Letters to the Editor

editorial image

Torphichen planting recalled

Sir, – I often look at old photographs published in the Linlithgow Gazette and wonder how many of those in the photograph are still alive.

This week on page 23 I find myself and the Rev Tom Crichton in Torphichen Kirk Yard accepting a tree from a group of visitors from Germany in July 1980 (West Germany as it was then).

I was chairman of Torphichen Community Council at the time and I am on the right side of the picture with our German visitors doing the planting.

In this case, I am the only member of the West Lothian Twinning Association in the picture still alive to give you the names of the other members of the Twinning Association who were present on that day.

For those who knew them their names are: John Calder, Jack McIntyre and Jack Smith.

Apart from those three plus Rev Tom Crichton (also deceased) all the others in the photo were from Langscheid near Arnsberg in the Hochsauerland.

The area was twinned with west Lothian and I organised many exchange visits to Germany in the 1970s and 80s.

The photo brings back happy memories of good times in Arnsberg and also hosting return groups from the Hochsauerland visiting us in West Lothian.

I hope you can find space to print this letter as there are friends and relatives of members of the West Lothian Twinning Association who will recognise the event. – Yours etc.,


4 Prior’s Grange


Torphichen tree

Sir, – I can help a little with the tree-planting photo.

The date was July 1980. The German visitors comprised a choir from Langscheid in Hochsauerland. The gentleman to the right of the picture is Theo Becker-Ascher). The spade-holder is likely to be the choir’s conductor.

The tree still exists and there is a plaque at the foot which reads “Presented to the people of Torphichen by the Langscheid Choir, Hochsauerland, to commemorate their visit July 1980”.

The visit was arranged through the West Lothian Twinning Association which was founded in 1972 and continues to this day to facilitate visits between West Lothian and Hochsauerlandkreis.

Langscheid lies on the north- west bank of the Sorpesee, whose dam was one of three attacked by the Dambusters during WW2, and is now a popular resort.

My thanks to the remarkable memory of Jim Clark who is a committee member of the Twinning Association. – Yours etc.,

Edgar Liddle

Treasurer, West Lothian

Twinning Association


Thanks to the community

Sir, – On behalf of Linlithgow and Linlithgow Bridge Community Council I wish to thank all those that made the Linlithgow Remembrance Sunday parade and service a fitting tribute to all those from Linlithgow and elsewhere who have given their lives to protect the freedom we enjoy. – Yours etc.,

John Kelly


Linlithgow and Linlithgow Bridge Community Council

No problems with phone shop

Sir, – We could not agree more with the points raised by your readers in the Journal and Gazette of November 7.

We have used the services of the “Fone Republic” for almost a year and have never found the owner to be anything but helpful, efficient and friendly.

He even made a few “house calls” when he realised our difficulty in taking computer and printer to the shop.

We have also had advice on minor issues from him over the telephone with no cost involved.

We need shops like this on the High Street. –Yours etc.

Frances and Peter


by email

Death of ‘Wee Bobby’’

Sir, -I was saddened by the death of Bobby Muirhead from Linlithgow Bridge. Bobby was a character not often encountered in life who leaves an indelible mark. He had his wee hat and stick and would jump on buses all times of the day and evening. My family encountered him many a time and he was a delight to speak to.

Just recently speaking to him I was aware something was not quite right and voiced my concerns.

It was a great shock to see he had died and I will miss our wee blethers on the bus. – Yours etc.,

Lorna Johnston

63 Preston Road, Linlithgow

Villagers touched by gesture

Sir, – Can I say that the villagers of Blackness were greatly touched by the young man from the Boys’ Brigade who visited the village on Sunday accompanied by a BB official and who was very smart as he laid a wreath at our War Memorial.
This occurred well after the offical service and must have been specially arranged by the Boys’ Brigade.
Thanks again for a lovely gesture. – Yours etc.,


The Guildry, Blackness