Then it was just a straggling long line of red sandstone houses set down haphazard on the East Lothian shore,
unchanged since a couple of decades before when Robert Louis Stevenson used to build a bieldy spot on the shore and hold his
playmates spellbound with his wonderful tales, as they munched green apples by the light of a smoky "bouat."
The links then were principally as Providence had fashioned them, with perfectly natural bunkers and a great many little hills and
hollows which made excellent hazards. They were on common ground as far as the third green where the Dalrymple and
Hamilton-Ogilvie properties "marched" and were divided by a stone wall.
Past that one could not go without paying a shilling to the peri at the gate, one Anderson, known generally as "Bob" although I do
not know whether that was his real name or only a reference to the coin he demanded. His son afterwards came to America and was
made professional to the Oakmont Country Club.
I believe that the first woman who played on the links at North Berwick was Miss Violet Chambers and I have often heard my mother
say that she was almost mobbed when she first started as the sight was such a surprise to the conservative people of the town.
Later on the daughters of the English Church clergyman took it up and gradually enough people became interested to warrant the
making of a ladies' course: which was shortly afterwards laid out in a field of a few acres, to the west of the Marine Hotel. I
was not made a member until I was twelve years old and until then had to be contented to play with our faithful nurse, Marion
McSwan, on the small links relegated to the caddies. This was a course of the roughest description, with holes innocent of tins or
even of flags and whose only caretakers were the cows who occasionally condescended to browse there. Sometimes we would mark out a
little course of our own on the wet sand after the tide had gone out, our playmates at that time often being Lady Victoria and
Lady Isabel Kerr, Young Cameron of Lochiel, the children of the Duke of Montrose and other children none of whom ever became
distinguished on the links but who died very bravely in Northern France or cheerfully gave their husbands and brothers to do
I have only got a very indistinct recollection of the first real match I ever played which is not surprising as I was only five
years old at the time. It was a two ball foursome in which I had as partner a Mr. Arthur Dewar, who was afterwards member of
Parliament for some place in Scotland, I forget exactly where.
The course was considerably shorter than it is now as its Western boundary was the Eel Burn but before the end it seemed painfully
long to me, as I was so weary that I had to be carried on my partner's shoulder between shots. Even so, with the inherent
stubbornness of the Scots we finished our round and actually won the match on the eighteenth green. Somehow this performance did
not find favor in the eyes of our nurse, for after I was tucked up in my crib that night I heard her confide in the under nurse
that she would like to take the nose of my recent partner and 'gie it a guid pull through his hair for such daft-like