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Heard the one about the Battle at Gladsmuir?

Back in 1745 it took a wee while for The Pans to get its monica on the battle ....

"On Gladsmuir shall the Battle be!" prophesied Thomas the Rhymer in the 13th century. Preston was closer to the actual site but the name was unfortunately connected to that town in Lancashire where there were Scots defeats in 1648 and again in 1715. There was considerable press interest but it was finally settled as Prestonpans even though today it's probably nearer Cockenzie ... or even lower Tranent as seemingly is Bankton House! After all the Waggonway which crosses the battle suite runs from Tranent to Cockenzie! [Such unwelcome confusion with Preston in Lancashire was more recently troubling when we were classified by the World Health Organisation as having dangerously high pollution levels!]**

The Burgh of Prestonpans, with our own Provost, established in 1862 although formally abandoned in 1975 surely represents a psychological curtilage that warrants the dominant all embracing nomenclature today! However it's clearly legally the case that Prestonlinks Colliery which preceded the Cockenzie Power Station lay well outside the Burgh's boundary.

Ed: There must be a very strong case these days for the reappearance of nomenclatures and regalia with enhanced powers for Community Councils. South of the Border the titles of Mayor and Lord Mayor were retained under similar English local government reforms in the seventies.

** Marie Sharp of East Lothian Courier reported May 19th that:

"THE World Health Organisation (WHO) has removed Prestonpans from its list of most polluted communities. . . after confirming that it had confused the East Lothian town with the English city of Preston!

"There was widespread concern when the global monitor named Prestonpans as Scotland’s most polluted town in its latest breakdown of pollution figures earlier this month. The annual list used readings taken from 2013 and named Prestonpans as the worst offender in Scotland.

"WHO released a similar report two years ago which also named and shamed Prestonpans – yet it was thought then that the reported high pollution levels in the town related to the former Cockenzie Power Station, which had been operational until March 2013.

"However, East Lothian Council told the Courier earlier this month that it believed the reading was actually down to a geographical error by WHO, claiming that the organisation had confused Prestonpans with Preston in Lancashire, nearly 200 miles away.

"And this week, the WHO confirmed that this was indeed the case.

"In an email to senior environmental health officials at the local authority, representatives of WHO confirmed that they had confused the two communities due to a computer mapping error.

"They said: 'It is true that there was a mislabel in the datum for Prestonpans, which should have been labelled as Preston. This error originated in the previous database release when reverse geocoding the coordinates from the EEA (European Economic Area)'.”

Ed: The report has now been amended to remove the town from its records. Watch out in future then for 'reverse geocoding of our coordinates' [that means GETTING IT WRONG] if Scotland stays in/ leaves the EU and/or joins the EEA or similar ....

Published Date: May 19th 2018

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