Marches spirit outshines damp conditions

Linlithgow Marches was a big success
Linlithgow Marches was a big success

The wet weather could not dampen the spirit shown across the Royal Burgh of Linlithgow as residents lined the streets to celebrate the Marches.

The day started for many with the Provost’s Breakfast in the Burgh Halls where Provost Jim Carlin, who has been in the position since 2014, welcomed his guests, introduced everyone to the top table and thanked everyone for their continued support of Linlithgow’s biggest tradition.

With breakfast well and truly enjoyed, the Civic Party headed outside where the growing crowds were entertained by the Linlithgow Reed Band.

The band then led the march up to Linlithgow Palace were the Civic and Dyers’ Party met, shook hands and wished each other a happy marches.

At around 11am the procession made its way westward to Linlithgow Bridge and along the route the streets were lined with residents, young and old with flags in hand cheering the procession as it passed by them.

Babies were in their prams experiencing their first Marches, children were blowing bubbles at the tractors pulling the trailers and elderly residents were enjoying watching one of the town’s oldest traditions thrive.

The party arrived at Linlithgow Bridge and owner of the popular Indian restaurant The Ashmaan, Ackie Mohammed, gave the first toast.

After a few jokes at the expense of a few of his customers and a plug of his restaurant, Ackie told the crowd how Linlithgow bridge had welcomed his family and allowed his business to grow and become a part of the town.

The procession then made its way to Blackness for the laying of the wreaths, the Blackness Milk and the installation of the Baron Baillie.

Bobby Fleming was reinstated as Baron Baillie of Blackness and, with the rain coming down and brollies going up, he gave a very brief account of the past 12 months before the procession made its way to Low Valley House for lunch.

With everyone well fed, the procession headed back to Linlithgow and at roughly 5pm the final procession got under way.

Having walked the route three times all that was left to do was give the closing speeches, sing Auld Lang Syne and God Save the Queen.

The message throughout the day was the strong community spirit Linlithgow shows, not just on the day of the Marches but every day of the year and yesterday was a prime example that Linlithgow is a friendly welcoming town, proud of its traditions.