NEW Provost Jack Adair is looking forward to his first year as Provost and hopes that everything will go without a hitch.
Jack (65) lives at Back Station Road with wife Christine (65), made his home in the royal burgh in 1975 after moving from Glasgow, and now holds the town’s highest honour as Provost of the Deacon’s Court.
Jack said: “Being Provost is a privilege - I am looking forward to it but I think the first time will always be the most nerve wracking.
‘‘The Marches are more or less the same every year - we are not re-inventing the wheel, but I could not do without the Deacon’s Court.
‘‘The system of having bailies means that by the time you go through it, you are ready to be Provost.
‘‘Past Provosts also remain on the Court and their experience has been very valuable. They are superb.”
Jack added: “Other areas have a Riding of the Marches such as Lanark and Stirling but we are all unique. And Black Bitches have told me that the Deacon’s Nights are completely unique to Linlithgow.”
This week, the new Provost is working on his Marches speeches and hoping for sunshine, adding: “On Marches Day the weather can do anything, but it will go ahead whatever happens!”
*The new senior bailie is Jim Carlin (56) of Clarendon Road.
As a solicitor, he knows the meticulous planning that goes into the town’s biggest day, adding: “We want as many people as possible to enjoy the civic festival and this feeds into the Marches.
‘’The response has been tremendous - there were 340 at the Eve of Marches Dance - 25 per cent more than last year.
‘‘We want the whole community to remember the Marches with pride.
‘’It has evolved over time and everyone can take part in the procession.”
Jim, with wife Vickie (49) and son Ross (14), is looking forward to seeing new Provost Jack Adair make his mark.
He added: “Jack has taken to the role of Provost like a duck to water and he is a very experienced member of the Deacon’s Court.
‘‘This year, we went round all the primary schools, and he was very well received.”
*New middle bailie is John Cunningham, who lives on the High Street with wife Myra (47) and kids Calum (23), Heather (18), Morven (15) and Lomond (9).
John (46) works with children with learning difficulties but on Marches day, he will be the ‘tasting bailie’ - the official who makes sure the Provost makes it through the day without keeling over due to something on the menu.
He said: “It’s all quite exciting. I have more experience now and you gain more for your next move up.
‘‘I’m looking forward to the whole event and the bailies and Provost work well as a team. We hope everyone really enjoys the day!”
*New junior bailie is the first female to hold the position - Liz Park.
Liz (53) is a Black Bitch as is her husband Tom (55) and the day has always meant a lot to her.
Liz, who lives at Sheriffs Park, said: “As someone who belongs to the town, it means a lot to me to be part of the big day itself. The junior bailie is traditionally the ‘hanging bailie’ - which is long gone now!
She added that being the first woman bailie was special but she added: “I would never miss the Marches anyway and I will be up at 5am for the big day as usual!”
The Baron Bailie of Blackness is Bobby Fleming.