The shock of potentially losing the historic Mrs. Forman's has taken a few days to wear off, but the forces are aligning to preserve golf's most historic social gathering spot as a structure. But why stop there? Conversion to a residence when it hasn't been one for nearly 200 years seems shortsighted.
After the last fight over Musselburgh Links, I've given up trying to understand the inability to grasp the lack of appreciation for Edinburgh historical sites like Musselburgh and Mrs. Forman's. Perhaps it's a matter of branding and marketing, or maybe this traces to the longtime rivalry between St. Andrews and Edinburgh. At this point, nothing should matter but protecting the game's most vital sites of importance.
Enough people know how vital this area was to the shaping of the sport as we know it today. Therefore, preserving golf's first mid-round snack bar and a historic post-round "19th hole" should supersede any rivalries.
For a nice, succinct bit of background on how the demolition plans were discovered, check out Ru Macdonald's discussion with Neil Laird on the Scottish Golf Travel podcast. Laird's excellent Scottish Golf History website is worth a look for background on this saga and for future trip planning.
Our discussion today from Morning Drive:
My photos from inside the now-shuttered eatery, including the view from Mrs. Forman's window, which she opened to serve golfers during their rounds.Here is the history of the place and more on Mrs. Forman:
His comments are on a fantastic GolfClubAtlas.com thread about the closing.
Anyone that wants to do the same, or your own version, should do so by e-mail before the 17th February.
You can e-mail direct to,
but you must quote the Application number 15/01035/P, 2 Ravensheugh Road, Musselburgh and state whether you are supporting or opposing or just commenting.
You can also write to,
Planning Department, John Muir House
Again quote reference number '15/01035/P - 2 Ravensheugh Road, Musselburgh'.
You can also comment on line, but will need to register on the web-site before doing so - not onerous but a bit tedious.
I think it is worth putting a marker down at this stage, so that East Lothian at least knows that Mrs Forman's has a significance to the history of golf, and that people care about it. There is a good level of concern nationally and internationally, and the more comments they receive the more notice will be taken now and in the future. I shall keep an eye out for future applications.