Memories of Haddington’s Nungate & Afternoon Tea

This year Haddington History Society has been working on a project recording memories of people who were brought up or lived in Haddington’s Nungate, and copies of the interviews have been deposited here at the John Gray Centre.   Perhaps the most striking thing that comes across is the strong sense of community associated with the Nungate.   People have happy memories of growing up– it was a tough place to grow up, but it was also a great place.

The Nungate was and still is a close-knit community with a strong sense of identity, set apart from Haddington. Indeed Nungate and Giffordgate was a separate barony and until recent times it was the custom for a Nungate Baillie to be elected to the Town Council to represent the interests of the people.

 

The Nungate Bridge, c1900s

The Nungate Bridge, c1900s

The village was separated from Haddington by the picturesque Nungate Bridge, thought to be one of the oldest bridges in Scotland. For centuries the bridge was the only means by which wheeled traffic could cross the Tyne at Haddington, unless by the Ford at the Sands. Carrying one of the main routes into Scotland, it was at the mercy of invading armies and was severely damaged during the siege of Haddington in 1548.

John Martine in his Reminiscences of The Royal Burgh of Haddington, first published in the 1880s writes: “The Nungate Bridge has been the scene of many a ‘bicker’ between the Haddington and Nungate boys, especially during the time of a snow-storm”. The rivalry between the ‘Nungate boys’ and the ‘Haddington boys’ was still evident in the 1930s and 1940s (and much later) when many of those interviewed for the project were growing up – “there were often wee bits of scraps”.  The boys from the Nungate were identifiable by their tackety boots while the ‘townies’ wore shoes.  The Nungate boys often felt that they were looked down on by the Haddington boys on the other side of the river.  One interviewee clearly remembers walking up to his granny’s house in Haddington when boys playing football stopped their game: “lift the ball, lift the ball, here’s somebody from the Nungate”.

 

Perhaps these attitudes stemmed from the fact that many of the original inhabitants of the Nungate appeared to come from hawkers and travelling people who settled there. The hawkers sold goods which they made themselves but many people were wary of them.  There were also lodging houses which provided homes for labourers, many from Ireland, and although these men were hardworking people, even the Nungate boys were scared of them:“We used to come back from school and we came over the old Nungate Bridge and once we got near the lodging house we used to run like the clappers and get away past them”.

Painting by Thomas Todrick looking East from Nungate Bridge. The tall roof marks one of the lodging houses.

Painting by Thomas Todrick looking East from Nungate Bridge. The tall roof marks one of the lodging houses.

 

But it was this itinerant community which gave the Nungate something else which made it such a close-knit community, it’s own kind of language known as ‘the Cant’. The Cant is the jargon of the Scottish travelling people and it spread easily into the Nungate.  Some of the words are still in use today, here are just a few examples.  A gourie or gadgie was a man and “If you were a fine chappie you were a bari gadgie”.  A manishie was a  girl or woman; guddies were sweeties; the word for pollce was stardie and yerrackan was an Irishman.

The children from the Nungate crossed the bridge to go to school in Haddington but otherwise the village was quite self sufficient with it’s own pub – The Golf Tavern or the Long Bar, and several shops. One shop keeper everyone remembers was Lizzie Barrie.  Quite a character Lizzie would use  a hooked stick to bring down the items her customers requested from the higher shelves, she never missed.

 

Lizzie Barrie outside her shop

Lizzie Barrie outside her shop

To find out more about the Nungate Memories project why not come along to our Family History Day here at the John Gray Centre, Haddington on Saturday 10th September.  We have a full programme of events including children’s activities .  Between 2pm and 3.30pm we are holding an Afternoon Tea where there will be a chance to view our Nungate Memoryscape  – a short film made up of Nungate memories and photographs from our collections.  East Lothian Shorts – film footage of East Lothian from our collections – will also be screened.  Tickets for Afternoon Tea are £2 (all proceeds go to the Sick Kids Hospital) and should be bought in advance from the John Gray Centre, or contact the Archive and Local History team on 01620 820695 or history@eastlothian.gov.uk  to reserve your tickets.

A big thank you to Haddington History Society and all the people who have been interviewed for the project. The History Society is keen to interview more people about their memories of the Nungate, especially women.  If you can help please contact the Archive and Local History Centre.

 

 

The post Memories of Haddington’s Nungate & Afternoon Tea appeared first on John Gray Centre.

Memories of Haddington’s Nungate & Afternoon Tea

This year Haddington History Society has been working on a project recording memories of people who were brought up or lived in Haddington’s Nungate, and copies of the interviews have been deposited here at the John Gray Centre.   Perhaps the most striking thing that comes across is the strong sense of community associated with the Nungate.   People have happy memories of growing up– it was a tough place to grow up, but it was also a great place.

The Nungate was and still is a close-knit community with a strong sense of identity, set apart from Haddington. Indeed Nungate and Giffordgate was a separate barony and until recent times it was the custom for a Nungate Baillie to be elected to the Town Council to represent the interests of the people.

 

The Nungate Bridge, c1900s

The Nungate Bridge, c1900s

The village was separated from Haddington by the picturesque Nungate Bridge, thought to be one of the oldest bridges in Scotland. For centuries the bridge was the only means by which wheeled traffic could cross the Tyne at Haddington, unless by the Ford at the Sands. Carrying one of the main routes into Scotland, it was at the mercy of invading armies and was severely damaged during the siege of Haddington in 1548.

John Martine in his Reminiscences of The Royal Burgh of Haddington, first published in the 1880s writes: “The Nungate Bridge has been the scene of many a ‘bicker’ between the Haddington and Nungate boys, especially during the time of a snow-storm”. The rivalry between the ‘Nungate boys’ and the ‘Haddington boys’ was still evident in the 1930s and 1940s (and much later) when many of those interviewed for the project were growing up – “there were often wee bits of scraps”.  The boys from the Nungate were identifiable by their tackety boots while the ‘townies’ wore shoes.  The Nungate boys often felt that they were looked down on by the Haddington boys on the other side of the river.  One interviewee clearly remembers walking up to his granny’s house in Haddington when boys playing football stopped their game: “lift the ball, lift the ball, here’s somebody from the Nungate”.

 

Perhaps these attitudes stemmed from the fact that many of the original inhabitants of the Nungate appeared to come from hawkers and travelling people who settled there. The hawkers sold goods which they made themselves but many people were wary of them.  There were also lodging houses which provided homes for labourers, many from Ireland, and although these men were hardworking people, even the Nungate boys were scared of them:“We used to come back from school and we came over the old Nungate Bridge and once we got near the lodging house we used to run like the clappers and get away past them”.

Painting by Thomas Todrick looking East from Nungate Bridge. The tall roof marks one of the lodging houses.

Painting by Thomas Todrick looking East from Nungate Bridge. The tall roof marks one of the lodging houses.

 

But it was this itinerant community which gave the Nungate something else which made it such a close-knit community, it’s own kind of language known as ‘the Cant’. The Cant is the jargon of the Scottish travelling people and it spread easily into the Nungate.  Some of the words are still in use today, here are just a few examples.  A gourie or gadgie was a man and “If you were a fine chappie you were a bari gadgie”.  A manishie was a  girl or woman; guddies were sweeties; the word for pollce was stardie and yerrackan was an Irishman.

The children from the Nungate crossed the bridge to go to school in Haddington but otherwise the village was quite self sufficient with it’s own pub – The Golf Tavern or the Long Bar, and several shops. One shop keeper everyone remembers was Lizzie Barrie.  Quite a character Lizzie would use  a hooked stick to bring down the items her customers requested from the higher shelves, she never missed.

 

Lizzie Barrie outside her shop

Lizzie Barrie outside her shop

To find out more about the Nungate Memories project why not come along to our Family History Day here at the John Gray Centre, Haddington on Saturday 10th September.  We have a full programme of events including children’s activities .  Between 2pm and 3.30pm we are holding an Afternoon Tea where there will be a chance to view our Nungate Memoryscape  – a short film made up of Nungate memories and photographs from our collections.  East Lothian Shorts – film footage of East Lothian from our collections – will also be screened.  Tickets for Afternoon Tea are £2 (all proceeds go to the Sick Kids Hospital) and should be bought in advance from the John Gray Centre, or contact the Archive and Local History team on 01620 820695 or history@eastlothian.gov.uk  to reserve your tickets.

A big thank you to Haddington History Society and all the people who have been interviewed for the project. The History Society is keen to interview more people about their memories of the Nungate, especially women.  If you can help please contact the Archive and Local History Centre.

 

 

The post Memories of Haddington’s Nungate & Afternoon Tea appeared first on John Gray Centre.

Memories of Haddington’s Nungate & Afternoon Tea

This year Haddington History Society has been working on a project recording memories of people who were brought up or lived in Haddington’s Nungate, and copies of the interviews have been deposited here at the John Gray Centre.   Perhaps the most striking thing that comes across is the strong sense of community associated with the Nungate.   People have happy memories of growing up– it was a tough place to grow up, but it was also a great place.

The Nungate was and still is a close-knit community with a strong sense of identity, set apart from Haddington. Indeed Nungate and Giffordgate was a separate barony and until recent times it was the custom for a Nungate Baillie to be elected to the Town Council to represent the interests of the people.

 

The Nungate Bridge, c1900s

The Nungate Bridge, c1900s

The village was separated from Haddington by the picturesque Nungate Bridge, thought to be one of the oldest bridges in Scotland. For centuries the bridge was the only means by which wheeled traffic could cross the Tyne at Haddington, unless by the Ford at the Sands. Carrying one of the main routes into Scotland, it was at the mercy of invading armies and was severely damaged during the siege of Haddington in 1548.

John Martine in his Reminiscences of The Royal Burgh of Haddington, first published in the 1880s writes: “The Nungate Bridge has been the scene of many a ‘bicker’ between the Haddington and Nungate boys, especially during the time of a snow-storm”. The rivalry between the ‘Nungate boys’ and the ‘Haddington boys’ was still evident in the 1930s and 1940s (and much later) when many of those interviewed for the project were growing up – “there were often wee bits of scraps”.  The boys from the Nungate were identifiable by their tackety boots while the ‘townies’ wore shoes.  The Nungate boys often felt that they were looked down on by the Haddington boys on the other side of the river.  One interviewee clearly remembers walking up to his granny’s house in Haddington when boys playing football stopped their game: “lift the ball, lift the ball, here’s somebody from the Nungate”.

 

Perhaps these attitudes stemmed from the fact that many of the original inhabitants of the Nungate appeared to come from hawkers and travelling people who settled there. The hawkers sold goods which they made themselves but many people were wary of them.  There were also lodging houses which provided homes for labourers, many from Ireland, and although these men were hardworking people, even the Nungate boys were scared of them:“We used to come back from school and we came over the old Nungate Bridge and once we got near the lodging house we used to run like the clappers and get away past them”.

Painting by Thomas Todrick looking East from Nungate Bridge. The tall roof marks one of the lodging houses.

Painting by Thomas Todrick looking East from Nungate Bridge. The tall roof marks one of the lodging houses.

 

But it was this itinerant community which gave the Nungate something else which made it such a close-knit community, it’s own kind of language known as ‘the Cant’. The Cant is the jargon of the Scottish travelling people and it spread easily into the Nungate.  Some of the words are still in use today, here are just a few examples.  A gourie or gadgie was a man and “If you were a fine chappie you were a bari gadgie”.  A manishie was a  girl or woman; guddies were sweeties; the word for pollce was stardie and yerrackan was an Irishman.

The children from the Nungate crossed the bridge to go to school in Haddington but otherwise the village was quite self sufficient with it’s own pub – The Golf Tavern or the Long Bar, and several shops. One shop keeper everyone remembers was Lizzie Barrie.  Quite a character Lizzie would use  a hooked stick to bring down the items her customers requested from the higher shelves, she never missed.

 

Lizzie Barrie outside her shop

Lizzie Barrie outside her shop

To find out more about the Nungate Memories project why not come along to our Family History Day here at the John Gray Centre, Haddington on Saturday 10th September.  We have a full programme of events including children’s activities .  Between 2pm and 3.30pm we are holding an Afternoon Tea where there will be a chance to view our Nungate Memoryscape  – a short film made up of Nungate memories and photographs from our collections.  East Lothian Shorts – film footage of East Lothian from our collections – will also be screened.  Tickets for Afternoon Tea are £2 (all proceeds go to the Sick Kids Hospital) and should be bought in advance from the John Gray Centre, or contact the Archive and Local History team on 01620 820695 or history@eastlothian.gov.uk  to reserve your tickets.

A big thank you to Haddington History Society and all the people who have been interviewed for the project. The History Society is keen to interview more people about their memories of the Nungate, especially women.  If you can help please contact the Archive and Local History Centre.

 

 

The post Memories of Haddington’s Nungate & Afternoon Tea appeared first on John Gray Centre.

The Growing Importance of Gardening

A review of The Garden of Scotland, East Lothian’s Community Gardening Heritage exhibition by Susannah Jennings, Museum Assistant and Environmental Resource Management Student.

 

A new free exhibition has just begun in the temporary exhibition gallery, running from the 13th of August until the 10th January 2017, this exhibition explores stories, objects and photographs from East Lothian’s gardening heritage, and inspires, with displays discussing three contemporary community gardening projects.  As usual, children are catered for, we have colouring activities, garden design and fuzzy felts to keep the little ones entertained.

Personally, I love this exhibition because it combines my interests: heritage, working with communities, gardening and the environment.

WP_20160715_001The exhibition explores the heritage of the area by looking at local Untitled pioneers’ in horticultural knowledge, including Henry Prentice, one of the first market gardeners (famous for peas and potatoes!) Robert Brotherson, who contributed 165 articles on horticulture between 1871 and 1881, and John Abercrombie who wrote his first gardening book in 1767. The exhibition celebrates the people that established East Lothian’s gardening heritage, the portrait on the left is Robert Brotherson and the photograph on the right is of me in a community orchard that I set up in West Lothian.

IMG0069

The exhibition shows objects associated with gardening achievements, such as an invoice from John Gillies, known as the ‘cabbage king’, who once managed to harvest one million plants in a day! There are also formal objects from the Ancient Fraternity of Free Gardeners, such as the jug shown left.

 

 

sm IMG0059How well East Lothian did at gardening is also demonstrated bysm IMG0033 pictures that show local people’s success, such as the group pictured below in Robertson’s Market Garden, on the left as well as strawberry pickers in Musselburgh, shown on the right, both pictures were taken in 1935.

 

As a past Countryside Ranger and an environmental student I have learned that since the Second World War, the environmental damage caused by the intensification of agriculture and industry has had dramatic negative effect on our natural heritage. East Lothian’s traditions and knowledge regarding growing food are particularly useful now. The exhibition celebrates three groups that are ensuring that this knowledge will be available to future generations. These groups are: the New Beginnings plot to pot project, the Glebe Greenspace Community Project (Athelstaneford) and Belhaven Community Garden, which is part of Sustaining Dunbar. All these projects have helped to create beautiful gardens, grow food for local areas, and well as manage a peaceful place for the community.

Tranent_127IMG_20151010_171136Thumbnail Belhaven_138

 

 

 

 

 

We hope to see as many people as possible for this exhibition…who knows you might grow some green fingers too!

The post The Growing Importance of Gardening appeared first on John Gray Centre.

The Growing Importance of Gardening

A review of The Garden of Scotland, East Lothian’s Community Gardening Heritage exhibition by Susannah Jennings, Museum Assistant and Environmental Resource Management Student.

 

A new free exhibition has just begun in the temporary exhibition gallery, running from the 13th of August until the 10th January 2017, this exhibition explores stories, objects and photographs from East Lothian’s gardening heritage, and inspires, with displays discussing three contemporary community gardening projects.  As usual, children are catered for, we have colouring activities, garden design and fuzzy felts to keep the little ones entertained.

Personally, I love this exhibition because it combines my interests: heritage, working with communities, gardening and the environment.

WP_20160715_001The exhibition explores the heritage of the area by looking at local Untitled pioneers’ in horticultural knowledge, including Henry Prentice, one of the first market gardeners (famous for peas and potatoes!) Robert Brotherson, who contributed 165 articles on horticulture between 1871 and 1881, and John Abercrombie who wrote his first gardening book in 1767. The exhibition celebrates the people that established East Lothian’s gardening heritage, the portrait on the left is Robert Brotherson and the photograph on the right is of me in a community orchard that I set up in West Lothian.

IMG0069

The exhibition shows objects associated with gardening achievements, such as an invoice from John Gillies, known as the ‘cabbage king’, who once managed to harvest one million plants in a day! There are also formal objects from the Ancient Fraternity of Free Gardeners, such as the jug shown left.

 

 

sm IMG0059How well East Lothian did at gardening is also demonstrated bysm IMG0033 pictures that show local people’s success, such as the group pictured below in Robertson’s Market Garden, on the left as well as strawberry pickers in Musselburgh, shown on the right, both pictures were taken in 1935.

 

As a past Countryside Ranger and an environmental student I have learned that since the Second World War, the environmental damage caused by the intensification of agriculture and industry has had dramatic negative effect on our natural heritage. East Lothian’s traditions and knowledge regarding growing food are particularly useful now. The exhibition celebrates three groups that are ensuring that this knowledge will be available to future generations. These groups are: the New Beginnings plot to pot project, the Glebe Greenspace Community Project (Athelstaneford) and Belhaven Community Garden, which is part of Sustaining Dunbar. All these projects have helped to create beautiful gardens, grow food for local areas, and well as manage a peaceful place for the community.

Tranent_127IMG_20151010_171136Thumbnail Belhaven_138

 

 

 

 

 

We hope to see as many people as possible for this exhibition…who knows you might grow some green fingers too!

The post The Growing Importance of Gardening appeared first on John Gray Centre.

The Growing Importance of Gardening

A review of The Garden of Scotland, East Lothian’s Community Gardening Heritage exhibition by Susannah Jennings, Museum Assistant and Environmental Resource Management Student.

 

A new free exhibition has just begun in the temporary exhibition gallery, running from the 13th of August until the 10th January 2017, this exhibition explores stories, objects and photographs from East Lothian’s gardening heritage, and inspires, with displays discussing three contemporary community gardening projects.  As usual, children are catered for, we have colouring activities, garden design and fuzzy felts to keep the little ones entertained.

Personally, I love this exhibition because it combines my interests: heritage, working with communities, gardening and the environment.

WP_20160715_001The exhibition explores the heritage of the area by looking at local Untitled pioneers’ in horticultural knowledge, including Henry Prentice, one of the first market gardeners (famous for peas and potatoes!) Robert Brotherson, who contributed 165 articles on horticulture between 1871 and 1881, and John Abercrombie who wrote his first gardening book in 1767. The exhibition celebrates the people that established East Lothian’s gardening heritage, the portrait on the left is Robert Brotherson and the photograph on the right is of me in a community orchard that I set up in West Lothian.

IMG0069

The exhibition shows objects associated with gardening achievements, such as an invoice from John Gillies, known as the ‘cabbage king’, who once managed to harvest one million plants in a day! There are also formal objects from the Ancient Fraternity of Free Gardeners, such as the jug shown left.

 

 

sm IMG0059How well East Lothian did at gardening is also demonstrated bysm IMG0033 pictures that show local people’s success, such as the group pictured below in Robertson’s Market Garden, on the left as well as strawberry pickers in Musselburgh, shown on the right, both pictures were taken in 1935.

 

As a past Countryside Ranger and an environmental student I have learned that since the Second World War, the environmental damage caused by the intensification of agriculture and industry has had dramatic negative effect on our natural heritage. East Lothian’s traditions and knowledge regarding growing food are particularly useful now. The exhibition celebrates three groups that are ensuring that this knowledge will be available to future generations. These groups are: the New Beginnings plot to pot project, the Glebe Greenspace Community Project (Athelstaneford) and Belhaven Community Garden, which is part of Sustaining Dunbar. All these projects have helped to create beautiful gardens, grow food for local areas, and well as manage a peaceful place for the community.

Tranent_127IMG_20151010_171136Thumbnail Belhaven_138

 

 

 

 

 

We hope to see as many people as possible for this exhibition…who knows you might grow some green fingers too!

The post The Growing Importance of Gardening appeared first on John Gray Centre.

Olympics Fever!

This year, the 2016 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXXI Olympiad, will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil between 5 and 21 August – the first summer games ever to be held in South America. These international games, organised by the International Olympic Committee, occur every four years and were first held in Athens in 1896.  Out of the 18 countries that have hosted the Summer Olympics over the years, Great Britain has hosted the Games three times, the most recent being in London in 2012.

Origins of the Musselburgh Arrow, written in 1726

Origins of the Musselburgh Arrow, written in 1726

East Lothian itself has a long history of sporting tradition, most notably in terms of golf and

Royal Company of Archers, 30 July 1964

Royal Company of Archers, 30 July 1964

archery, which have been established for centuries. Others sports include bowling, curling, boxing and horse racing, to name but a few.  The county is home to the oldest sporting competition in the world, The Silver Musselburgh Arrow, the first arrow having being shot in 1603.  Every year since 1713, members of The Royal Company of Archers, the Queen’s Bodyguard in Scotland, have shot for the Musselburgh Silver Arrow.  The existing trophy is a replacement for the Musselburgh Small Arrow and the sport of archery is still followed in the county.

 

East Lothian also claims what is thought to be the oldest golf club in the world and the oldest on which play has been continuous, Musselburgh Links. It is reputed that Mary, Queen of Scots herself played here in 1567.  Although St. Andrews is commonly thought to be the home of golf, East Lothian and, in particular, Musselburgh, certainly give St. Andrews a run for its money!  For instance, the rules of the Honourable Company of Golfers were drawn up in 1744, a good 10 years before any golf club at St. Andrews was established.  In 1829, a hole-cutter was acquired for Musselburgh Links Golf course which set the standard for the size of the putting hole used today.  Interestingly, there are also reports that the Musselburgh Fishwives played golf as early as 1791, long before it was a fashionable pastime for women.  Indeed, the world’s first recorded women’s tournament took place in Musselburgh in 1811.

Start of a race at Musselburgh Racecourse, c. 1985

Start of a race at Musselburgh Racecourse, c. 1985

Musselburgh, of course, is also well-known for its horse-racing and Musselburgh Racecourse is one of the town’s most famous attractions. Horse-racing has a long history in the town with The Royal Caledonian Hunt’s first races taking place in 1777.  The Racecourse forms part of Musselburgh Links which includes and was built around the golf course in 1816. Horse-racing has taken place at the Racecourse for 200 years and today boasts over 20 races a year, over both flat and jumps.

Members of Haddington Bowling Club, c. 1920

Members of Haddington Bowling Club, c. 1920

Another claim to fame comes in the form of Haddington Bowling Club, the oldest of its kind in Scotland. Haddington had its green in the 1660s, subsequently moving in 1749 to a site on the west bank of the River Tyne, near the Nungate Bridge.  The foundation of the Haddington Club in 1709 was considered by some to mark the beginnings of the modern sport.  The East Lothian Bowling Association was founded in 1883 when 11 clubs joined together to become founder members.  Lawn bowling has continued to remain a popular pastime and, over the years, a number of East Lothian bowlers have competed at various levels, most notably perhaps, Willie Wood.  Amongst his achievements are two Commonwealth Games gold medals, two World Bowls Championship runner-up medals, as well as a 2007 induction into the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame.

East Lothian has produced more than its fair share of champion sportspersons, including golfers, footballers, rugby players and numerous other athletes. Catriona Matthews, who learned to play golf on the Children’s Course and North Berwick West Links, is due to compete in the forthcoming games in Rio.  Let the countdown to Rio 2016 commence and good luck to all the competitors!

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