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Prestonpans and Vicinity

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earliest reminiscences he has is, when a child, his aged grandmother was wont to hold out to him and other young friends, as the highest mark of favour, the privilege of getting their tea with her out of the Prestonpans china. "
SUGAR REFINERY.
During the early part of the 18th century a sugar refinery, on a small scale, was in full operation here; but from the fact of its closing shortly after the century had passed its centre, it seems not to have been a very profitable concern. Grant's Inn is built on the site occupied by the refinery.
VITRIOL WORKS.
Previous to the collapse of the sugar refinery, a vitriol factory had been established on the same side, but farther east the street. This "secret work" flourished for many years, giving work to quite a host of people, mostly old " salts, " every man on the establishment being sworn not to divulge the secrets of the trade. Among other seafaring men engaged there was " old Marr, " grandfather of that sterling old villager still in our midst, David Marr. On retiring from "sea life" he had applied at these works, which were in the vicinity of his own abode, and got employment there. He was still considered an able-bodied seaman. The navy was in want of men, and the "pressgang" had their eye upon him. One night they were out, but he was fully alive to the work of the pressgang, and had his eyes on them too. They pursued him at a distance straight into his own house; but in order to allay suspicion and keep them from surrounding the house, he left the door quite open behind him. They rushed inside in a body expecting to find him there, but without delaying a moment, except to acquaint his gudewife with the state of affairs, he bolted through the back window, and closing it behind him made straight for the vitriol works.
After searching every corner, and driving their cutlasses down through the bedclothes, careless whether they killed or not, " Tuts, tuts, '1 ejaculated his gudewife at last to the interlopers, " ye needna cut an' slash the bed claes ony sairer; just step alang to the vitriol works and ye'll find 'im there. '' She knew he was by that time quite safe. Seeing they had been outwitted for once, and knowing well that they dared not attempt to enter the "secret" works, they instantly took their

Prestonpans and Vicinity.                                 111
departure. Towards the beginning of the nineteenth century the chemical works were brought to a close, and the buildings shortly afterwards taken up as
A DISTILLERY.
This other fiery liquid branch of business, under Cadell and Fowler, went on employing a great many hands for quite a number of years, continuing up to 1846-7. It was a highly prosperous concern all the time it lasted, and did not go down through want of funds to keep the concern moving, but rather, it is understood, was allowed to die out through conscientious scruples on the part of new successors. The buildings were thrown down and the site afterwards secured for

A FLOUR MILL.
There was an everlasting supply of living, bursting, bubbling water (the Forth) on the north side of the mill, but the supply from the south side was wholly inadequate to keep the unwieldy wheels of the grinders moving. The mill had to be driven by force of steam. It was never a paying concern, and having got out of order, was brought to a standstill for repairs. The repairs were speedily accomplished, and on the morrow it was again to be set going, but when the morrow came the mill was in flames and gone for ever. The blackened walls are still standing in all their nakedness at the west end of the old brewery on the south side of the street.

GORDON'S POTTERY.
This was a very flourishing concern towards the west end of the village, near Bankfoot. The pottery was established about the year 1800, and soon became famous for the excellent and beautiful ware it produced. A very fine seam of clay was worked on the " In-gaun-ee " system at Upper Birslie Plantation for this manufactory. The quarry was known for long after as the "Clay Holes, " and the great open wastes, which are still well remembered in the neighbourhood, became famous as a covert for the badger. The Clay Holes were filled up some thirty years ago; but Gordon's pottery had ceased to turn out its famous ware more than other thirty years previous to that period.
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