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A trip down memory lane

1894

October 20

WHALE: A harpoon inscribed with the name of a Bo’ness whaling ship, The Jean, was found in the belly of a dead whale off the coast of Greenland. The Jean, Bo’ness’s last whaling ship, had been crushed in the icy ocean 37 years previously.

LAW: New public health regulations meant Linlithgow residents in communal dwellings were subject to rigorous new rules. Bedding had to be kept clean, waste had to be removed from the house before 10am and beds which were slept in at night were not allowed to be occupied during the day.

PALACE: Repairs to Linlithgow Palace were being considered by H.M Board of Works. Repairs included the replacement of some of the chimneys which were described as being “in a dangerous state”. However, some were concerned that the work would “divest the palace of its ancient grandeur”.

1944

October 20

WELL: The well near the foot of New Well Wynd was knocked over by a motor car which had been unattended further up the hill. The hand brake had slipped from the ratchet. Fortunately no-one was hurt during the incident.

CONTROVERSY: It was brought to the attention of the Town Council that an unqualified teacher had been working at Bo’ness Academy. Of the two qualified applicants for the position, one had not turned up to the interview and the other had withdrawn their application. The school blamed the wartime shortage of teachers, stating they’d had no choice but to hire him.

ROBBERY: Two Glasweigan youths aged 16 and 18 “ransacked” the home of Mr and Mrs James Shanks at Longcroft Lodge. The pair pleaded guilty to 10 counts of burglary and were sentenced to three years borstal treatment.

1984

October 18

SHOPPING: The £2 million Regent Centre was declared to be several months behind schedule. Developers were disappointed to note that of 11 available units, just four had been snapped up. Local traders had objected to the development.

HAIR: Fiona Greenlaw and Eleanor McKenna, hair stylists from Linlithgow hair salon Quality Cuts, won places in the final of the L’oreal Colour Trophy. The pair were set to travel to London for the all-important final stage.

UNEMPLOYMENT: West Lothian was described as a “bleak” place for youngsters, as it was announced that over 7000 young people were unemployed in the region. This included 520 from Linlithgow, 220 from Queensferry and 860 from Bo’ness.

2004

October 15

SEWAGE: Children were left splashing through raw sewage due to a damaged sewer at the railway bridge leading to the meeting place for Elinor Playgroup at Boghall cricket ground. There was a slight delay in the problem being addressed as Scottish Water and a group of contractors both blamed one another for the fault.

SUSPICIOUS FIRES: Fire station manager Andy MacKay appealed for help from the local community following a spate of malicious fires in Bo’ness. Deliberate fire raising by unknown individuals had led to blazes at Alex Anderson’s Saw Mill, the former British Legion clubrooms and at rubbish bins and hay bales.

NHS 24: All Lothian GPs opted out of providing out-of-hours medical services, leading to the creation of th local NHS 24 service.