Hop on its last legs fears organiser

080812  Scotch hop at linlithgow palace.
080812 Scotch hop at linlithgow palace.

Anyone wanting to enjoy the Scotch Hop at Linlithgow Palace should make sure they get on their dancing shoes as this year could be their last chance.

Organiser John Carswell has been in charge of the unique dancing extravaganza for the past 24 years and feels this year could be his final foray into the Palace courtyard as lord of the dance.

He said: “This will probably be our last Scotch Hop, as I have to find someone who can take over. I have been doing this for 24 years and I don’t want to still be doing this when I can’t remember the dances, so I’ve decided it’s time to go.”

But this year’s Scotch Hop is looking to be one of the best yet with a special surprise dance in the pipeline, The Pride of Dunblane, to mark Andy Murray’s achievement at Wimbledon.

John added: “It’s early days but it’s something that we’re working on - it will be a Scottish dance with some tennis inspired elements!”

As always the event attracts international visitors, and this year they are coming from Canada and Germany to enjoy the dancing and the Scottish bands.

John said: “It’s a lot of work but I am looking forward to it. When you see the courtyard filling up, it’s a very exciting feeling.”

The five-week Scotch Hop season starts on Wednesday, July 17, at 7.30pm in the Palace, and every subsequent Wednesday until August 14. Tickets can be bought at the door at £7.50 for adults and £5 for concessions, including tea and shortbread. Under 12s go free. Season tickets are £22 for adults and £15 for concessions.

Low Port Centre will be used in adverse weather.