THERE was an audience of almost 200 at Haddington Town House on Saturday for the launch of Blood on the Thistle, a story of love and sacrifice during the First World War by Stuart Pearson and the well-known East Lothian story teller, Bob Mitchell.

Published by John Blake, the narrative follows the fortunes of the Cranston Family who settled in Haddington in 1880, and of the seven Cranston sons who enlisted to fight for King and Country. Four were killed, two were horrifically injured and only one returned home physically unscathed.

It is a story that resonates across the generations, reminding us of the shocking price that was paid by our forebears one hundred years ago.

Stuart Pearson, a Cranston relative, lives in Sydney, Australia, and various other Cranston descendants were in attendance for a day of celebration and reflection heralding in the program of the Haddington Festival, a series of concerts, art exhibitions, and craft fairs taking place daily over the coming week until Sunday 8th June.

Be sure and turn out for the Write On literary events (entrance £2) at the John Gray Centre: Writers Aloud at 7.00pm – 9.00pm on Tuesday, and Inspiring Writers featuring Ed James, Erin Kaye, Marie Macpherson, Debi Gliori, Roddy Martine and Arran Paul Johnston,7.00pm – 9.00pm on Thursday.

Picture: Stuart Pearson and Bob Mitchell at the Town House in Haddington.

Submitted by Roddy Martine