Linlithgow lives on in new book

The front cover of Linlithgow Lives, a new book by Bruce Jamieson.
The front cover of Linlithgow Lives, a new book by Bruce Jamieson.

Stories affecting the lives of the people of Linlithgow over the years have been collated in a new book, to ensure the town’s history lives on.

The new book, Linlithgow Lives, by Bruce Jamieson, will be released next week with two special events in the town to mark the occasion.

Bruce Jamieson, author of Linlithgow Lives.

Bruce Jamieson, author of Linlithgow Lives.

Speaking about how the book came about, its author said: “I had articles in a local community magazine, featuring aspects of local history. A woman told me she enjoyed the articles but wanted them together in a book to keep.

“To me it’s a kind of pick up and put down book, that you can delve in and out of.

“You can just drop in and find an interesting chapter, then put it down again.

“The books is little snippets of our town’s history, full of illustrations.”

Commenting further on the book’s content, Bruce added: “There are 35 articles in all. Each an aspect of the history of Linlithgow. For example Robert Burns’ visit to the town, Queen Victoria’s visit that actually never took place.

“The articles are snapshots of Linlithgow life throughout the centuries – from the origins of its burgh crests, through the religious and personal life of the Middle Ages to the present day.

“Taking in some of the characters who have shaped the town’s past, including Mrs Glen Gordon, Oliver Cromwell, Robert Blair VC, the Rev John Ferguson, Sydney Coupar and Katie Wearie.

“Many of the town’s well-known stories have been given fresh life with new information obtained by going back to original sources. “

In the book, you can read about Linlithgow’s witches, the last public hanging at the Cross, the Baron Bailies of Blackness, the town’s last water mill, the grim poorhouse, the grammar school, the residents of St Michael’s Kirkyard and of Braehead Cemetery, the Nobel Explosives factory, the railway station, and more.

Bruce is delighted with his book, he said: “I taught history at Linlithgow Academy and never threw anything away.

“So I have got boxes and boxes of pictures and articles. It’s really been a labour of love. It’s 40 years of work. The kind of this has never been seen.

“It will be a great memento of Linlithgow’s history to keep. It has answers to a lot of questions people have about the town. And with Christmas coming up I think it will be a great present to get, or send to people from the town now living elsewhere in the world.

“The title of the book is very apt. It is both about the lives of those who have lived in the burgh through the ages – and it also reflects the town’s vibrant, living history.”

Bruce is thankful for the support he has had in publishing Linlithgow Lives.

He said: “Generous sponsorship from two local businessmen, Alan Steel and Calum Paterson, and the expertise of designer Chris Hamilton, has enabled the full colour volume to be produced at an excellent price.

“Whether it’s life in a medieval castle, living in Linlithgow through World War Two or watching the new spire go up on St Michael’s Church - it’s all here in this book.”

Linlithgow Lives will be launched on Saturday, October 26 with a signing session in Far From The Madding Crowd (11am-2pm) and an illustrated presentation in St Peter’s Church on the same evening at 7pm. Thereafter, the book will be on sale in Far From the Madding Crowd, the High Street Post Office and Linlithgow Museum.

Linlithgow Lives by Bruce Jamieson, is out on October 26, priced £7.99.