The weather may not have been the best but that failed to dampen the spirit of those who attended the book launch and street fair at The Cross, Linlithgow last Saturday.
The launch of A Parade of Provosts proved to be an affair full of red-robed pomp and ceremony when, after a fanfare by members of the Linlithgow Reed Band, the Town Crier, David Duncan, urged all those in earshot to purchase their copy of the new History of the Burgh seen through the eyes and actions of all its 82 Provosts.
A few words from the present Provost Jim Carlin and the work’s author, Bruce Jamieson, was followed by a book signing in the Burgh Halls – at which over 200 volumes were duly endorsed by Provost Carlin, Baron Bailie Bobby Fleming and all living Past Provosts.
Bruce (70) said: “I hope it will be a memory of what this town has to offer in a way of history and heritage.
“I think it will also be a talking point because it goes right up to the present day and people will remember some of the items in it.
“No doubt people will be telling me if I have got things slightly wrong. The next edition will catch up with that.”
The early signs are good. One person said they loved the way the book ranged from the horrors of Covenanters and the Jacobite Rebellions to the fact that Mr Blobby didn’t make it round the Cross three times.
Others said it was great to read Bobby Bennie’s song on his farewell from being Deacon of the Dyers.
Bruce said: “The feedback I have had has been positive. One person emailed me saying it was a must-have for anyone interested in the history of Linlithgow.
“Many at the signing commented on the exhibition of illustrations, photos, Marches programmes and documents on display – which will be on show again at the presentation on May 26.”
Books are still available from members of the Deacons Court, Far From The Madding Crowd where a book signing will take place this Saturday, May 20 at noon, and at an Illustrated Presentation given by the author in St. Michael’s Church Hall on Friday May, 26 at 7.30pm. All of the proceeds go to the Deacons’ Court.
After the excitement of the morning, the fun continued as the annual Deacons Court street fair took place at The Cross.
Food stalls, raffles and games kept the children entertained with the adults also taking a good soaking in the stocks.
It was all for a good cause of course as the excitement builds towards the Marches where it will be Provost Carlin’s last year in office.
Bruce, who was a provost from 2003 to 2005, said: “Being provost is a huge honour. He will be very sad to give up but very happy to have had three successful years.
“It is a relief to hand over the reins of a thriving organisation. There is huge demand now to be a member.
“The three you do as provost are a blur. You are at the head of the procession all day from 5am to 6.30pm and you are making one speech after another, welcoming guests and shaking hands. The year after I retired I was taken away by the Dyers and I was able to look at it dispassionately and see it from a different view.”
Provost Jim Carlin said: “I am thoroughly looking to forward to the civic celebrations, it has been a privilege and an honour to be Provost. I’ve enjoyed my time in charge. I will miss it. The Linlithgow public have been so welcoming and friendly and I hope I have been able to replicate that. The Street Fair and the craft beers and cocktails night went really well and it is a good omen for the rest of the celebrations.”