| JOHNNIE MOAT.
The real Johnnie Moat, after whom the big whinstone boulder
on the shore is named, was, during the early years, harbour-master
at Morison's Haven, but the exact time of his mastership we
have failed so far to discover.
AN OLD FORT AT THE HARBOUR.
Some thirty years ago an attempt was made to deepen the entrance
to Morison's Haven. On the water being pumped out, the remains
of an old fort were discovered at the western side of the
entrance. It was a three-cornered building with gun holes
in it. We have seen a pencil sketch which was taken at that
period. The old building was then destroyed and removed. This
is further evidence of the fact that the water comes much
farther in on this side of the Forth now than it was wont
to do years ago.
This ever-clean and tidy-looking building is better known
to many as " Ravensheuch " or " Raven's Hauch
Toll, " and it was indeed a "toll-house. "
It was built a little previous to the year 1800 by Peter Kerr,
a sterling old highlander, and somewhat of a character in
his day. He was great-grandfather, by the mother's side, of
a well-known and worthy character of the present day, Mr Charles
Forman, salt manufacturer in Cockenzie. Mr Peter Kerr became
contractor for and looked after a great many tolls in East
Lothian, and held them for quite a series of years; but after
building Ravensheuch House he kept the toll there also, and,
while keeping a strict lookout after the others, made it his
headquarters. One of his chief peculiarities was his constant
refusal to charge toll for blackfaced sheep. Sheep were always
charged at so much per score. When counting the flock, he
was always observed to miss the black ones; but any time he
was reminded of the evident mistake, " Na, na, "
was his invariable reply, " it's nae mistake o' Peter's,
but ta Tevel never peys toll. "
THE PONY WHICH DID NOT PAY TOLL AT
Some five-and-fifty years ago, half-a-dozen youths, ranging
from twelve to sixteen years, left Seton West Mains one morning
to spend a holiday in Musselburgh. They took a pony with them
to get rides time about by the way. They paid toll both at
Ravensheuch and West Pans when going, but forgot they had
to pay toll again when returning, and spent all their coppers
in the sweetie and bun shops at Musselburgh. On coming back
to West Pans Toll on their way home, they just remembered
they had to pay again, and had nothing wherewith to pay. They
made a dash to get through behind a machine, but were caught.
" Not so fast, my lads ! " said the keeper, "
not so fast! " " We dinna pay double toll on a wee
beast like that? " queried the leader of the party. "
Oh yes, " was the reply. They all set to rifling their
pockets, and one did find as much as pay the fee. On getting
to Ravensheuch they made a dash again, but it was of no avail.
Again every pocket was turned inside out, but there were no
coppers forthcoming, and the keeper threatened to stable the
pony. They knew enough, however, to defy him to lay hands
The half-dozen retired for a brief consultation, and a hearty
laugh was the outcome. They again approached the keeper, with,
"I say maister, if the pony doesna gang through the toll
you dinna charge onything?" "Oh no, " was the
reply; "if the gate doesna open, no pay. " "
A' richt, " quoth the leader, " come on boys, "
when four of them laying hold of a leg a piece, one the head,
and another the tail, they carried him amid great laughter
right through on the footpath. The toll-keeper became so hilarious
over the device that he laughed too, then ran and helped them.
NEW SCHOOL FOR CUTHILL.
At a meeting of School Board held on December 3rd, Dr M'Ewan
presiding, plans of a new school to be erected at Cuthill
were approved of—Mr Peter Whitecross, architect. The school
will accommodate 540 children, and will cost about, £3,