Pauline Jaffray (1956 – 2022)
East Lothian Life was Pauline’s childhood dream. Growing up in a rural environment, she enjoyed an idyllic way of life. Family and friends working together, sharing social occasions and always rallying around one another when times were tough. It was a lifestyle that had gone on in much the same way for generations. As a result, she grew up with a real sense of belonging and being part of a warm, vibrant, close-knit community – inspiring her to launch East Lothian Life, so the customs and habits of the people in East Lothian would be recorded, shared and always remembered.
Over the years, Pauline was the recipient of awards for her ever-increasingly popular publication. She won the Local Business Hero Community Award in 2008 and was highly commended by the PPA Scotland in 2016 for the Best Small Publishing Company Magazine. And 32 years on, with 115 issues under her belt, Pauline retired from her role of editor.
Like Pauline, Kim grew up in the countryside but on the other side of the world in New Zealand. Many a busy day was spent in her childhood bedroom, furiously designing the pages of her future magazine or penning her soon-to-be Pulitzer-prize winning novel! However, it was 30-years-ago her love affair with Scotland began when she took a summer job on the Isle of Skye. There she discovered the Scots’ love of traditions could only be rivalled by their love of storytelling – ensuring customs and habits were recorded, shared and always remembered. Exactly Pauline’s vision for her magazine.
After that summer, Kim went on to carve out a career in publishing and marketing, working in London, Wellington, New Zealand and Edinburgh before settling in East Lothian with her husband and two sons. She is editor of community and lifestyle magazine – Local Life and, in 2021, took on the role of editor for East Lothian Life.
Alison Gibb is an interior stylist and writer who creates features about homes and gardens for East Lothian Life and many national interiors and home magazines. She studied Fine Art at the Glasgow School of Art and worked as an art teacher before becoming a writer and stylist.
Alison is always looking for lovely properties to write about, so if you are embarking on a project, inside or outside, please get in touch with her. You can find out more on her blog, the Great Scottish Indoors.
Dr James Herring
Dr James Herring was born in Lammermuir Crescent and brought up in Cedar Street in Dunbar. He attended Dunbar Primary School and Dunbar Grammar School before (with a full grant) studying History at the University of Edinburgh. He later studied for a Masters degree and a PhD. In his academic career, he taught in universities in Scotland and Australia as a lecturer, senior lecturer and head of department in librarianship, information management and education. He was an international authority on information literacy in schools and published several books on this subject.
Since retiring, he has focused his research on local history. Dunbar and District History Society have published his two books: The Whales at Thorntonloch in 1950 and Dunbar in the 1950s, reprinted in 2021, having sold 500 copies worldwide. James’ current project is on the former Dunbar Cottage Hospital. He lives in Dunbar with his wife Val, and they have two sons and three grandchildren. James writes a blog every ten days at jherring.wordpress.com
Since Lyle retired from his eponymous accountancy partnership, his regular column for East Lothian Life has morphed from Money Matters to Figuratively Speaking. A fellow contributor has described his column as his ruminations which allows him to ramble on just about any subject that includes East Lothian somewhere. However, bagpipes, pipers or pipe bands make a regular appearance.
Plants that Changed Our Lives
After graduating in Forestry and Applied Botany from the University of Wales, Martyn’s working life as a professional forester took him all over the United Kingdom and some twenty other countries worldwide. In 1995, when he began slowly reducing his professional work, he started to develop his long-held interest in writing, focusing initially mainly on country-related subjects. Freelance journalism isn’t for the faint-hearted: in Martyn’s first five writing years, he submitted 150 articles to editors to have only 15 accepted.
He acknowledges that it was mainly due to Pauline Jaffray that he persevered. Starting in 2001 with a short article about Easter, his work was regularly published in East Lothian Life. With that encouragement, 350 articles on wide-ranging subjects were published in many national and regional magazines in both the UK and Ireland during the last twenty years. In addition, many of the articles are included in four books, mainly about trees and plants, which are available as either e-books or paperbacks from Amazon.
A View from the Bothy
Stuart has always been interested in nature, its science and social history. He loves the scale of nature, from the delicate details of wildflowers to the expansiveness of the landscape. And he loves exploring these landscapes, looking for flowers. His scientific curiosity allowed him to spend ten years at university, studying ecology, researching and teaching. It was a time of happy, stress-free living. Eventually, he was forced to join the real world and was the Biodiversity Officer with East Lothian Council for 18 years, working alongside the Countryside Ranger Service, planners, schools and communities. He now works for NatureScot, helping to protect and manage some of the best nature sites in southeast Scotland.
Writing has always been a companion interest: a way of getting his ‘messy thoughts’ in order. He has dabbled with short stories and poems but favours the essay format as a way of conveying his love of nature and his personal experience with it.
Motoring, Wine & Antiques