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David Sinclair was a grocer and spirit merchant with a shop near the junction of High St and Old Town. The History Society was lucky to be given a book which we have called his "Tick Book". You can see a photo of it and what we think it was is a record of items taken by customers and paid for at a later date. There is a large tick beside each item which may indicate that the item has been paid for. Hence the expression getting something "on tick". That's our theory anyway! Society members shave transcribed much of the book (which dates from 1866 to 1869) and created indexes of names and addresses of customers and the goods they bought.
Robert Mennon was a poet born in Ayton in 1797. He grew up and was educated in the village and joined his father as a Slater. He spent 26 years in London before moving to Dunbar to set up business before retiring to and dying in Ayton in 1885. At a meeting of the History Society on 26th February 2002, Hector Sutherland and George McNair gave a talk on Robert Mennon and his poetry. The notes used by Hector and George (both of whom have sadly passed on) are recorded here.
Also reproduced here are extracts from “Minstrelsy of the Merse” by Rev W.S. Crockett (1893) which gives details of Mennon's life as well as some of his poems.