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Haddington Twinning Association Bulletin Board

Previous Students Exchanges .

General Posted on Mon, April 29, 2019 19:21:30

As we welcomed our latest Student Oceane Millett from Aubigny -on Saturday, 27th April, here are some photos of previous Students, either from Aubigny or Haddington.


If you have any photograph you would like to share, please get in touch !

Irene Higgenbotham.



Autumn Walk on 11th Oct 2018

General Posted on Thu, October 11, 2018 11:29:34

Around River Tyne……..

Oriental [ Japanese ] Garden…..

Neilson Park………

Pavillon – Neilson Park…….

Nursery / school childrens’ handywork in trees, Neilson Park.

Wild Flower Garden – Pavillon – Neilson Park.



Our girl Marine Baron from Aubigny visits Holyrood Palace & Edinburgh fringe. 11th August 2018.

General Posted on Sat, August 11, 2018 16:34:06


The Palace of Holyroodhouse commonly referred to as Holyrood Palace, is the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland, Queen Elizabeth II. Located at the bottom of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, at the opposite end to Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace has served as the principal residence of the Kings and Queens of Scots since the 16th century, and is a setting for state occasions and official entertaining.

Queen Elizabeth spends one week in residence at Holyrood Palace at the beginning of each summer, where she carries out a range of official engagements and ceremonies. The 16th century Historic Apartments of Mary, Queen of Scots and the State Apartments, used for official and state entertaining, are open to the public throughout the year, except when members of the Royal Family are in residence.


The Palace of Holyroodhouse, along with Buckingham Palace Garden and Windsor Castle, was excavated on 25–28 August 2006 as part of a special edition of Channel 4’s archaeology series Time Team. The archaeologists uncovered part of the cloister of Holyrood Abbey, running in line with the existing abbey ruins, and a square tower associated with the 15th-century building works of James IV was discovered. The team failed to locate evidence of the real tennis court used by Queen Mary to the north of the palace, as the area had been built over in the 19th century. An area of reddened earth was discovered, which was linked with the Earl of Hertford’s burning of Holyrood during the Rough Wooing of 1544. Among the objects found were a seal matrix used to stamp the wax seal on correspondence or documents,[19] and a French double tournois coin, minted by Gaston d’Orleans in 1634.[20]
The ruins of the Augustinian Holyrood Abbey

The ruined Augustinian Holyrood Abbey that is sited in the grounds was founded in 1128 at the order of King David I of Scotland. The name derives either from a legendary vision of the cross witnessed by David I, or from a relic of the True Cross known as the Holy Rood or Black Rood, and which had belonged to Queen Margaret, David’s mother.[21] As a royal foundation, and sited close to Edinburgh Castle, it became an important administrative centre. A Papal legate was received here in 1177, while in 1189 a council of nobles met to discuss a ransom for the captive king, William the Lion. Robert the Bruce held a parliament at the abbey in 1326, and by 1329 it may already have been in use as a royal residence. In 1370, David II became the first of several Kings of Scots to be buried at Holyrood. Not only was James II born at Holyrood in 1430, it was at Holyrood that he was crowned, married and laid to rest. James III and Margaret of Denmark were married at Holyrood in 1469. The early royal residence was in the abbey guesthouse, which most likely stood on the site of the present north range of the palace, west of the abbey cloister.



Sentry Box at Palace.
Lunch at the ” Fringe ”

On way home to Haddington.

Photographs Irene Higgenbotham – 11th August 2018



Wildlife near & around Haddington . 1st August 2018.

General Posted on Wed, August 01, 2018 15:36:23


Lennoxlove – Haddington.

The origins of Lennoxlove date back to 1345 when an estate called Lethington was purchased by Robert Maitland, Thirlestone, the Maitland family tree have links back to both William the Conqueror, and at some point in mid 1300s and early 1400s they built a large three storey tower house which they called Lethington Tower.

Lethington Tower would have been surrounded by a walled courtyard, in which ranges of other buildings would have stood. In the 1540s Lethington Tower was attacked and badly damaged by invading English forces, during the Henry V111’s ” rough wooing ” of Mary Queen of Scots, intended to gain Scottish agreement to her marriage to Henry’s son Edward. It was subsequently repaired by Sir Richard Maitland. His son, William Maitland served as Secretary of State to Mary, Queen of Scots and played a role in the murder of Mary’s secretary, David Rizzio by her husband Lord Darnley.

The walled garden and surroundings Lennoxlove House.

The famous Walled garden at Lennoxlove, and an abundance of wildlife to be found.


Robin redbreast – Robins breed throughout the British Isles and are common visitors in our gardens and can be quite tame as you can see in my photographs.

Photos – Irene Higgenbotham.

A haven for Bumble Bees.

Most Bumble Bees are social insects that form colonies with a single queen. The colonies are smaller than those of honey bees, growing as 50 individuals in a nest. Female Bumble Bees can sting repeatedly, but generally ignore humans and other animals. Cuckoo Bumble Bees do not make nests : their queens aggressively invade the other nests of other Bumble Bee species, kill the resident queens and then lay there own eggs, which are cared for by the resident workers, thats the way to do it !!!!

Like their relatives the honeybees, Bumble Bees feed on nectar, using their long hairy tongues to lap up the liquid, then add it to the stores in the nest, and pollen to feed their young. They forage using colour to identify flowers to feed from.

Bumble Bees are important agricultural pollenators, so their decline in Europe, North America and Asia is acause for concern. The decline has been caused by the loss of habitat, the mechanism of agriculture, and pesticides.

View looking south from Lennoxlove House.

And Peacock Butterflies –

The peacock is a common sight in gardens in the UK and with quite spectacular eyes on the upperside of the hindwings that gives this butterfly its name. These eyes must appear very threatening to predators, such as mice, that confront this butterfly head on. where the body forming a ” beak ” , as shown in image above.

This butterfly is able to make a hissing sound by rubbing its wings together that can be heard by human ears.

The Cabbage white…..
is the UK’s most common butterfly, seen absolutely everywhere……the enemy of all gardeners.


Photos by Irene Higgenbotham.
The Red Admiral……….is a frequent visitor to gardens throughout the British Isles and one of our most well known butterflies, its markings are unmistakable with velvety black wings intersected by striking red bands. This butterfly is a migrant to our shores, as most individuals are unable to survive our winter, especially in the cooler regions of the British Isles.

Lennoxlove House.

Posted – Irene Higgenbotham – 1st August 2018.



Beautiful Belhaven Bay – 5th July 2018

General Posted on Thu, July 05, 2018 15:29:45


The Bridge Over Biel Water in Belhaven Bay [ near Dunbar ]

The Biel Water is a small river running through the village of Biel to the south of Dunbar, in Scotland. It runs for 4.5 kilometers from the Luggate Burn and the Whittinghame Water, through the village and finally to Belhaven Bay. Just before it empties into the North Sea, the river – actually a small stream – flows under a short footbridge. At low tide, it’s possible to walk over the bridge, crossing the stream and onto sands that lay beyond. However, when the tide comes in, the bridge gets submerged and appears to be stranded in the middle of the sea serving no obvious purpose to surprised onlookers.

Photographing the bridge at high tide is hence a favorite activity among tourists and beach goers. Belhaven Bay itself is a beautiful beach, located within the John Muir Country Park, in one of the sunniest part of Scotland. The beach stretches from Belhaven to the north of the River Tyne. It is fringed by low, sheltering sand dunes, rich salt marsh and colourful grasslands, and is ideal for walking, having picnics and sunbathing and affords splendid views across the Forth Estuary.

Biggest Northern gannet colony in the world

The Bass Rock is home to over 150,000 gannets at the peak of the season. The gannets spend most of the year on the Bass, until the end of October when they set out on their long journey south, with many going as far as the west coast of Africa.

The lower ledges of the Bass are home to shags, guillemots and razorbills, with seals hauling up on the rocks below.

The Bass Rock was formed 320 million years ago and is the remains of one of many active volcanoes in the area. With an incredible past, it has played a key role throughout the history of Scotland – a religious retreat during early Christianity; fortress and prison in the time of the Covenanters and Jacobites; and a strategic stronghold during the times of the Scottish and English wars. Notably it has been owned by the Hamilton-Dalrymple family for the last 300 years.
See surfers in background.

Photographs Irene Higgenbotham. 2018



With Wimbledon only a few days away – a small insight to Tennis in Haddington.

General Posted on Fri, June 29, 2018 14:12:17

When I was a little girl in Haddington, I joined the Tennis Club on Glebe Terrace, but it was known as Florabank tennis court. The Subscription for a child was £2:00 per annum…..I remember having to do chores to earn this amount.

Below is photo of Morag Wallace on these courts…….. which eventually made way for the new houses at Herdmanflatt.


Below is photo of tennis courts in Neilson Park after WW2…….
See Pavillon in background, with the “Parkie’s ” house on left of photo.

This photo is opening of new tennis courts in 1955 with Provost R.J. Fortune doing the needful, with Willie Hands on the right.

Bringing you right up-to-date – here are a few members of todays Haddington Tennis Club….. a well used and thiving club.

Anyone for a game ?

With thanks to Irene Clark [ for above two photographs ] …….

Irene Higgenbotham June 2018



Anyone for Tennis? Tennis in Haddington.

General Posted on Fri, June 29, 2018 13:07:00

West Mills, Haddington – which sported a large tennis court for its employees.

Sorry for quality of photograph………Tennis Courts – West Mills.

Some tennis players – two men are Alex Cook & James Denholm- Lady in middle Janet Bathgate.

James Denholm and Wee Willie Smith [ as opposed to ” Darkie ” and ” Cropper ” Smith ] gave a lot of tuition to the new generations of players on the tennis court and were enthusiastic organisers of tournaments and matches which were played for medals.

The tennis court was complemented by another pretty garden at the east end of West Mill [ the Japanese Garden ] on either side of the lade, joined by a bridge known as the Fairy Bridge. It was a real pleasure to all the community to walk around the river and have a seat in these very pleasant surroundings.

Memory from – Weaving the Story.


Irene Higgenbotham – 29th June 2018.



Robert Burn’s bother Gilberts’ association with Haddington.

General Posted on Tue, June 05, 2018 19:40:35

Gilbert Burns was born in 1760, younger brother of Robert Burns . Robert was their oldest child and as there were only twenty months between the brothers they probably remained close friends all their lives. The brothers were schooled together from a young age, went on to work together as tenant farmers, and Gilbert helped Robert with his book sales. Robert died in 1796 and in 1800 Gilbert moved from Ayrshire, with his large family, to Morham, near Haddington in East Lothian. He worked as the estate manager to Captain John Dunlop. Presumably the position was given to Gilbert because Robert was an acquaintance of the captain’s mother, Frances Dunlop of Dunlop in Ayrshire. In 1804 Gilbert was then appointed as factor to the Lennoxlove Estate in Haddington by Lord Blantyre. His annual salary was £140. He moved into a two storey thatched house at Grant’s Brae on the Haddington to Bolton road with his wife Jean Breckenridge, with whom he had eleven children. It was a busy house as his widowed mother and sister Annabella also lived there! Their house is no longer there, a monument now stands in its place.
See photographs………

Gilbert Burns was a well-known figure around Haddington and in 1808 he became an elder of St Mary’s Church in Haddington. He died on 8th April 1827 aged 67 and is buried in Bolton churchyard, East Lothian. He erected a tombstone in this graveyard to the memory of some of his children, his mother and his sister. His son Gilbert left money in his will that was to be used to enclose and maintain his father’s burial place.


Photographs – Irene Higgenbotham – 5th June 2018.



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