Inveresk Village Society AGM Minutes


MINUTES of Annual General Meeting of Inveresk Village Society held on Wednesday, 20th  January 2016 at St Michael’s Church, Inveresk.

Present: Barry Turner (in the Chair)

38 members

In Attendance: Cllr Caldwell


The Chairman, Barry Turner, welcomed those present to the AGM and thanked St Michael’s Church for hosting the Society.  


Apologies were received from Cllr Andy Forrest, Bill Brown, Mr & Mrs Chute, Charlie Fletcher, Peter Hillier, Denis Mollison, Mrs More-Gordon, Mr & Mrs Orr and Rod Reeves.  


The Minutes were formally approved.  (Prop:  Bobby Burt, Sec: Alan Palmer)         

There were no matters arising.


The Chairman reported that the Society had made strong representations to ELC against the proposal from the Boundaries Commission to split Inveresk in two with the part beyond the railway line joining a new Tranent ward.  No decision appears to have yet been made on this issue.  
Representations were also made to ELC on the Local Development Plan Main Issues Report.  The regional Strategic Development Plan had proposed that near to 5000 new homes would be accommodated around Musselburgh.  The Society believes that this will have a devastating impact on the town and an indirect impact on Inveresk.  The Chairman reported that the compact growth option, opposed by the Society, which concentrated the growth at the western end of the county, had now been endorsed by the council though with some modifications on precise location.  The Society also objected to a planning application for 1000 houses at Goshen Farm.  The Council, the Chairman reported, had decided not to include this Goshen area in the Local Development Plan, but the Goshen developers have indicated that they intend to fight on with their plans, meaning that the decision on this will in future be in the hands of a Reporter.  Continuing in their pursuit of land on which to build these 5000 houses, the council have decided instead of Goshen, as a partial replacement, to include for development land this side of the skeletal greyhound track stand, and land north of Whitecraig both of which will channel extra traffic through Inveresk.  This impacts on the Pinkie Cleugh Battlefield site and makes the green belt land around Inveresk more vulnerable to future development.  

The Society had also objected to an application to build a children’s home on amenity open space linked with Lewisvale Park.  This application had been withdrawn.  Finally, a representation had been made to the council regarding the extension of gardens without permission into green belt and former agricultural land in Carberry Close.  

The Chairman reported on matters concerning Inveresk Lodge Garden.  The community open day failed to materialise but the NTS did organise a meeting at Loretto School where their new management regime for the gardens was outlined and ideas about the future were discussed.  Denis Mollison, who, along with many other village residents attended the meeting, had articulated and summarised thoughts in a letter to the NTS.

A Road Traffic Order, deemed necessary by the police to provide access for emergency vehicles to the houses beside and to the west of St Michael’s, had meant that double yellow lines had been painted on part of one side of Inveresk Road towards St Michael’s Church and round the roundabout. The Society did not express a view for or against because there were opposing views among residents but there were some concerns about the visual impact in a conservation area.

Other matters constantly raised with ELC include:

  • Giant hogweed in Kirkpark, along the railway track, river and on any “wasteland”
  • Litter dropped by school pupils, particularly in the Church Lane near the steps
  • Poor pavements in the central part of the village and near The Manor House
  • The quantity and speed of traffic passing through the village

(See No 9 below – when these items are brought to the attention of Cllr Caldwell)

Community activities in the village have increased in 2015.  £1,400 was raised for St Michael’s Church restoration fund at a picnic held at The Manor House.  Thanks went to Mrs More-Gordon for the use of her garden and to all those who helped with the stalls and food, etc.  Mr & Mrs Bill Brown were thanked for their kind hospitality at the end of the carol singing evening in December during which £304 was raised for St Columba’s Hospice. Mr & Mrs Orr, Mrs Burnet and Mr & Mrs Duncan were thanked for organising the village book clubs, film club and walks.  Becca Duncan, in particular, was thanked for setting up a village website.

The Society will be represented on the organising committee of The Riding of the Marches by Ian Irving.  Ian, along with other members forming a sub-group, will be assembling notes, photographs, etc, for a presentation on Inveresk Village past and present.

The Inveresk Gardens Open Day will take place on 19th June 2016.  Volunteers will be required to help with the refreshments.  On 20th February 2016 there will be an antiques road show in St Michael’s Church.  

The Chairman concluded by appealing for support in vehemently opposing the analysis put forward by the council planners and largely accepted by the council to build thousands of houses around Musselburgh.

He thanked all those on the committee for their work throughout the year.


5.1 Treasurer’s Report.  Fred Lawson (Treasurer) referred to the statement of accounts made available at the meeting, which indicated that total Society funds for the twelve months ended 31st October 2015 were £9,904.34.  This was divided between 2 accounts: RBS Current A/c (£2,857.09) and Barclays Deposit A/c (£7,047.25). He explained that the picnic of 20th June 2015 had made a surplus of £1,402.90 which had been donated to St Michael’s Church.  The Carol Singers of 20th December 2014 had raised £281.15 which had been donated to The Hollies Day Centre, Musselburgh.    The Treasurer introduced David CN Ogilvie, FCA, who drew the attention of those present to the Independent Examiner’s Report he had prepared.  He explained the respective responsibilities of trustees and examiner under the Charities Accounts (Scotland) Regulations 2006.  The Examiner’s Report would be submitted to the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulators (OSCR) along with the accounts.

The Treasurer explained that the committee considered it necessary to retain some money in reserve to carry out the objects of the Society under the constitution.  The amount would be considered again at a future meeting.

5.2 Membership Report.  Fred Lawson, in the absence of Bill Brown, Membership Convenor, reported that membership numbers were 56 life members (who had paid subscription of £100) and 34 annual members (paying £10 subscription per year) for the current year (total = 90).  He explained that the figure may differ slightly from those given in the “Notes” to the accounts, as members who had very recently paid were included in the above figure.  



The Chairman read out the eleven names of those at present on the committee and reported that one member, Hugh Younger, wished to resign.  Hugh was thanked for all his work on the committee over the years.  The other existing members were prepared to continue.  (Prop: Jenny Mollison, Sec: Morag Reeves).  Andy Duncan had been co-opted on to the committee during the year. He was elected as a member (Prop: Fred Lawson, Sec: Stephen Edwards).  The Chairman explained that there was one vacancy on the committee and encouraged anyone to come forward should they wish to join.  

Alastair Knowles, the current Chairman of the Charitable Company formed to organize the next Riding (23rd – 31st July 2016) gave a very informative and comprehensive presentation on the plans for Musselburgh’s Riding of the Marches which was last held in 1995.  He explained that the earliest recorded Riding took place in 1682 but that the event had probably been celebrated for centuries before that.  The 2016 week-long festivities will include family fun day, processions, exhibitions, pageants, social events, sporting activities and more.  



Becca Duncan explained that she had set up a village website,  Villagers were encouraged to visit the site for information relating to the village and the local area.  She explained how those interested could activate “follow” to receive recent contributions automatically via email, and how to make contributions to the site by emailing posts to



Giant Hogweed.  Concern about the profusion of giant hogweed in many locations around Inveresk was raised.  The plant contains toxic sap which can cause burns and blistering to the skin. The committee had raised the matter with ELC and would continue to do so.

Break-In.  A recent break-in was reported in a property the heart of the village.  Residents were encouraged to stay vigilant.

Crookston Site.  Cllr Caldwell the ELC were aware of the problem with the buildings at Crookston and would continue in their attempts to deal with the matter.  The site is very close to the site of the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh and the suggestion was made by a member of the committee that it could possibly be turned into a Battle of Pinkie heritage site.

Involvement of Village in Riding of the Marches.  As already stated in the Chairman’s Report the village would be taking part in the Riding of the Marches Musselburgh Life Exhibition. .

Pavement problem and water collection on south-west side of A6124 near Inveresk Lodge and Manor House.  Cllr Caldwell reassured the meeting that the Council were aware of this drainage problem and that it would be attended to in the near future – resources permitting.

Speed of traffic on A6124 through village.  Cllr Caldwell addressed this concern and stated that ELC will consult with the Society on this problem in the future.



The Chairman thanked Alastair Knowles for his very interesting presentation.  All those who had contributed to the Society’s activities during the year were also thanked, including the Treasurer, Fred Lawson, for organising the food and drink for the evening.  Stephen Edwards thanked the Chairman himself, on behalf of the village, for all the work he had undertaken during the year.  The Society congratulated Dick Hadden, St Michael’s Church Beadle, on receiving the British Empire Medal in the New Year’s Honours.  There being no further business for discussion, the Chairman declared the meeting closed.  Those present were invited to avail themselves of refreshments.


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