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East Lothian Times

Populated and popular since earliest times, East Lothian has a rich and varied history stretching back 10,000 years, to when Scotland’s oldest house was built.

Explore this section to find out more about our past. We will gradually add more articles to this section over time.

Do leave a comment below if you have any suggestions for this part of the website, or share a story about this topic at Your Stories. Or email us if you’d like to find out more about contributing an article – we have a basic template which you can download here.

5 thoughts on “East Lothian Times”

  1. In 1948 I lived in the barracks in dunbar,I was 11years old .whilst fishing from the bridge between the old and new harbours I fell in and had to be saved by a fisherman who dived in and rescued me,the incident was reported in the local news paper,I would think it would have been in the summer months.would it be possible to to trace the article.i live in France and would of course pay for any fee required

    1. HanitaR says:

      Dear Mr Kernaghan,
      Thank you for your enquiry. East Lothian Council charges £26.50 per hour or part thereof for remote research requests. This is regardless of whether the results are positive or negative.
      If you still wish to go ahead, please let us know by emailing [email protected] and we will conduct the search and email you digitally scanned pages of the article. Look forward to hearing from you.

  2. Pete Webb says:

    Somnerfield Works were probably built soon after the Haddington Railway Station opened in 1846 to take advantage of the proximity of transport. Does anyone know of early plans of the station and its surrounds?
    On the John Woods map of 1819 the site was bare field owned by Richard Summers. esq (anyone have any information on him?). Still a blank area on the Great Reform Acts plans of 1832.
    Does anyone know of plans of the station around the time it closed in 1968?

  3. Pete Webb says:

    Since the last post have found out the following
    “Somnerfield Works next to Haddington Station were occupied as an engineering works from some time before 1871 and after 1861. It was run by Samuel Dodds, Millwright and Engineer and he lived on the premises, presumably in the front part of the building. Samuel is thought to have married Janet Macintosh on 12 October 1863 at Dalgeith, Midlothian and Samuel originally came to Scotland from Ireland (born about 1831). He was there during the 1871 census and in the 1881 census, Samuel, now aged 50, has his occupation listed as Millwright and Engineer employing 11 men and 1 boy.
    Thomas Moffat is listed in both the 1881 & 1891 census as living in nearby Somnerfield Cottage with his family. He was born about 1835 in Tranent, Haddington and was an engineer, possibly at the nearby Somnerfield Works.
    Samuel’s employees presented a silver tea and coffee service to his daughter (unnamed) on the occasion of her wedding in 1893. Sam Dodds, Somnerfield, Haddington is also listed in the Trade Directory for Scotland of 1896 as an agricultural implement maker. Samuel senior died in 1899 and by the 1901 census, Somnerfield is occupied by Samuel J Dodds (his son) and his wife Margaret P Dodds (born about 1869 in Haddington) with a young son also called Samuel (born about 1899 in Haddington). No record has been found for Samuel and Margaret anywhere in the 1911 census records although Samuel Dodds, engineer, Somnerfield Works, Haddington is listed in the 1920 – 1921 Post Office Annual Directory for Leith and Edinburgh.
    A notice in the Edinburh Gazette dated March 5th 1929 gives notice that “Dodds & Clarke, engineers and Threshing Mill Owners of Somnerfield Works of which Alexander T Clark was the sole partner sold the premises and business to Messrs R Willie & sons (from 23rd February 1929).
    Finally a photo of a small steam engine called “The Dwarf” appears among the Timeline Photos of the “Lost Haddington” Facebook page. Among the description it states that the engine was built at Somnerfield Works in 1926 by Dodds and Clarke who were agricultural engineers who hired out engines and equipment around Scotland. It also states that the works were thought to have been taken over by Wyllies in later years and located further up Hospital Road.
    R. WYLLIE & SONS LIMITED were trading in Haddington as an Agricultural Contractors. (Registered Address: 37 Sidegate, Haddington, East Lothian, EH41 4BU) and set up as a limited company on 30 December 1957 but now listed as dissolved. Greens of Haddington (Health & Safety at Work Advisers) are at present listed at this address”

  4. Pete Webb says:

    I am trying to trace the History of Somnerfield Works (near the former Railway station) in Haddington and wondered if anyone can point me in the direction of where to start looking (I live in SW England so cannot visit easily)
    Are there any newspaper archives of when the works were closed.

    Pete Webb

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