East Lothian: A Regional Ethnology – Spoken Word

The East Lothian study has been underway for about 18 months now. In that time, 24 folk have become fieldworkers and over 70 interviews have been recorded. The interviews have taken place in communities throughout the region including Ballencrief, Cockenzie & Prestonpans, Dunbar, East Linton, Garvald, Gullane, Haddington, Musselburgh, North Berwick and Pencaitland.

The interviews conducted so far cover myriad subjects including, amongst others, schooling, farming, World War II, shops and shopping, monastic life, town and village life, game-keeping, police work, food etc. A flavour of the range of subjects discussed can be heard and read here.

During this period we have also worked with Musselburgh Museum to digitise a collection of reel-to-reel tapes with interviews of folk from Fisherrow, Musselburgh and Wallyford which were made in the 1970s and 1980s. This series has added a further 70 recordings to our collection.

Our work in East Lothian continues and there is still plenty of time to get involved, either as fieldworkers or interviewees, or both!  Fieldwork is an enjoyable and rewarding experience for everyone involved. Of our East Lothian volunteers few had any experience of this kind of work before they got involved.  The equipment is easy to use and full training is provided in sessions lasting 2-3 hours.

Over the coming months we will be travelling around the region to let people know directly about the project by mounting an exhibition of photographs. All will be welcome to come along to hear more about the opportunities for getting involved. Notice of these events will be available here and on our Twitter feed – watch this space!

You can also get in touch to ask any questions or register interest in coming along to a training session or open event by going to the website and following the links https://www.regionalethnologyscotland.llc.ed.ac.uk/

Mark Mulhern, October 2019

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