From our postbag

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Call to commit to landmark

Sir, – Further to your article ‘County Buildings shelved?’ (Journal and Gazette, November 14) Linlithgow Civic Trust expresses its fears over the future of the County Buildings.

The last few years have seen the loss of practically all Linlithgow’s administrative functions to Livingston leaving empty buildings and a loss of employment.

The Sheriff Court and Procurator Fiscal’s have gone and County Buildings has been closed for a considerable period. Additionally, the bus depot has closed.

The trust supports the council’s proposal to convert the building into Linlithgow Partnership Centre to house some council functions, local history library, public library, a Police Scotland presence, the provision of facilities for voluntary groups and possibly offices for Linlithgow BIDs.

Although Councillor Tom Conn made it clear at a recent town management group meeting that the council administration is firmly committed to the partnership centre proposal, it is understood, in fact, West Lothian Council is awaiting an options appraisal before deciding what to do. Costs as high as £3.5m have been mentioned, a considerable proportion of which relates to asbestos removal, as quoted in a council report.

The Trust is concerned that a too conservatively high estimate for the cost of asbestos removal could jeopardise the whole project.

Linlithgow Civic Trust urges West Lothian Council to progress the refurbishment of the County Buildings and seeks an early decision to go ahead, returning employment to our town giving a much-needed boost to High Street businesses. – Yours etc.,

Chris Long

Chairman

Linlithgow Civic Trust

Short term fix lingers on

Sir, – When the payment office was transferred to the library, it was meant to be a short term inconvenience.

As time goes on there does not seem to be any change in the situation and according to ‘‘your man in the know’’ there does not seem to be anything happening soon.

This is a shocking state of affairs as the space allocated in the library does not help matters.

The prospects of a partnership building on a par with the one in Bathgate was exciting to look forward to but now we are expected to accept the better of two options, if they even go ahead and when.

These being 1. Removal of asbestos or 2 knock it down. Both options years down the line more costly than first envisaged.

Where the facilities are situated at the moment, is frustrating as the seat to wait to be seen is out of sight and with one person dealing with the public at the desk, is equally frustrating when you happen to be unlucky if they are on a tea break

I hope a quick solution is forthcoming to give the people of Linlithgow a facility they so richly deserve. –Yours etc.,

Lorna Johnston

63 Preston Road

Linlithgow

Saddler’s recalled

Sir, – With reference to the photograph that appeared in the nostalgia section of the November 14 edition of your paper:

The Brownlee family were saddlers in West Lothian for many years.

They had a shop in George Street, Bathgate, until at least the 1970s and the family lived in the Torphichen area.

I do not recognise the shop front shown in your photograph.

Perhaps it was different premises but I cannot identify the location. – Yours etc.,

Mary Easson

St Ninians Road

Linlithgow

It’s a (very) small world!

Sir, – My wife and I were interested to read about Herbert Broome and his connection to the Bo’ness Journal.

My wife Ann is the grand-daughter of William Broome who was the last member of the family to be proprietor of the Bo’ness Journal.

He, in turn, was the grandson of Francis Broome the newspaper’s founder.

Several months ago you printed a photo of Bo’ness home guard during World War 2 and in the photo was William Broome.

Like many others he too had served in WW1, in a cycle battalion in France.

My late father-in-law, Moore McVeigh, also worked for a while as a young reporter for the paper on his return from service in the far east with the Royal Navy in WW2 prior to training as a school teacher.

It really is a small world! – Yours etc.,

Alan Armes

29 Inchcolm Terrace

South Queensferry