From our postbag

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Dignity in death at old cemetery

Sir, – I welcome the Gazette’s research on the ownership of the Old Carriden Kirk courtyard.

My aunt, Dame Margaret Kidd, first Lady Advocate in Scotland and her husband Donald, a descendant of Donald MacDonald, Lord of the Isles, are buried there. The graves of my mother, a war-time Royal Observer Corps member, and my father, Mr James Kidd O.B.E. – former senior partner of Peterkin & Kidd, Solicitors, in Linlithgow – are also there.
Both my father and my aunt were children of West Lothian MP, Mr James Kidd, and both went to Carriden Public School.
Dad, in addition to distinguished war service including service in Sir Winston Churchill’s ‘Map Room’ below 10 Downing Street, helped to form the first Linlithgow and Bo’ness Rotary Club and captained West Lothian Cricket Club for many years.
My aunt was a ‘kenspeckle’ figure of enormous knowledge, memory and compassion and both she and my dad worshipped in the Old Kirk as very small childrenbefore transferring to the present Kirk, the building of which our grand-father helped to fund, along with his friend the then headmaster of Carriden School – Mr William Andrew.

Over the last 10 years visitors to all graves in this section have become increasingly dismayed at the relentless deterioration of the entrance and the masonry.

The present financial situation is clearly very difficult but if the council were to demolish the existing Old Kirk entrance, thus depriving the pigeons of their shelter, and if a small gate with a step up to it were to be 
installed at the extreme left-hand window facing the main gate on to Carriden Brae, this might not be prohibitively expensive.

All visitors could then proceed safely knowing their loved ones are remembered with dignity. – Yours etc.,

Jessica Hannen



University needs volunteers

Sir, – We would like to draw readers of the Linlithgowshire Gazette to a research project we are conducting at Heriot-Watt University on the contemporary issue of having a job (or are self-employed), yet low pay keeping the individual or family within or close to the poverty line.

We are looking to interview approximately 60 people from across Scotland facing such a predicament. To show our appreciation for taking part in our study participants will receive a £20 cash equivalent voucher.

All details of our study can be found at the following web-address: – Yours etc.,

Dr. James Richards

Mary Burton Building

Heriot-Watt University

Edinburgh EH14 4AS

Open day at Kinneil estate

Sir, – I just wanted to thank the Journal and Gazette for your excellent article about the 2015 open days at Kinneil House, Bo’ness. Your support is very much appreciated.

The first event is this Saturday (March 21). Please note the House will only be open in the morning (from 10 am-noon, with a last admission at 11.30am) - so don’t be late! We’ll also see the re-opening of Kinneil Museum after a two month closure to refurbish the ground floor displays.

I hope your readers will come along and tour the House and see the new-look museum. Admission to both will be free of charge.

We’ll be posting updates and more information on our Facebook page at and on Twitter:

You can also find information on our main website at – Yours etc.,



The Friends of Kinneil

Craigallan Park, Bo’ness

No mandate for turbines

Sir, – The map showing the number and location of wind turbines in Scotland is 18 months out of date.

Did the Scottish Government put pressure on Scottish National Heritage to delay publication of an up-to-date map until after the General Election?

A new map would clearly show that Scotland has become the most crowded country in the world for wind turbines.

Scotland at present has 2683 turbines, 282 more under 
construction and a further 2202 have planning consent.

The SNP Scottish Government, led by Alex Salmond, bulldozed through wind turbine applications despite public protests.

A vote in May for the SNP will be seen as a mandate to erect yet more of these subsidised monstrosities.

The electorate in Gordon in Aberdeenshire should definitely not vote for Alex 
Salmond. –Yours etc.,

Clark Cross


Can we afford it?

Sir, - There have been two SNP leaflets in my street, neither of which mentions the current policy of ‘fiscal autonomy’.

What this would mean is that, under devolution, 
Scotland would be responsible for raising all the cash the government spends in Scotland.

Sounds wonderful, until you look at the sums involved!

Official figures for this show a deficit for the years 2013/14, ie before the oil price crash; for the following year the figures will be worse!

The story is the same for much of the past 15 years, showing an example of the the union actually helps Scotland.

This policy would entail austerity and/or tax increases far worse than in the UK now - yet all we hear from the SNP is 
silence! - Yours etc.,

William Ballantine