Jul 282015

Local support helps raise funds to help save lives at sea.

A week of events organised by the North Berwick and Gullane fundraising branch of the RNLI and the volunteer crew received tremendous support from local businesses as well as members of the public.

RNLI Ducks at North Berwick

RNLI Ducks at North Berwick

On Sunday (19th) 500 RNLI ducks were released into the old boating pond in North Berwick. After a windblown race a winner was chosen and one lucky person won £100, and the even raised over £900 for the RNLI.

On Thursday (23rd) twenty three teams of Golfers took to Gullane golf courses’ numbers two and three for the annual RNLI Gullane Golf Triam together raising over £1600.

And on Saturday (25th) the Lifeboat crew held their annual lifeboat fete raising over £2000. A parade of emergency services and classic cars lead by North Berwick Pipe band through the high street kicked things off.

The Fete was opened by Sir Hew Dalrymple and the Lifeboat Queen Katie Johnston and her attendants Amy Watson and Amy Cockburn were crowned by Helen Hanson trustee of the Miss Evelyn M Murdoch Charitable Trust. Local business contributed prizes for the raffle or brought their own stall along. Thousands of fete goers passed through and were treated to aerobatics displays and a flyby from the Red Arrows.

The crew were called away from clearing up after the fete as their pagers were set off by the Coastguard. The volunteer crew launched to assist Dunbar Lifeboat towing a fishing vessel with a fowled propeller into North Berwick. The tow was transferred to North Berwick lifeboat and the casualty vessel secured alongside so that the propeller could be freed and the vessel continue on their way.

Chairman of the North Berwick and Gullan Fundraising branch, Peter Hammond said: “The generosity shown by members of the local community was as usual second to none and we can’t thank everyone who supported us enough. No matter how big or small, your donation can make a huge difference to the RNLI.”

Lifeboat Operations Manager Stewart Auld said: “Local support for the RNLI is vital to enable the crew here in North Berwick to continue to launch to those in difficulty at sea.” Funds are used to ensure the correct equipment is on station (the cost of a crewmembers kit in 2014 was £1678) and to fund training new and existing crewmembers (annual cost of £1527).

Apr 082015

With East Lothian this year playing host to a number of major golfing tournaments, Angela Leitch, Chief Executive of East Lothian Council, welcomed two notable trophies to the County earlier this week.

Having already hosted an SGU Junior Tour U18’s event at Longniddry last month, Dunbar is this week hosting the Scottish Boys Championship, with 246 competitors competing in match play format for the prestigious national title.

Former Ryder Cup player Andrew Coltart is a past winner of the event at Dunbar and has fond memories of his exciting final win in 1987 which went to an extra hole.

‘Scotland’s Golf Coast’ is also hosting the first qualifying event for the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at North Berwick the week before the European Tour event is played over Gullane in July. Later in July, the Fairstone Scottish Amateur Championship is being held at Muirfield for the first time since 1968.

In August, the Scottish Senior Open at Archerfield Links completes an exciting spell of golf in East Lothian – the first time that the region has attracted this event.

Leitch said: “It was great to see the Scottish Boys Championship in full swing in a sunny Dunbar. I’m sure the many players enjoyed the challenge of the course and the stunning setting.

“I was also delighted to be there to welcome the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open trophy to East Lothian. Golf is so important to this county and we have the well-deserved title of ‘Scotland’s Golf Coast’.

“It’s going to be another great year for us, with major championships taking place on our great courses and a huge economic boost to our area, with so many visitors expected. East Lothian is well and truly on the map as a leading destination for the world’s golfing community.”

Photo: (l to r) Angela Leitch Chief Executive East Lothian Council, Jacky Montgomery Director of Golf Dunbar Golf Club, Daniel Sommerville Events Manager SGU, Gael Pollitt Captain Dunbar Golf Club

Mar 312015

Centrepiece ChoirA dementia friendly choir in North Berwick has been given a funding boost of £5,000.

Centrepiece Choir, which is part of North Berwick Day Care Association, was started two years ago by people with dementia and their friends who wanted to sing and perform, with money from a local Trust fund.

The choir have already performed a programme of successful events, and practice weekly in the local church hall under the direction of gifted choir master Andrew Brown. The choir themselves decide what they would like to sing, and where they would like to go to perform, and are supported by community volunteers who organise the music, venues, transport and outfits.

The funding will allow this community of interest to continue to come together, to meet in a familiar group with like-minded people who enjoy singing and performing in a dementia friendly space, and entertain their local community.

Funding has come from the Life Changes Trust, an independent charity set up with a Big Lottery Fund endowment of £50 million to improve the lives of two key groups in Scotland: people affected by dementia and care experienced young people. The Trust will be investing £3million in 14 different dementia friendly communities over the next three years.

Valerie MacAdam, one of the choir organisers and a member herself, said,

This funding is very important to our choir. Activities like singing help people rediscover old skills, build confidence and have fun. Over the years, many people in the choir have had dementia but they really enjoy singing because, for them, the memory of singing has stayed long after everything else goes. Our choir will continue to build on the positive outcomes that the power of music, and being part of a community can bring to people with dementia.’
Elma Danks, Chair of the North Berwick Day Centre Management Committee and also a choir member said, ‘It gives them huge pleasure and you can see such a positive change in their appearance each time you meet them and they have sung. They really enjoy entertaining others because they feel they are still able to give back, they are contributing, and taking part.

Anna Buchanan, Director of the Life Changes Trust dementia programme said

Many people living with dementia stop taking part in activities that may have given them great pleasure in the past, or which allowed them to mix with their peers. Initiatives like these bring people together in a dementia friendly community of interest where they have opportunities to be part of something that is meaningful to them. This is a self-directed group who make decisions about what they do and how they do it. This funding will support them to continue to be empowered to do the things they love and make decisions about their own activities.

In Scotland:

  • It is estimated that around 90,000 people have dementia
  • The number of people with dementia in Scotland is increasing, because the population is getting older. Based on current dementia prevalence rates, the number of people with dementia in Scotland is projected to double by 2038*.
  • Much of that financial burden falls on family carers and friends, who may also experience social isolation, exhaustion and health problems associated with the demands of caring.
  • Dementia costs the country more than cancer, heart disease and stroke put together.

The Life Changes Trust is committed to funding and supporting the development of Dementia Friendly Communities across Scotland and to supporting transformational improvements in the quality of life, well-being, empowerment and inclusion of people affected by dementia – both those who have dementia and those who care for them.

Find out more at www.lifechangestrust.org.uk.

May 062014

A female driver and two children got a lucky escape from a burning car in the Lodge Car Park, North Berwick this morning.

The Fire Brigade attended and extinguished the fire in front of crowds of onlookers. No one was hurt.

Credit: JB and his grandson G. Neill of Musselburgh.

If you’ve got a local story, pictures or video you’d like to share, please email news@radiosaltire.org.


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 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.