Chairman’s Blog Spring 2019

Chairmans Blog Spring 2019

Members will be aware from my letter before Christmas and my report to the last Annual General Meeting in October that we have been discussing the future of the Society. The Committee is very keen to find a way of continuing as we believe that the Society’s values and objectives, valid over twenty years ago when we were founded, remain entirely relevant today. 

But we have been obliged to address a situation in which no younger members are putting their names forward to come on to the Committee and that it is not satisfactory for existing committee members to rotate office bearer posts. This has been happening over the last few years and the situation has become unsustainable. Whatever our own views and concerns we need people to run the Society in the future as a member based organisation which fulfils the requirements of the Scottish Charity Commissioners.

It is undeniably the case that the absence of a dialogue between the Society and the Planning Authority considerably diminishes our potential role within Haddington and District. Local Government has been a victim of austerity and planning departments are under great pressure to deliver an agenda, driven by Central Government, which has little space for community dialogue and involvement. The absence of such a dialogue may explain our problem in attracting new people – the perception is that the “horse has bolted” as one potential recruit put it.

We are looking at the possibility of continuing to organise the annual lecture held over the last 16 years in the memory of Frank Tindall. We are aware of the considerable interest in these lectures. Those who have joined us in the past will be aware of the pleasure of hearing a high quality lecture on an interesting subject in a packed hall. So we are looking in to setting up an arrangement whereby the lectures can continue. 

One immediate issue which arises is the collection of subscriptions for the current year. We have been holding off sending out renewal letters because of current uncertainty regarding our future. However you will see below that we are busy on a number of fronts this year – not least organising the next lecture for October – and there are associated costs. So I would ask you to renew your membership for this current year when Karen Stevenson, our Treasurer, is in touch. 

I do hope members will be in touch with their thoughts on the preceding paragraphs. It is important that any actions we take on your behalf are taken with your understanding and support – even though, like us, you may regret that it has come to this.

Haddington Town Centre continues to occupy us. East Lothian Council did very well in obtaining funding for the carrying out of a study and we were were able to appoint Consultants, Ironside Farrer, in March 2017. Progress has been slow and a number of factors are responsible for this.

Issues to do with parking, a major component of an access strategy  for the Town, have proved politically very sensitive. The absence of consensus, crucial in enabling the Consultants to fulfil their brief, has caused considerable delay in framing a proposal which the Community can support . 

Another factor has been a lack of co-ordination of local community groups. When we set up and led the  Vision Initiative in 2011, those with whom we worked, as well as the Council which helped with funding, were the Haddington Business Association, the Haddington Community Council and the Haddington History Society. The Business interest is critical. Any proposals for the Town Centre must take full account of the interests and concerns of those who run businesses there. Unfortunately the business interest appears unfocussed and at times un-coordinated and fractious. 

It is not helpful that we have been unable to to formulate a proposal which might go some way towards meeting their concerns – the lack of political consensus referred to above fuels uncertainty. It is very difficult to maintain interest in a project which is paralysed by the lack of appropriate action in certain quarters. 

Our relationship with the Council remains strong at a personal level. Officers are as serious as we we about about achieving a project design which enhances a wonderful town centre and maximises access to it. But whenever we meet them at steering committee meetings the “elephant in the room” is the absence of the necessary political focus referred to above.

We are putting in place arrangements to instal an information panel at the Ball Alley explaining the significance of the nine lime trees. Each of the trees represents one of the 9 trade guilds – Baxters, Hammermen, Masons, Wrights, Fleshers, Cordiners, Skinners, Tailors and Weavers.

We are now planning the next Tindall Memorial Lecture which will take place this coming October. We have people in mind but have yet to invite our next lecturer. We will let you know as soon as we have. As mentioned above we hope to find a way to keep the annual lecture going.

Andrew Robinson

Chairman

01620 822248

awrobinson@me.com

Chairman’s Blog September 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frank Tindall Memorial Lecture

Chairman’s New Year Blog

Chairman’s New Year Blog

 

The 13th lecture in the Frank Tindall commemorative series was given by David Sim at Easter Alderston at the end of October was very well attended both by our Members and those invited by our hosts for the evening, McInroy & Wood. David’s lecture was well received on the night and we have had a number of reports since describing his lecture as “inspirational”, “thought provoking”, “revelationary”.

 

David is a director in the Copenhagen based practice, Jan Gehl. He was born in Linlithgow, and qualified in Edinburgh and Copenhagen. He and his practice are involved in urban regeneration projects throughout the world. The guiding principle underpinning the approach of his practice is that people come first, then places, and then buildings. If this sequence is not observed outcomes can suffer.

 

We met David in the morning and took him on a tour of the County to show him our towns and villages and what is happening here. First stop was Musselburgh where we met Barry Turner and Alan Stevens of the Musselburgh Conservation Society. Our speaker took photographs, as he did throughout the day, and with a purpose which was revealed later on when he lectured in the evening.

 

Then on along the coast to Longniddry, Aberlady and North Berwick before stopping for lunch at Dunbar where we met Pippa Swan of the Dunbar Community Council. We were joined by Ben Tindall, who first came to know David when he (David) was an architecture student in Edinburgh. Karen Stevenson, our Secretary also joined us – she has worked with David in the past.

 

On our tour of Haddington we were accompanied by Provost John McMillan and Paul Zochowski from the Planning Department. After tea in John Muir House with the Provost our speaker retired to prepare his lecture. This was, as above, very well received. David drew on what he had seen during the day and wove East Lothian scenes into his wide ranging lecture on the essential elements in creating quality places.

 

David has been in touch since saying that he enjoyed the day in East Lothian and wondering if there is scope for some collaboration between his office and HADAS and we are giving this some thought.

 

Our Annual General Meeting on 29 November was not well attended. Present was our Committee together with a few members. We formed a select rather than a numerous gathering. After the business had been completed we showed the the film, “The Human Scale” in which Jan Gehl and David Sim appear as well as other planners in Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand and China.

We have a copy of this film and it is available for viewing.

 

The Haddington Town Centre Project continues. Three public events have been held over past weeks and very recently a meeting with those running businesses in the town centre provided the opportunity for a robust exchange of views. It is sometimes overlooked that the Consultants, appointed by East Lothian Council and the Community, are not there to take decisions, but to advise on options available for future action to improve. Their role is to make the options clear as the basis for choices and decisions.

 

Parking remains a contentious issue insofar as the Council as roads authority has decided to delay its consideration of the Draft East Lothian Transport Strategy and in so doing to defer decisions which are crucial inputs to the formulation of access strategies for Haddington and other towns in East Lothian.

 

A Planning Bill is expected shortly. The Society has commented throughout the consultation process and we await chapter and verse. We are not alone in having found the Government’s recent consultations poorly presented and lacking both clarity and conviction. We must remain positive but we are not clear how sensible long term reforms of the planning system will emerge from this process.

 

We are now giving consideration to a suitable form for a memorial for Frank Tindall in the Town. Chapter 7 of his Memoirs and Confessions tells the Haddington Story. The sections of this chapter, including the Nungate, the Town House, Glasgow Overspill, Shop Signs, The Butts, Mitchells Close, the Lamp of Lothian make interesting reading at a time when the town is preparing to celebrate the 700th Anniversary of the granting of the Royal Charter on 6 December 1318.

 

We would welcome any thoughts Members may have on a suitable form a memorial. We would like to reach a conclusion on this during the period of the Haddington 700 celebrations year.

 

HADAS will lose people from the Committee at the forthcoming AGM and the search is on for new committee members. Our membership has grown over the last two years and in this respect and financially the Society is in good health. We need new members of the committee. If you would be interested and would like a preliminary discussion please do call.

 

Andrew Robinson

 

Stevenson House Summer Visit

Chair’s Summer Blog

VISIT TO STEVENSON HOUSE

Twenty HADAS members gathered at Stevenson House on a most beautiful evening in early June. We were the guests of the owners Ray and Anita Green and they made us very welcome.

After hearing from Anita about the history of the house, a Grade A Listed Building, in the drawing room on arrival, the party divided into two with one group looking round the house while the other toured the gardens. We then switched.

In thanking Ray and Anita we were able to refer to to the years, when the Dunlop family were the owners, and Mary Tindall was the architect in charge. In his Memoirs Frank refers to Mary being awarded Civic Trust Commendations for her work at Stevenson and to himself becoming a Trustee of Brown Dunlop Country Houses to own and run the estate and to ensure that it was handed on to successive generations.

The Greens wanted to adapt the house to become a family home and in their years at Stevenson have achieved this. It was a pleasure to meet them and their staff who look after the house and the gardens.

Through the generosity of our members we were able to send a cheque to Leuchie House, the charity nominated by the Greens.

FRANK TINDALL LECTURE 2017

As I write this blog arrangements are being completed for the annual lecture. David Sim has agreed to speak in Haddington at the end of October. David is a partner in Jan Gael, the Copenhagen based architectural consultancy.

He has yet to firm up on the scope of his lecture but he will be drawing on his experience as a partnerin the firm, Jan Gehl Architects, in introducing quality into modern housing developments. His firm is involved in the new settlement at An Camas Mor, by the side of the River Spey, near Aviemore.

MEETING WITH MSP’s and COUNCILLORS

A meeting with recently appointed Provost McMillan together with Councillors Hampshire and Findlay, MSP’s Iain Gray and Colin Beattie together with representatives of the Planning Department, Iain Mcfarlane and Andrew Stewart.

Members will remember, as reported in a previous blog, that we met with the SNP and Labour groups in January and February. Following on from these meetings the MSP’s met the Planning Minister and they reported back. The Governments’ intentions for the Planning System will be made known later in the year.

It is clear that our own concerns regarding the planning of Haddington are shared by colleagues from Musselburgh, Gullane, North Berwick and East Linton. There may be scope for expanding the group though perhaps we should wait and see if there is any evidence that the message is being received.

Chair’s April Blog

Chair’s April Blog

Government Consultation: Places People Planning

We duly lodged our comments on the Government’s Consultation “Places People Planning”.
A meeting with MSP’s Iain Gray and Colin Beattie had been arranged for 19 April but this has now been postponed in view of the General Election announced for 8 June. A meeting will take place 16 June when the MSP’s will report back on the meeting they have had with the Planning Minister.

It has been clear from our previous meetings with politicians that there is concern regarding the manner in which the County is being flooded with poorly located, poor quality development. While our major concern is with Haddington it is apparent that Musselburgh, Dunbar and North Berwick that the flood gates are opening.

Here in Haddington developers have received encouragement from the Council in the grant of planning consents and perceive that there may be more to come and land further to the west, beyond the allocated site at Letham, is now under pressure. The consequences of not having a clear view of how the town should develop are being realized – the planning authority apparently content to watch events rather than influencing them.

Haddington Town Centre

Consultants have now been appointed to carry out a study of Haddington Town Centre. The Edinburgh based firm Ironside Farrar led a strong field interviewed at the end of March. The Community Development Trust invited me to attend the interviews together with representatives of the Council from Planning and Roads Departments. We were all impressed with the presentations.

We met Ironside Farrar – represented by Julian Farrar, Jan Pope and Sam Shortt – on 27 April to walk round the town centre and we now await a programme of events over the summer as the consultants develop their thinking and seek community response. This project is very much a continuation of the Vision initiative which led to the establishing of the Community Development Trust in early 2013.

Those within the Council who have secured the funding for this project should be congratulated.

Stevenson House Visit : 7 June

We are grateful to Anita and Ray Green for inviting HADAS Members to join them at Stevenson House to view the house and gardens. Places are limited and members wishing to attend should contact Linda Shaw Stewart: linda.shawstewart@btinternet.com or 01368 850358.

There will be the opportunity for members to donate to Leuchie House charity nominated by the Greens.

Chair’s January Blog

My first blog of 2017 provides an opportunity to wish all our members a happy new year. The Committee has met already, informally, with glass in hand, to express appreciation of recently departed committee members, Helen Robertson, Brian Young and John Pelan. Helen was a member of the very first committee when HADAS was established in 1995 until she stood down at the last AGM. We presented her a with recently published book on the historic mapping of Scottish islands.

On 10 January 2017 the Scottish Government's Consultation Paper : Places, People, Planning was published. Our minds go back to 2005 when a previous White Paper, referred to then as "a once in a lifetime opportunity to reform the planning system" was published and led to the 2006 Planning Act. In the period since enactment the planning system has not performed well – to put it mildly.

And now the Government is having another look at the arrangements with a view to bringing forward new legislation sometime later this year. Among the proposals for change are :

• introducing a statutory link between development planning and community planning;
• abolition of strategic development plans;
• streamlining of existing local development plan processes;
• abolition of local development plan main issues report;
• creation of citizen panels;
• identification of zones which effectively offer planning permission in principle.

Our initial reaction to the latest paper is that it is quite reminiscent of the previous, and now over taken, 2005 White Paper, being stronger on rhetoric and good intentions than on firm and precise changes necessary to take the Scottish Planning System in the right direction.
While the Government refers to this as a “root and branch” reform one commentator has already described it as more branch than root !

Citizen panels does look like promising idea worthy of serious consideration though the consultation paper is a little short of detail.

We now have until 4 April 2017 to comment. Members who wish to read the document can find it on:

http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2017/01/3486

You may wish to make your own representations to Government direct or get in touch with us so that we can take account of your views in our own response. We shall be getting our thoughts together with a view to completing our submission during March.

In the meantime Members may have read our recent letters in the East Lothian Couriers dated 15 September and 22 December. We drew attention to the apparent loss of control over decisions affecting the future of Haddington on the part of the Council as Planning Authority and to a worrying tendency to introduce party politics and to play the blame game. The issues are far too important for that.

In any event there has been some notable progress. On 13 January members of HADAS and Musselburgh Conservation Society met George Kerevan MP, Colin Beattie MSP and East Lothian Councillor John Williamson to express concerns about the state of planning. The meeting was constructive and a meeting with the Minisster is now being arranged.

A similar meeting with Labour representatives, Iain Gray MSP and Councillors John McMillan, Willie Innes and Norman Hampshire was held on 3 February and a further meeting will be held with them in March to discuss the Consultation Paper.

We are currently making contact with Amenity Groups and Community Councils throughout the County as there has been support for our collaboration with Musselburgh Conservation Society and it would be good to work with others.

It is inevitable that the Consultation Paper will occupy our time in the near future. There is much else happening and I will update Members in my February blog.

Andrew Robinson
HADAS Chair

Chair’s November Blog

As the incoming Chair following the recent AGM I must first thank those who are standing down from the Committee this time.

Helen Robertson was there right from the beginning when HADAS was founded in 1995 and has been on the committee – many years as secretary - ever since. Her contribution has been huge and we are so fortunate to have had her support, loyalty and service over 20 and more years.

Brian Young is hugely energetic. We all read his emails which reach us frequently. I find his restless energy both admirable and daunting – his constant alertness is testament to a profound understanding of what makes places outstanding and the importance of their effective management in the public interest.

John Pelan is Director of the Scottish Civic Trust and we are fortunate to have had him, as a Humbie resident, as a member of the committee. We have received the benefit of his knowledge of the situation nationally and he has sharpened up our communication skills!

Helen, Brian and John will no longer attend committee meetings but they will still be there in support of our work as is clear from their involvement since the AGM.

Karen Stevenson has chaired HADAS over the last three years. This has been a period during which the Community Development Trust and the Local Area Partnership have been finding their feet and Karen is closely involved in bringing to bear her planning and landscape expertise. Thankfully she remains on the Committee as Secretary.

HADAS is engaged on a number of fronts:
• A tree planting strategy for the Royal Burgh to be associated with the memory of Frank Tindall
• Representations on the East Lothian Local Development Plan and the South East Scotland Strategic Development Plan
• Collaboration with Musselburgh Conservation Society in a submission to Scottish Ministers on the inadequacies of the planning system – meeting with MP, MSP and Councillors being arranged for early in the new year
• Working in support of the Haddington Community Development Trust and Local Area Partnership – defining responsibilities.

Future blogs will report progress. In my first year back in the Chair I would like to encourage greater communication with our membership without whom the Society would not exist. Inevitably there are situations in which we have to act quickly and assume that the membership is of like mind. It would be good to hear your views directly in this age of instant communication!
A question – were we right to make such a commotion about the exercise stations along the River Walk, installed without public consultation and without planning permission, last March?

Andrew Robinson
HADAS Chair

Karen Stevenson, HADAS Chair

Frank Tindall Memorial Lecture

Chair’s September Blog

The end of the summer has seen the HADAS committee and its members bring their support to the relaunching of the Haddington Community Development Trust at their AGM in August 2015. You can follow the news from the Trust on their Facebook pages HaddingtonCDT and Twitter @trusthaddington. We will be supporting the Trust in delivering its priorities. Our committee is also part of the new Haddington Town Centre Group (part of the Local Area Partnership) where signage improvements are a key priority.

August was a busy month for planning in Haddington. The housing sites at Dovecot and Letham on the west side of the town have been given the green light. HADAS were also invited to hear about the new proposals for the hospital development in Haddington, a welcome proposal for the town. HADAS has objected to the proposed extension to the Dovecot development, as we want to protect the west side of the town and one of our important riverside landscapes at Clerkington.

The recent announcement of the Haddington in Bloom award is a fantastic success for the Town – fingers crossed for further success with the Skate Park proposals for Haddington that we were able to support in their application for funding.

Our committee is gearing up for the AGM on 28th October at our usual venue of the Trinity Centre, Church Street. We are extremely fortunate to have Ian Arnott, our ex-chairman, presenting the Annual Tindall lecture on the evening. An architect, Ian has had a considerable influence on the area, responsible for Haddington Town Centre improvements in the 1960s and only recently completing the Gifford Village Design Statement, highlighting the special qualities of his home village.

We look forward to sharing the evening with Ian and hope you will show your support and join us.

Karen Stevenson, HADAS Chair

Chair’s September Blog

The end of the summer has seen the HADAS committee and its members bring their support to the relaunching of the Haddington Community Development Trust at their AGM in August 2015. You can follow the news from the Trust on their Facebook pages HaddingtonCDT and Twitter @trusthaddington. We will be supporting the Trust in delivering its priorities. Our committee is also part of the new Haddington Town Centre Group (part of the Local Area Partnership) where signage improvements are a key priority.

August was a busy month for planning in Haddington. The housing sites at Dovecot and Letham on the west side of the town have been given the green light. HADAS were also invited to hear about the new proposals for the hospital development in Haddington, a welcome proposal for the town. HADAS has objected to the proposed extension to the Dovecot development, as we want to protect the west side of the town and one of our important riverside landscapes at Clerkington.

The recent announcement of the Haddington in Bloom award is a fantastic success for the Town - fingers crossed for further success with the Skate Park proposals for Haddington that we were able to support in their application for funding.

Our committee is gearing up for the AGM on 28th October at our usual venue of the Trinity Centre, Church Street. We are extremely fortunate to have Ian Arnott, our ex-chairman, presenting the Annual Tindall lecture on the evening. An architect, Ian has had a considerable influence on the area, responsible for Haddington Town Centre improvements in the 1960s and only recently completing the Gifford Village Design Statement, highlighting the special qualities of his home village.

We look forward to sharing the evening with Ian and hope you will show your support and join us.

Chair’s July Blog

It is the time of year for events and activities for all of our towns and villages with the Haddington Festival and the Haddington Show already been and gone. HADAS summer visit this year was hosted by Charles Stevenson at Clerkington. The society was treated to a fantastic walking tour of the estate finding out about the history and the features of the splendid setting to the original house, sadly no longer there.

On a similar vein our honorary secretary Frances Wright and I attended a fundraising event for St Marys Garden Trust in Haddington a hidden gem right in the heart of the town and well worth a visit- particularly to see the spectacular Laburnum walk! HADAS committee has agreed to help fund the upkeep of one of the raised beds in the garden this year.

Committee members have been working hard helping to secure the future of the Haddington Community Development Trust (HCDT). Frances Wright has taken the chair of the Trust and I am currently the nominated HADAS representative on the interim board. Fran is leading a strong path to establish a new board with an express wish to put the key actions from the Vision Report at the heart of the next steps of the Trust's work and produce positive outcomes for the Town. The first step is the appointment of the new board and details will be advertised in the Courier. Please give the Trust your support and the AGM on the 10th August. Follow the Trusts news on their Facebook page HaddingtonCDT. HADAS is extremely grateful to Chris Clark, our nominated representative, who chaired and steered the Trust through its first 2 years.

HADAS and the CDT will be joining other community groups, business and ELC on the Haddington and Lammermuir Local Area Partnership ‘s Haddington Town Centre Group, to refocus action on delivering the Haddington Vision. We have high hopes for achieving some changes to the town under the direction of Stuart Gibb. You can find out more about the work of the Partnership and this group on East Lothian Council’s web site, http://www.eastlothian.gov.uk/meetings/meeting/5655/east_lothian_partnership-haddington_and_lammermuir_area_partnership . HADAS will be looking to assist with new signage and historical information amongst the improvement priorities.

We have also been asked by ELC to assist with raising funds and helping to replace the original railings around the entrance to the old station on the west road. We have begun our research and have found this interesting photograph. Our work will add to the landscape improvements already made by ELC and Haddington in Bloom making this a lovely spot to take a break.

I hope you all enjoy your summer.

Chair’s May Blog

HADAS submitted a response to East Lothian Council’s Special Landscapes consultation in March. We tried to bring attention to those panoramic views we all know as well as highlighting the role of local landscapes and their importance to our towns and villages.

There is further development change expected in Haddington with proposals for the hospital site and, excitingly, improvement for the George Hotel. This is significant for the town centre, a key strand of the Vision for Haddington, the document that launched the Haddington Community Development Trust. HADAS has published a position statement about the future of the HCDT and will be presenting at the AGM on the 11 May.

We finally gathered members and local residents together after the dark winter months to join with the committee for our first talk of 2015. We were treated to a fantastic talk by Lilian Tuohy Main. Lilian spoke to us about her work and publication ‘The Closes of Haddington’, which she produced as a part of the Haddington CARS (Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme) for East Lothian Council. Click here to read a short report and view the booklet online. You can also pick up a copy of Lilian’s booklet from the John Gray Centre library.

Look out for details of our next event, a summer visit in June.