Down memory lane

A peek at the Journal and Gazette archives


December 8

BLACK WATCH: The 42nd Highlanders (Black Watch) or “the gallant forty-twa” marched out from their station at Blackness to considerable excitement from the locals. Headed by a piper, the regiment marched to Linlithgow by way of Carriden and Bo’ness.

STREETS: A number of street improvements were carried out in the burgh, including the “metalling” of the streets by the County Buildings. It was also reported that the wynds had been given a “substantial covering of ashes”. New street lighting was organised for Bo’ness.

LIGHTS OUT: James Bell of Lion Well Wynd was convicted of cycling in darkness without an attached light. At the Justice of the Peace Court, held in Linlithgow, he pled guilty to the crime and was given the choice of a 10 shilling fine or 3 days imprisonment.


December 8

CARE HOME: St Michael’s home for children in Linlithgow was given a special tribute from the superintendent at Dorward House in Montrose. After six children from St Michael’s were transferred to Dorward, the superintendent stated he had never seen such well-clothed, well-nourished children in 17 years of experience.

CAT: A famous cat named Pilot Officer Pringle (or Pop for short) was taken under the wing of Provost Ford at the County Buildings. The 18 month old grey cat had flown 14 times over Germany and had been unofficially awarded the DFC. He was staying in Linlithgow until he could be rehomed.

EVACUEES: Most of the local area’s evacuees were being gradually sent home, with only children from London and other ‘danger zones’ continuing to stay in West Lothian.


December 6

CRACKS: 14 families were evacuated from their homes in Bo’ness after cracks appeared in the walls and roads. The land subsistence was understood to have been due to old mining works.

DISAPPEARING ACT: Queensferry Fair Committee gave compensation to a local woman after losing an expensive carpet they had borrowed from her. Mrs Margaret Cormack was furious after the committee left the carpet on the stage at Burgess Park overnight, where it was then stolen.

GALA DAY: Committee members feared for the future of Linlithgow and Linlithgow Bridge Children’s gala day after their AGM failed to attract a single member of the public. The treasurer’s report also revealed a £501 deficit.


December 3

SCHOOL SHOWDOWN: Linlithgow Bridge Primary School was reported to be over capacity - with more primary ones set to enrol in 2005 than the school could handle. Councillor Tam Smith raised the possibility of parents having to go to court to secure their children’s places at the school.

DISGRACED COP: John Lamberton, a former policeman with the Royal Ulster Constabulary was jailed for 7 years after conning a Bo’ness woman out of £410,000.

AWARD: A new £1 million amenities block at Caledonian Produce won a commendation in the Dynamic Place Awards for 2004. The building, which was designed with the comfort of Caledonian Produce’s 600 employees in mind, was commended by Scottish Enterprise.