Mar 272013

A Cat Amongst The Birds?

seafari explorer named

Colin Aston, Margaret Bisset & Tom Brock cut the ribbon

East Lothian FM popped down to the harbour in North Berwick this morning to join in the naming celebrations for the Scottish Seabird Centre’s new boat. The Seafari Explorer was officially named and launched by Mrs Margaret Bissett from Pencaitland. She won the Seabird Centre’s “Name The Boat” competition earlier in the year and was the first passenger on board.

Environment & Education Friendly

Seafari Explorer in North Berwick Harbour

Seafari Explorer in North Berwick Harbour

The Seafari Explorer is a 57 seat catamaran that was designed with the specific needs of the Scottish Seabird Centre at it’s core. The boat features solar panels to recharge the batteries and runs on fuel mixed with recycled cooking oil from the Seabird Centre’s cafe. The boat will run trips out to the islands of the Firth of Forth starting this Friday but will also double as a floating classroom during term time.

As well as seeing the islands and birds up close, Seafari Explorer will also give passengers a unique perspective of wildlife under the surface. The boat carries a “Remote Underwater Vehicle” or RUV, basically a remote controlled submarine that will send pictures back up to the surface for passengers to see on a big screen.

Tom Brock, Chief Executive of the Scottish Seabird Centre, said:

The new catamaran is the latest in a long tradition of trip boats from North Berwick. It represents a significant investment in tourism for both the town and East Lothian, and offers a wonderful opportunity to see our amazing local wildlife. With its strong environmental credentials, this fuel-efficient craft is a fantastic way of giving both locals and visitors a wildlife experience to remember in this Year of Natural Scotland. What’s more, the catamaran is suitable for people of all ages, so it’s a trip for the whole family to enjoy. We’re also immensely proud of the fact that schoolchildren will benefit from educational trips when the boat is used as a floating classroom.

Colin Aston, Managing Director of Seafari Adventures who run the Seabird Boat Trips in partnership with the Scottish Seabird Centre, said:

The new boat has taken time to come to fruition, but it has been worth every minute of hard work. We can now offer visitors a completely new boat trip experience, which will enable them to enjoy the wonders of the Firth of Forth at a leisurely pace and in comfort.

Seafari Explorer is the latest addition to a wide variety of popular wildlife boat trips offered by the Seabird Centre that include exciting RIB trips to the Bass Rock and exclusive landing trips to the Bass Rock as well as the Isle of May from North Berwick. All trips are accompanied by an experienced guide.


Mar 212013

Eastspace Mental Health Website LaunchAccessing East Lothian’s new mental health information website is a piece of cake!

One in four people will experience some form of mental health issue in their life and for many individuals and their families, it can be a lonely, frightening and worrying time.*

From today, (Thursday 21 March), residents living in East Lothian will be able to access information about local mental health and wellbeing services from a new website,

Jamie Morris from NHS Psychological Therapies commented:

If someone is worried about themselves or a friend or if they are a carer, a health professional or simply want to find out more about mental health and wellbeing services in the area, the website will signpost them to appropriate services and help them to make informed choices.

The website was developed by key partners: NHS Lothian, who fund the project; Health in Mind, who manage the website; East Lothian Council; CHANGES community health project and service users, their carers and workers.

Gary Smith from the CHANGES community health project said:

As well as helping people to make informed choices about treatment and care, the website can help someone to explore self-help opportunities and maintain their positive mental health and wellbeing.

The website Service Directory contains easily accessible information such as:

  • Contact numbers for anyone needing immediate help
  • A Service Directory highlighting  eighty-eight different, local organizations
  • Fact sheets covering a variety of topics from “Advocacy” to “Volunteering”
  • News, Events and Training opportunities
  • Self-help
  • Help for a Friend
  • Recovery
  • Optional e-bulletin.

Flora Sharp, Health in Mind Information Resource Worker is the website administrator and she commented:

The website will enable local people to access the information they need at a time and a place of their choosing.


*Figures from NHS Health Scotland – Scotland’s mental health first aid manual

Mar 202013

Shona McMillanEast Lothian FM is proud to announce the addition of Shona McMillan’s Celtic Reflections to our schedule.

Shona juggles work as a charity manager with a very varied freelance career in photo-journalism and music. She has been involved in many local and national projects that have earned her a string of awards.

It’s Shona’s musical interest that has brought her to ELFM. She names bands like the Waterboys and the Dubliners as influences and loves the sounds of Traditional musicians from the Shetlands, to Ireland and Cape Breton.

Tune in to Shona’s Celtic Reflections every Wednesday evening from 6pm.


Mar 202013

wpid-LBPolice.pngPolice in East Lothian are appealing for witnesses following a knifepoint robbery that happened at a newsagent in Musselburgh.

The incident happened around 6.20pm yesterday (Tuesday) at the Paperview Newsagent in North High Street.

The suspect entered the shop and threatened the shopkeeper with a knife, demanding that she open the till.  The shopkeeper refused, and the suspect left the shop.

He is described as 5ft 11ins tall, 20 to 30-years-old, slim build, with a sallow complexion.  He spoke with a foreign accent, possibly eastern European.  He was wearing a dark coloured hat, a white scarf over the lower part of his face, and a shiny royal blue tracksuit top and bottoms.

A police spokesman said:

While the shopkeeper wasn’t injured, she was understandably shaken as a result of her ordeal, and we are appealing to anyone who has any information that can help us trace the suspect to contact police.Anyone who was in the area of North High Street around the time of the incident, who noticed the suspect there, should get in touch.Likewise we would like to hear from anyone who recognises his description, or who has any other information that can assist our enquiries.

Anyone with information should contact police on 101, or make an anonymous report through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Mar 192013

wpid-LBPolice.pngPolice are warning shop owners in East Lothian to be vigilant following a number of incidents where counterfeit banknotes have been used at shops in Prestonpans and Tranent.

A total of 14 counterfeit notes have been passed to a variety of retailers in each town since Monday, March 4.  While some have been detected before a transaction has taken place, others have been successfully used to purchase goods.

The notes are described as Royal Bank of Scotland £20 and £10 notes.  The £20 notes all display the same serial number B/81 626676, while the £10 notes display the serial D/19 406339.

A Lothian and Borders Police spokesman said:

There is a significant difference in quality compared to genuine notes, nonetheless they have been successfully passed on a number of occasions, and we are warning shop owners and staff to be vigilant.

Looking at the paper quality, print quality metallic security thread and watermark are three simple ways of checking if a note is counterfeit.  Counterfeit banknote detection pens are available at low cost, and are easy to use.

If anyone suspects they have been handed a fake note, then they should seize it and contact the police.  It is a criminal offence to hold or pass a note that you know to be counterfeit.

Anyone who would like further crime prevention advice should contact their Local Community Officer, who will arrange a suitable appointment.

Anyone with any information about counterfeit notes being used in their area should contact police on 101, or make an anonymous report through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Mar 162013

wpid-LBPolice.pngPolice are appealing for information following a serious road collision that happened in North Berwick yesterday evening (Friday, March 15).

The incident happened around or before 9.30pm, on the unclassified road leading to Blackdykes Farm Cottages.

A red Mazda Premacy collided with a tree after leaving the road, and the 38-year-old driver suffered serious injuries.

He was taken to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, where he remains in a serious condition.

Police are appealing for anyone who saw the vehicle being driven in the North Berwick area prior to the collision to contact them on 101.