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28

along Princes Street. Too many chain stores now, he thought, too many plastic fronts looking out on the passing throng. He pointed the car towards the coast. Portobello passed in a blur, its narrow High Street potholed with roadworks. He caught glimpses of the Forth as he drove through the Honest Toun, passed the racecourse and turned along the coast road towards his destination. At least Mrs Herman's looked the same.
The coast road had been straightened out and the sea pushed back a few hundred yards. He made his first stop at the remains of one of Prestonpans' two seaside pits, Prestongrange. It was now part of the Scottish Mining Museum. The old beam engine had been restored and several other buildings housed a variety of historical evidence of mining's past.
He looked back up the coastline towards Musselburgh arid picked out the shape of the breakwater built to push back the waters and allow an area of land to be infilled with fly-ash from the new power station down the coast at Cockenzie. He didn't linger, after all he had been a "Links" man not a "Grange" man. The entrance to "the Pans" had changed completely during his absence. Gone were the miners rows of Morrison's Haven and the "Kittle", replaced by modern houses. The West End Branch of the Co-op store where Jock had once ruled was now converted into a pub "The Lady Susan". Bourhill's and Allan's yard had gone with the Primary School but a new yard "Sammy Burn's" full of character and trendy rubbish had taken its place. The tyre factory was now a garage but Antonelli's still sold great ices and the Goth stood in tarnished splendour. The road was wider through the main street, many new houses having filled in the gaps left by the demise of The Black Bull, Aggie Bagnall's and The Queen's Arms. Funny how you missed the old pubs. There were new names on many of the shop fronts gone were Turnbull's, Wilson's, Mellis's, Beenie Allan's and Laidlaw's replaced by Morgan, McAinsh, VG Stores, and the Dragon Way, all incomers. However the Pans Co-op still reigned supreme with the prime position where the Scratcher once stood. He slowed the car down below the Auld Kirk, pleased to see the Coronation Gardens kept so well but cringed at the monstrosity of modern art on the grass near the sea wall. Some of Fowler's brewery buildings had gone but his heart lifted when he read in large letters PRESTONLINKS Shopping Centre. At least someone had the sense to preserve the old names. He was nearly there only another half mile past the buildings where the famous "Wee Heavy" was once made. He braked suddenly and pulled up at 'the side of the road. There wasn't a trace of what had once been a hive of activity. He got out of the car and climbed the grassy slope. He was dwarfed by the bulk of the power station behind him on
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