Harburn Village Hall - Contact Us


Welcome to harburnvillagehall.co.uk.please note the change of address.

This page for current or recent news including Craft Fair
Archive News click here
click here for SWRI archive

Anne Rennie
October 8 1936 to November 10 2019

Anne Elizabeth Margaret Rennie, more commonly known as Mum to me, was born on 11 October 1936 at 9.45am at Balbardie, Bathgate to Gardiner (Gerry) and Marion Hill and was a younger sister to Gardiner. Balbardie House was a Robert Adams Mansion built by Alexander Marjoribanks in the 1790’s to house his new wife and eventually 17 children. The Marjoribanks also owned lands at West Calder at this time. Before you get too impressed…..the Hills rented an Apartment in the big house and had numerous neighbours.
To read the full tribute, please click here


Harburn 'Rural' are sad to inform of the death of Honorary Member Elizabeth (Betty) Short.  Betty passed away on 3rd January in hospital, a few weeks short of her 101st birthday.

Betty was a long term member of Harburn Rural, regularly attending meetings until a few years ago, when her health began to deteriorate.  She did however keep up with all things 'Rural', enjoying having visitors to her home, and hearing about things happening.  She always looked forward to receiving her copy of the Midlothian Federation Newsletter, informing her of what was happening in other 'Rurals' within Midlothian.

Betty was a talented crafts woman, and was one of the first members to complete a square for the wall hanging made to celebrate Harburn SWRI's 90th birthday.Betty will be missed by all who knew her.
RIP Betty.


1. Using the PHONE: The Village Hall has a mobile 'phone number on which messages may be posted.
This number is checked regularly and someone will return your call as promptly as possible.
Contact Us on 0740 121 2194

2.EMAIL click
or text to 0740 121 2194
3. By Car/Sat Nav/Pony, The Village Hall, Harburn, West Calder, EH55 8RF .


Please scroll down or click here for older 2018/19 news



John Wilkinson has sent in a very interesting Harburn Document. He writes: Here is a photocopy of Harburn School’s entire Register of Admissions from 1934 to 1962 when the school closed. The original should be in the records at Parkhead PS. West Calder kids came from as far away as Cobbinshaw  and Crosswoodhill as well as Causewayend and Auchintool down the Lang Whang towards Kirknewton, over 6 miles by the main road (and 6 miles back!). Anyone know if there was a School Bus or how else did they get there with so few private cars at the time?

To view register please click here: Register 1, Register 2, Register 3, Register 5, Register 6


“Nae man can tether time nor tide,” Burns proclaimed, but once again he was THE man of the night, his memory living on at the Harburn Hall on Saturday, February 25 as the Harburn Men’s Rural Institute offered up its annual celebration of his birthday. In usual fashion Robert Burns was honored on every wall as the crowd poured in and took their seats ready for a night of feasting on leak and tattie soup, haggis, champit neeps, bashit tatties, cheese with oatcakes, and dumpling. Aside from the food, David McDonald had the crowd laughing to the bottom of their bellies as the host with the most cracking jokes that even included some fresh, cheesy material.

For the rest f this report and some excellent pics, please click here

It was good that in an unfamiliar venue, this year’s pantomime got off to a familiar rousing start as the stage filled from all angles with a seemingly endless troupe of black clad singers and dancersbeauty 19 who gave it their all and left us full of anticipation for what was to come. And we were not disappointed. The black quickly became a kaleidoscope of colour and throughout the evening the vigorous singing and choreography never let up.............for further report and lots of pics, please click here



cakeOn Monday 13th January Harburn 'Rural' celebrated its 94th birthday.  Twenty two members and two guests from Midlothian Federation -  President Olya Woollen, and Secretary Margaret Whiteford, enjoyed a meal at the 'New Cafe' in West Calder.  The birthday cake was made and iced by member Morag Stott.bday19
Harburn President Susan Howie welcomed members, Honorary President Margaret Rennie, and guests to the meal.  A minutes silence was observed for Honorary Member Betty Short who recently passed away.  The prize giving followed with Olya presenting the trophies.  Grace was said by Sandra Dobson prior to the meal being served.  Tea or Coffee with shortbread was served afterwards, accompanied with a piece of our birthday cake.bday 19

A raffle and short quiz followed the meal.  Harburn President Susan concluded the evening by thanking Beryl for organising the meal and venue, and wishing everyone a safe journey home.

Annual Trophy winners.

Beth Garnett Silver Salver:  Beryl Henderson.
F.O.M:  Susan Howie.bday 19

Rural Paperweight:  Helen Bissett.

Points Cup:  1st - Sandra Dobson; 
Joint 2nd - Claire Thompson and Joanna Pearce.

Words and photos: Sue

AUSSIE DAYDespite the best efforts of Storm Dennis to keep people indoors by the fire, there was a splendid turnout on February 15th at Harburn Village Hall to support our local Aussie Ray Kew’s fundraising afternoon tea for the Australian Bush Fire Appeal.


Behind the curtains an impressive range of competition items were displayed awaiting judgement, it was lovely seeing contributions from all ages, pre school to retired. Congratulations to all the winners, and thanks to all who took part.

As ever, the bakers of Harburn came up trumps with their tea time treats, and the £3 entry ticket bought us tea or coffee and 2 cakes, a bargain by any standards, and it was not long before the tables were filled by people enjoying the fare and a good blether. Then of course there was plenty else to tempt us to part with our cash at the various craft and tombola stalls.


Australia may be at the other side of the world, but as the snow came down in West Lothian, our thoughts were with those who had suffered so badly in the ferocious fires thousands of miles away.AUSSIE DAY

The afternoon raised £662 for the appeal fund.  Many thanks to all who supported the event and helped with the organisation in so many ways.

A huge thank you to everyone who entered the bake-off,writes Organiser Ray Kew,and those who helped out on the day, and who came along to support the event last Saturday 15th Feb. It was certainly a day to remember!!  Despite Storm Dennis, due to the kindness & generosity of local folk, the Grand total raised was £1,025.00...!!    
Our grateful thanks to all who supported the day in whatever way.

Congratulations to the winner of the OZ Quiz with 100% correct answers.... was Jean Fairbairn of Livingston..

Again my grateful thanks

Words: Juliet - Photos: Claire Thompson

We held an afternoon meeting on Monday 25th November, where members and friends joined to hear Harburn SWRI member Joanna's talk and presentation.  Joanna's travels took her to 4 continents- Europe, Africa, Asia, and Oceana, although not actually travelling for a full year, Joanna packed so much in during the 8 months away, she could easily have been away for much longer.........For the full story and some fascinating photos please click
The December craft evening was well attended, and under the instruction of Helen, we made Christmas decorations.  Helen brought along several decorations to inspire us.

Harburn SWRI members have been busy over the last couple of months.  The October craft evening in the village hall was leather crafting, which was enjoyed by all who attended.  Thank you to Helen for encouraging, and stretching our skills.

On Saturday 26th October, four members - Sandra, Isobel, Susan and Helen - attended a talk and practical demonstration by two 'rural' judges on how to best set up composite entry displays.  The ladies were made very welcome by members of South Queensferry Institute who were hosting the event.
We had an afternoon meeting on Monday 28th October, members and friends took part in Paracise, which is low impact, low intensity exercise to music, with Jean Shanks.  Jean put us through our 'gentle' paces with exercises which can be done both seated or standing, making it suitable for anyone less mobile too.  Refreshments were served afterwards.

Our November craft evening was Pyrography, again led by Helen.  Helen gave a brief demonstration following health and safety advice - the pyrography irons reach very high temperatures, necessary to burn into the wood.  The evening was well attended, and everyone completed at least one piece of work.

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Our monthly rural meeting on Monday 9th November should have been Joanna's talk about her 'back packing' trip in 2018, but instead, members and Harburn residents read poems and told little stories and reminiscences about Anne Rennie, following a minutes silence.  Although we were all shocked and feeling sad, the fond memories helped to lift our spirits.  I think Anne would have approved.

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Competition results.
A Landscape photo: 1st - Sandra Dobson,  2nd -  Morag Štott,  3rd - Juliet Boulting.
F.O.M:  1st - Shelagh Steele,  2nd - Susan Howie,  Joint 3rd - Kitty Jones, and Morag




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Stallholders 2019
Ray Kew - Wool, cards
Claire Duncan - Slate plaques, felted earrings etc
Peter West - Wood turning
Sue Whittle - Christmas items,crochet, knitted, sewn, beadwork
Angelina Bowman- Candles,cake stands, jewellery
Linda Brown- Assorted sewn goods
Susan Howie- Patchwork, quilted
Fiona Finlayson - Needle felted animals
Charmian McMorris - cushions, toilet bags,cards, Christmas gifts scarves etc
Heather - Mixed media art – vases ornaments
Liz Steele - Christmas decorations and gifts
Roy Pritchard - Woodturning
Iona Allen - Hand tied flies,Scottish themed & insect jewellery
Valerie Anderson - Polymer clay jewellery & gifts
Helen McDonald - Pottery
Irene Mullholland - Cards, scarves, jewellery,honey etc
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Ceilidh decanted but none the worse for it
They came 'the gither' fae A' the Airts and Pairts -- Cauther, Harburn, Polbeth, Bellsquarry, Edinburgh, all points in between ...  and Aruba.

YES ARUBA!! Such has the fame of Beryl's Halloween Ceilidh spread across the globe in the last twenty nine (29) years that participants now travel from the Caribbean island to participate.

And so it was that a packed Community Centre Hall -- (No!! Not Harburn Hall, this year we were decanted, albeit temporarily, pending the refurbishment and extension of the Hall ... but we will be back next year) -- set to their task.

ceilidh 2019

The music was, as ever, provided on the accordion by the flying fingers of John Morgan. As well as music to dance to John also served up a virtuoso performance of "Duelling Banjos" and other favourites.

The dancers took to the floor in a variety of combinations of age (the not too very old, to the really quite young -- it was grand to see so many young people there) and experience (the very accomplished -- you know who you are Mr & Mrs G / Mr & Mrs B -- to the complete beginner stage) and physical fitness. Ceilidh dancing can be quite demanding if you're not used to it, as many folks found out to their cost as the evening progressed (the phrase "I'm puggled" being heard on an increasing number of occasions).

It was captivating to watch as the dancers displayed a wide range of energetic, enthusiastic, extravagantic and entertaining excellence, together with an impressive range of individual improvisations and interpretations (often simultaneously) of the various reels, two steps, waltzes and polkas.

The much needed refreshment break provided attendees with the opportunity to refuel for the second half of the evening on Beryl's famous traditional fare of home baking, fresh sandwiches, pizza and sausage rolls (all of which were low calorie, low cholesterol and carbohydrate free) all washed down with copious amounts of tea, coffee and Adam’s ale.

A bumper raffle crop administered by Beryl's "arch assistant, Guy, and supported by voluntary donations from the community, was very well received.

In confirming that this evening's event was her 29th and final Ceilidh (could she be persuaded to stay on and do the round 30? -- time will tell) Beryl received a sincere vote of thanks from John Morgan who paid tribute to her great organisational skills whereby he, as our 'resident' musician, never ever had any concerns about accepting a booking to a Harburn 'gig', because he "just knew everything would be in place". The company endorsed his sentiments with a resounding ovation.

Beryl confirmed that the Annual Ceilidh would continue in the hands of another, negotiations are under way. Watch this space for further announcements. The proceeds from the Ceilidh resulted in a donation of £685 to the Hall's Centennial 2023 Renovation Project.

Thank you Beryl.

Allan and Mary














































jogginh poster