Whatton Lodge.Architect, JB Dunn, 1910 B Listed quoted as ‘ One of the finest Homes in Scotland’, the earliest of a group of 3 houses in Hill Road using same materials and Arts and Crafts style, was the home of Sir Harold Jalland Stiles. He was surgeon to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh, succeeding Joseph Bell, Conan Doyle’s model for Sherlock Homes. Stiles brought aseptic surgery to Scotland and was a member of the McAlister Committee in 1920 that set out plans for Scotland’s Medical Services. He also made important contributions to the understanding of breast cancer and TB
Whatton Lodge and the adjoining cottage was purchased in 1947 by the Lothian Mineworkers Convalescent Trust with a view to provide convalescence for mineworkers after a serious accident or illness. Since then we have continued to provide generations of retired miners and their beneficiaries the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed break/respite in the beautiful surroundings of East Lothian coast and Gullane Bay
“I returned from my ten day break at Whatton Lodge fully refreshed and with a new lease of life. The accommodation, meals and entertainment could not be faulted and the opportunity to meet new people and develop new friendships with other residents was wonderful”
On Saturday 16th July 1949, Whatton Lodge, Gullane, was formally opened as a convalescent home for Mid and East Lothian Miners by Joseph Neilson, a 78-year-old miner with 66 years’ service in the pits. The home had been recently been acquired for the sum of £23,000 by the Lothian Area Welfare Committee for use of the miners.
Whatton Lodge is a 17 roomed house, built of stone and in 1949 could accommodate 20 people, two of them sharing each of the 10 bedrooms. Four public rooms including a library were set aside for the miners’ use. In both choice and expenditure, the committee charged with the identification of suitable premises was said to have acted shrewdly. The house, commanding a magnificent view of the Gullane sand dunes, was equipped throughout on first-class hotel standards. The central heating was even reported to be controlled by a device that automatically adjusts itself to the outside temperature. There were rich, plush carpets and soft comfortable easy chairs inside, while there were also two well fitted sun parlours. Under construction at the time of the opening was a bowling green. It was thought to be ready by the summer of 1950. The gardens were said to be pleasantly laid out and on the day of the opening, the trim flower beds were a mass of colourful blooms.
The Earl of Balfour said that when he saw inside Whatton Lodge, he had the feeling that it was a real home, with no suggestion of an institution about it. He looked forward to the day when there might be a home for both the miner and his wife. He thought the committee had made a wise selection in choosing Whatton Lodge for, while the site was delightful, the building was not too old. He was certain that the more the Gullane residents saw of the miners the more they would like them. If they did not then, he suggested that the fault would lie with the residents and not the miners.
An extension was opened in October 1981 by Mr and Mrs James Cowan.