The funeral of Provost Robert Brown in 1917 was the largest ever witnessed in Dalkeith. The procession was half-a-mile long.
The pavements were crowded with on-lookers. Blinds were drawn over the windows. Those behind the cortege represented every shade of opinion. A contingent from the police led the way, members of the Masonic Lodge turned out in full regalia. Branches of the miners’ union from all over the country took part as did colliery management staff.
A special meeting of the Town Council passed a minute of appreciation which outlined the Provost’s achievements. He had made his own study of the water supply that resulted in an improvement.
He had helped to obtain a new hospital, a public park, a child welfare scheme, a modern slaughter-house, and sewage purification works. The resolution declared that he was able to grasp the essentials of many complicated questions and to put aside all irrelevant matters. He was held in high regard by the inhabitants.
Robert Brown became a councillor in 1896 and Provost in 1911. He was serving his third term when he died. No Provost before him had gone beyond one term.
See this week’s Advertiser for David Smith’s full feature on Provost Robert Brown.
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