Some famous natives

Some Addiewell folk who have made their name in various fields

By Sybil Cavanagh

Gibson Aitken

Dr Gibson Aitken was a brilliant lecturer during the Second World War and prominent in County affairs in the 1960s.

Elizabeth Craig
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Some famous natives' page

Elizabeth Craig, celebrity cookery writer, born in Auchenhard Free Church Manse (the old house), to the Rev. John M. Craig c.1874.  Her family left Addiewell when she was just an infant.


William Robb & William Rennie

During the past two generations, Addiewell has produced some very successful men in various spheres.  Amongst these were the late William Robb, M.A., who was Chief Inspector of Schools for Scotland, and William Rennie, who was Professor of Greek in Glasgow University. 

Two men played an important part in the shaping of the careers of the youth of Addiewell.  They were Mr Watson, then headmaster of Addiewell School, and the Rev. Mr McLaren, minister of Addiewell Parish Church.  A memorial plaque stands in the vestibule of the church to the memory of the little minister who played such an important part in the Addiewell of former days.


Catherine Mentiplay

Addiewell folks were always famous for their singing talent – indeed it has been seriously declared that the fumes from the oil works led to the development of good voices!  Be that as it may, a very famous singer was born and brought up in Addiewell in the person of Catherine Mentiplay, whose father was precentor at Addiewell Church for a number of years.  Miss Mentiplay used to delight audiences in Addiewell and West Calder with her singing of “O Rowan Tree”.

The last two paragraphs are extracts from 'Characters of Other Days', by Thomas Fairley; in the Midlothian Advertiser, 25 March 1949, page 4.


This page was added by Sybil Cavanagh on 15/08/2012.

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