Author Archives: ll_admin

Save our Chimneys!

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(text taken from Change petition)

From all over our county we can see our chimney’s, from all over Fife, going over the Forth Road & Rail Bridges, up Calton Hill, all our coastal fishermen returning home from sea, even returning from afar by plane we can see our chimney’s,

When were returning to anywhere in East Lothian this is what we look for to know that we are nearly home,

To keep them is a massive Thank You to all who Built, to all the Coal Miners, all the Workers, the Engineers & for all the power that lit so many homes for so long,

I think we should create a ray of light using laser beam lighting up our chimney’s in memory of all that’s been involved in Cockenzie Power Stations History and if possible give back a little to the environment and create some kind of Wild Bird Sanctuary,

Edinburgh planners and Architects worked together to save the Ferranti Crewe Toll Clock Tower which sits alongside the new engineering buildings,

Why don’t we incorporate our chimney’s into the future design of the plans for Cockenzie Power Stations land,

The chimney’s have a tiny footprint but a massive impact.



Staying at Seton Sands?

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Seton Sands holiday park is a popular holiday destination for families.

It is perfectly placed to explore the gorgeous coastal areas of East Lothian and beyond such as:

Seton Collegiate Church owned by Historic Scotland

Cockenzie House and Tearoom – they often hold family-friendly events but it nice just to look around the gardens and visit the tearoom

Secret Garden, Cockenzie – a lovely place for a picnic

Harbour takeaway (and sit-in!)  do amazing fish + chips and occasional lobster curry

Gosford Estate –  a lovely estate to walk around

Dirleton Castle (Historic Scotland) – worth combining with a visit to Dirleton Gallery

Museum of Flight, Drem.  See Concorde.  If you are going here, it’s worth popping into Scottish Archery Centre – if there is not a party on, you can have a go at archery.

All East Lothian swimming pools are free for children during the school holidays.

East Lothian museums including the nearby Prestongrange industrial museum are free, as are all libraries.

Seton Sands is on the 26 bus route which takes you all the way to Edinburgh Zoo for a flat rate of £1.50.  LothianBuses also have family fares and day tickets which offer great value for exploring Edinburgh.

The nearest train station to Seton Sands is Prestonpans from where you can the train east to North Berwick or west to Edinburgh.  The journey is short and the fares are reasonable – make sure you choose the Kids Go Free ticket option when travelling with children – and hang on to your ticket, it gives free kids entry to many Edinburgh attractions.

If going to Edinburgh you might want to look at

The Bank Museum, Gorgie City Farm, National Museum of Scotland, National Library of Scotland, Portrait Gallery, Gallery of Modern Art (all free) and Camera Obscura (great value or free kids entry with a Scotrail Kids Go Free ticket).

Keep an eye on for local event listings

If you need any further information, ask @lothianloop

Dadswork Petition

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East Lothian organisation, Dadswork, is experiencing a funding crisis.

Please consider signing their petition to East Lothian Council.

  1. DadsWork requires funding from East Lothian Council to continue its work and survive from closure.
  2. DadsWork is an unique and innovative service supporting fathers and provides key services for male parents/carers in East Lothian, it provides parenting support groups, counselling for men, play group for under 5’s , parenting courses and workshops, welfare support, 1-1 , home outreach, returning men to employment and further education.
  3. DadsWork has never asked East Lothian Council for any funding in 12 years.
  4. DadsWork provides services no other service in East Lothian can provide.
  5. DadsWork will close unless funding is secured as of the end of June 2104 and 75 families will be stranded without support as the local services are already at full capacity and wont be in a postition to support them.
  6. DadsWorks families will be without designed activities aimed at them to enrich their relationships between the male parent/carer and their children.
  7. DadsWork provides partnerships with many other services and organisations i.e Social Work, Education, Health, Substance Misues Services, Criminal Justice which will end and futher deny fathers the support they require and deserve.
  8. DadsWork has been the front runner in advice and support for many organisations and services in the UK in developing their services and ensuring their father friendly, including the development of Dads Rock and Fathers Network Scotland.
  9. DadsWork has launched a successful Go Mad with Dad series of fun filled activity days for male parents/ carers with over 700 people attending.
  10. DadsWork provides information to the National Parenting Strategy, Legislation and the way forward for fathers rights

Click here to view the petition.

Edinburgh Marathon

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The 2014 Edinburgh Marathon Festival will take place on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 May and incorporates the Edinburgh Marathon, EMF Half Marathon, EMF Team Relay, EMF 10K, EMF 5K & EMF Junior Races

Prestongrange Museum at the western edge of Prestonpans is a great place to cheer on the runners.  The visitor centre (with cafe and toilets) opens at 10a.m. but the site itself is open 24 hrs, has free parking and is lovely to explore.

Many East Lothian folk are running to raise money for their chosen charities (and folk from elsewhere are running to raise money for East Lothian charities) and the following list will be added to so you can make a donation:

Caroline, Clare, Helen, Stephen & Jude’s Edinburgh Marathon Festival 2014 page -We are running in the Edinburgh Marathon Festival for Gullane Sports Development Trust because it’s a great project for children & adult groups

Fraser’s pageI will be taking part in the 2014 Edinburgh Half Marathon to raise money for Maggies Cancer Caring Centre. Nearly two years ago, my best friend Russell Redpath lost his two-year battle with cancer. I will be running in memory of Russell and to help Maggies with all the fantastic work they do for people in difficult situations.

The Ginger Bear’s page – I am looking to raise £200, this pays for 1 days care from a Macmillan nurse for someone who really needs it.

QMU/TeapotTrust Teams fundraising page– Currently about 44 staff and students (11 teams) at Queen Margaret University (Edinburgh) are training hard for the team relay section of the Edinburgh Marathon Festival on the 25th May 2014.

Apart from getting a bit fitter we are trying to raise some funds for East Lothian based Teapot Trust. This Scottish Charity founded in 2010 provides Art Therapy to terminally and chronically ill children. Art Therapists are now funded in Edinburgh (Sick Kids), Rachel House, Yorkhill (Glasgow), Ninewells (Dundee), later this year in Aberdeen.

Simon’s page – running the Edinburgh Half Marathon for Macmillan Cancer Support because I want to raise money for a great cause

Kieran’s page – I will be running the Edinburgh Marathon on the 25th of May in aid of the East Lothian Special Needs Playscheme and any donation that you can give will be greatly appreciated.

Pamela’s page – I’m running the Edinburgh Marathon again this year. You’d think I’d know better at 40, eh! But the thrill and the buzz of last year is still with me and I want to do it all over again! We all know the value of the Sick Kids and the wonderful job they do. This is my fourth time fundraising for the charity  – a 10K in 2011, the half marathon in 2012 and last year’s full marathon. I reckon my efforts this year will take me past the £1,500 mark. As a parent, I simply value every little thing they do there – from a stookie in A&E to PJ’s loft if you need to stay. I know I appreciate all they do.

Gardening freebies for schools & groups

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The Woodland Trust offer free tree packs to plant in school grounds.  These can be used to form wildlife corridors or edible hedgerows.  Through their Nature Detective’s programme, they also offer a huge range of Curriculum-linked planting resources.

You can apply for a Potato Pack from the Potato Council.

Find out if you are eligible for Trees for Schools.

Free Trees

Royal Horticultural Society – upon free registration, the RHS will provide each school with a free start up kit, free seeds every year, newsletters and rewards for progress.

Salad leaves kit

Vegetable Seeds

Wildflower Seeds

Register for free refurbished gardening tools.

Why didn’t you Retweet me?

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The answer to this could be several things….

1) You didn’t ask me to.

Despite never having asked me to retweet information, some people will still complain that I am “ignoring” them.

2) I did.

It’s easy to see if I have already retweeted something, just expand the tweet.  Do this before asking me to retweet something or complaining that I am ignoring you.

3) I didn’t see the tweet.

Bear with me while I try to explain how I find the info I retweet.  It may be a little different to the way you use Twitter.

Search function

I’m not a bot.  I don’t use code.  The majority of the information I retweet comes from searching keywords (placenames) on Twitter (If you think it’s easy, try searching ‘Dunbar‘ and see how many results you get that are relevant to East Lothian).

So, although I might catch a tweet mentioning Musselburgh, I’m not so good at spotting “Mussy High Street is on fire” which is why I use my timeline as well.


A smaller number of retweets come from my timeline.  I follow a mix of people to give a flavour of what’s happening all over East Lothian (with possibly a disproportionate number of people from Dunbar because of the problems associated with searching on Dunbar as mentioned above).


I don’t follow everyone who follows me but, if they’re East Lothian folks, I add them to a list and keep an eye on it.  A few retweets come from this list.


I don’t tend to actively seek out information beyond Twitter but I share anything relevant that comes my way.  It’s all in the public domain – I don’t have any special privileges!

4) I can’t!

It’s worth pointing out that if your account is private, I won’t be able to see your tweets (unless you’ve allowed me to follow you).  And, irrespective of whether I am following you or not, tweets from private accounts cannot be retweeted.

Twitter is about sharing so enter into the spirit of things by taking off the padlock!

5) I don’t want to.

a) I’m not going to retweet info related to the Independence Referendum.  I couldn’t be sure I was giving equal coverage to both sides.

b) Musselburgh High Street isn’t really on fire – I know when I’m being pranked, kids.

c) I don’t retweet expletive-laden tweets, no matter how f*****g lovely the view in your photograph.

I aim to share positive, uplifting news and photographs about the county of East Lothian for the benefit of residents, local businesses and visitors alike. The emphasis is on sustainable living, kindness and activism.

I hope this helps.  Keep sharing your East Lothian news, photos and reviews with @lothianloop

Potential operator sought for Meadowmill funicular railway

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Meadowmill Bing Enterprise (MBE) has announced that it is seeking to appoint an operator for the forthcoming Prestonpans railway, which will connect the base of the Meadowmill Bing with restaurant at the top of the former spoil heap.

MBE chief executive Pilar Lofo said: “This is a significant step forward in the Meadowmill Funicular”.

Artist impression of Meadowmill Funicular

Artist impression of Meadowmill Funicular

“Over the coming weeks, MBE will hold further discussions with several train operators including Scotrail, HuntGowk and CrossCountry on a number of points of detail, before deciding whether or not to proceed to awarding a contract. This is a normal procedure in complex procurements which follow the ‘competitive dialogue’ methodology.

“Whatever the outcome of the upcoming discussions with our preferred bidder, the railway and visitor facilities (including the planned ‘Pyramid’ Restaurant), and, indeed, the wider Meadowmill estate, will remain in public ownership with MBE managing the day-to-day business.”

For further information please visit

Mothering Sunday

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Mothering Sunday falls on 30 March 2014 and we would love to receive your gift suggestions.

Tweet us your gift suggestions < £10 <£25 <£50

The gift can be real, wrappable things or an experience or virtual but must be either locally made (or support a local enterprise) or fairtrade.

Gifts must be ethically sourced/made & cruelty-free.

Don’t know where to start?  Think “F.L.O.W.E.R.Y.” and see our tips below:


Since 2011, East Lothian has been a Fairtrade County.  Fairtrade products are available in all supermarkets nowadays – look for the Fairtrade label.  For a wider choice of gifts and homewares, look in speciality shops such as Earth Matters in North Berwick or The Small World in Prestonpans.


The Internet “bargain” won’t seem such a great deal when your local shop has closed down – and do you really want to support huge organisations that don’t pay their taxes and treat their workers dreadfully.  Support your local community by shopping locally and if they don’t have what you are looking for, tell them!

Enterprising independent retailers in North Berwick launched a High Street Gift Voucher scheme (available to buy year-round from etc.. 62 High Street, and are redeemable in the majority of shops along the North Berwick High Street)

No local bookshop? No problem!  Hive is a network of independent bookshops.  Delivery is free (either to your home or collect from a bookstore of your choice).


Organic food is defined as food which is produced using environmentally and animal friendly farming methods on organic farms (i.e. where no pesticides are ever used).

East Lothian is a farming county as we are blessed with several outlets selling organic products.  Take a look at the East Lothian Food & Drink Directory for your nearest retailer and look out for the Soil Association logo which guarantees a product is organic.

Organic farms are wonderful for wildlife as the pesticide-free environment provides homes for bees, birds and butterflies.  If you love all creatures, great and small, you will want to ensure that your toiletries and cosmetics have not been tested on animals so look out for the Leaping Bunny logo – it is the only way to be certain that a product is cruelty-free.


…did it come from?

The more steps there are between a producer (whether that’s a farmer or a jewellery maker) and the consumer (that’s you!) the more likelihood there is that someone (possibly even a child) has been exploited.

Handcrafted items have no place in a pound shop!

And remember…the longer the supply chain, the larger the carbon footprint so the planet suffers too.

If in doubt, give it a wide berth.


It doesn’t take a genius to work out that a plastic toy made in China isn’t good for the environment but what about wooden gifts?  When buying wooden toys, look for the FSC mark which shows that it meets Forest Stewardship Council standards governing responsible stewardship of the worlds forests.

Do you really need to buy gift wrap? Use what you already have: newspapers, maps, posters or even a scarf or piece of fabric and tie with a ribbon!

Recycled, Regifted, Reused

Have a trawl around charity shops (Changeworks have produced this excellent charity shop map) for some new or nearly new bargains.

For that special vintage item, Sam Burns Yard, Prestonpans, takes some beating.

Or why not re-gift something you already have but don’t need or use?


Your mum has opinions, values and favourite causes.  Mother’s Day is a chance to show your mum that you have noticed and respect these.

Many charities have online shops selling everything from wristbands to gift memberships.

Local enterprises often have gift vouchers (or even shares).

Increasingly, charities are turning to “virtual gifts” as a way of fundraising.  OxfamUnwrapped are currently offering free earrings or chocolate with every Unwrapped gift from their For Mums range.

Of course you can always make your own gifts.  Short on skills? How about making a book of vouchers for babysitting, gardening or dishwashing – let your imagination run wild.

Publicising your East Lothian event

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You can organise the best event in the world, but if no-one knows about it, it’s unlikely to be a success.  Here are a few tips on how to spread the word about your East Lothian events.

Firstly, draft an outline of the key details of your event, e.g.

    1. Name of the event (e.g. East Lothian Operatic Society Coffee Morning)
    2. Full postal address of the venue
    3. Date and timing of the event
    4. What is happening (e.g. Stalls, entertainment, children’s activities & refreshments)
    5. Why it is happening (e.g. to raise money for trip to Poland)
    6. Any other relevant info or instructions (e.g. Tickets available from XYZ; Wear Wellies etc)

Contact details (as many as possible e.g. a couple of phone numbers, email, website, twitter etc).

Now, email this information to:

East Lothian Courier –

East Lothian News –

Radio Saltire –

East Coast FM –

Visit East Lothian –

Your local community website (see a listing here)

ELDA, the publisher of Haddington & District Advertiser and East Linton & District Advertiser

Depending on the type of event, you might also wish to send the details to your local school, church or relevant community organisation.

Next, submit your event to online listings services such as

Radio Saltire

East Lothian Council

The List (you need to create an account)

What’s On Scotland (you need to create an account)

Lothian Life (any event with an entry fee of £3 or under can be listed free)

Use the key information to produce a poster. 

Posters can usually be displayed in public buildings such as community centres, doctor’s surgeries, sport centres, council offices and libraries.  Supermarkets often have a community noticeboard and local shops might display a poster in their window.

Let OurLocality help you

Funded by Awards for All, OurLocality is a place to develop your web presence, community group or project, network or campaign.  You can sign up quickly and easily here.

You can get started in less time than it takes you to read this. You will need a valid email address to verify you are for real. You’ll get your own address


and you can switch to your very own address later if you like (, a selection of free and customizable designs (themes), enough file storage to get you going and some great tools to help you share your website.  You can publish as much as you want and it’s Free! Your website or blog can be public to the world or private for just your friends.

The Loopy Effect

With over 2k followers with an interest in all things East Lothian, @LothianLoop is ideally placed to promote your event a relevant audience.  Just tweet the details to @LothianLoop – and we’ll retweet the info