Published accounts and captured memories – both past and present – offer a fascinating insight into particular aspects of local life in an area. In this case, a local doctor, called Dr Charles Whitelaw, had a theory that bad legs were caused by drinking milk from cows, which had eaten buttercups. He called them ‘buttercup legs’ and claimed they were characteristic of the people of Garvald! This slightly insulting anecdote was originally noted in ‘Fourteen Parishes of the County of Haddington’, by Dr John Martine (1890) and then brought back into public awareness in Irene Anderson’s more recent ‘Garvald – The History of an East Lothian Parish’ (1991).
A digital download of Irene Anderson's 'Garvald – The History of an East Lothian Parish', 1991, is available here: