Journalist Kate Adie and international theatre director to receive honorary degrees from Queen Margaret University

Journalist Kate Adie and international theatre director Eugenio Barba receive honorary degrees from Queen Margaret University

On 1 st July, the internationally renowned journalist, Kate Adie joined influential theatre director, Eugenio Barba to receive an honorary degree from Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh.

Katie Adie was awarded an honorary doctorate in recognition of her contribution to news reporting and our understanding of world events. The former BBC international affairs journalist was joined by Eugenio Barba, a theatre practitioner who has significantly influenced practice and critical thinking within the art form. Eugenio is director of Odin Teatret, a theatre company which he founded in 1964, and founder of the International School of Theatre Anthropology, both of which are based in Denmark. Both honorary graduates were acknowledged for the relevance of their work to society at large, reflecting the university’s own commitment to enhancing lives in the communities it serves.

The University was delighted to award Kate Adie, one of the UK highest profile journalists, with a Degree of Doctor of Letters at the graduation ceremony held in Edinburgh’s Usher Hall. Dressed in flak jacket, helmet and holding a microphone whilst crouching on front-lines, Kate Adie became an iconic figure associated with breaking news from some of the world’s most dangerous conflict zones. She is particularly well known for her reporting of significant international events including the student uprising in China when she received a gun-shot wound to her elbow whilst reporting events in Tiananmen Square. She has also reported on turbulence and conflicts across the world such as in Northern Ireland, the Lockerbie bombing in 1988, the first Gulf War, the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, the 1997 uprising in Albania and the civil war in Sierra Leone in 2000.

Kate hung up her flak jacket and helmet in 2003 to become a freelance journalist. Since then she has written five books, been a regular presenter on BBC Radio 4’s ‘From Our Own Correspondent’, and won numerous awards including three Royal Television Society awards, the Richard Dimbleby Award from BAFTA in 1990, the Broadcasting Press Guild’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting, and an OBE in 1993.

As a leader in education for allied health professionals and the only provider of audiology education in Scotland, Queen Margaret University (QMU) was particularly keen to honour Kate given her work with the charity Hearing Link. Kate is a patron of Hearing Link which supports people with hearing impairment and deafness.

The University, which has areas of expertise in creativity and culture, also bestowed a Degree of Doctor of Letters on Eugenio Barba, an influential theatre practitioner, researcher and theorist who has enjoyed a 50 year career in the arts. Eugenio Barba has directed 76 productions, mostly with his theatre company Odin Teatret. The honorary degree recognises his influence on how we see and understand theatre and on the way drama is taught in universities and colleges.

Born in Italy in 1936, but emigrating to Norway in 1954, Eugenio began his working life as a welder and a sailor, whilst studying for a degree in French, Norwegian Literature and History of Religions at Oslo University. He went to Poland to learn directing at the State Theatre School in Warsaw, but left one year later to work with Jerzy Grotowski, a leading contemporary experimental theatre director. Eugenio also spent time in India studying Kathakali, a dance-theatre art form, which uses hand gestures, expressions and rhythmic dancing instead of dialogue and which was unknown in the west at that time.

Since 1974, Eugenio Barba and Odin Teatret have developed a unique style of working – one which trains actors who help communities discover their cultural voice, creating social interaction and breaking down barriers. Eugenio has also written over 20 books, contributes to academic publications and education, and has won numerous awards.

Professor Alan Gilloran, Deputy Principal of Queen Margaret University, presented the orations for both Eugenio Barba and Kate Adie.He said: “Among contemporary artists who have made a mark on the history of theatre, Eugenio Barba is the only one who has worked in such innovative ways across all fields of theatre, ranging from artistic creation to theoretical reflection, and to the use of theatre in a social context as a trans-cultural tool to activate relations between different social and ethnic groups. Eugenio Barba’s influence reaches across all our performing arts programmes, and for that reason, all of our graduating drama and performance students and graduates owe a debt of gratitude to him.”

Professor Gilloran continued: “Kate Adie’s inspirational and gutsy style of reporting has shed light on some of the world’s most significant events and has touched the lives of millions of people, both in the UK and around the globe. She also has expertise in areas of speech and communication which are aligned with the work carried out by Queen Margaret University’s speech researchers – the impact of vocal quality, accent and non-verbal communication in conveying information in different contexts.”

The Principal of Queen Margaret University, Professor Petra Wend, paid tribute to both Kate Adie and Eugenio Barba. She concluded: “It is entirely appropriate that the University honours both these highly influential professionals – Kate Adie for her work with the media, across societies affected by conflict and in support of people with hearing loss, and Eugenio Barba for his ground-breaking development of contemporary theatre and his ability to create performance which unites communities. Both Kate’s and Eugenio’s achievements in their specialist areas reflect the relevance of the university’s work and its aim of serving communities and improving quality of life.”


Queen Margaret University Professor awarded Royal College of Nursing Fellowship

Professor Brendan McCormack (low res)Professor Brendan McCormack, Head of Division of Nursing at Queen Margaret University (QMU), Edinburgh, has been awarded a prestigious Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Fellowship.

Celebrating the very best in nursing, the annual RCN Awards present Fellowships, Honorary Fellowships and Awards of Merit to those who have given an outstanding contribution to nursing.

RCN Fellowships are awarded to RCN members who are registered nurses in the UK and who have made an exceptional contribution to nursing or health care.

Professor McCormack is an internationally-renowned authority on the nursing of older people, person-centred nursing, and practice development. His seminal work, ‘Practice Development in Nursing’, explores the basis of practice development, its aims, implementation and impact on health care.

The Professor was appointed Head of Division of Nursing and Research Professor at QMU earlier this year, having left his post as Director of the Institute of Nursing and Health Research, and Head of the Person-centred Practice Research Centre, at the University of Ulster.

He brings a wealth of experience in academic leadership to his new role and his appointment underlines QMU’s commitment to its established international agenda and focus on research development.

Commenting on his RCN Fellowship award, Professor McCormack, said: “I’m really proud to have been awarded this honourable title from the UK’s official nursing industry body.

“Over the years, I have been keen to bring a different perspective to the professional development work of the RCN, enthusing QMU students and colleagues with passion for patients, so it’s hugely rewarding to have been recognised by my industry peers.”

In recognition of his continuing research commitments, he was awarded the status of ‘Senior Distinguished Research Fellow’ by the University of Ulster in 2011, and ‘Researcher Hall of Fame’ by Sigma Theta Tau International in 2014.

Professor McCormack was also recently named one of only 11 researchers in Irish universities on a list of the world’s top 3,000, compiled by the multinational media body, Thompson Reuters. Inclusion means that the research of each academic is listed in the top one per cent for the number of times their work has been cited by other scientists.

Those selected will also be published in a new book – the Thompson Reuters 2014 World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds. Inclusion in this publication means the researcher is among those ‘who are on the cutting edge of their fields. They are performing and publishing work that their peers recognise as vital to the advancement of their science.’

Professor McCormack is editor of the ‘International Journal of Older People Nursing’ and has more than 160 peer-reviewed publications, as well as eight books published. For the past five years Professor McCormack was also President of the All-Ireland Gerontological Nurses Association [AIGNA], Chairman of the charity ‘Age Northern Ireland’ and a Fellow/management committee member of The European Academy of Nursing Science.

Nursing has a long history at QMU and is one of the original subject areas which led to the creation of QMU as we know it today.

Over the years, the nursing portfolio has rapidly grown and today a number of nursing and nursing related courses are on offer. In addition to the BSc (Hons) Nursing programme, QMU offers a number of postgraduate and post-registration courses.

Lecturers teach across all courses and are constantly in contact with all levels of the nursing profession, which greatly benefits students. QMU also has important links with international nursing departments through staff exchanges.

For more information on annual RCN Awards and Fellowships, visit

Save our Chimneys!

(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?

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

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

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

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?

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

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

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.