Holidaymakers at North Berwick open-air swimming pool in August 1953.
Holidaymakers at North Berwick open-air swimming pool in August 1953.

North Berwick through the years: These 26 pictures show how much the East Lothian seaside town has changed since the 1950s and 1960s

It regularly tops lists of the best places to live in Scotland, is a popular destination for seaside staycations, and in the 1950s and 1960s North Berwick was a hive of activity – as these pictures show.

Wednesday, 27th October 2021, 3:43 pm

People have lived and travelled to what is now North Berwick for at least 2,000 years, and archaelogists have discovered huts and field system to the south of the Law from as far back as then.

Historians have also discovered that in the eighth century, pilgrims crossed the River Forth on a ferry running between where North Berwick now sits and Earlsferry in Fife, on their way to the shrine of St Andrews.

It became such a popular route that North Berwick Harbour was built in the 12th century to keep up with demand.

Around the same time, in 1150, Duncan, Earl of Fife, founded a Cistercian nunnery in the area, and his descendants then built North Berwick Castle at the start of the 13th century family in what is now the Castle Hill area.

By the 14th century, the town was firmly established and became a baronial burgh under William Douglas, 1st Earl of Douglas, who built nearby Tantallon Castle.

A century later, North Berwick was recognised as a royal burgh by James I and achieved dubious prominence for its witch trials.

The arrival of the railway in 1850 opened the town up to visitors and the town began to develop as a golfing and holiday destination, as well as a home for Edinburgh commuters and retirees.

The population expanded after a surge in house-building in the 1970s and 1980s, and property prices now are amongst the most expensive in Scotland.

This year it was named as being both the most expensive seaside town and the best place to live in Scotland.

Here are 26 pictures to take you back to North Berwick in the 1950s and 1960s.

Read more:

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.

Page 1 of 7