Addiewell: scandal of the forgotten village

Troubles in Addiewell in 1976

Addiewell’s huge hole

Report by Joyce Summers in the Lothian Courier 26 November 1976


The villagers of Addiewell are less than pleased with their Community Centre, appropriately nicknamed the ‘Hen Hut’.

They’re not very happy with derelict houses and broken-down buildings that should be renovated or demolished.

Unemployed men look quizzically at an empty factory built over 18 months ago but never opened.

Parents have shrugged their shoulders in despair as the saga of the new village school dragged on and on...

Gaping muddy hole 

But it’s the new bowling green that has been the last straw – the final insult – for the tiny village community.  For the once-planned green is nothing more than a gaping muddy hole which cost the ratepayers almost £4,000 to dig.  And now the project has been abandoned, there is no money left to fill it in.

Angry residents claim that the huge hole is a health hazard and a danger to their children as well as an eyesore.  The site is rarely dry and in wet weather can be as much as two feet under water.

The ‘green’ was excavated by West Calder District Council in April 1975 at a total cost of £3,900.  Since then, nothing has been done.  The project seems to have been abandoned by the new West Lothian District Council and the hole remains for it would cost the Council £3,800 to fill it in – money that is not available.


On Monday afternoon this week, Council workers started erecting a fence round the site to keep youngsters out - a move approved by the Council’s Leisure, Recreation and Amenities Committee last month – but Addiewell Community Council Steering Committee consider the idea unsatisfactory.

Additional attraction

Putting a fence round the hole, they claim, would only be an additional attraction for young children.

Committee Chairman George Dickson commented: ‘While we are very concerned about the position, we are more concerned about the fact that Midlothian left money, about £8,500, to West Lothian to finish the project and nothing has been done.’

 ‘They have dug a hole they can’t afford to fill in,’ added Committee member George Fleming. 

The hole is only one in a catalogue of problems that have plagued Addiewell – and the Steering Committee – over the past two years.


To read about the Hen Hut and the old police station, see parts two, three and four of this 1976 Courier article. 


This page was added by Sybil Cavanagh on 29/12/2013.

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