A peep at the past

A look at the Journal and Gazette archives


December 22

POVERTY: 69 people lodged claims for poverty relief at the Court of Appeals in Linlithgow. The Gazette columnist described watching “so many frail and indigent persons laying bare their social condition” as “a spectacle of a somewhat distressing and painful character”.

MILITARY: Garrison troops were exercised at Queensferry as two opposing forces. The cavalry staged an attack on Edinburgh, coming from Queensferry while the infantry tried to block their advance. After 11 cavalry scouts were spotted at Cramond Brig, skirmishes broke out across the district.

ACCIDENT: A young man employed at one of the mining pits in Winchburgh lost sight in one of his eyes after an accident. While using his pick axe, the tool had become stuck in some material. The man had jerked it free, only for the instrument to strike him in the eye.


December 22

INQUIRY: An inquiry was held into the death of a miner from Bo’ness. Thomas Hammond was killed at work when he didn’t hear a warning shout of “fire” before an explosion was detonated. Conflicting evidence came from the witness at the scene and the Procurator Fiscal , who disagreed about whether there had in fact been a warning shout.

FOOTBALL: An exciting game of football took place between Linlithgow Academy and Bo’ness Academy at the Boghall ground. Bo’ness scored within five minutes of the game but Linlithgow went on to equalise and then score again before the first half was over. The final score was Linlithgow 2, Bo’ness 1.

DEPOT: The Department of Health and the Ministry of Transport approved a new cooking depot for school meals at Linlithgow Bridge.


December 20

BLACK CHRISTMAS: West Lothian District Council removed the lights from the Christmas tree at the Cross because vandals had twice ripped them down. The lights would not be switched back on. Linlithgow was not the only place where the decision was made, as 14 trees across West Lothian were also affected by vandalism.

CLOSURES: A rapid series of shop closures on Queensferry High Street led planners to reject proposals for a new housing development. The proposal had included plans for 7 shops but there were fears that the units would not be filled.

APPEAL: Linlithgow police launched an urgent appeal after a spate of break-ins in the town. Four High Street premises had recently had their windows smashed.


December 17

JAILED: Pupils from Bo’ness Academy raised money for Barnardo’s Scotland by having one of their teachers locked up in a police cell. Pupils voted for which teacher they wanted to see ‘imprisoned’, making a donation each time they did so. The unlucky winner was PE teacher Helen Stout.

MARQUEE: Local groups expressed their disappointment over the Deacons Court decision to axe the Marches marquee for 2005. The decision was taken due to escalating hire costs.

ROCK: Bo’ness teenagers from the CB Youth Project raised £300 for an AIDS charity by staging their own rock concert. All of the musicians and technicians at the event were of secondary school age. The concert attracted 150 spectators.