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Prestonpans and Vicinity

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in and over them, and, whether it was midday or midnight, the indwellers were compelled to get up and run for their lives.
There are some yet to the fore who were wont to occupy these buildings, as children, with their parents; and though they now recount these things with laughter, they say there was nothing but wailing in their mouths when they had to get up out of bed at midnights, and hurry through the water, knee deep, with their body clothes beneath one arm and the bed clothes beneath the other, and had nowhere but at the dyke-side to find shelter till the waters abated.
The modern Cuthill is a very different place from the ancient of that name. There are great stretches now of very respectable new buildings, erected at the expense of the late Prestongrange Coal Company, for the benefit of their miners and numerous other workmen; and since the Summerlee Coal and Iron Company took the works in hand, row upon row of dwelling-houses sprang up as if called into existence by the hand of the magician, and more are soon to follow. It is indeed already a very large village. The houses at the present time are well filled with a highly respectable class of workmen. In 1889 a Friendly Benefit Society for the district was instituted here, and the members have their annual turnout in procession, accompanied with band and bannerets. It is in a highly flourishing condition. There are about one hundred members on the roll, and funds on hand amount to about £200. The following are the office-bearers: —President, T. M'Kinlay; Secretary, W. Scott; Treasurer, J. Arnot; Members of Committee, G. Robertson, James Inglis, and G. M'Kenzie, M. C. and officer.

This tavern flourished in Cuthill during the greater part of the 18th century, Lucky Vint, proprietor; and here, says Carlyle, in his autobiography, Lords Grange and Drummore had some rare ongoings. Among other items, he mentions he was at dinner one day with these two noble lords, when Lord Grange requested him to hand over a whiting (fish). He told his lordship there was nothing but haddocks on the table. At this his lordship swore very much, saying everybody knew he could eat no sort of fish but whitings. Lucky Vint gave him a wink across the table; when he apologised for his mistake and corrected himself, saying there were nothing but whitings on the table, and served his lordship with a fish of that sort, which he seemed to enjoy heartily, and good humour prevailed. " Lucky Vint, " says Carlyle, " told him afterwards that he was quite correct, there were nothing but haddocks on the table, but knowing Lord Grange would not eat that sort of fish if he knew of it, she had scraped the apostle's finger mark off to make them appear whitings. "
Lucky Vint's tavern stood about twenty yards to the east of Bankfoot, on the north side of the road: the foundation stones of the house may still be seen at low tide. There were eleven public houses at one time during the 18th century in the village of Cuthill. Morison's Haven was still then a great shipping port

There was no church at Cuthill, and no minister stationed there; but once upon a time when the minister of Prestonpans was sauntering along this way, a sailor lad came up to him requesting a copper. The minister was in a happy mood and tendered the sailor a farthing, assuring him that if everybody he met gave him as much he would be richer than the minister at the end of the year. The sailor was profuse in his thanks, and said he would never forget him. Some twelvemonths afterwards the minister received a very bulky letter from Portsmouth. It was not the days of cheap postage, and he had seven-and-sixpence to pay before he dared open his letter. It was from the sailor thanking him; but the humour had changed sides. He told how he had succeeded since seeing him, gave a full description of his ship, mates, etc. The minister got quite furious over it, rushed to the Post-Office demanding his seven-and-sixpence back, but he found he had been sold for a farthing.
This was another well known and much frequented tavern during last century in Cuthill. "Thomson the whale fisher" was proprietor, and his signboard displayed one of these mighty monsters of the deep. Davidson the eminent divine is said to have been a famous player on the pipes in his day, and that one night during his incumbency he played his pipes through the town, even on to the "Whale, " whither the rabble followed him. Tis said he gave them beer to drink, then, addressing.
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