From our postbag


Witch hunt

Sir,– I was hoping your readers could help me with some historical research into witch hunting in Linlithgow.

For Hallowe’en the Edinburgh Dungeon has been creating a special show called War on Witches, based on events during the 16th to early 18th centuries when nearly 4000 Scots women and men were accused of witchcraft – with many imprisoned, tortured and executed.

I was astonished to discover that the academics from Edinburgh University (who created the Scottish Witchcraft Survey) have identified around 114 cases from the area. Among the accused were people like Elspit Scott, a folk healer, who faced the wrath of the law 400 years ago in 1612. Then there was Catherine Logie, who was recorded in 1644 as having been ‘laitlie brunt’ in Linlithgow.

Something else that interested me is the suggestion by archaeological experts that Burgh Muir of Linlithgow was where the witchcraft executions took place. Does anyone know if this is true? One piece I read said there were burgh accounts of faggots and barrels of tar being bought for the purpose (witches were often strangled, then their bodies burned in tar).

If anyone can help, or has any other interesting tales of Linlithgow witchery, I’d be interested to hear more. – Yours etc.,


Edinburgh Dungeon,

31, Market St, Edinburgh

EH1 1QB.


Not a new idea

Sir – Reference Mr Underwood’s letter (Linlithgow Gazette, October 12), the suggestion that our station be moved eastwards has been aired more than once in recent years.

In the 19th century there was at least one attempt to relocate it in the opposite direction.

In April of 1864 Mr Chalmers of Longcroft wrote to the directors of the Edinburgh & Glasgow Railway enclosing “a memorial from the inhabitants of Linlithgow praying that the station be removed to the west of the burgh”

It appears that Lochmill, where additional sidings were installed at a later date, was the site favoured by the petitioners.–Yours etc.,


Prestonfield Gardens, Linlithgow

New exhibition

Sir, – Annet House Museum is mounting an exhibition during the 2013 season to commemorate the bicentenary of the birth of David Waldie, whose work with chloroform led directly to its introduction for use in anaesthetics by Sir James Simpson.

The museum would welcome any information by way of objects, documents, photographs or recollections relating to David Waldie and/or the Waldie family Please contact the museum on 01506670677 or –Yours etc.,


Annet House Museum,


Good show

Sir, – Opening night of guys and dolls, was just superb. the cast put a lot of time and effort into rehearsals, and it was well worth it.

The actor, and actress, put on a marvellous show, and the music was brilliant. anybody who hasn’t seen it, you should really go, or if you can’t get tickets, watch out for their next production. It is truly worth it. your feet are tapping, and you are singing along. Well done, LAMP.

Congratulations, to everyone in cast, for a fantastic show, and of course thanks to those who played the music.

Roll on next show. – Yours etc.,


Bradbury Street,

Carron, Falkirk.

Free offer

Sir,– Now Scottish Power has followed British Gas in announcing a price rise, its gas and electricity customers can expect their domestic fuels bills to go up by seven per cent from December 3.

Now more than ever, Energy Saving Scotland urges readers to take up the government’s offer and install free loft, cavity wall and/or under-floor insulation.

Let me say that again: home insulation, completely free in Edinburgh and the Lothians, Scottish Borders and Fife. The Scottish Government has allocated £12.5 million to local authorities for the Universal Home Insulation Scheme and the only catch is that the current funding is due to end December 31.

The scheme is not means-tested. The only condition is that the property must be suitable for the type of insulation available, which is determined by a free no-obligation survey. Even calling for advice is free. Phone the Home Energy Scotland Hotline on 0800 512 012 and one of our advisers will call you back.

Insulating your loft can save you £175 per year and cavity wall insulation can save you £135. What’s not to like? – Yours etc.,


Energy Saving Scotland advice centre South East


36 Newhaven Road, Edinburgh

Charity’s thanks

Sir, – On behalf of everyone at Arthritis Research UK I’d like to thank readers who held a fundraising event or helped us bust arthritis myths during our National Arthritis Week 2012 which ran from October 8-14.

Our recent research showed that many people believe common myths about arthritis, for example that it simply means ‘aches and pains as you get old’ or that you should not exercise if you have neck, back or joint pain.

In fact, arthritis can affect anyone at any age. Ten million people in the UK are affected and it is the biggest cause of pain and disability in the UK. At the right level, exercise can ease stiffness, improve joint movement and strengthen muscles.

We are the only charity in the UK dedicated to researching all forms of arthritis.

We receive no government funding so we rely entirely on the generosity of the British public to continue funding world class research.

Many thanks again from all of us here at Arthritis Research UK for supporting our National Arthritis Week 2012.

We’d love to see photos of your fundraising activities so do share them with us at and – Yours etc.,


Chief Executive

Arthritis Research UK