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Amazing finds in Prestonpans Town Hall

During the last few days, ongoing renovations carried out by the Battle of Prestonpans (1745) Heritage Trust have revealed some fascinating items lurking in the roofspace of Prestonpans Town Hall, currently the Trust's visitor centre.

Following the small pieces of paper which were found at the Town Hall earlier this week, workers headed into roof space to see if it holds any more secrets and discovered that posters and adverts were once pasted onto some of the roof timbers - even part of a railway timetable.

Only fragments remain, but they have been described as a fascinating window into late Victorian Scotland.

Dr Arran Johnston, who manages the visitor centre, described the moment the finds were made.

"We are in the process of removing the suspended ceiling in the anteroom of the town hall, and our electrician found a few paper fragments on the original ceiling layer. Today we went in the space above that ceiling to see if any more secrets were hiding up there. We found a few more small fragments, including duplicated pieces.

Then we shone a torch onto the roof beams and instantly saw a gentleman in a red and black kilt! Looking across adjacent beams we could see a number of pieces pasted onto timbers, apparently adverts or posters, and even a bit of a railway timetable.

Those with visible dates were all from the 1890s. We are going to put the pieces which had already come loose onto display, and have left the others in situ. After 125 years, these fragments open a small but fascinating window into late Victorian society."

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