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Haddington Twinning Association Bulletin Board

Sir Walter Scott’s Abbotsford is one of the most famous houses in the world.

Uncategorised Posted on Sat, February 20, 2021 14:04:04

Standing on the banks of the River Tweed, Abbotsford was Sir Walter Scott’s creation and, after his death in 1832, somewhere visited by millions. It was built on the proceeds of a phenomenally successful literary career, and Scott became determined to keep it in his family as he worked to pay off huge debts after near bankrupcy in 1825. Abbotsford is an enduring monument to the tastes, talents and personal tragedies of its creator.

Scott was an obsessive collector of books, artefacts, weaponary and more, much of which can still be seen in the Abbotsford Collections.

But his home was his most treasured possession, its architecture and interior design made it an iconic building of the 19th century Scottish Baronial style, and it still remains a key site in the history of European Romanticism.

Haddington Group visiting 5 years ago.
Face mask of Mary Queen of Scots – for those with a keen eye.
Tapestries & paintings.
Sir Walter Scott. 1771 – 1832

Scott was born in Edinburgh’s Old Town in 1771. His father was a successful lawyer, his mother the daughter of a Professor of Medicine at Edinburgh University. He was descended from some of the oldest families of the Scottish Borders, and after suffering polio in 1773, was sent to his grandfather’s farm at Sandyknowe in Roxburghshire, below the historic Borders keep of Smailholm and looking over the Eildon Hills. Living there until 1775, and listening to stories from his grandfather and others, the young Scott developed his life-long love of Border history and folklore.

Smailholm Tower. [ Exhibition of Miniature Dolls ]

On returning to Edinburgh, he attended the High School and Edinburgh University. In 1792, he became an Advocate, and was appointed Sheriff-Depute of Selkirkshire in 1799. This allowed him to travel across Scotland in search of history and material to use in his poetry and fiction, eventually publishing his monumental Minstrelsy of the Scottish Borders in 1802.

It was in the Borders that Scott was happiest and, after initially renting a cottage at Lasswade, he and his wife Charlotte moved into a more substantial country house at Ashestiel near Selkirk in 1804. It was there that he wrote the great epic poems The Lay of the Last Minstrel [ 1805 ] , Marmion [ 1808] and the Lady of the Lake [ 1810 ] With his fame, fortune and family growing, Scott turned to creating Abbotsford, which was completed in 1824.

Photographs by Irene Higgenbotham, taken on a visit to Abbotsford in 2015.



Snowy Haddington 12th February 2021 – for all our friends near and far.

Uncategorised Posted on Sat, February 13, 2021 13:32:36
Lady Kitty’s Do’cot & Petanque area – Ball Alley – Haddington.
The Haugh – River Tyne – Haddington.
A seat to admire the snow @ White Bridge – River Tyne – Haddington.
The White Bridge – River Tyne – Haddington.
St. Mary’s Parish Church – Haddington.
Nungate Bridge – Ball Alley – Haddington.
The Haugh – River Tyne – Haddington.
Robert Burn’s mother’s Well – near Haddington.
thro’ the woods to Robert Burn’s mother’s Well – with river Tyne & Haddington on horizon.
Court Street – Haddington.
West Church – Court Street, Haddington.

Photographs – Irene Higgenbotham. Keep warm & stay safe. 13th February 2021



Haddington in snow- winter 2009 / 10

Uncategorised Posted on Tue, February 09, 2021 09:38:56

When Haddington was covered in snow for several weeks. Today we have similar snowfall, but today I’m posting photos of Haddington in 2009/10

Victoria Bridge & Bermaline Mill.
Court Street Haddington – with County Buildings.
Court Street.
Snow plough in Court Street.
Around river Tyne, with Nungate Bridge on left.
Lady Kitty’s Garden & Do’cote from Nungate Bridge
Knox Institute, now Knox Court.
Haddington Town Hall
St. Mary’s Parish Church.
Waterside Bistro next to Poldrate Mill.
In 2021 River Tyne taken last week.
St. Mary’s Parish Church – photo taken last week.

Photographs- Irene Higgenbotham 9th Feburary



Burn’s Celebration Evening Friday 29th January 2021

Uncategorised Posted on Sat, January 30, 2021 13:38:28
” Absolutely fantastic night to celebrate Robert Burn’s Birthday. Nearly 90 people from both Aubigny and Haddington turned up and celebrated together with a wee dram or a nice glass of wine.
The evening was punctuated with speeches and poems translated in both languages as well as some delightful live music from Gullane Ceildh Band.
We are thankful to Mme Pais [ Consule Generale de France a Edimbourg et Glasgow ] , Mme Renier [ Maire de Aubigny sur Nere ] and Mr. McMillan [ East Lothian Provost ] for their participation in the celebrations.
Above – Mme Pais [ Console General ]
Above – Mr. & Mrs John McMillan and Martine Destenave who recited Burn’s Poem My Love is like a Red Red Rose.
Mme Isobel Vivet – Chairperson of Aubigny Jumelage.
above – Mme Laurence Renier [ Maire d’Aubigny ] & Phillipa Ramsdem who recited Tae a Mozzie.

Special thanks to all that contributed, participated and made this evening a success. Despite the current restrictions on both sides of the Channel, we are keeping the link between our two towns and countries very much alive.

Gilles Charbonnier – Chairperson Haddington Twinning.

Photographs – Gilles Charbonnier. 29th January 2021



History of Robert Burns poem ” To a Mouse ” 1785

Uncategorised Posted on Mon, January 25, 2021 09:15:54

” To a Mouse ” , on turning her up in her Nest with his Plough, November 1785.

A Poem written by Robert Burns, and was included in the Kilmarnock volume and all of the Poet’s later other editions, such as the Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect [ Edinburgh Edition ] According to legend, Burns was ploughing in the fields and accidentally destroyed a mouse’s nest, which it needed to survive the winter. In fact, Burn’s brother Gilbert claimed that the Poet composed the poem while still holding his plough.

The Original Scots { 1st Verse }

Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim’rous beastie,

O, what a pannic’s in thy breastie!

Thou need na start awa sae hasty,

Wi’ bickering brattle!

I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee,

Wi’ murd’ring prattle!

English translation { 1st Verse }

Little, cunning, cowering , timourous beast,

Oh, what a panic is in your breast!

You need not start away so hasty,

With bickering prattle,

I would loath to run and chase you,

With murdering paddle.

{ 7 more verses }

Artwork – Calligraphy – Irene Higgenbotham.



In Memory of John Stewart – Past President Haddington Twinning – 1987 – 1990 by Jean-Charles Garnon.

Uncategorised Posted on Thu, January 21, 2021 09:46:48

I met John when he was the Haddington Twinning President , between 1987 – 90 . He came to Aubigny in March 1989 , as related in the Press cuttings . At that time, I was Secretary of Aubigny Twinning [ ATA ] Soon after that the newly elected Mayor, Yves Fromion , said he would no longer be the A.T.A President. This is how I became the first A.T.A. elected President , in June 1989. John Stewart could not attend the Bicententary Celebrations in July 1989 but he and I jointly celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the twinning in Haddington . I have quite a lot of good memories and photographs of the events in Aubigny.

By Jean- Charles Garnon. 20th January 2021.



Dr. David John Stewart

Uncategorised Posted on Thu, January 14, 2021 10:24:39

4th June 1931 – 1st January 2021

It is with sadness that Haddington Twinning reports the passing of Past President 1980 – 90 , and sends our sympathy to all his family.

STEWART David (Insch)
Peacefully, at home with his family, on New Year’s Day, 2021, Dr David John Stewart, aged 89 years. Beloved husband of Marjun, dear father of Iain, Graham, Neil and Kenneth and a much loved father-in-law, grandfather (Abbi), great-grandfather and uncle. Funeral private due to current restrictions. Family flowers only please, however, donations may be given to Marie Curie Nurses in memory of John via Craig & Beverly Funeral Directors.



Haddington Twinning are celebrating Robert Burns with a Zoom event on Friday 29 January at 18.15 for 18.30. We are delighted that friends from the Aubigny Twinning Association will join us, as well as a few special guests. After a welcome by our Chairperson and our Aubigny friends, we will listen to a couple of readings of Burns poetry – one in French and one in Scots. We will also enjoy a couple of musical interludes and finish off with a wee dram of whisky to toast our national bard. Following the entertainment there will be an opportunity to chat with our friends from Aubigny … and possibly share another wee dram? If you would like to join us please contact Secretary@haddingtontwinning.org.uk to receive the Zoom invite & programme for the event.

Uncategorised Posted on Tue, January 12, 2021 09:33:22


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