Wednesday, 12 October 2011
East Lothian 1945-2000, Fourth Statistical Account
The first three Statistical Accounts of Scotland were published in the 1790s, 1830s-40s and 1950s respectively and provide a rich and informative history of the parishes of Scotland. East Lothian was one of the first Scottish counties to update the Accounts to 2000, thus providing a history of the county spanning more than 200 years.
The East Lothian Fourth Statistical Account Society was set up in 1998 with an Executive Committee of Stephen Bunyan (Chair), David Moody (Treasurer), and Michael Cox (Hon Secretary). Heritage Lottery funding of £30,000 was granted, to be matched by volunteer hours and input. Editor Sonia Baker was appointed in November 2000 and volunteer researchers and writers were contacted throughout the county. They put in a huge amount of work and produced vast amounts of information that was then edited by Sonia for publication in book form.
The seven volumes deal in depth with the villages and towns and the daily lives of their inhabitants, including the social, political and economic history, geography, environment and people of East Lothian since World War II. They provide a wonderful reference tool for students and researchers as well as general readers.
The Alan Ball awards were instituted in 1985 to encourage local history publishing by local authorities across the UK. Alan Ball was Chief Librarian of the London Borough of Harrow and in his name up to three awards are made each year. There have been very few Scottish winners so East Lothian Libraries' success in the main award is a tremendous achievement.