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Gullane and Dirleton History Society

Newsletter Number 42  November 2017

Dear Member,

Viewing our work.

During the two weeks of Archaeology Fortnight a number of members and interested others took advantage of village walks and an open afternoon to view the Dirleton medieval dig site.  The Society is grateful to Bill Nimmo for organizing these events so enthusiastically.

Whilst the result of more discussion with the experts is awaited the site, behind the east bound school bus stop in Dirleton, will remain open for those members who might wish to peer over the safety fence.

The Archaeology Conference.

If digging and archaeology in general is your interest or even if it isn’t I recommend you consider attending the one day Archaeology Conference at Queen Margaret University on Saturday 18th November.  This is organized by East Lothian, City of Edinburgh and Scottish Borders Councils and showcases examples of the work going on throughout the area.

Your Society will have a display stand showing its work.  It is worth coming just to view that!

Programmes can be obtained from libraries, the Coastal Communities Museum in North Berwick, the John Gray Centre in Haddington and other outlets.  You can get more information and make a booking at

The lecture programme.

In September the winter lecture season got started with a masterful and eloquent talk delivered without visual aids by Roy Johnstone on the female pilots of WWII.  This was followed by a fascinating account of rural life and work in East and Mid Lothian in the late 19th and early 20th century by Andrew Ramage.

The next lecture on Wednesday 8th November in Gullane by Professor Findlater promises to be another fascinating evening as he tells the story of Burke and Hare and the desperate measures employed to obtain cadavers for medical school dissection purposes.

Some of you will know that the kirkyard of the old St Andrew’s Church ruin contains two mort stones.  These were large heavy slabs of stone provided with metal handles which were used to place on top of recent burials in order to prevent the deceased from being dug up.

Come and hear all about it!


Michael (Thomson)