Chairmans Blog September 2018

photo of blooming haddington celebrating winning a gold medal and best medium town 2018

Chairmans Blog September 2018

After an amazing summer we suddenly feel the autumn closing in and it is time to update you on what has been happening in HADAS.

But first I must report, with sadness, the death of Andrew Gilmour who was a member of our committee for some years. Andrew lived in Gifford and was an architect. I knew him first because our sons, Alastair and Paul, were at school together and remain close friends, and then through working with him on the HADAS Committee.

Society Member Ben Tindall, one of Andrew’s students, writes:

I have very fond memories of Andrew.  As a tutor at the University of Edinburgh he stood out for the warmth of his interest in students, as well as his practical and down to earth guidance.  He did not stand for academic niceties or the fashionable dictates of magazine architecture.  Instead, as a product of Sir Robert Mathew’s Architectural Research Unit, he stood for humanity and common sense.  Against the advice of some other staff he encouraged me to apply for and take up the Penn Exchange Scholarship, for which I have always been grateful.  

We recognise these qualities through working with him. We send our thoughts to Ann, Alastair and James.


Picture of Hugh R Buchanan
Hugh Buchanan will deliver the 2018 Frank Tindall Lecture

Frank Tindal Lecture 2018

This year our Commemorative Frank Tindall lecture will be given by Hugh Buchanan, the distinguished watercolourist. Hugh has chosen, as his subject: “Pastiche or Of its Time – an artistconsiders the state of contemporary architecture in an historic context.”

Having discussed with him, in advance of the lecture, his themes I have no doubt that we are in for an enjoyable and challenging evening. At a time when we are concerned about the quality of new building and places his choice of subject is most timely.

The lecture will take place in Haddington Town House on Wednesday 24 October immediately after a short AGM which will be held at 7.15pm. Refreshments will be served.

Members will be aware that over the last 15 years we have remembered Frank Tindall through the Memorial Lectures. The inaugural lecture was given by the late Charles McKean in which he described Haddington’s town form as a “fortress against the wind” – and last year David Sim delivered a widely praised lecture on the Human Scale in Architecture.


Frank Tindall Plaque

Frank Tindall has been very much in our minds this year. Apart from the annual lecture we have been giving thought to a another way of remembering him. As the years pass we become increasingly aware of the relevance of the messages within his memoirs including the importance of community consolidation and also of ensuring that new development respects the essential character and  essence of its surroundings.

We plan to put in place a plaque on the west facing wall of 1 Bridge Street where Frank and his family lived in the early 1950’s.


Image of Plaque remembering Frank Tindall


Haddington 700 – Celebrating the 1318 Robert the Bruce Charter

As part of the year long Haddington 700 programme of events, I have been invited to speak at the conference “Charter, Church, Conflict and Community “1318-2018″”, organized by Haddington History Society and the East Lothian Antiquarians on Saturday 15 September at Haddington Town House.  My allotted subject is “Haddington Today” and I will be drawing on the principles which underpin Frank Tindall’s legacy. You can book tickets here, and you can find more Haddington 700 events here.

Blooming Haddington

St Marys, Haddington was the location of a very special event last Thursday. Representatives from all over Scotland gathered for the annual Beautiful Scotland Awards and Haddington was the overall winner in the Medium Town category – towns between 6-12,000 population. Haddington also won a Gold Standard Certificate.

This is a wonderful achievement by Blooming Haddington. The floral display this year has been superb. Going down town early morning for the paper I have often chatted with Rab Moran who is watering the hanging baskets and displays – a reminder of how much work goes into a success like this. Congratulations to all involved.

photo of blooming haddington celebrating winning a gold medal and best medium town 2018
Blooming Haddington wins Gold and Best Medium Town 2018

The Future of HADAS.

I shall be writing to members shortly to express our concerns regarding the future of HADAS. You will be aware from recent AGM’s and blogs that we are concerned that we are not getting new people on to the committee and we are rapidly reaching the point at which the absence of new blood threatens the viability of the Society. We will elaborate in the forthcoming letter.









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