'We had our name down for a house. Of course we wanted it near the harbour. He came to the house and they came and told me 'Would you like to speak to Sir Basil?''

Dunbar Museum

Moving into a new house

After the second world war, major improvements were again made in the harbour area. Basil Spence and Partners designed a new style of housing for fishermen which won the Saltire Society Housing Award in 1951.

'This Development cannot be confused with a normal Housing Scheme - each site must be considered and treated individually.' (Letter from Basil Spence to the Town Clerk, 15th Jan 1952)

By 1950 the council had 'erected 627 dwelling houses for the occupation of Burgh residents…of which 391 were completed before 1939 and 236 since 1945.'

'The ultimate target of expansion is to accommodate approximately five and a half thousand people from Glasgow.'

In 1963, the first twenty families from the Glasgow Overspill Development Scheme were housed in the new Edinburgh Road development.

'When you put your name in to the Glasgow Overspill they took your name and what abilities you had and when a job comes they contact you. Portland was looking for tradesmen. The nickname for the scheme was Cement City.'

Map showing areas for housing development around Dunbar, NAS B18/20/60

Map showing areas for housing development around Dunbar.



Interviews of 'approved tenants' were held monthly in the Council Chambers by four members of the Town.

'When we went for the interview it was at night. I had to let Mr. Russell know whether it was a boy or a girl I had because they wouldn't give us a two apartment house if it was a boy. I would need to take the bigger house!'

Open spaces were taken up with development, such as the land at Rigg and Floors and many individual buildings underwent a change of use, redevelopment or restoration.

'Cromwell House. It was like a fridge! The curtains used to blow along the ceiling.'

Buildings such as Cromwell House and the granary, which once housed local industry and lay empty for years, have been converted into flats as restoration and conservation replaced demolition.

'At harvest time the lorries came with the bags of grain and it was up off the ground. I remember the steam puffing out the top and the flies in the house.'

Cromwell House

Cromwell House.

[ Dunbar Museum ] [ Exhibitions ] [ Next ] [ Previous ]

© East Lothian Council 2000