Robert Wedderburn – forgotten son of Inveresk

‘The earth cannot be justly the private property of individuals, because it was never manufactured by man; therefore whoever sold it, sold that which was not his own.  (from The Axe Laid To The Root)

Inveresk Lodge in East Lothian, is today in the ownership of the National Trust but, from 1774 to 1911, it was home to the Wedderburn family who made their fortune on a sugar plantation and in the slave trade.

robertwedderburn012ZZZ08156C714U000000FP[SVC2]Robert Wedderburn was the son of Rosanna, a slave and her owner, James Wedderburn.

Although born free, Robert was raised in a harsh environment, as his mother was often flogged at the insistence of his father.  When Rosanna was re-sold by James Wedderburn, Robert was raised by his maternal grandmother before joining the Royal Navy at the age of 16 and arriving in Britain.

Impoverished and desperate, Robert arrived at his father’s house in Inveresk only to be turned away.

“I visited my father, who had the inhumanity to threaten to send me to gaol if I troubled him,” he wrote years later of his trip to Inveresk Lodge. “He did not deny me to be his son, but called me a lazy fellow and said he would do nothing for me. From his cook I had one draught of small beer, and his footman gave me a cracked sixpence.” The Horrors of Slavery (1824)

Robert became a prolific writer and speechmaker and campaigner for abolition of slavery.

Read more about International Day for the Abolition of Slavery here.

Your Railway, Your Say

Any commuters on the North Berwick to Edinburgh peak time trains can attest to the overcrowding and unreliability of the ticket machines.

ScotRail has launched The Platform – an online panel to give you a chance to have your say on how Scotland’s railway is run.

To register, you will need to complete a few short questions about yourself and how you currently get out and about. Once you have registered you can then take part in your first survey!

You might also be interested in joining rail pressure group RAGES, which has as one its aims “To improve the rail service between Edinburgh, Dunbar and Berwick upon Tweed.”.  Membership is only £4 and you will be kept up to date with the latest rail developments.

East Lothian Postal Secret Santa

If you like spreading some festive cheer and like receiving surprise packages in the post, then you might like to sign up for Secret Santa.

How to take part:

  • Email your (real) name, East Lothian postal address and any helpful info (gender/age/interests) to admin@lothianloop.com by 30th November.  Lothian Loop will then pass on these details to your Secret Santa.
  • You will receive postal details of the person to whom you should send a gift – remember the very last posting date for 2nd class is Saturday 19th December.
  • You don’t have to, but it would be great if you could share a photo of the gift you receive by tweeting @lothianloop.
  • The system is based on trust.  Please only ask to take part if you are willing to send a gift.  Lothian Loop cannot be held responsible for non-delivery or anything else!

Top Tips: 

  • £5-7 is a guide spend – take into account postage costs when choosing your gift.
  • Aim to send a gift that will fit through a letterbox that doesn’t need to be signed for.
  • This gift should be family-friendly and absolutely not a platform for an agenda/political campaign!

Visit a reinvigorated Haddington Farmers’ Market

In order to celebrate the market undergoing a refresh, the Haddington Farmers’ Market Committee is holding a special market on Saturday 28 November.

In addition to the usual delights, the market, which will be part of East Lothian’s Saltire Festival, will host  music, magic, cooking demonstrations, recipes and competitions.

The programme of events is as follows:

10.10     Haddington Pipe Band

10.30     Cooking Demonstration

11.00     Yester Nursery school sings

11.30     Rita Bradd Harpist

12.00     Haddington Pipe Band

12.30     Melissa Bradd plays ukelele

HFM_LOGO_STACKED
Widely recognised as the friendly farmers’ market, Haddington Farmers’ Market offers you a tempting selection of home produced specialities and really demonstrates that buying Scottish is best!

Pauline Jaffray, market organiser and stallholders, said:

“There is always something new to experience and enjoy at Haddington Farmers Market. The friendly family atmosphere, the tantalising smells of barbecue cooking, the aroma of home baking, the tasty samples, guest stalls and the availability of recipe leaflets and first hand advice all add to the success of Haddington Farmers’ Market.

“Whilst we have a loyal following of customers there are still people who have yet to discover us! Our mission is to get all of East Lothian and beyond talking about us and joining the ranks of our happy customers, at the same time securing the future of the market.

“We should be delighted if you would show your support for local produce and visit us.

“Not only does Haddington Farmers’ Market make for a fantastic morning out but it also makes an extremely valuable contribution to the local economy.”

WHEN: Saturday 28th November – the market runs from 9am until 1pm
WHERE: Haddington Farmers Market, Court Street, Haddington (free parking behind the court building, regular buses to and from Haddington)

 

Campaign of the Month

Throughout November, @LothianLoop ran a series of scheduled tweets encouraging people to vote for @cuthillpark, Prestonpans, in the Best Park awards.

Voting has now closed and the winner will be announced on 2 December at a Fields in Trust event.

Good Luck Cuthill Park!

Throughout December, @LothianLoop will be campaigning for the Scottish Medicines Consortium to approve Translarna  – the first ever drug to potentially treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

This follows the news that East Lothian laddie Cormac Fegan was the 1st boy in the UK to receive Translana, albeit for a limited six month period.

Translarna is already available in several countries including France, Italy, Spain, Germany and Denmark, but it is not yet approved here in the UK.

You can read more about the fight for access to Translarna here.

Learn more about Muscular Dystrophy here.

Find out about Cormac and his family’s campaign to help him here.

 

 

 

World AIDS Day 1 December: #WhatWillYouDo ?

This year for World AIDS Day and European HIV Testing Week we’re part of the movement across Scotland asking individuals, organisations and politicians: What Will You Do?

There’s a lot we can all do to prevent new cases of HIV (the virus that can cause AIDS), to challenge the stigma and prejudice that people living with HIV face, and to remember those who’ve died from AIDS-related illnesses since the 1980s. So we’re hoping as many people as possible will join in and add #WhatWillYouDo and a ribbon to their Twitter profile, pictures, or share photos and posts of what they’re doing to mark WorldAIDS Day, using hashtag #WhatWillYouDo.

Though 1 December is World AIDS Day, AIDS isn’t something we talk about much in Scotland these days; it’s a medical term only used when HIV has really seriously damaged a person’s immune system to the point where they are very ill. It’s really rare for anyone to get that ill in Scotland now, thanks to improving HIV medication and increasing testing that means people are diagnosed and on treatment much earlier. But while AIDS is less of an issue for people in Scotland than it once was, HIV certainly hasn’t gone away. Last year 374 new people were diagnosed with HIV in this country; that’s more than one each day.

There’s a lot everyone can do to help prevent new cases. Knowing the facts about HIV and how it’s transmitted is a good place to start; with the right information you can both challenge any myths you hear but also make informed choices and keep yourself and others safe. Key things are making sure you use condoms, never sharing injecting kit, and getting tested regularly if you think you might be at risk.  Another simple thing we can all do is think about how it would feel to have HIV, and to challenge the stigma and prejudice that people living with HIV face. A good place to start is by learning some facts about HIV,like that it can’t be passed on by things like touching, kissing, sharing cups or toilet seats.

So this year, please join us and mark World AIDS Day and HIV Testing Week by asking yourself and people you know: What Will You Do?

Add a ribbon to your profile picture, get ideas and information at www.AIDSdayScotland.com, or follow the campaign on Twitter and share what you’ll be up to using #WhatWillYouDo.