In my well-thumbed 1920s guide book (Muirhead's Scotland
is said that Room and Board could be had at The Crown in East Linton for
ten shillings and sixpence. In today's money this is
fifty-two-and-a-half new pence, an amount that would barely buy a loaf
of bread. But while some things have changed, it's nice to see that
other things have not, for The Crown Hotel still exists, and a fine
hotel it is, too.
There are many things that have not changed in East Linton. Which is a
good thing, if you ask me. For I have found in life that when things
change they generally do so for the worst, not the better as we are so
often led to believe. The village bristles with eighteenth century
cottages, and retains a timeless charm that is most pleasing to the body
and soul. The first impression I had during my day here was a good one,
and I was soon scampering around like an excited child. Sometimes it's
the simplest of things that give that initial impression. For me it was
the approach over the 16th century bridge and the frontage of a small
shop. Adorning the facade of a pharmacy was one of those
three-dimensional shop signs, on this occasion
a large mortar and pestle. Shops used to have such signs. You might get
boot on the wall of
a shoe shop, or a hat for a shop which sold hats.
Nowadays we shun such
visual delights in favour of A-framed signs
that block pavements and
which are about as visually appealing as
a wart on the nose of an ogre.
We have so lost our way. But not in East Linton.