Stone Commemorating Miners Welfare Institute Finds New Home at Bield

by Stuart Milne

Monday, July 11th, 2016

Scotland PR promote Miners' Stone A STONE commemorating a much loved institution in East Lothian has found a new home at a local retirement housing development.

The ‘Miners’ Stone’ previously stood at the Miners Welfare Institute, which provided support to the mining community and acted as a social hub for everyone in Wallyford, and has now returned to its old home where Bield’s Miners Terrace amenity housing development now stands.

Built in 1924 using £3,000 worth of Wallyford Bricks, the Miners’ Institute had Wallyford at its heart in every sense.

Bob Usher, Property Officer at Bield, said: “When we were approached about giving a new home to the stone we were delighted given the huge contribution the institute made to the community in Wallyford.

The Bield tenants in Wallyford were provided with a complete overview of the plans before the stone was moved into place and far from having objections were pleased to see the stone return to its original home.

Bob added: “We got in touch with the tenants at Miners Terrace to let them know and everyone was more than happy to welcome this piece of Wallyford heritage to their part of the village.”

Giving a home to tennis courts, a much used snooker room, and acting as a doctor’s clinic in the 50s the Institute was a key part of the community for decades.

Before the construction of a new Institute and the subsequent demolition of the original building the Institute was a fixture of all the major events in the town.

From wedding receptions to a base for a soup kitchen during the strike of 1972, the Institute is fondly remembered by everyone.

The unveiling ceremony which took place on 24th June saw a number of tenants attend to see the inscribed stone officially welcomed back.

Alister Hadden from Wallyford Community Council, said: “The Miners’ Institute has played a huge part in Wallyford’s history, from hosting the Home Guard during the Second World War to witnessing the coronation of gala queens, it’s been there during the good and bad, supporting the community.”

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