The early days

In 1902, a group of Gullane businessmen purchased a mission Church, made of wood and corrugated iron, from Gorgie in Edinburgh. They had it dismantled and transported to Gullane by horse and cart. It was reassembled on a site in Main Street for a short period before being moved to what is now the village hall car park.

For many years it provided a focus for village activities, but after requisition and use by the Army between 1939 and 1947 it was in a bad state of repair. The building was handed to the village as a gift by the original owners and a management committee was set up. A campaign to raise funds for a new hall began in 1950.

A new hall

Due to the villagers' fund raising efforts and a generous offer by Mr Ian Bowhill MBE JP (who lived in the village) to double any funds raised, a new hall was built and opened on the 15th October 1958.

Once again it became a focus of village life and activities, including Scouts, Guides, WRI, playgroups, charities, badminton, table tennis, fitness classes, ceilidhs, plays, musicals and private events.

Good times and bad

The hall belongs to the village and is run by the villagers. All the expenses must be met from letting fees and fundraising events. Like any such enterprise this means its history features periods of regular use and crisis alike - e.g. in 1977 a bulge in the north wall meant significant repairs after urgent fund raising, and the replacement of the flat roof in 1988.

The hall today

The village hall continues to be a hub of the local community with activities and events going on every day of the week. From sports and exercise classes to fundraising events, parties, weddings and a community cinema, the hall is used by all ages in Gullane and the surrounding areas. A major renewable energy project is under way in 2016 which will mean the hall can continue to serve the local population in a cost-effective, environmentally responsible way in the future.

Adapted from information provided by the Gullane and Dirleton History Society