AGM & Lecture by Architect Tom Donaldson, Chalmers Memorial Church Sat 18th May

The AGM will be held at 2.30pm on Saturday 18th May 2019 at Chalmers Memorial, Church 29 Gosford Road, Port Seton EH32 OHG

A talk about the church will be given by Tom Donaldson, retired architect and elder of the church followed by a tour.

Come and learn more about this excellent example of Arts & Crafts Church. Designed by Sydney Mitchell for the United Free Church, the foundation stone was laid in 1904. It has a very elegant spire and bell-tower and unique stencilled interior. Stained glass windows by Margaret Chilton and Marjorie Kemp 1924-50.

This is an open lecture and will be followed by tea. Visitors welcome

Visit to Marchmont House Sat 13th July

Saturday 13th July at 2.30 PM – Marchmont House, near Greenlaw, Berwickshire with Ian Hardie

By invitation of the proprietors. Marchmont House is arguably one of Scotland’s finest mansions. It is an imposing Grade A listed Palladian masterpiece built in 1750 by Hume-Campbell, 3rd Earl of Marchmont.

The current proprietors purchased the House and estate in 2005 and have undertaken a most ambitious restoration – such that last year they won the 2018 Historic Houses / Sotheby’s Restoration Award. The House is full of paintings, sculptures and period furnishings. Members will be taken on a private tour of the House led by the House Curator Frances Raemaekers and will include artwork ranging from the 16th to 21st centuries. The tour, lasting between 2 and 2.5 hours, will end with tea / coffee and biscuits.

Visit to Portmore Gardens Sat 22nd June

Saturday 22nd June at 2.30 PM – Portmore Gardens, near Eddleston, Scottish Borders with Ian Hardie

By invitation of the proprietor Mrs. C Reid, Portmore Gardens are located 1 mile north od Eddleston on the A703 (heading south on the left, post code EH45 8QU The entrance is identified by a lodge and stone pillars.

The Gardens have been lovingly created by Mr and Mrs Reid over the last 30 years. They surround a David Bryce designed mansion house.

Highlights include a restored 1.5 acre walled garden, large Edwardian glasshouses, and a water garden leading to a woodland walk with views of the Borders landscape.

From the old to the new, the story of Tyninghame Village – 9th March 2019

Detailed research into the Kirk Session Minutes of the old parish of Tynninghame, that was joined to that of Whitekirk in 1761; together with documents held in the NRS, and field walking, has helped to discover more about the site of the early village, and when and what led to the establishment of the present village of Tyninghame. The talk will be followed by a visit to the house & church in September.

Continue reading

The Countess of Wemyss

It is with sorrow that we intimate The Death of Shelagh, the Dowager Countess of Wemyss and March, Vice President Emeritus of East Lothian Antiquarian and Field Naturalists’ Society on Monday 4th Feb 2019. Her funeral will be at Aberlady Parish Church on Feb 27th at 12 noon

Stephen Bunyan President

Hidden Histories of Keith Marischal

The Hidden Histories of Keith Marischal

The history of the estate of Keith Marischal has been a topic of dispute for almost two hundred and seventy years. On the 9th February 2019 there will be a joint presentation on the hidden histories of the property. Keith Marischal was the ancestral seat of the Keith family from at least the twelfth century. By the sixteenth century they were described as the richest earls in Scotland, their power centred on the famous Dunnottar Castle near Aberdeen. Keith Marischal remained symbolically important as their ancestry home and for its useful proximity to Edinburgh. The house and barony were sold due to the financial mismanagement of the seventh Earl Marischal in November 1642.

Continue reading

Provisional Events Planned for 2019

Talks

  • 9th Feb 19 – Talk by Keith Marischall
  • 9th March 19 – Talk on Old Tyninghame
  • 12th April 19 – Annual Dinner speaker Tim Porteous
  • 11th or 18th May 19 – AGM Chalmers Memorial Church

Visits

  • 13th July 19 Marchmont House
  • 4th August 19 – East Linton Village Gary Menzies
  • 7th September 19 Tyninghame House and Church

Sir Hew Hamilton-Dalrymple Bt

Sir Hew Hamilton-Dalrymple Bt was President Emeritus of the East Lothian Antiquarian and Field Naturalists Society and a former Lord Lieutenant of East Lothian. He died on 26th December 2018, and his funeral is on the 4th of January 2019.

Hew Fleetwood Hamilton-Dalrymple was educated at Ampleforth College and joined the Grenadier Guards in 1944 at the age of 18. His last post was Adjutant of the Grenadier Guards before he retired from the army in 1962, with the rank of major. Subsequently he was Adjutant, later president of the Council, and finally Captain-General of the Royal Company of Archers (the Queen’s ceremonial bodyguard for Scotland) and Gold Stick for Scotland 1996–2004. He was Lord Lieutenant of East Lothian 1987–2001.

Hamilton-Dalrymple was a landowner whose property included the Bass Rock bird sanctuary which has been in his family since 1706. He was vice-chairman of Scottish and Newcastle Breweries 1983–86 and chairman of Scottish American Investment Company 1985–91.

Image courtesy of The Courier

Nan Shepherd – a naturalist’s odyssey to a Royal Bank of Scotland £5 note

 It’s a grand thing to get leave to live”

by

Erlend Clouston:

writer and journalist, knew Nan Shepherd for 35 years
and now acts as Nan’s literary executor.

on Saturday 10th November 2018 at 2.30pm followed by tea
at the Maintlandfield Hotel, Haddington

Erlend Clouston will relate how and why Nan Shepherd’s photo appears on the new Royal Bank of Scotland £5 note.

Nan Shepherd was born in 1893 and died in 1981. She spent almost all of her life in north east Scotland, close to Aberdeen. This allowed her extraordinary explorations of the natural heritage of the Cairngorms.

He will concentrate on Shepherd’s book “The Living Mountain” which has been acclaimed as one of the classic novels about the Scottish landscape. Whilst this book explores Shepherd’s love of the Cairngorm mountains her insights are applicable to any natural landscape, not least those of East Lothian.

Non members welcome, however a £2 contribution towards costs appreciated

Gilmerton Walled Garden

The final meeting of the summer programme was a visit to Gilmerton Walled Garden on Sunday 7th October. Sir David and Lady Kinloch have established a trust called ‘Growing Matters’ to create a centre of gardening therapy to provide a life enhancing environment for those facing challenges to their mental and physical health.

Our group was received by Jerry Simcock who explained the back ground to the trust and outlined what they hoped to achieve. His wife Diana, who was unable to meet us, is now co-ordinating efforts to restore the garden. This will be an immense task.
The trust has developed an excellent plan , but an enormous amount of effort will be required to develop it.

It is good to see an increasing interest in these old gardens and our group had some interesting discussion and wished the endeavour every success. They would welcome volunteers donations of cash and kind. [ twitter@gilmertongarden]

Their promotional card has a quotation from Audrey Hepburn. ’To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow’.