March of progress

240413  Linlithgow, the star and garter hotel.
240413 Linlithgow, the star and garter hotel.

THE Star and Garter Hotel already has bookings for this year’s Marches as the countdown to re-opening gathers pace.

Number One High Street is one of Linlithgow’s most historic properties and since David Kennedy and his team took on the restoration of the building last August, what was reduced to a burnt-out shell in October 2010 has started to come back to life.

This week, David, a local businessman, said: “It’s going well, and we are still planning to open in June, so we have six weeks to finish it all.”

On Monday, the restoration team started the process of lime rendering on the front and the side of the building.

If the weather had been better, the scaffolding would have been removed in February but it will stay up until the new wooden hand-painted sign for the front of the building is put in place over the next few weeks.

David added: “There’s still an awful lot to do and I’ve been choosing wallpaper and ordering items for the decor but we are on track and the function suite is booked out for the Marches.”

The Star and Garter is also back on the cricket shirts as sponsors for West Lothian County Cricket team, and businesses have been donating items of local value for display in the new Star, including a miniature bottle of whisky and a town plaque.

The new-look hotel, which dates back to 1759, will include a cafe bar to the rear for rail commuters, a newly designed bar and restaurant, a function suite on the first floor and five quality bedroom suites on the second.

*A van that was reported 
stolen from Mill Road Industrial Estate on Monday, April 15, and reported in the Journal and Gazette belonged to David Kennedy’s Real Estate Signs business in Linlithgow Bridge.

Although the van was recovered on the same day in Lanarkshire, expensive tools were stolen and the company had to hire another van for the day. Police are still investigating. Call 101 if you have any information.