Bathgate truck plant’s vital role revealed in new book

A new book about an industrial giant now vanished from West Lothian was unveiled at the weekend.

Bathgate’s Regal Community Theatre was the venue for the launch of ’’Bathgate Once More’’ which examines the role played by the enormous British Motor Corporation/British Leyland tractor and truck plant which emplyed 6000 people at its peak as was such a feature of county life from 1961 until 1986. The Bathgate Once More project was funded by an award of £42,300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund. More than 400 people and organisations have contributed to the project taking part in a range of events and education activities mainly during 2011 – the 50th anniversary year of the opening of the factory and 25th anniversary year of its closure. This includes 59 former workers who have brought the story of the Bathgate truck and tractor plant back to life through recording their memories of the industry and its place in their lives. The Bathgate Once More book is illustrated with photographs from national and local archives and personal items loaned by former workers. Five-hundred copies of the book are being produced for schools, libraries and community centres across West Lothian so that younger generations can learn about this important piece of social history in West Lothian.