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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49 Pease Glen widens just enough to fit in a mill steading beside the sea. The in-bye grazing land, wen drained and sheltered, was a perfect location for summer camps and it was seldom without its quota campers and piernekers. At first there were volunteers and militia on summer maneuvers. On other occasions the fie1ds held Sunday schools, factory work forces and their families and sometimes the populations of whole towns. Scout troops were formed across the county by 1 91 0 and they found such sites ideal for their activities. If you look close1y beside the octagonal, pantiled mill roof, you might make out that there is a race

in progress across the field. Coumryside camps and events were organised down to the minute with a vast range of competitions. There were so many that surely everybody would have some

chance at one of the many prizes on offer.

50 A figure caught in the moonlight gazes into the depths of the beautifully wooded Pease GIen, a classic Edwardian picture which exploits the romantic reputation of the valley. Although just within Berwickshire, it was aften regarded as part of Bast Lothian. Together with Dunglass Dean it formed a barrier to north-south traffic, which meant that in times past the south-eastern flank ofthe Dunbar area was readily defended. There was an old coastal raad, little more than a track, which was not surpassed until this bridge was built in 1 786. The main span is 300 ft and there is a drop at the central pier of 120 ft to the valley below. Until the

railways stretched across the land it was one of the highest bridges in the country.

5 1 Cockburnspath, or sometimes Coldbrandspath, is toa much of a mouthful. Everyone uses Co'path. East of Dunbar, it is a pretty little village that, although in Berwickshire, naturally looked to Dunbar as the nearest market town. lts people were mainly agrieultural workers. rural artisans and the small traders that kept them in houschold goods and such foodstuffs

that were not available from the land. Co' path was once entitled to hold official markets in its own right, but the practice was not economie by the time this photo was taken. The market cross is a fine example of the symbols that once stood in every market place. Few survive in their

original state; others are romantic Victorian (or later) revivals. This one makes a pleasant place to sit and showoff the grandchildren. Look at the wear in the stones at the bottom tier.

52 The Hotel at Co'path was at a convenient disrance from Dunbar to make a nice rest stop. lts main function had been a coaching inn, supplying fresh teams to the mail coaches hurrying along the Post Road between Edinburgh and the border. It lost this trade to the railway. The construction of the line lent Co'path something of the aspect of a 'frontier town' from the old 'wild' west. The navvies on the Linton-Dunglass section were camping locally and 'amused' themselves in the village. Special constables and the military had to be mustered to control the shenanigans. As the tourist industry grew the hotel adapted very well to the new trade.

For many years the landlord wasWilliam Nisbet (later of the Old Ship Inn in Dunbar). He ensured a convivial welcome for all who stopped by and earned a reputation far beyond the immediate neigh-

bourhood - the sender of this card had cycled all the way from North Berwick; it would be a good thirty miles round trip.

53 A photographer with an eye towards the romantic composed this picture, capturing an old corner of Co'path, The architecture shows a mixture of styles, from the typical outside stair to the single-story cottages. The white-washed wall probably marks out the corner as the site of a midden, deaned away only on the visit of a scavenger's cart. The path is roughly cobbled and would lead to a rutted farm track with na made-up surf ace. Only the principal thoroughfares were made up to a high standard, which meant that skilled drivers were worth the hire on an excursion. Hill parish roads also suffered from high farm traffk-

droves of animals, all kind of carts, agricultural equipment of every description. The artist who coloured the card was not aware that most roofs were tiled with red day pantiles and coloured them all

slate-grey. In black and white it does not matter anyway!

54 Dunglass Chapel was a great attraction for day trippers. It dated to the 15th century when it was built for the Humes, whose tower was nearby. Over the years they added to its beauty and endowments. One of them erected it into a collegiate church to ensure prayers for his family would be said in perpetuity. However, Sir ]ames Hall, a later praprietor, stripped it out to use as a stable, Most of the bodies buried inside were dug up and the bones thrown away. Many of the gravestones were braken up for other use. One of the results was the gaping entrance created in the east end, for the use ofhis carts. He even used the aisle where

his wife and only son were buried to store fadder for animals stabled in the nave. The whole affair caused a great stir, not least on the part of the late owners. Later owners were more sympathetic and

the ruin still provided many features to interest visiting antiquariaris.

D1I'Tlyla,s OJtapel. OiJc7;;burnspatk.

55 In john Muir's account ofhis boyhood and youth we get a graphie picture of the fun that could be had by the youngsters ofDunbar. Summer days were for escaping fram the town to the rural byways, racing at fuIl peIt along the country roads to the steadings and hillside gIens. There were nests to hunt in the woodlands and bushes. The plentiful hill streams pravided lots ofinteresting tadpoles, frags, or minnows and under the banks there were bigger fish to try to guddle. With a '[eely-jar' one might take home all manner of crawling beasties. Of course, they would never be allowed indoars with their treasures, but they could always try.

There was always lots to see in farmyards. If a farmer slaughtered a pig, there would always be a pack of boys on hand. They were attracted by the squeals and would be hoping for the unfortunate animal's bladder. Inf1ated, it made a fine footbalL

56 The village of Oldhamstocks stands like a ribbon along its narrow road, terraced on the steep north bank of a bum and out of sight until the very last moment. Now very quiet indeed, it was and is the nucleus of an agricultural parish. Here were found the church and school, a few shops, a blacksmith or two and a farrier, and an inn. The neat little houses reflect the fertility of the agricultural land in East Lothian and the progressive inclinations of farmers and landowners. No sign here of the sod houses with heather thatch that were still to be found in other rural parts of Scotland. Oldhamstocks parish dealt mainly in livestock and fodder crops. A

bit of game and forestry provided variety amongst the inland pasturelands. Down by the sea the arabie lands cropped potatoes, carrots and tumips (some of the highest quality produce in Scotland).

Underlying the land are reserves of ironstone, limestone, some coal and good quality building stone.

Old Hamstocks, Cockburnspatn,

57 It is probably plain that there are lots oflocal names dating from the time the district was part of a Dark Ages Northumbrian kingdom. Innerwick is one such, so there has been a settlement here for a very long time, exploiting the fertile coastal plain and grazing land in the higher hill pastures; certainly, ancient burlals have been found from time to time. lust as Oldhamstocks, the village is tucked away from the coast so that it is out of sight from any great distance. In times past seclusion was the best defense for these little villages. There had been a small castle nearby which belonged to a branch

of the Harnihons and a little farther away was the old castle of Thurston. Nearby to the latter a minister ofInnerwick had an encounter with the ghost of the Laird of Cool. The story was published and

told again and again in the district. No doubt it was embellished each time.

58 This is where the second great battle of Dunbar was fought on the morning of 3 July 1650 between the troops of the Scats General Leslie and those of Oliver Cromwell. Leslie had roundly outmanoeuvred Cromwell for weeks, forcing the latter to fall back on Dunbar for supplies and rest. Most of his troops were ill and he feared a standto fight. Leslie kept hirn pinned by holding the high ground of Doon Hill and blockading the south with cavalry. But the regimented stooks ofnewly-reaped grain echo the ranks of the Scats after they left the high ground and deployed on the open land below. This unfortunate move delivered them into the

hands of Cromwell's battlehardened men. After an inconclusive start, they were able ta penetrate weaknesses in the Scats line and roll up the front, chivvying and harrying the resulting rabble

all the way up the side of the valley. It anly taak two hours ta kill3,000 and capture a further 10,000 Scats.

DUNBAR. - Oswaldean and Doon Hill the position occupied by the Scottish Army.

Battle of Dunbar 1650

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