Down memory lane

A peek at the Journal and Gazette archives


January 12DISTURBANCE: Several miners and labourers were accused of causing a “disgraceful disturbance” on Blackness Road. The group had gone to the coffee house of James Paterson at a late hour for refreshment. After being refused entry, they threw stones at the windows, breaking three of them.

SHOCK ACCIDENT: A 74-year-old widow from Bo’ness was killed at Newtown while she was looking for coal. While reaching into the hutch, she was caught by the chain and dragged a considerable distance. An empty hutch then passed over her, fracturing her legs and causing serious internal injuries.

RECONSTRUCTION: The pub known as The Hole in the Wa’ was undergoing reconstruction work. The Gazette columnist noted that “many a happy night has been spent under this hospitable roof”.


January 12

AIRMAN: A young RAF pilot from South Queensferry was killed in a flying accident in England. 23-year-old Louis Shoolbread had been the last surviving son of Mr & Mrs James Shoolbread, who had lost their other son, also an airman, the year before.

AWARD: A Winchburgh naval man was awarded the D.S.M for courage, leadership and devotion to duty while serving with light coastal craft in attacks on enemy shifting. The man, Alexander Allardice Craig, had taken part in many Royal Navy actions as a gunner.

PRISONERS: A large number of Italian prisoners was drafted in to Linlithgow to undertake unpaid labour. The prisoners were spotted removing barbed wire and other material from a former military post on Blackness Road.


January 13

CHARITY: A special Christmas shop which was set up at the Kirkgate in Linlithgow over the holidays raised more than £3000 for children’s hospices in Romania and Albania. Named ‘The Lighthouse Shop’ the project was described as a Christian initiative to help people rediscover the meaning of Christmas.

TRUANCY: Linlithgow Academy and Queensferry High Scool were named as having some of the lowest levels of truancy in the region. Although Lothian pupils were twice as likely to skip school than the rest of their Scottish counterparts, Linlithgow and Queensferry were well below the national average.

PROCURATOR FISCAL: Linlithgow got its first ever female Procurator Fiscal, Linda Ruxton. Her four deputes were also women.


January 14

GIG: A young Bo’ness band scored a major hit by being invited to suport Scots band Viva Stereo at a gig in Falkirk. The band, named ‘Bone Idol’ formed while they were at Bo’ness Academy and cut their musical teeth through the Bo’ness Youth Music Project.

CANAL: Linlithgow Union Canal Society celebrated its 30th anniversary by announcing a special lecture series on the canal. The talks took place at the Manse Road tearoom and included discussions of the history of the society, Scottish canal systems and the Seagull Trust.

GEOLOGY: The Scottish Executive invested £54,000 in setting up a team to conduct a geological survey of West Lothian. This included assessing geo-diversity of rocks, soil, gravels and sand.