East Lothian Antiquarians > Annual Report 2010/11

Annual Report 2010/11

The eighty sixth annual meeting of the Society was held in Yester Kirk Gifford on Saturday 22rd May 2010. Thirty four members were welcomed by the President. There were several apologies. Obituary Notices The president intimated the deaths of four members who had died in the course of the year; Tom Main, Tony Packwood[a former treasurer], Diana Hardy and Mrs Nimmo Smith. The minutes of the previous years meeting were approved, The annual report which had been circulated was accepted. Mr Mayo presented the accounts and the financial report was approved. The president thanked Mr Mayo for his work on behalf of the society and also Mr John Sparksman, the external examiner.

Mr Mayo had indicated that he wished to retire as treasurer. The president thanked him for his meticulous work in this role over several years. The Transactions. It was reported that Volume 28 of the Transactions was in the hands of the printer and was expected soon.Mr C Tabraham was thanked for his work as editor of what was going to be a most attractive volume


The office bearers other than the Hon Treasurer were re elected. Mrs Joy Dodd had agreed to be nominated to that office and was duly elected. There was no nomination for the office of Press officer and the post remained vacant. Miss V Fletcher was re elected as a member of Council.

At the conclusion of the meeting Mr Richard Rothery outlined the effort involved in raising funds and the work done in the restoration of the kirk in its tercentenary year. Programme

During the year 2010/11 various excursions were made. The society visited Ayton Castle on 1st May by kind invitation of Mrs C Liddell Grainger. Members welcomed the opportunity to see this magnificent building and its fine collection.They also enjoyed visiting the stables at Ayton where Richard Telford presented the splendid horses and ponies.The aged donkey, Cracker stole the show;

On June 5th a visit was made to Amisfield Walled Garden and Park. Members were impressed by the huge task being undertaken by The friends of Amisfield and the Amisfield Preservation Trust.

On Saturday 10th In July an expedition was made by coach to Blair Adam by kind invitation of Keith and Elizabeth Adam.It was fascinating to see this home of one of Scotland’s most important families still a family home with a huge collection of pictures and family records. On the 24th July the society visited Pilmuir in East Lothian.This house is not normally open. It is a small Laird’s residence built in 1624.Minor alterations were made in the 18th century.It has a large doocot Sir Henry Wade bought Pilmuir and established a trust for its preservation. The society was welcomed by Stuart and Shareen Forbes. On Saturday4th September a visit was made on the Forth Belle to Inchcolm island led by Chris Tabraham, The visit focussed on the abbey and its substantial remains of which Chris gave a masterly exposition.

On Saturday 16th October, the visit which was postponed in 2009, was made to Newbattle Abbey.This proved an interesting contrast to Inchcolm.Newbattle was one of the great abbeys of the middle ages but of the medieval abbey little remains .It became a stately home in the possession of the Marquesses of Lothian. It was given to the nation in1937 to be a college of education for adults returning to education.


Three lectures were given during the year.
On Thursday 11th November Gerald Urwin gave an illustrated lecture entitled; The Siege of Haddington
On Thursday 17th February Ralph Moffat gave a illustrated lecture entitled;The Scottish Sword in the Middle Ages.
On Thursday 10th March Eric Glendinning gave an illustrated lecture entitled Councillors ,Claret and Corruption.

The annual dinner was held in the Maitlandfield Hotel, Haddington on Friday 8th April at which Robert Russel gave an illustrated Talk entitled Walking the John Muir way. The guest speaker at the annual dinner for 2010, was Sir Garth Morrison KT, CBE, The Lord Lieutenant of East Lothian who gave a most interesting talk on the Lieutenancy. East Lothian Council, which nominated, The Fourth Statistical Account of East Lothian has been awarded first prize in the UK, in the Alan Ball Local History award for 2010. The project is nearing completion with the preparation of an electronic version of the work including supplementary material.

The President remains a trustee of the Lamp of Lothian in a personal capacity. The President represents the Society on the John Muir Park advisory group which he chairs. The President represents the society on the Laws advisory group. Mr J Hunt represents the society on the Aberlady Bay advisory group. The Secretary represents the society on the East Lothian Heritage Forum. The Society continues to support the work of the Scottish Local History Forum and the Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland.

The Society is vigilant in the face of threats to our heritage of buildings and landscape. Membership of the society is steady. An encouraging number of new members have joined in the course of the year. The transactions are held in high regard. They are lodged in the copyright libraries and are purchased by academic and other libraries. They are issued to Queen Margaret University, Secondary Schools in East Lothian and to Loretto and Belhaven Hill School. Information about the society has been put on the web and in a number of international directories. Enquiries about the society and about East Lothian continue to be received.

SAB 28 /04/11

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