Capturing Midlothian’s changing landscape

Old picture of Newtonloan Hospital
Old picture of Newtonloan Hospital

A new book has been published capturing the changing face of Midlothian’s landscape.

Midlothian Through Time by Liz Hanson features old photographs and postcards of local landmarks, streets and views alongside with a present-day photo.

The former Newtonloan Hospital, Gorebridge

The former Newtonloan Hospital, Gorebridge

Liz (64) explained: “This is the fourth book I have done in the series. I started with Peeblesshire, then Edinburgh and then East Lothian.

“I felt Midlothian was somewhat overlooked as an identifiable area so I asked my publisher if they would be interested in me doing more and they told me to do it.”

Liz, who lives in Melrose, was able to source the old images from eBay and friends and took the photos of today’s scenes herself.

Each now and then section is accompanied by some historical information about the area or building.

“I found it fascintating. Midlothian is so diverse,” said Liz, who has a photographic card business.

“It does get lost with the surrounding areas and yet it is full of surprises. The glens and romantic places that Walter Scott talked about, the industry with coal and pastoral areas and the Pentlands.

“It was just a revelation.”

Liz sourced her historical information from local libraries, local people, Gorebridge Historical Society and from local books.

“I have been to most of the places years ago when I was a medical rep. I knew most of the places in Midlothian but only superficially.

“But when I started rooting around I found a lot of gems.

“This isn’t an academic tome. I just wanted to highlight a place that there are not that many books about and put it on the map a bit.”

Liz discovered some areas had changed significantly over the years.

“It has been completely transformed. Once or twice I came across the old photograph and really struggled to find it as it had practically disappeared. For Newtongrange House I had to root around and ask locals. It has gone. Galadale has been built over it.

“I had to use a bit of imagination but the story around it is wonderful.”

Liz found the views from Gorebridge “fantastic”. “You can see why people would come out of Edinburgh and stay there for a holiday,”

Liz is now working on “Secret Peebles” which explores the town a bit deeper.

“I am hoping I can maybe do a lot more of this.

“Maybe Dalkeith or somewhere big enough.”

n Midlothian Through Time by Liz Hanson is published by Amberley Publishing.