Linlithgow mourned the loss of a true Black Bitch recently with the passing of Ronnie McLeod.
Born on October 6, 1928, the local lolliepop-man attended Linlithgow Public School and Linlithgow Academy, back in the days when the academy was located where Low Port Primary now stands.
Living through the Second World War, when the air-raid siren warned of an impending attack, Ronnie and the other children were marched from school to the Palace where they hid in the dungeons.
Leaving school at 14, the Linlithgow lad worked as an apprentice motor mechanic before serving his country in Italy with the Royal Scots regiment at 18-years-old.
Upon returning to his beloved Linlithgow, Ronnie met and married Bo’ness lass Nan Johnstone on June 12, 1954.
The couple were married for 38 years and had two daughters, Shona and Heather, who will forever remember their hard-working dad.
Shona said: “He was a fantastic dad to us both and was Linlithgow through and through.”
One of Ronnie’s favourite traditions was the Linlithgow Marches where he and his best friend Gordon Hunter would meet at 5pm to walk the final laps of the procession.
Ronnie retired at 65, however the incredibly fit and active handy-man could not sit still for long and he began working as a lolliepop-man at Low Port Primary School in 1993.
Heather said: “He absolutely adored that job, it is safe to say it was his favourite. That will be why he did it for over 20 years.”
For the next 22 years, Ronnie would be the happy smiling man waiting to safely cross the children across the road. Shona said: “He became so involved with the school; he would give talks, help out at Christmas and really became a favourite of the pupils.”
The love for Ronnie was easy to see at Christmas when he would be inundated with gifts. Heather said: “Once people discovered he enjoyed a wee whiskey, he had enough to last a lifetime.”
Sadly Ronnie passed away on June 4, however his family will never forget what their dad and grand-dad taught them. His funeral took place on June 11 in St Ninian’s Craigmailen Parish Church and was packed with people paying their respects to an extraordinary man.
Shona said: “We had a piper playing the Roke and the Row, the song played during the Marches, which was a fitting tribute to a man who loved life in Linlithgow.”