picture postcards

Dunbar and District in old picture postcards

:   Dr. David M. Anderson
:   Lothian, East
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-6232-6
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Dunbar and District in old picture postcards'

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1 9 East Linton was and is very much an agricultural centre, which lay on bath the Post Raad and the main railway line. The parish of Prestonkirk held 1 7 arabie farms at an average 380 acres of mostly top dass land. The local tenant farmers' skill and enterprise were respected widely. Many worked more than a single steading; in his time the elder Iohn Rennie was tenant of Markle, Marlde Mains and Crauchie as well as Phantassie, a total of well over 1,500 acres. The photograph gives some idea that large fields are not just an invention of modern agro-businesses. Shelter belts ofbroad-Ieaved trees, like the foreground dump, were still essential. In

olden days the building in the foreground was a perquisite oflocallandowners. It is a beehive doocot, or pigeon house, Their distribution was controlled strictly because the birds fed off the surrounding

fields but the eggs, squabs and grown birds could bring welcome variety to the diet of the time.

/Sasr oCinron.

20 East Linton presented a respectable face to the passerby. It had barely a thousand inhabitants and so counted as Iittle more than a village. But these fine fromages reflect its status as a 'Police Burgh'. Of old it was a burgh ofbaronry, with a baillie nominated by the Laird of Phantassie. Later, the administration was in the hands of a locally-elected council and magistrates with almost the same rights as an old 'Royal Burgh' such as Haddington or Dunbar. The only stir in the town was the annual near-riot when teams of Highland and Irish shearers assembied here for hire.

21 The rocky 'linn' in the foreground of this picture gives its name to the town. A low ridge of hard rock has created a bottleneck on the Tyne and a small but powerful cataract. The river can be forded closer to the sea but this place was ideal for a bridge to take the Post Raad onwards to Edinburgh. The pent up waters were a valuable souree of power for a number of grain and sawmills, some six of which were working at one time. Once, their output was channelled to a distillery, which also benefited from the plentiful water supply. At the time Victoria was crowned its output was 500,000 gallons annua.lly, which was wor th the sum of n 20,000. Grain

and malt poured into East Linton from all over the county; the product found its way to London via the harbours ofDunbar.



22 The upstream side of the old bridge gives a good irnpression of the heart of the town. Views such as this attracted numerous artists to work here; it was menrioried that easels might match the rod from this point down to Preston Mill. Mention of the rod brings to mind another attraction of East Linton. In season, salmon made their way past the narrows and there were plenty of brown and sea trout in the river. Rights to take the fish were jealously guarded by landowners along the riverside. One court case concerned an attempt to close a riverside right of way; it was believed that people on the path might just be using it to gain access

to quiet corners for a bit of poaching (the pedestrians won). The substantial pier with its sharp cut-water has withstood floods where other bridges have failed - the first railway bridge, just a short way upstream, only lasted a year or two, being destroyed by floods in 1 846. The new one and a raad bypass have lasted langer.


23 The fine sands of Belhaven Bay were once the port ofDunbar. Mediaeval trading craft were safely beached on the sand between tides and cargoes were handled directly to or from carts drawn up alongside. Larger boats were later to call directly at the walled harbours of Dunbar and by the early 19th century it took an expert surveyor to distinguish some faint signs of ancient usage. We know also that stone age people used the promontory on the right as a burial ground because cists have been eroded from its face. There was an attempt to promote a nearby spring as a spa, but this picture exemplifies the main use of the beach as viewing point

and playground. The only boats to call here now would be toys floating in the Biel Burn. The bridge, built in 1886 and opened by Mrs.Andersan of Bourhouse, was properly called 'Seafield

Bridge' . At high tide it is an island.

24 Duke Street is a pleasant byway in Belhaven with, at the time of the picture, an interesting mixture ofbuilding styles. Some of these houses were available for summer let. Look carefully for a eross put on the eard by the sender (who was enjoying

the wonderful weather). It is just above the street lamp fixed close to the Skinyard wall on the right. This old name suggests that there might onee have been a tanning industry in the village. That was long ago, but a Mrs. Norris operated her horse dealership near here for a few years during the First World War: more than a few of the

animals would end up as hides and glue. The stairway in the left foreground shows how spaee could be best utilised in cramped conditions. This system made more available living space in the under-

flat and so was a popular style. Watch out for more in other pictures.

Duke Streer, Belb even, DUN BAR

25 Belhaven Brewery belonged to the Dudgeon family and has long been the largest business in the village. lts origins are lost in time but it is understood that a monastic settlement first used the local pure spring water hundreds ofyears aga. Lands in Belhaven were given to the monks of the May Island and the brewery buildings lie on land still called Mank's Crofi, The Dudgeans were able to capitalise on motor transport to sell their award-winning ales farther afield, As a small family brewery it seems to have been toa far away from Edinburgh (and perhaps it was too small) to be taken over by the big conglomerates af the post-war years. It

has survived troubled times to expand its range afbeers and their distribunen.

26 After he retired William Kirkwaad passed the time of day with his cronies about the street and his characteristic figure appears in several postcards of Belhaven. He is on the extreme right here, on the corner of Brewery Lane, only a few steps away from his home at 12 High Streel. The small general grocery behind is nowa dwelling house, having gone the way of all the traditional stores and shops in Belhaven. And with the amount of vehicle traffic passing up the hill to Dunbar, the corner is na langer the pleasant place it was. It still catches the morning sun, but the old boy's gang never meets for a pipe and a gossip.

27 This timeless picture shows the coast on a glorious evening. The way from Belhaven to the castle and harbour can be followed by paths within feet of the sea. Part of the route takes in the splendid promenade along the Heugh Heads beyond Winterfield. It is at its finest on long summer evenings when on the best of them the breeze dies away and the still air can be remarkably clear. In the distance North Berwick Law and the Bass Rock mark the entrance to the Firth of Forth. Sometimes remarkable optical effects can be seen - a cornmon one is to experience the sight of the May Island upside down! Nearer at hand the rocky coast shelters a host of

seabirds. Eider and mallard ducks can be seen on the Delves, a sea cut platform with many deep and treacherous channels where the sea is never still. Shags and divers frequent the Long Craigs, just

off share, perched with their drying wings outstretched. The only thing to disturb the peace are the hordes of gulls which follow returning fishing boats.

28 The doocot in the centre ofFriars Croft is me most substantial remnant of a rnonastery of Red orTrinitarian Friars. It might originally have been a belfry and 18th century plans hint at the presence of more extensive ruins. The rest of the chapel, if it was, has been long since quarried away as building stone. It must have been built befare the monastery was suppressed about 1529, which makes it well over 500 years old. From time to time, graves of those buried in me menastery's burial ground have come to light in me

field. The white-washed cottages mark the limit of the Bleachfield created in 1 756 on a part of me Inner Corn-

mon. Bleaching fields were laid out in most Bast Lothian towns during mat century and the facilities were useful even after the collapse of the linen industry. The farmyard was still well used when me

photograph was taken, but in the present day it is simply a dwelling house.

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