Down memory lane

Explosion and fire

This year in 1913

PREMISES BADLY DAMAGED: An explosion folllowed by a fire caused much damage at a boot and shoe saddlery premises on Linlithgow High Street on Monday evening. It appears the proprietor was working on a motor cycle when the petrol tank exploded, resulting in the blaze. The fire bridage attended swiftly and the fire quickly put out, but by that time there was ‘‘much destruction’’ to the premises.

RAIL CRASH: A goods train on the main line was inadvertantly switched to the lye and smashed into empty wagons, three of which were badly damaged and swept clear of the rails. A lorry was also damaged.

DOCS REPORT NO CHANGE: A little boy had the misfortune to swallow a halfpenny last week. His parents were ‘‘very much alarmed’’ and took him to the infirmary, where the coin was extracted.

SOIREE: The Band of Hope, under the auspices of the YMCA, held their annual soiree in the public hall. Around 180 children attended. After tea, a spendid evening was spent with songs, dances, games and gramophone selections. The evening was voted a great success.

Boosting the NHS

This week in 1963

WORKING TOGETHER: A number of recommendations to improve the health service in West Lothian were approved by the County Council health committee. Most of them are the outcome of suggestions made at a conference with representatives of voluntary organisations and include such things as the provision of lunch and laundry facilities for old folk, the setting up of a Citizens’ Advice Bureau, and schemes to help with holidays .

PLEA: The Journal and Gazette reports that the council’s 30-feet Christmas tree is now in place at East Partings in Bo’ness, with its 120 lights ‘‘lending a bright and cheerful atmosphere to busy seasonal shoppers, and has drawn many admiring glances. But remembering the amount of wanton vandalism last year, when the tree was damaged, cables ripped and bulbs stolen, we appeal to all responsible citizens to ensure that such acts are not repeated.’’

BITE WORSE THANK BARK: A local firm was a warned at Bo’ness Police Court to keep its watchdog under proper control after admitting a charge that it bit a 19-year-old postman on the leg.

Festive bonanza

This year in 1983

SEASONAL SPENDING: Local traders report it’s ‘‘spend, spend, spend’’ as shoppers aim to enjoy their best Christmas ever. The Journal and Gazette says that retailers are enjoying a shopping boom in the run-up to Christmas Day. Victoria Wines in Linlithgow say they have been astonished at the vast increase in popularity of liqueurs and that expensive bottles of whisky and all kinds of wines are selling in huge numbers.

SUPERSTORE SETBACK: The battle to build a giant shopping and leisure complex at Queensferry has suffered another major setback. Lothian Regional Council has turned down an Edinburgh firm’s plan to build the store, indoor bowling complex and garden centre at Ferrymuir.

PETITION PROTEST: A colourful demonstration outside Linlithgow’s Burgh Halls marked the climax of a campaign for more nursery education in the town. A group of ‘‘angry’’ local mothers, pushing prams bedecked with banners, streamers and balloons, presented a councillor with a petition which they claimed showed overwhelming support for their case among townspeople.

Pub clampdown call

This year in 2003

BAR HUMBUG:Publicans are Linlithgow have had enough of the town’s yobs and and are demanding ‘‘zero tolerance’’ measures in a bid to curb their behaviour. At least three licensees are demanding a special meeting of the successful Pub Watch scheme after a series of incidents which they say has them, their staff and customers on edge every weekend.

STORM BREWING: Furious shop owners are up-in-arms over plans for another coffee shop at the Cross in Linlithgow. Business owners have already contacted West Lothian Council to voice objections over plans for the former tanning studios.Several people were interested in the premises but the council’s property management department opted to give the lease to the highest bidder, as policy dictates. Other coffee shop owners said the new outlet would harm their businesses.

CHEQUE OUT: A bumper £7406 was presented to Linlithgow Academy rector John Low - thanks to the efforts of teachers and parents. The huge cash windfall was raised throughout the year through activities held by the Linlithgow Academy Association.