North of Abbey St Bathans the route passes next to a large stone cairn in a field to the south of Whiteburn farm. This cairn was built by the land girls during the Second World War in order to celebrate 100 years of Cockburn family ownership of Whiteburn. Jackie Cockburn purchased the farm from the Dunglass Estate (Cockburnspath).
The Weather Vane
On top of the cairn there is a weather vane. Each of the motifs on the weather vane illustrates a significant event in the history of the family who now own the farm.
Thomas (Tommy) Dale, 1920-1988
Tommy farmed Auldhame, Seacliff, Scoughall and Drylawhill in East Lothian and bought Whiteburn from Jackie Cockburn in 1971. He wrote ‘Tommy Dale’s Diaries’ in the Scottish Farmer magazine in the 1970s and was European farmer of the year in 1975.
Scole Stud, East Lothian.
Gladys Dale, 1922-2013 (wife of Tommy) owned the Scole Stud and was devoted to the Welsh Cob breed. As a result Gladys was instrumental in setting up the Scottish Welsh Pony and Cob Association in 1995. http://wpcs.uk.com/news/story/mrs_gladys_dale_obituary
The cairn is in the middle of the 500 acres (202 hectares) farm that can carry up to 500 ewes and lambs and 120 cows and calves. All the trees you see were planted in the early 1970s to provide shelter for the stock in bad weather. As a result they have saved many animals’ lives.
Euan Dale (born and bought up on farm) is a highly decorated swimmer. He is a double Commonwealth silver medalist, a European silver medalist and a 9-time British National Champion. He competed for Britain in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, swimming alongside the great Michael Phelps.
The Land Rover on top of the vane celebrates the creation of first 4×4 driving school in Great Britain www.ronniedale4x4.co.uk
Erected to celebrate 100 years of the Royal Air Force.
Sited on the higher ground to the east of the cairn, during World War I Whiteburn was a Home Defence Station for aeroplanes of No. 77 Home Defence Squadron. It was one of the first Home Defence bases built in Scotland in late 1916 to deal with the threat of Zeppelin airship bombing raids.
At first “B” Flight of the Squadron was based at Whiteburn equipped with old BE 2c and BE12 aircraft. Eight newly-delivered modern Avro fighter planes of “A” Flight were stationed at Whiteburn at the time of the RAF aerodrome survey of November 1918. At that time the aerodrome was described as covering an area of about 49 hectares, and measuring a maximum of 780m by 730m. The aerodrome buildings, of which there were over 15, were concentrated in the SE corner of the aerodrome. These included a single aeroplane hangar, workshops and accommodation for the 51 station personnel based there. Today, there is no trace of the aerodrome or its buildings.