Poem remembering the Haddington WW1 soldiers, by Stewart Carruthers

This poem was penned by Stewart on the day he attended one of the Thistle Committals – 18th May 2018 We stand, and at attention, wait, Facing the fence with the monument behind The Town flag bowed in salute While the little metal Thistle is placed and aligned.   “They shall not grow old” is said in respect For the many young men from Haddington town While the traffic passes on a busy day A thoughtful moment with heads bowed down.   The Pipes they are played in accompaniment “Flooers o’ the Forest” a cry for the dead, As the notes arise into the afternoon sky Perhaps a tear on the cheek can be shed.   This was a war “to end all wars” But in the process it killed so many men Young at heart and at the start of life They fought and they died in an endless campaign.   “The Haddington soldiers remembered 4 years and 130 dead”   Stewart Carruthers 18th May...

WW1 – With thanks to

Thanks to… The following people and organisations need to be thanked for their support in this Project – Haddington and District Community Council Sean Cockburn Blacksmith – Cousland Haddington Pipe band Alexander Pollock Engravers – Haddington East Lothian Council, particularly Stuart Pryde Police Scotland The Rev John Cairns, temporary minister at St Mary’s Les...

WW1 – Thistle information

The Thistles The Thistles were commissioned from Sean Cockburn Blacksmith, based in the Cousland smiddy. Each Thistle is handmade, so every one has a unique characteristic. On receipt of each Thistle, they are then painted in an oil based gloss black, with the top of each Thistle coloured Purple to reflect the real plant. Here’s a link to a YouTube video showing how each Thistle is transformed from the raw metalwork to the finished product ready for display on the memorial fence. The Town’s Les Mitchell is the volunteer who carefully prepares each of the 130 Thistles – a big thank-you to Les for his attention to detail and the time he’s spent on the Project. If you wish to purchase a Thistle for your personal use, Sean is offering copies for sale directly from his Smiddy at Cousland. Note the copies will not have a mounting bracket option. Sean can be contacted through his Facebook page by searching for ‘Sean Cockburn Blacksmith’ or use this link Sean Cockburn Blacksmith.  The photo shows the first Thistle in place – Adam Cranston’s – committed on Monday 13th November...

WW1 – Additional Project information

 Additional detail on the Project. The Thistles were commissioned through Sean Cockburn Blacksmith, Cousland Smiddy, and are hand crafted in a base metal. Each Thistle will also show their Soldier’s name on a polished brass nameplate. The engraved nameplate is being manufactured by Alexander Pollock, Precision Engravers, Haddington. Each Soldier’s procession, starting at 3pm each on the day, will include the Burgh Flag, a Piper, a representative from the Community Council and the Thistle Carrier – members of the public are also welcome to join each procession. Family descendants of the Soldier being commemorated will be given priority to carry his Thistle. The names webpage contains each Soldier’s details and also shows where each Soldier’s starting place will be, either their last known address of their connection to Haddington* or, where this is not known or they are recorded as being from outside Haddington Town, the starting place will be St Mary’s War memorial. * The starting point is determined by their last connection to Haddington – this could be their home or family address or the address where their parents were sent notification of their death (although the Solder may have lived outside Haddington) . The Project would not have been possible if it wasn’t for the research carried out by Alastair Shepherd, Gifford. Alastair published a book in 2013, The Haddington War Memorial 1914 – 1918, which records the war records of each of the 130 names on the War memorial. Haddington Community Council are indebted to Alastair for this research. Although this section is impersonal, I feel it’s worth listing some key points that have come out of the research – No...
Friends of John Gray Centre

Friends of John Gray Centre

Ola Wojtkiewicz, Development Officer at the John Gray Centre (JGC) writes – “Friends of the John Gray Centre area  a very dynamic local group and it would be great to raise awareness about them. Click on these PDF links for our promotional/membership leaflet and our Events programme for 2016.” A copy of the 2016 events are also listed here – What’s on in 2016? All events are free to Friends and cost £3 for non-members unless otherwise stated. Light refreshments will be provided free of charge, donations welcome. Thursday 25 February, 2pm-5pm Haddington or other corners of East Lothian? Bring a few items and share your stories with Friends of the John Gray Centre! This informal event will be a fun way of meeting new people, joining the Friends or simply enjoying a cuppa and some quirky tales about our personal treasures stored in the attic or other corners of our homes. What’s in Your Attic? Do you have any treasured possessions which carry an interesting story? Or perhaps old photographs/maps/artefacts associated with Friday 15 April, 10am–12.30pm – Friends Annual Outing; visit to National Trust of Scotland Newhailes House in Musselburgh  Enjoy a bespoke tour of this gorgeous historic house and its grounds, and indulge in some delicious refreshments in the cafe while getting to know other Friends! Advance booking essential; 15 places available. Monday 6 June, 10am–4pm  Day with Mary Queen of Scots Mary Queen of Scots still fires imagination of many people, and her story is closely interlinked with that of Haddington and East Lothian. Spend a fascinating day listening to talks about Mary and her links with the County, viewing original...