Issue 109 - Autumn

East Lothian Life

Issue 109, autumn 2019

Celebrating 30 years of publication.

As we head into the autumn months, many birds are on the move. Summer visitors such as swifts and swallows have taken flight, for the long haul back to Africa and winter visitors are starting to arrive from their distant breeding grounds. Darren Woodhead’s beautiful watercolour on our front cover depicts the spectacle of pink-footed geese returning to the shores of East Lothian. The landscapes are ablaze with autumnal colours and the skies have a wonderful purple and orange glow. The animal world starts to make preparations for winter, with squirrels gathering nuts and hedgehogs beginning the process of hibernation.

The colours of autumn are not just restricted to the landscape; they appear in much of our seasonal local produce. After a day exploring your wonderful surroundings, you can eat your way through an autumn palette of locally grown fruit and vegetables. Apples, plums, pears and damsons are at their most delicious and make wonderful jams and desserts. There are plentiful supplies of courgettes and sweet-tasting tomatoes. The hedgerows are full of brambles and sloes. Lamb is at its most succulent in autumn and game is readily available.

It may becoming wee bit cooler and the nights are ‘fair drawing in’ as they say, so wrap up in your scarf and gloves and soak up the autumn scenery walking with Allen Skinner and his Muddy Boots. Autumn Interiors offer some great tips on rejuvenating your home whilst garden and landscape designer, Victoria Johnson plans ahead for autumn and winter colour.

David Affleck explores the link between the East Linton agricultural and horticultural improvers of the 1800s and the challenges faced today. Almost one fifth of Scotland’s land area is covered in trees and Martyn Baguley celebrates 100 years of forestry. Autumn is the perfect time to enjoy our multi-coloured land and seascapes.

History. Did you know it is 80 years since the ‘Humbie Heikel’ was shot down? Or that the Tranent – Cockenzie Waggonway was Scotland’s first railway? Stephen Bunyan weaves the two hundred year history of the Lothians and Border Yeomanry and 30 years of East Lothian Life looks at the most recent decade.

Try your luck with our Tea for Two competition aboard Fingal, the luxury floating hotel in Leith’s Alexandra Dock. Details on page 63

Enjoy autumn with East Lothian Life - the season of wrapping up, conkers, fireworks, bonfires and of course, the gorgeous fiery colours which ignite the landscape.

Our wonderful front cover ‘Pink-footed Geese arriving over Aberlady Bay’ watercolour is by local wildlife artist Darren Woodhead


06 East Lothian Homes – Oxenfoord Castle
12 Oxenfoord Castle School and Cranstoun Parish Church
20 East Lothian Property
24 Henderson House, Gullane
74 30 years of East Lothian Life
80 Travel & Explore
40 Figuratively Speaking – Feet that made no mark
54 Farming East Lothian – Patrick Shirreff part 2
72 Rugby East Lothian
78 News & Views & Book Reviews
17 Play Bridge
37 Play Chess
42 Lothians & Border Horse Yeomanry, The
46 Downing the Humbie Heinkel
57 Cooking is fun…
60 Wine Cellars – Fancy a Fidra?
62 Let’s drop anchor for tea on Fingal
64: Tranent – Cockenzie Waggonway. Scotland’s First Railway
14 Autumn Interiors
18 East Lothian Antiques
26 East Lothian Gardening – Plan ahead
30 Challenges to Gardeners in a Changing Climate
34 Celebrating 100 years of Forestry
38 Muddy Boots – Meikle Pinkerton via Doon Hill
48 East Lothian Biodiveristy – Moon Song
50 East Lothian Biodiversity – Taking the Lead
53: Money Matters – A freelancer’s guide
66 Health & Fitness – A lifeline to wellness
68 Friends of the River Tyne
70 Art Matters with Alan Lennon
82 East Lothian Life Motoring
63 Competition: Win afternoon tea for 2 on Fingal
76 East Lothian Life Classified