Mid and East Lothian Miners' Association

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The Mid and East Lothian Miners' Association (MELMA) was a trade union representing coal miners in parts of the Lothian area of Scotland.

The union described itself as having been founded in 1873 under the leadership of David Moffat,[1] but it was wound up the following year following an unsuccessful strike,[2] Moffat having to relocate to Fife due to victimisation.[3]

The union was re-established in 1887 by George Young and Robert Brown.[2] It registered in 1889, by which time it had a membership of about 2,000 workers.[1] In 1894, it was a founder constituent of the Scottish Miners' Federation,[4] and it played a leading role in that year's strike of miners in Scotland.[2] Other major strikes took place in 1912 and 1921.[2]

In 1945, the association was merged with other unions to form the Stirling and Lothians Area of the National Union of Mineworkers.[5]

General Secretaries[edit]

1890: Robert Brown
1917: Joseph Young
1919: Andrew Clarke
1940: Alexander Cameron


1889: William Shaw
1900: George Young
1912: Andrew Clarke
1918: James Ormiston


  1. ^ a b Arthur Marsh and Victoria Ryan, Historical Directory of British Trade Unions, vol.II, p.226
  2. ^ a b c d Catherine P. Snodgress, The County of East Lothian, p.161
  3. ^ Stephenson, Graham. "MOFFAT ABE, ALEX AND DAVE" (PDF). A Compendium of Communist Biographies. Retrieved 16 December 2015. Sources: Abe Moffat `My life with the miners' (1965) and other material
  4. ^ The Labour Gazette, vol.2 (1894), p.47
  5. ^ C. P. Snodgrass, The county of East Lothian, p.162