The nickname ‘Sunny Dunny’ was applied to Dunbar probably some time in the 1960s, although I’ve not been able to track down chapter and verse. We say that the town is the sunniest and driest in Scotland, but we don’t talk (to outsiders anyway) about the breeze, which was described as ‘bracing’ even by the Edwardian Scots who flocked to Dunbar for their holidays every summer.
Volume Six of the East Lothian Statistical Account, 1945-2000, which covers Dunbar and adjacent parishes, has just been published, and it contains some fascinating facts, figures and anecdotes. Here’s a quote about climate:
“The Lammermuir Hills shelter Dunbar from the prevailing south-west winds which lose most of their moisture over the hills, causing clouds to disperse and allowing the sun to shine, hence Dunbar’s reputation. Of the 33 recording stations listed [in Scotland] Dunbar is the driest with an annual average rainfall of 555mm over the thirty-year period 1951-80. Over the same period, Dunbar is the sunniest of the 22 stations shown with an annual average of 1523 hours. Dunbar can expect fog or haar (sea-mist) in May and, less frequently, in October, when east winds blow over the cold waters of the North Sea. “
So there you are – it’s official. Dunny really is Sunny.
Incidentally, I went along to a Civic Week event last week which was supposed to be promoting local publications. We had two members of the public attending, I sold four Calder Wood Press books (income £16.50) and bought the Statistical Account (expenditure £16.95). A net loss, you could say, but I sold more books in Haddington the following day, and Anna Dickie sold a lot of copies of Heart Notes at her Haddington launch this Wednesday.