Community News 2nd July: Scottish Government Updates & Local Mask Makers

Linlithgow’s Community of Mask Makers

From 10th July face masks will become mandatory in shops, with exemptions for children under 5 and people with certain medical conditions.
The Scottish Government has been recommending the use of face masks for some time now. As of 22nd June, face coverings became mandatory on all public transport.
Yesterday we heard new changes to ease the coronavirus restrictions. This means more places in town will open such as outdoor cafes and beer gardens, and businesses with appropriate health and safety measure in place. Leisure travel restrictions are being lifted and children under 12 will no longer need to maintain physical distancing from other households outdoors.
“As we start to interact more, it is vital we take all reasonable steps to reduce risk, and we know that face coverings can reduce the risk of transmission indoors”, Nicola Sturgeon First Minister stated.
Re-useable fabric face masks – easy access for all
Many local people have already been busy making fabric masks for themselves, friends and family. It has been wonderful to see people’s generosity to help keep our community safe.

If you’d like to try making a mask yourself there is a Linlithgow Mask Makers Facebook group for local sewers to support each other sharing advice on sewing, materials and patterns.
Linlithgow Community Development Trust wants to make sure everyone in Linlithgow has easy access to re-usable face masks for shopping and using public transport. LCDT is inviting local sewers to contact [email protected] who would like to help.  Financial support can be provided to purchase material. Thank you to those who have already been in touch.
A central drop-off point has been set up for donating masks. Initially these will be distributed to local people most in need of masks via links with community organisations working with vulnerable people in our town such as Linlithgow Link, 1st Step and Linlithgow Young People Project.
If you are a business or community group that is looking for face masks for your staff or volunteers please get in touch with [email protected] and LCDT can try to help.
Let’s help Linlithgow become and remain a coronavirus free zone.

Linlithgow & Linlithgow Bridge Community Council Update

Welcome to your update from Linlithgow and Linlithgow Bridge Community Council, thank you to LDCT for inviting us to share community information in this newsletter.

As we move into summer, during the strangest year many of us have ever experienced, LLBCC will be foregoing the usual summer break to trial public participation in the Zoom meetings we have been holding each month.

This will take place at the end of July, see the pinned post on our Facebook page for details. You can get in touch with your community council via our website using contact us or by messaging our Facebook page.

Business Spotlight – Rebecca Holmes Photography

This week’s business spotlight is on Rebecca Holmes Photography. Rebecca is a Linlithgow local specialising in ‘people’ photography. She is an expert at making things fun and relaxed, and takings a wide spectrum of photography, from families to dancers and personal branding to commercial. Rebecca also provides photography workshops for those looking to upskill themselves.

She has been super busy during lockdown with the #LinlithgowFrontStepsProject, capturing people on their doorsteps with images to remember the time by. What’s more, she has been giving her own time for free and instead asking for donations to Linlithgow’s Young People’s Project, if people can afford. So far she has photographed 204 households and businesses, with 68 to go this weekend to complete the project. Rebecca has raised more than £3,000 so far – an incredible achievement and you can still donate to the Crowdfunder.

Here are a sample of the fantastic ‘Front Door Step’ pictures, featuring some of Linlithgow Community Development Trust’s board members and staff!

Rebecca is taking bookings for outdoor photography sessions, following Government guidelines and adhering to social distancing. You can follow Rebecca on Facebook and view her impressive portfolio on her website.

Community Spotlight – Linlithgow String Orchestra

Linlithgow String Orchestra (LSO) have been around for over 4 years, so we are still relatively new on the Linlithgow community group block. Like most groups we’ve been unable to meet up weekly since the end of March due to lockdown, however, we’ve been pretty busy and had a few projects on the go. To do this, we’ve turned online to hold Zoom committee meetings and to produce video recordings of our players….
On Marches Day this year, we published a video on our ‘Linlithgow Orchestra’ YouTube channel. The video had pictures from past Marches processions set to our ‘live’ recording from Linlithgow Burgh Halls in June 2018 of ‘The Roke and the Wee Pickle Tow’ arranged for LSO by Andrew Sutherland which has been well received.

On the same day, we circulated a video on our Facebook page of one of our players, Helen Greig. She played ‘The Roke’ on the violin in the garden 3 times at 11am to mark when the Marches procession would have traditionally left from The Cross – so far this has had over 1400 views!! So, we’re definitely starting to get known around the town…

For ‘Make Music Day’ (MMD), an annual event on 21st June celebrated in over 120 countries, our players were invited by Making Music to join in a mass recording of Morecambe and Wise’s ‘Bring me Sunshine’. This was the theme tune for MMD 2020, which featured players and singers from amateur music groups across the UK.

We put together our own string orchestra recording, from the videos that our players recorded. The premier of this video on our YouTube channel was listed as an event on Make Music Day’s website; in total 9 musicians (12 instruments) participated in the project including Gregor Borland a well-renowned Scottish fiddler who played the solo melody line. 

We have one final project up our sleeve before we break for what would’ve been our summer holidays. We are going to launch our ‘Ode to Joy’ (O2J) project, inviting players to record their parts to make a group online recording. All string players (violinists/violists/cellists/double basses) across West Lothian are invited to participate in the project now (deadline for submissions 26th July) – visit our website for more information.

All of these projects have helped to keep our players feeling connected to the orchestra, but also to keep them playing. After being part of our ‘Bring me Sunshine’ recording, one of our players said ‘Thank you for helping me get my cello out its case again’. With many people having turned to, or re-turned to, music over the past few months we hope that we might see a few new faces when we return.

Please visit our website or email us if you are over 13 years and approximately grade 5 or above and are interested in joining us. With or without rust/dust, all players are welcome!

And so for now our fingers remain firmly crossed for a normal return to group playing hopefully in the coming months….Keep your eyes peeled to our ‘Linlithgow Orchestra’ YouTube channel – to watch videos from our past projects but also to await our ‘O2J’ video!!!