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Gifford Village Design Statement

In 2004, Hadas asked Ian arnott and Andrew Gilmore, long time residents in Gifford and members of the Hadas committee to prepare a document that would provide an account and statement of significance of the history and townscape of Gifford. A first draft was prepared in 2005 and finally published as the Gifford Village Design Statement (GVDS) in 2014.

The aim was to document what villagers loved and cherished about their village and to identify qualities that should be protected. The GVDS was prepared with details that would ensure people living in Gifford had a stronger voice in the planning process and to support and reinforce the role of the Community Council when consulted by the Local Planning Authority about changes and proposals.

The inclusion of information about the statutory process is intended to enable villagers to respond in an informed way to planning and development proposals in Gifford; reflecting the Scottish Governments wish to encourage community engagement in the planning system.

Launch of the Gifford Village Design Statement (L-R, Andrew Gilmore, Karen Stevenson, Ian Arnott)
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Haddington Town Centre Vision Project

Download the Vision Documents
Haddington vision main document 1
Haddington vision assets and markets appendix 2
Haddington vision consultation appendix 3
Haddington vision places and spaces appendix 4

With a struggling town centre, Hadas brought together the key organisations in the town to form the Haddington Town Centre Vision Committee, led by our chairman Andrew Robinson. The Committee appointed consultants, Urban Animation, to undertake a study. Hadas was joined by the Community Council, Business Association, History Society and Knox Academy. Funding from all of these organisations was supported by generous donations from Hadas members and individuals along with East Lothian Council.

The Vision Report, A Vision for Haddington Town Centre, fulfilling our potential, launched in 2012, was ‘prepared with the help and enthusiasm of a huge number of people and organisations in and around Haddington. The Vision is rooted in their aspirations and enthusiasm for the place that they love’ (Urban Animation report).

The Haddington Town Centre Vision Project is a good example of people working together for the good of their town. The Vision sets out how the town can build on its strengths:

• East Lothian’s Hub-its role as East Lothian’s hub for residents and visitors
• Telling the Story-its unique story as one of Scotland’s oldest towns
• A Special Place-its abundance of attractive buildings, streets and spaces, including the River Tyne
• A Creative and enterprising future-its enterprising and creative people, not least the younger generation
• Collective responsibility-its well establishes community spirit

The vision sets out a challenge to the town to ensure that everything anyone does should support the overriding ambition ‘to animate Haddington Town Centre, generate more activity and increase footfall’.

Clear priorities were established and set out as 8 key actions, that offer transformational benefits for the long term future of Haddington.

1. The best town square in Scotland?
2. Getting About: an access strategy for Haddington Town Centre
3. Re-use empty buildings
4. telling the world: marketing Haddington Town Centre
5. Get Local
6. Enterprising Youth

Hadas continues to support and champion these ambitions and helped and supported the creation of the Haddington Community Development Trust, where it continues to have a presence on the board.

Haddington Festival

Since 1997 Hadas and its members have contributed to the Haddington Festival.

In 1997 photographs past and present were presented for an exhibition ‘Haddington Remembered’ which was organised by Neil Fraser.

Nigel Tranter gave a talk to co-incide with the Festival in 1998 along with an exhibition about the work of Hadas.

Roger Kirby, Ian Arnott and Bob Heath organised a Haddington Town Trail quiz for a number of years in 1998, 2000, 2001 and again in 2005, enjoyed by many of the towns residents.

In 2002 a painting competition was organised with the local schools by Neil Fraser, Bob Heath, Sheena Richardson. The lovely illustrations were compiled into a desk calendar which was printed and sold at following festivals and events.

In 2007 Roger Kirby, Bill Rarity and Helen Robertson from the committee prepared a Haddington Crossword competition.

The Trees of Haddington

Dr Roger Kirby combined his love of trees and the environment of Haddington to prepare a booklet ‘The trees of Haddington and District’ in 2001 with the help of funds from a Millennium Lottery Grant. The booklet provides details of the many significant trees in the Burgh which are all documented with supporting location plans.

Restoration of St Marys gates, railings and boundary walls

This first significant project for Hadas, was organised by committee members, Roger Kirby, Bob Heath and Andrew Gilmore. Researching historic plans and records provided the details for the original gate and railing patterns to be copied and reproduced. Coupled with restoration of the stone boundary walls the new wrought iron gates and railings make a fantastic contribution to the setting of St Mary’s.

The project was completed in May 2005 and was made possible with funding from Viridor funding along with grants and donations from The Scottish Executive, Historic Scotland, East Lothian Council, Forward Scotland and many individuals and Hadas members.

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The Ball Alley Memorial Lime Trees

An opportunity to apply for Civic Pride Funding from East Lothian Council led to a Hadas proposal to replace a missing Lime tree in Ball Alley. The tree was planted by the then Provost Sheena Richardson accompanied by our chairman Andrew Robinson along with Graham Duncan in 2012.

The row of nine Lime trees are said to represent the nine trade guilds of Haddington which flourished from 16th to early 19th century. These trees are located along the historic routeway between the town centre and the parish church, and are important commemorative symbols.

None of the original trees remain. Today, the largest of the Lime trees date from about 1900; the smaller trees are more recent replacements. East Lothian Council is responsible for managing all amenity trees in public areas.

Top row: Masons (stone workers), Wrights (makers or builders), Wabsters (weavers ). Middle Row: Hammermen (metal workers), Skinners (leather makers), Cordiners (shoe makers). Bottom Row:Baxters (bakers) Fleshers (butchers), Tailors (made clothes).
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Restoration of Neilson Park Gates

Hadas committee member Roger Kirby assisted East Lothian Council with the restoration of the northern gateway to Neilson Park in 2011.

The gateway with its magnificent archway provided the setting for the launch with Hadas, East Lothian Council and children from the nearby Kingsmeadow school.