Tenth anniversary marked at Dunbar

10th anniversary of John Muir Birthplace, Dunbar,'Trustees (LtoR) John Thomas (Chairman), Will Collin, Liz McLean & Susan Wright.
10th anniversary of John Muir Birthplace, Dunbar,'Trustees (LtoR) John Thomas (Chairman), Will Collin, Liz McLean & Susan Wright.

Around 40 guests gathered to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the John Muir Birthplace in Dunbar’s High Street, on Friday.

Since the museum, which charts the life of the town’s most famous son, opened a decade ago, it has welcomed 120,000 visitors through its door.

The conservationist John Muir, who was born in Dunbar, emigrated to America as a boy with his family and became famed for his work in founding the country’s national parks system.

The John Muir Birthplace Trust was formed back in 1998 when East Lothian Council, the national John Muir Trust and Dunbar Community Council agreed to work together to secure his birthplace in the High Street for the community and public in general.

Fund-raising then enabled the outside of the three story building to be returned to its 18th century appearance.

At Friday’s celebrations the guests enjoyed a buffet lunch in the Town House at which trust chairman John Thomas welcomed everyone.

Mr Thompson, president of the Friends of the Birthplace, outlined the struggle in the early days to raise the funds to buy the building and the delays caused by opposition to the architect’s plans. He paid tribute to the work of the staff led by Jo Moulin and made special mention of Susan Panton who tragically died, aged 49, in May 2012.

Councillor John McMillan, East Lothian Council’s spokesman for tourism and economic development, said the birthplace was a great example of how different sections of the community could work together to achieve something special.