At Home in Tranent
14th April 2022
In this article Senior Solicitor Lauren Buchanan, who heads up our Tranent office, provides a fascinating and very local introduction to the town and its community.
One of the most ancient towns in East Lothian, Tranent lies just 10 miles east of Edinburgh and only 6 miles from the city’s boundary. Located beside the main A1, Tranent is often viewed as a convenient commuter town for the Capital, but there is so much more to Tranent than that.
Although I am not from Tranent, I was brought up just a few miles away in the village of Whitecraig, it is a privilege to Head up our Tranent office and to have the opportunity to get to know and represent local people in the town. Indeed, with my work in property, it is a pleasure to also welcome new residents to the town and surrounding area. Interestingly, people from Tranent are known as ‘Belters’, theories behind the origin of this name do vary somewhat, ranging from residents at one time believing that they would win any physical altercation with the surrounding villages, so they were self-proclaimed as the Belters. However, another reason for the name was that at one time there was a tannery in the town that manufactured belts. Perhaps both theories are connected!
Tranent has a population of just under 12,000 people, although the town is growing with the spate of major new housing developments that are currently underway. With new builds including Miller Homes (Winton View) and Walker Group (Roseberry Park) in Tranent itself and Taylor Wimpey (Weldon Grange) and Balfour Beatty Homes (Penston Landing) in nearby Macmerry, just 2 miles away. More generally, the average house selling price in Tranent is £197,549.
One of the oldest towns in East Lothian, there is of course a long history of settlement here. Once an important mining town, coal was first worked in Tranent in the 13th Century by monks of Newbattle Abbey. Indeed, Tranent possesses the oldest coal mining charter in UK (1202-1218). There are several historic buildings which form a D-shape around the town including the old parish church which was built in 15th Century. A few miles southwest of the town stands Fa’side Castle, sometimes known as Falside or Fawside, a 14th-century L-shaped tower house.
Over 200 years ago, Tranent was the site for what historians later dubbed “Scotland’s Forgotten Massacre”. Twelve unnamed people were slain by a regular cavalry unit following the Tranent Militia Riot of 1797, which was a protest against the conscription of Scots into the British Militia. Led by Jackie (Joan) Crookston, there is a memorial statue located in Civic Square in the town centre of Tranent. The town is also connected to the famous Jacobite Battle of Prestonpans.
There are also famous people from all walks of life who come from Tranent. These include Robert Burns sister Isabella Begg (nee Burns), footballers Ian Black, Ian McParland and Neil Martin, historian Peter Hume Brown, world champion bowler Alex Marshall, actor Gordon Kennedy and rugby and basketball player Tom Smith. And in literature, both William Dunbar’s poem ‘Lament for the Makaris’ and Lucy Booth’s novel ‘The Life of Death’, the character Lizzie was born in Tranent.
There is a wonderful sense of community in the town and there could be no better example of this than the Tranent Children’s Gala. Held each June, the celebration was formed by miners in 1934, who had the vision of bringing the community together for a special family day. GSB are very proud to sponsor the event annually.
The town is well served with local facilities and services, including the George Johnstone Centre – which houses the local library and council offices. (Named after George Johnstone who saved 50 men’s lives at Fleets Pit when it flooded in 1929). The Fraser Centre is home to the town’s cinema and community centre and Thomson’s Convenience Store has been completely revamped as part of a successful conservation project. Well-known local restaurants include Crollas, Giancarlo’s, Brigg Inn and Sweet Haven.
When it comes to sports, the town is home to Tranent Juniors Football Club, Ross High Rugby Football Club and Tranent Cricket Club. Football fans will also be interested to know that Hibs training ground is located nearby at Ormiston.
With regards to education, the town has 3 primary schools, Windygoul Primary School, Sanderson’s Wynd Primary School and St Martins Primary School. Tranent also has its own secondary school, Ross High School. Recharge is a major youth club which supports teens and adults in the town.
I hope that you have enjoyed my brief introduction to Tranent and that I have provided you with some useful background about this lovely and historic East Lothian town. Perhaps even a few facts that you did not know?
As you will see I am very much ‘At Home in Tranent’ and I am very proud to be known as a local solicitor in the town. My work in our Private Client department and Conveyancing means that I deal with anything property related as well as wills, Powers of Attorney and Executries.
GSB are a down to earth firm and we do everything we can to keep the law understandable and straightforward for our clients. Whether you are buying or selling a house or need a range of legal advice, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me.
Lauren Buchanan (formerly Tuckey)
Senior Solicitor, Head of Tranent Office
Garden Stirling Burnet Solicitors
121 High Street, Tranent, EH33 1LW
T: 01875 447032