Local parliamentarians to host Macmillan coffee morning

The county’s MSP and MP are hosting an event at the Loch Centre in Tranent as part of this year’s Macmillan ‘World’s Biggest Coffee Morning’ campaign.

Iain Gray MSP and Martin Whitfield MP will host a coffee morning with the assistance of Loch Centre staff, who are long-term supporters of the high profile annual fundraising event.

The event will take place on the official Macmillan world’s biggest coffee morning day, Friday 28th September, from 10 am to 11:30 am.

Iain Gray MSP said:

I have always supported and helped promote Macmillan’s world’s biggest coffee morning, including organising my own event in the past. Staff at the Loch Centre have supported the campaign for many years too, so I’m delighted that we’re joining up with them to host an event this year.

It’s open to everyone and I would like to encourage local people to bring home baking or just come along to the event on 28th September. We want to raise as much money as possible for Macmillan and all contributions will be welcome.”

Martin Whitfield MP said:

Macmillan’s world’s biggest coffee morning has become well established as one of the highest profile fundraising campaigns on the annual charity calendar. It’s a cause everyone can get behind and I’m delighted to be working with Iain and Enjoyleisure to support it this year.

These events are a great opportunity for communities to come together to enjoy a cake and a coffee whilst also raising funds to support Macmillan’s vital work. I look forward to a good turnout and hopefully raising lots of money on 28th September.”

Macmillan Cancer Support has been running the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning for nearly 30 years and last year alone the campaign raised £27 million for the charity.

Anyone wishing to hold their own event in East Lothian can get advice and support from Macmillan. It couldn’t be more simple to get involved – all you need to do is get together with family, friends or colleagues over coffee and cake.

You can register now for your free fundraising pack via the website https://coffee.macmillan.org.uk/

April Canteen Street Food Festival @ Archerfield

How about having an AMAZING day of street food, music & fun at Archerfield Walled Garden?!

No booking required – £1 Adults, kids go free (dogs welcome)

April Trader Line-Up :

Chick & Pea (Middle Eastern)
Taste Like Crepe (Sweet Crepes)
Spice Pots (Indian)
Mac Shack (Mac n Cheese)
Sugar Daddys (Gluten Free Cakes)
Big Blu (Pizza)
Harajuku Kitchen (Japanese)
Mimis Bakehouse (Gourmet Toasties)
Fat Hippo (Burgers)
Hooked Street Food (Seafood)
Fizz Bar (Prosecco Bar)
Herringbone (Cocktails & Mocktails)
Archerfield Courtyard Bar (Craft Beers & Wines)

Fabulous February

January seemed to last forever what with FIVE Mondays and TWO full moons.

Thankfully, the shortest month is finally here and it’s going to be great!  Here’s why:

  • From 1st February, to celebrate the Year of Young People 2018, Historic Environment Scotland (HES) will be lowering drawbridges and opening gates to young people at historic sites across the country for the low price of £1 when presenting a Young Scot Card.
  • Throughout the month, Preston Lodge High School is having a ban on sugary drinks.  Look out for #ProudToBeFizzFree on Twitter.
  • Kitten Kaboodle is offering new customers in East Lothian 10% off their first cat sitting session until 11 Feb (quote “kitten” when you book).  Spaces are limited, so contact them now!
  • 1st of February is Time to Talk Day – a chance for all of us to be more open about mental health – to talk, to listen, to change lives.  Take a look at the Conversation Starter (pdf).
  • Life is nicer when you’re kind.  In February two years ago, a mystery person left cash to pay for a parking fine while the car owner was in Edinburgh’s Sick Kids. The recipient was so moved by this act of kindness that they paid the favour forward with a fundraising drive for the hospital.  That’s how kindness works, like a ripple in a pond.  Stuck for ideas?  Look here >> https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/kindness-ideas
  • Schools in East Lothian break up for half term on Friday 9th, returning Tuesday 20th.
  • 16th February marks Chinese New Year.  This year (along with 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994 & 2006) is Year of the Dog.  Click here for a review of The 10 Best Chinese Restaurants in East Lothian
  • The launch of new Pride for East Lothian takes place at Cockenzie House and Garden, on Saturday, February 17 from 11am – 7pm as part of LGBT History Month.
  • Shepherd House, Inveresk, will be part of The Snowdrop Festival on 24th and 25th February from 11 – 4 pm.  It will also be open 13th February – 6th March on Tuesdays & Thursdays from 2-4pm.
  • From 25th February, there will be improvements to East Coast bus services including additional services on the 107 (renumbered as X7) at peak times; the extension of the 106 service to Fort Kinnaird; and the introduction of the N113 NightHawk service to Ormiston.

As always there will be lots to see and do in the county.  Take a look through these East Lothian events:


Got something you want to share?  Get in touch

In Conversation with Prue Leith CBE

The TV personality, Prue Leith, is to be interviewed in front of a public audience at a special event at Queen Margaret University.

The star of the Great British Bake Off, who was officially installed as Chancellor of Queen Margaret University (QMU) in July this year, will discuss her fascinating career as a TV personality, novelist, cookery expert and entrepreneur. She will also reveal her interest in food and diet, education and the arts, and the rights of people who are near end of life.

‘In Conversation with Prue Leith’ is part of Queen Margaret University’s programme of public engagement work and the staff look forward to welcoming visitors from Edinburgh and the Lothians to this one-off event.

Prue Leith CBE took over the role of Chancellor from entrepreneur, Sir Tom Farmer, who served as the University’s Founding Chancellor from 2007 until 2016. Prue has become a household name in recent years due to her regular appearances on TV. Up until 2016, she spent 11 years as a judge on BBC 2’s cooking contest programme ‘Great British Menu’. She now stars on prime time TV alongside Paul Hollywood, as the new judge on the popular amateur cooking show ‘The Great British Bake Off’.

The TV personality has an impressive track record as an entrepreneur, having successfully built a catering business from scratch in the 1960s which grew to become Leith’s Good Food, the party and event caterer. In 1969, she opened Leith’s, her famous Michelin starred restaurant, and, in 1975, founded Leith’s School of Food and Wine which trains professional chefs and amateur cooks. Today, Leith’s has catering contracts at the most prestigious venues, including at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC)

In more recent years, Prue has mainly worked as a novelist and journalist.  She has just finished her eighth novel and an updated edition of her autobiography ‘Relish: My Life on a Plate’ has just been published. She contributes regularly to national newspapers and magazines, such as the Spectator, writing on various topics.

Dr Richard Butt, Deputy Principal at QMU, said: “We are delighted that Prue has agreed to give us an insight into her life and we are pleased to be able to welcome the community to our ‘In Conversation’ event. Prue has made a significant contribution to the food and hospitality landscape of the UK – helping to identify and nurture young culinary talent and promote good food health for all. Aside from her success as a culinary expert, she has also lent her voice to campaigns which highlight issues of care for older people and the rights of people who are dying.”

Prue will be interviewed by Stan Blackley, who is Programme Leader and Lecturer on QMU’s MSc in Gastronomy. QMU is the first and only University in the UK to offer a Masters course in Gastronomy, a course that takes a multi-disciplinary look at how food features in and shapes our lives and the world around us.

‘In Conversation with Prue Leith CBE’ will take place on Wednesday 29th November at 6pm (doors open 5.30pm) in the Halle Lecture Theatre at Queen Margaret University. It is anticipated that places for this event will be in high demand so booking is essential. Please email PublicLectures@qmu.ac.uk to book a place or complete the booking form at https://www.qmu.ac.uk/conferences-and-events/in-conversation-with-prue-leith-cbe/

Event visitors are invited to join Prue and QMU guests for tea and coffee at a short reception following the talk.

Queen Margaret University to stage November Community Forum

People living in the surrounding communities of East Lothian and Edinburgh are invited to Queen Margaret University (QMU) to get an insight into the institution’s work.

QMU will host its Community Forum of this year at its Musselburgh campus in East Lothian on Monday 21st November from 6.30pm – 7.45pm. The QMU Community Forum brings together university staff, local residents, businesses, organisations, schools and council representatives twice a year to discuss university and local community issues.

Local people will have the opportunity to ask questions about the University and find out how it works with the community through its students, staff, commercial work and widening participation initiatives.

Speakers at the event will include Professor Chris McVittie, Director of the Centre for Applied Social Sciences, who will discuss student participation in QMU’s Volunteering and Community Engagement module.

Professor Petra Wend, Principal of Queen Margaret University, said: “The QMU Community Forum creates a link between local people in and around East Lothian, Edinburgh and the University and is part of our community engagement strategy. The event attracts interest from local residents, councillors and representatives from community groups and offers an excellent platform for local information exchange. It also provides an insight into how the university’s students and staff contribute to the community and opportunities for local people to engage in our activities such as public events, open days, drama projects and community/outreach initiatives.”

QMU is open to the local community throughout the year, providing a range of public facilities, including learning resources, gym and sports centre, café, restaurant and grounds for leisure activities and dog-walking. Local residents should keep a close eye on QMU’s Facebook and Twitter channels which often promote opportunities for the community to engage with the university through public events and research projects.

For more information and to register for the QMU Community Forum, contact Lynne Russell, Communications Manager, Marketing & Communications Office, QMU, T: 0131 474 0000, E: lrussell@qmu.ac.uk

SESplan Proposed Strategic Development Plan Publication – 13 October to 24 November 2016

SESplan, the Strategic Development Planning Authority for the Edinburgh and south east Scotland region has published the Proposed Strategic Development Plan. This is key step in replacing the current Strategic Development Plan of 2013 and is the final opportunity for
comments to be made.

The Proposed Strategic Development Plan deals with a range of strategic planning issues including housing, transport and green infrastructure for a twenty year period beginning in 2018. Its role will be to guide Local Development Plans produced by Local Authorities in the future.

Comments, known as representations, can be made on the Proposed Strategic Development Plan for a six week period between Thursday 13 October and Thursday 24 November 2016.

Representations should be made in writing and submitted using SESplan’s consultation portal: sesplan-consult.objective.co.uk. In line with government guidelines, representations should set out the specific changes you think should be made to the plan along with a justification for such changes. Representations should be limited to 2,000 words per issue, though you are welcome to submit representations on more than one issue.

The Proposed Strategic Development Plan can be read and downloaded online at www.sesplan.gov.uk or paper copies can be read at libraries and planning offices within the region.

SESplan will also be running a series of public events where you can find out more about the Proposed Strategic Development Plan. These will be held on the following dates:

  •  Monday 24 October, City Chambers, Dunfermline
  •  Wednesday 26 October, Lasswade Centre, Bonnyrigg
  •  Thursday 3 November, West Lothian Civic Centre, Livingston
  •  Monday 7 November, City Chambers, Edinburgh
  •  Wednesday 9 November, The Brunton, Musselburgh
  •  Thursday 10 November, Council Headquarters, Newtown St. Boswells

Each event will be open from 3pm to 6.30pm on a drop-in basis when anyone can come along to discuss the plan without prior arrangement. From 6.30pm there will be a presentation and Q&A session. For the presentation sessions spaces may be limited, so please let SESplan know if you are wishing to come along using the contact details below.

More information on the Proposed Strategic Development Plan and supporting documents, events and making a representation can be found on the SESplan website www.sesplan.gov.uk.

If you would like to contact SESplan about the plan, events or for any other information, you can email contactus@sesplan.gov.uk, call on 01506 282883 or write to them at SESplan, Second Floor, West Lothian Civic Centre, Howden South Road, Livingston EH54 6FF.

QMU to offer sustainability campus tours during Climate Week 2016

Queen Margaret University in Musselburgh, East Lothian, will be offering special sustainability tours of its campus from 19th – 23rd September as part of its participation in Climate Week 2016.

The University’s innovative campus set a new benchmark in sustainable design when it opened in 2007. The tours will allow students, staff and visitors to see the University’s sustainable features at QMU’s campus, including areas that are not normally accessible, such as the biomass district heating energy centre. Tour guests will also have the opportunity to learn about the University’s sustainability practice and features, as well as its aspirations for its Climate Change Plan.

As keen promoters of green transport, the University is also inviting staff, students and members of the local community to take part in cycling events during Climate Week. A cycle ride through Musselburgh and East Lothian led by QMU’s Cycle Connections Active Travel Coordinator (23rd September), and a Bike Breakfast (23rd September) will encourage people to swap their cars and public transport for the healthier and more sustainable option of pedal power.

atrium3Craig Cathcart, Chair of the Sustainability Committee at Queen Margaret University, said: “QMU is totally committed to sustainability and our focus goes well beyond the physical building – our campus was recognised as an exemplar in sustainability within the higher education sector nationally and internationally when it was built in 2007. Now, QMU places sustainability at the heart of everything we do. We take a joined up, holistic approach to the social, environmental and economic dimensions of sustainability. We want future generations to inherit a viable planet, and that is reflected in what we do, how we do it, and the partners across the globe with whom we work. However, we recognise there is much more to be done.”

QMU strives to embed sustainability in areas of its curriculum. For example, students on the Public Sociology degree take the ‘Changing World’ module, taught by Eurig Scandrett, which involves studying the United Nations policy for tackling climate change. A module in Sustainable Consumption is also studied by students on our Physical Activity, Health and Wellbeing degree, and our Nutrition and Food Science degree.

Craig continued: “ We know that climate change is one of the most serious problems facing the world today. At our current rate of emissions of greenhouse gases, the world is likely to see increasing frequency of drought, storms, floods and disease. Moreover, most of the damage to the climate which has already happened is caused by us in ‘developed’, western, societies. We all share a responsibility to do what we can to reduce our impact significantly. Climate Week provides a great opportunity to engage the student community in QMU’s sustainability agenda. We also welcome people from the surrounding area and beyond to visit QMU during the week and take part in our sustainability tours and our other related activities.”

Sustainability Campus Tour will take place each day from 19th – 23rd September at 11.15am and 2.15pm. Bookings can be made by emailing E: ethoumire@qmu.ac.uk

Other sustainability activities include:

  • Bike Breakfast – Friday 23rd September (meet at 8.15am – 9.15am in 1875 food court – registration required)
  • Led Ride – cycle ride in local Musselburgh and East Lothian area led by our Cycle Connections Active Travel Coordinator – Friday 23 Sept (meet at 1pm in University Square at the Bike Racks )
  • Active Travel Plan Strategy consultation events on our revised and updated strategy – Tuesday 20th and Thursday 22nd September from 11am – 3pm. Meet in 1875 food court.

East Coast Buses Roadshow

Want to find out more about EastCoastbuses? The team is coming to several towns in East Lothian on Saturday 13th August to answer your questions. Why not come along and get the latest information on the new services to North Berwick and Dunbar?

They will be at the following locations:

Dunbar, High Street: 13th August between 9am and 11.30am

Haddington, outside Corn Exchange: 13th August between 12pm and 3pm 

North Berwick, Church Road: 13th August between 10am and 4pm