More importantly, I am looking forward to seeing the people pf the town and visitors alike taking part and celebrating the Riding of Linlithgow Marches once again.”
With Provost Park taking over the office of Provost, the AGM also saw movement amongst the Bailies, Derek Green is now Senior Bailie and Lee Frickleton has moved into the role of Middle Bailie. William Calder was elected by the Court to take on the role of Junior Bailie.
William Calder had been a member of the Deacons Court for 9 years and has held the role of F&A Convener and is currently Treasurer to the Deacons Court. The reality of being elected as Junior Bailie is still sinking in for him.
William, who lived in Linlithgow Bridge and Whitecross before returning to live in Linlithgow, says “having been brought up in the town, I know the community spirit and friendship shown on Marches Day is something very special.
My Granda was from Linlithgow Bridge so the Marches has always been a key date in the calendar for my family. I can’t imagine being anywhere else other than in Linlithgow on the first Tuesday after the Second Thursday in June.”
William, who has also served 10 years on the committee of Linlithgow Rose Football Club, is looking forward to Marches 2022 and said that it is an honour and privilege to represent the Deacons Court as Junior Bailie and to play my part in ensuring the Marches traditions continue in the future.
10th November 2021
Last night at the AGM of the Court of the Deacons of the Ancient and Royal Burgh of Linlithgow, Elizabeth Park was elected as the first female Provost.
Elizabeth has served on the Deacons Court since Past Provost Hector Woodhouse was in the role over 25 years ago. Elizabeth came into the Court as the Deacon of the Galaday, and took on roles within the Entertainments committee, Entertainment Convener and Finance and Administration Convener with the last 10 years as Bailie. Provost Park said “when you join the Deacons Court, you never think that one day you will become Provost, but here I am.”
Provost Park is a proud Black Bitch and is married to another Proud Black Bitch, Tom. Growing up and living in Linlithgow, Provost Park knows the importance of the Riding of Linlithgow Marches and keeping the traditions of the town alive for generations to come.
Provost Park says she is still pinching herself and is really excited at what’s to come and when asked what the Marches means to her, she said “everything.”
“I feel humbled, honoured and privileged to be holding the role of Provost and I am looking forward to the day when we have a real Marches again, and no more Virtual Marches.
Provost Elizabeth Park and Past Provost John Cunningham
Junior Bailie William Calder
L-R: William Calder, Derek Green, Elizabeth Park, Lee Frickleton and Martin Brown
Marches Memories from Dot Jamieson - My time as the Lady Provost
My husband, Bruce, was elected Provost on the 11th of February, 2003 and held the post for three Marches. Like it or not (and the Provost’s wife has no choice in the matter) I suddenly found myself as Lady Provost. This entailed accompanying Bruce to many events where he was invited as Linlithgow’s First Citizen, proudly representing the royal burgh. Over his term of office, Bruce was asked to well over 60 events, in addition to attending many meetings of the Deacons Court and other organisations. I was included in many of the invitations - to Lanark, to Bo’ness, to Hawick, to our twin town in France and Guyancourt’s twin town in Germany and to the Royal Garden Party at Holyroodhouse – where I was reprimanded by a member of the Royal Company of Archers for standing on a chair to get a better view of the royal family!
I enjoyed the many wonderful occasions we spent together as Provost and Lady Provost, including wine tastings, concerts and shows; dinners, balls, dances, LAMP performances; Race Nights; Musical Concerts, street fairs; cheese and wine evenings; Advent Fair parades, Prize Bingo sessions, Canal Rallies; Fun Days and fetes, quiz competitions and Beatings of the Retreat.
I was never very confident at being up-front at these events (Bruce did the talking) but I was there to support him, draw umpteen raffle tickets; judge cakes and babies; sing along at Folk Nights and Lithca Lore happenings etc.
Bruce was asked to speak at many Burns Suppers and formal dinners and I often got to go along and enjoy the fun and the friendship.
Certain events stick in my mind, for example when we attended a William Wallace Commemoration in Lanark - surrounded by scores of wild Highlanders and when Bruce was stopped at French customs and asked to explain the presence of a heavy, silver chain in his hand luggage! I had visions of it being confiscated!
I loved Lanimer Days in Lanark - judging floats and meeting interesting people including John Buchan’s daughter and Anita Manning. And I had to do my share of organising events myself - such as the post Marches “Sherry Party” and the annual fashion show where I had Miss Scotland, Lois Weatherup, as one of my models. She was stunning!
I enjoyed Gala Day and travelling in a trailer along the town - something which I never got to do on Marches Days, except the one where I joined the family at Bruce’s invitation. I spoke at the 2005 Linlithgow and Linlithgow Bridge Gala Day – before crowning Queen Meg on a lovely sunny day on the Peel.
One highlight of Marches Day was when I got to present the prizes on the steps of the Burgh Halls. I loved the Marches so much that the year after I ceased to be Lady Provost, I organised some family members to dress up as the Von Trapp family from “The Sound of Music”, parading and singing along the High Street, accompanied by my 80-year-old aunt dressed as a nun. And we won two trophies! All in all, it was a hugely busy but most enjoyable three years.