T Wilson Fish: Dunbar Benefactor and Historian – A Talk by Will Collin and Gordon Easingwood

The February 2024 DDHS talk was on the little known T Wilson Fish, who was a benefactor and historian and the large audience was treated to an intriguing talk by Will Collin and Gordon Easingwood. Will Collin has supplied three of the slides from the talk as well as annotation. Additional links by Jim Herring.

The photo below shows Kirklands, a large house standing at the top of the road from the station and facing the one-way system. T W Fish died in Kirklands, Dunbar, on 9 April 1943 after a short illness.  He was 85 years of age and a bachelor who had lived with three sisters, one of whom predeceased him.  They and their mother before them ran a small private school for primary age girls and boys.  Fish and his sisters are buried in Dunbar Parish cemetery at A28 near the Spott Road entrance.

Kirklands house. (Click on all images to enlarge – recommended)

The photo below (best enlarged) shows T Wilson Fish presenting annual gifts to the Dunbar and Skateraw lifeboatmen. The photo is from The Scotsman 28th December 1938. 

The Haddingtonshire Courier’s obituary recorded that among the offices held by Mr Fish at the time of his death was that of

1. Chairman of Dunbar and Skateraw Lifeboat branch

2. Chairman of Dunbar Philanthropic Association

3. Vice-Chairman of Dunbar and District Cottage Hospital  (Previous post)

4. Justice of Peace for the County,

5. Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland (1925) (Article by Fish in the Transaction of the East Lothian Antiquarians and Field Naturalist Society here P30).

6. Member of the Institute of Naval Architects (History)

 7. An elder in the Old Parish Church (3 articles on church history)

He had also been a member of the Burgh Council from 1919, serving as streets convener from 1920, and as a magistrate from 1923 to 1926.

T Wilson Fish at Skateraw

The photo below (best enlarged) shows the angel lectern which Fish donated to Dunbar Parish Church.

Will Collin notes T Wilson Fish was the donor to his church, some years ago, of a beautiful six-light stained glass window and also the massive Angel lectern from which the lessons are read.  The former was one of the casualties of the 1987 fire which destroyed most of the interior of the church. The Haddingtonshire Courier obituary finished with “In all the offices which he held, Mr Fish invested his life to good and useful purpose, endowed as he was with attributes of initiative, business capacity and public spirit.  He was a stalwart, so simple, so sincere and so unobtrusively generous – how generous it is questionable if anyone knew.”

Angel lectern donated by T Wilson Fish