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

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


  1. 1.0 1.1 Arthur Marsh and Victoria Ryan, Historical Directory of British Trade Unions, vol.II, p.226
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 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<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. The Labour Gazette, vol.2 (1894), p.47
  5. C. P. Snodgrass, The county of East Lothian, p.162