Addiewell: scandal of the forgotten village - Part 4

Photo:The old tied house by the pub

The old tied house by the pub

Lothian Courier

The jobs which never came

Fourth part of a report on Addiewell’s troubles by Joyce Summers, that appeared in the Lothian Courier in November 1976.


‘There’s no question about it – Addiewell has problems,’ says local District Councillor Dominic McCauley.  ‘We are very concerned about the position.  The old District Council – West Calder - started the bowling green project with the best intentions in the world, but Along came financial stringency,’ he said.

Councillor McCauley denied any suggestion that Addiewell had been forgotten or overlooked since reorganisation, as had been feared by Members of the Addiewell Community Council Steering Committee.  Committee Chairman George Dickson had told the Courier, ‘Under the old system, we always felt that our turn was coming.  Then just when we had reached the top of the list, Regionalisation took place and we seem to have gone back down to the bottom of their list of priorities.’

we just don't have the money

In reply, Councillor McCauley said that this was not true and in fact, Addiewell was high in the priority list, although obviously the first priority had to be Breich Hall.  But the problem was simplyjmoney, and the lack of it.  ‘It’s on the cards,’ he assured the Courier, ‘But we just don’t have the money.’

On the question of the ‘bowling green’, a spokesman for West Lothian District Council explained that following reorganisation, the Council had put the project out to re-tender because there had been no specific contract conditions and provision for certain associated work.  Before reorganisation it had been intended to spend a total of £8,800 on the project.  But the new tender came to £18,000 for which borrowing consent was refused.   


A giant white elephant

The giant precast concrete factory that dominates Addiewell is a constant source of irritation for the villagers.  Built about 18 months ago at an estimated cost of £7000,000, it has never once been in production and the initial promise of employment for 100 was never fulfilled.


Photo:The factory

The factory

Lothian Courier

The factory was originally built for James K. Miller of Sighthill but the firm went bankrupt and the building became the property of the Lothian Regional Council.  Since then the factory – a giant white elephant – has lain unoccupied, although the Region make regular security check–ups and there is a caretaker nearby.

‘We don’t criticise the Region for getting the factory,’ said Steering Committee Chairman Georoge Dickson.

A spokesman for Lothian Regional Council said that a full report the situation had been prepared and was to be go before the Council’s planning and development committee next week.


Lothian Courier 26 November 1976


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