Community News 5th August: Eat Out to Help Out & Spaces for People

Eat Out to Help Out

This week the Government launched the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ Scheme to encourage people to support the hospitality industry and eat out again.

Here are the details:

  • get a 50% discount on food or non-alcoholic drinks to eat or drink in (up to a maximum of £10 discount per diner).
  • every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday between 3 and 31 August.
  • as many times as you like.

You do not need a voucher to use this scheme and you can use it at the same time as other offers and discounts. There is no minimum spend. You cannot claim a discount on alcoholic drinks or service charges.

You can search for which eateries are taking part on the HMRC website. Here are the details of local ones though to make it easy for you!

Fenwicks of Linlithgow

Sweet Little Cheesecake Cafe

So Strawberry Caffe

Cafebar 1807

The Jersey Bean

Costa Coffee

The Crannog

Mason Belles Kitchen

Bar Leo

Delhis Winter

Nero Pizza

The Ashmaan

The Burger Barn at The Park Bistro

Champany Inn

Rouken Glen Garden Centre


Bridge 49 Cafe Bar & Bistro

Linlithgow & Linlithgow Bridge Community Council Update

As we slowly ease back into visiting local shops and places we are walking more and cycling more. The Spaces for People initiative have set out temporary measures to make travel and exercise safer during Covid 19. The projects in Linlithgow under consideration are:

  • Footway widening of the High Street at Oliphant’s bakery.
  • Footway widening at Back Station Road.
  • Suspension of Loaning parking between St Michael’s Wynd and the Four Mary’s and also between Lion Well Wynd and New Well Wynd.
  • Walker/cyclist-friendly zones will be introduced on rural roads in the Bathgate Hills with a reduced speed limit to 40 mph.
  • Advisory/temporary cycle lanes will be introduced along the Edinburgh Road and St Ninian’s Road.
  • Physical distancing signage and measures at lay-by bus stops.

Improvements to Capstan’s Walk have also been planned with the Cycling, Walking and Safer Streets (CWSS) initiative.

You can get in touch with your community council via our website using contact us or by messaging our Facebook page.

Business Spotlight – Linlithgow Sports Podiatry & Chiropody Clinic

Podiatrist Martin Godley has operated his business Linlithgow Sports Podiatry & Chiropody Clinic in Braehead Business Park for several years. He is in no doubt that Braehead’s location and compactness offers nothing but plus points: “It’s ideal for parking and it’s within easy cycling or walking distance for lots of people. We have so many services here, everything from therapies and beauty treatment to dog grooming and training. It’s like a mini High Street.”

Martin Godley Podiatry offers a wide range of sports podiatry, for both experienced and recreational athletes, and a range of both general and high risk foot and nail care. His treatments also include biomechanics and gait analysis, foot and lower leg mobilisation, as well as providing custom-made orthotics.

He said that after closing for five weeks at the onset of lockdown he had been providing treatment for high risk patients, including diabetics, or those in pain or discomfort. “I’m now back to providing my usual services, but with a high emphasis on safety. I see fewer patients in the day, I have a screen between me and patients, I wear a visor and a special mask, and I do a special clean between each patient.”

You can read more about Linlithgow Sports Podiatry & Chiropody Clinic in the latest edition of The Black Bitch Magazine on page 6. More information can also be found on their website.

Community Spotlight – West Lothian Clarion Cycling Club

West Lothian Clarion Cycling Club is made up of two sections: a youth coaching set up and an adult recreational cycling section.

During lockdown all club group activities were put on hold, so the weekly youth coaching sessions and races were postponed and the regular club runs and time trials for the adult section were cancelled.

Club President, Diane Clayton Chisholm and the club’s committee set up a number of initiatives to keep the club ticking over “Although folk could ride on their own during lockdown, the social aspect of club life is a major part of why our members enjoy being part of the Clarion. We introduced get-togethers, club runs and races, all on-line of course, so our members could socialise and support each other during lockdown”.

The club used an online platform called Zwift to hold weekly group rides every Saturday, with riders using ‘smart trainers’ to cycling along realistic virtual roads. On Thursdays the more competitive types took part in 16km time trial races, again using their smart trainers.

As Lockdown progressed more and more people started riding their bikes. The club responded to this by publishing weekly cycling routes of varying distances on Facebook. Ride tips, and mini discussions on how to undertake simple bike fixes like mending punctures were also added to the Facebook page

As lockdown eased and families could meet up again, the Clarion’s next initiative was to loan out the club’s eezy-up tents so folk could shelter from the rain while they met loved ones in the garden… and remain dry during a typical Scottish Summer.

Back in the real world, the club set up a fun activity called the ‘Cassqette Challenge”. Every week a club cap or “cassquette” was hidden in a different spot around the county. The challenge part of the game was to find the cap using the supplied grid reference and post up a selfie next to the cap on the club’s Facebook page.

It proved quite a hit and was open to anyone to take part, not just club members, runners and horse riders even uploaded their selfies on the Facebook page!

Matthew Ball who set the challenge up said “The idea was to give people a bit of focus and help folk discover the amazing network of quiet local lanes.”

The cap was placed as far west as Slammanan and Kirknewton was the most easterly spot. People of ages took part, but special mention but go to 10 year old Rhuairdh Fulton and his dad Ewen, who rode 831km in their quest to find each cap!

The club’s youth section has over 20 coaches and a large support group of volunteers that normally run the youth coaching which is held at Xcite, the Oracle car park and Beecraig country Park.

Each week a different coach ran an online ‘Zoom’ quiz so members could meet on the usual club night for a bit of cycling chat and to see friends. The club also held online interviews with local professional cyclist (and Clarion alumni) Cameron Mason, quizzing him about his life racing cyclo-cross in Belgium. British Champ and coach James McCallum was also put under the spotlight live on Zoom as was Scottish Development Squad rider Alex Ball.

Another initiative for the youth riders was the ‘Clarion Etape Challenge’ set up by Craig Duncan.

Organisers of the cancelled Etape Caledonia Cycle Sportive donated their medals to the club, so the youth section could run its own very special 85 mile Etape Challenge. To receive a medal youngsters had to ride 85 miles over the course of 3 weeks.

Craig said “It was disappointing to see the Etape Caledonia cancelled but the organisers wanted to encourage folk to get other bikes. So it was great to see youngsters taking part in our challenge with family members, we even raised over £500 for Marie Curie Cancer Care and Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance”.

Club organisers have now switched their attention to getting club activities up and running and have developed a road map back to coaching. Keep up to date via the Clarion Facebook page or find out more on their website.

Latest Covid-19 Guidance

Scotland moved to Phase 3 of the route map for coming out of lockdown on the 10 July 2020. See some key dates for future changes.

The current advice from the Scottish Government to stay safe, protect others, save lives is:

  • wear a face covering
  • avoid crowded places
  • clean hands and surfaces regularly
  • stay 2m away from other people
  • self-isolate and book a test if you have COVID-19 symptoms

See what you can and cannot do to help suppress the virus.

Community News 30th July: Scottish Government Phase 3 Update & Community Cake Feedback

Scottish Government Phase 3 update

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that Scotland will remain in Phase 3 of the route map yesterday, but gave provisional dates for when further restrictions may be changed.

These are summarised in the graphic below with further details provided on the Scottish Government website.

It was confirmed that schools will be back open from 11th August. Details of arrangements for West Lothian schools can be found at

Virtual Community Cake

We welcomed individuals representing a number of local community groups at our first online Community Cake event last week.

There was representation from the following groups:

Scotch HopLinlithgow Farmily
Linlithgow String OrchestraLinlithgow Churches
West Lothian Clarion Cycling ClubSt Peters Church
Linlithgow Twinning AssociationLinlithgow Folk Festival Association
New Well Wynd GardenTransition Linlithgow

We’ve had brilliant feedback from community groups that Community Cake events are a great way to meet people from other groups and do some friendly networking. We wanted to give groups opportunities to do this by trying out an online event.

Lockdown Activities

All the groups had been busy over lockdown, with lots of innovative activities taking place. We heard about music sessions over zoom, online bike time trials, community prayers, searching for hidden objects around the town, and the further development of the new community garden at New Well Wynd. There have also been quizzes, virtual dancing, throwbacks to previous years, zoom meetings, provision of support for members of the community who need it and the creation of a network of 650 families growing their own veg across the town. Busy busy!


There were lots of ideas and enthusiasm for bringing people together in different ways and/or establishing activities which create a sense of community. One idea was small musical performances around the town, perhaps members of a street delivering socially distanced recitals. Or households decorating windows with a specific theme which can be enjoyed as people walk around the town, similar to rainbows and teddy bears during lockdown. There is already a nature trail planned for Book Week in November.

Support Needs

The following points were noted for consideration of further investigation and discussion.

  • Capitalising on volunteers who have offered their time during Covid-19.
  • How to access funding as opportunities are more limited at present. Covering how to go about it/best practice/governance.
  • Look at opportunities to formalise sharing of resources across groups within the town.

Next Event

The next Community Cake event will be held on Wednesday 2nd September at 7.30pm. The theme will be sharing funding opportunities and fundraising ideas. If you are interested in attending please contact

Linlithgow Farmily

The Linlithgow Farmily team took up residence on the High Street last Saturday – chatting all things ‘grow your own’ and giving away over 170 starter packs to help people get started with growing their own food at home. Containing everything you need to grow salad, parsley, coriander and microgreens, the packs were enthusiastically snapped up – thanks to everyone who came along! If you picked up a starter pack and haven’t quite got going yet, you can watch our instructional video, which talks you through the planting process step by step, here. Anyone interested in joining the 650+ members of Farmily can like the Facebook page or check out the new website.

Throughout August we’ll be continuing to distribute starter packs via local community groups – aiming to reach as many people as possible who wouldn’t usually get involved, or who are especially struggling with lockdown. If you’re part of such a group and would like to get involved in getting starter packs to your community, then please email

Linlithgow & Linlithgow Bridge Community Council Update

Linlithgow & Linlithgow Bridge Community Council Logo

The Community Council trialled public participation at their Zoom meeting this week and it proved successful with some useful feedback. Thank you to those who took part. Therefore, the August meeting will be open to members of the public to test out this approach more formally.

This meeting will be held on Tuesday August 25th at 7.30pm and will be advertised two weeks in advance. Meeting papers will be available to view on the Community Council website in advance of the meeting.

Business Spotlight – Flex Fitness

Flex Fitness, based at Braehead Business Park, is ready to help you lose any lockdown weight gain!

Owner Gordon Hunter has spent the last few months training clients online and is looking forward to getting back into the studio. The personal training studio is designed to provide a “unique training experience for all”, including small group fitness classes (subject to government guidance).

Flex Fitness is “here to provide a service of uncomplicated fitness for everyday people”, said Gordon. “We specialise in coaching motivated individuals to feel leaner, stronger and fitter, and to make fitness become part of their life. Whether you’re a complete beginner to exercise or someone who is looking to take their fitness to the next level, we’d like to work with you. We provide exercise, nutrition and lifestyle advice for busy people who are dedicated to their health and fitness.”

You can read more about Flex Fitness in the latest edition of The Black Bitch Magazine on page 7. You can also follow on Facebook or find out more on their website!

Community Spotlight – 2nd Linlithgow Boys Brigade

2nd Linlithgow Boys Brigade is one of the largest Boys Brigade Companies in West Lothian.

During Lockdown we were unable to meet, but our Leaders and Helpers kept things running throughout by providing boys with our #BBatHomeProgramme that was developed and was sent out to the boys on a weekly basis with lots of fun activities.

We are in the process of planning our new session which we hope will be face to face, but fear not we are ready to start the session in other ways if face to face isn’t yet an option.
For more info find us on Facebook or email us at

Community News 22nd July: Linlithgow Farmily – Growing Your Own Food at Home.

Linlithgow Farmily is Coming to the High Street on Saturday!

Linlithgow Farmily is a new community network that has emerged from Narrowboat Farm during lockdown, and has already grown to over 600 members. It’s a thriving, active, supportive community of peers who are growing their own food at home – often for the first time. Since March, over 100 raised beds have been distributed and filled around the town, creating ready-made veg patches for those who need space to grow. 
Alongside caring for their own patches, members are swapping seeds, sharing plants, helping with the identification of various bugs and beasties, delivering farm supplies to those who are shielding, and supporting one another through the triumphs and disasters of growing food from scratch. The focus is on getting stuck in, having a go and cobbling things together with whatever materials are on hand.

Thanks to support from the Strengthening Communities Fund (the Linlithgow Covid-19 Community Response), the Farmily team are going to be giving away 500 starter packs. Each containing pots, compost, seeds and instructions, they’re aimed at anyone who might struggle to get into growing on their own, or who’s been especially struggling with lockdown.
This Saturday 25th July Farmily members will have a stall outside the old library on the High Street between 10am and 4pm – giving away 100 starter packs and chatting away about Farmily, veg, and all things grow-your-own. Do pop by to say hello, and to pick up your starter pack.

Photo Credit: Rebecca Holmes Photography

Business Spotlight – Lothlorien Dog Services

The next few Business Spotlight’s are all focused on the businesses at Braehead Business Park. First up we have Lothlorien Dog Services, run by Claire Staines.
Claire began her business in 2004 for dog walking. Over the years it had welcomed on board dog walking staff, and expanded into offering dog training to guardians. There are a team of trainers covering the whole of Scotland’s Central Belt, as well as training the trainers at Braehead.

“Lothlorien is often described as a place where magic happens… where dogs come first, where guardians and trainers alike pledge to work by our ethics, and bear in mind one very simple rule for our dogs: ‘to do no harm’. Our training methods are science-based, and free from force and coercion. We get results and make changes in dogs’ behaviour for the long term.”

Lothlorien hasn’t stopped during lockdown and the dog walking side of the business has been a lifeline to many over the last new months. Claire has also continued puppy training online, and had produced 50 videos for owners, shot by her 18 year old son Arran who is a keen photographer. Normal puppy training classes will be back in August though and there are also juvenile classes for those that missed out during lockdown.

You can read more about Lothlorien Dog Services in the latest edition of The Black Bitch Magazine on page 7. Follow on Facebook to keep updated with the latest news!

Community Spotlight – Linlithgow Camera Club

This weeks community spotlight is on Linlithgow Camera Club. At the end of February/beginning of March, the members of Linlithgow Camera Club were about to organise themselves for hosting the, annual, ‘West Lothian Competition’ between Linlithgow, Livingston, Mid Calder and Armadale.
That all came crashing to a hault with the announcement that the country was about to go into lockdown due to some pesky virus doing the rounds. Still, a couple of weeks delay wouldn’t hurt, would it?

Around 4 months later, in the absence of face-to-face meetings, we’ve been busy re-inventing the club nights with a series of Zoom meetings, held every two weeks rather than weekly, as is the norm, and hosted by the club and competition secretaries.
These have been, mostly, intra-club photography competitions with the theme chosen by one of our members, on alphabetical rotation, and ‘marked’ via an on line system – involving ‘DropBox’ and some black magic with a scoring system! – set up by our competiton secretary.
In between times, there have been a couple of ‘normal’ meetings and one or two of our members have – via Zoom – got together ‘off piste’, as it were, to do a bit of on line tutoring (Screen share? Great concept) in the use of editing software, and we set up a, limited, discussion regarding the new website.

The tutoring ‘concept’ might be something worth holding onto post-lockdown, as it’s difficult to deal with everyone’s concerns during a two hour session at the club room, leaving too many questions unanswered.
So, what happens next?
Now that the country has been released into – a bit more of – the wild, a few outdoor get-togethers are probably on the cards – respecting whatever ‘social distancing’ rules apply – if for no other reason than to have those face-to-face (mask-to-mask?) interactions that us humans seem to crave.

Photography? Well, that should also be on the menu, but possibly just as an afterthought to begin with, as we get to grips with horizons that stretch more than a few metres in every direction.

2020/21? Who knows. We are actively seeking new members all the time and, as the website says, a vague interest in photography is all you’ll need. To begin with, at least…

You can join the club’s Facebook group or visit the website to find out more.

Latest Covid-19 Guidance

Scotland moved to Phase 3 of the route map for coming out of lockdown on the 10 July 2020. See some key dates for future changes.

The current advice from the Scottish Government to stay safe, protect others, save lives is:

  • wear a face covering
  • avoid crowded places
  • clean hands and surfaces regularly
  • stay 2m away from other people
  • self-isolate and book a test if you have COVID-19 symptoms

See what you can and cannot do to help suppress the virus.

Community News 17th July: Phase 3 of Lockdown & Community Cake Goes Online!

Scotland Enters Phase 3 of Lockdown

We have now entered Phase 3 of lockdown which means many restrictions are starting to ease. Face coverings are also now mandatory from the 10th of July. Full information is available on the Scottish Government website with their summary infographic below.

Locally this means the following:

  • Cafes and restaurants have started to open from 15th July – check social media for specific updates.
  • Places of workshop can start to re-open.
  • Museums can reopen although at present there is no date for Linlithgow Museum opening.
  • Libraries can now reopen. There is now an appointment based click/phone and collect system in place at Linlithgow Library and you can book online. The service will operate appointments over two sessions per day from 10:00am – 12.30pm and 1:00pm – 4.30pm from Monday to Friday. More information is available on the West Lothian Council website.

Online Community Cake

We are testing out our popular Community Cake sessions online! The first session will be an informal ‘getting to know you’, aimed at finding out how we can support you.

Linlithgow & Linlithgow Bridge Community Council Update

A concern amongst many parents has been what will happen in August when children are due to return to school. What will they experience? Councillor Tom Conn gave the Community Council an update during the last meeting.

During the Deputy First Minister, John Swinney’s statement on the afternoon of 23 June he stated that if the current progress in abating Covid 19 continued then full-time education would resume on 11 August (in-service day for staff only) with no social distancing.

In addition to the £30 million already committed to provide laptops for disadvantaged children and young people and the £25 million of funding to enable a rollout of digital devices to pupils there would be a further £100 million over two years to support the return to school and help children recover lost ground.

In addition, the DFM wants every probationary teacher who has reached the standard for full registration to be employed in a teaching post for the next school year, this is subject to funding being put in place.

West Lothian Council Education Executive had met that same morning to discuss plans for the restarting of school after the summer. The main challenges were social distancing in school and a logistical solution to school transport necessary to facilitate social distancing. Officers had developed a local phasing delivery plan to support the implementation of the phased reopening of schools based upon 50% attendance, each pupil being allocated two days of in-school learning. A system of blended learning (in school teaching and home-based study) was to commence on Wednesday, 12 August. Attendance would be based on either a Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday rolling programme allowing for example tasks set by the teacher on a Monday to be undertaken at home on a Tuesday to be assessed and further teaching on a Wednesday with tasks to be completed before the following Monday. With the progress against Covid-19 now gaining pace, these are now contingency plans should they be needed.

The issue of school transport remains to be clarified, will this be subject to the same social distancing as school buildings or will the 2 metre guidelines still be in place, which would cause a logistically problems of getting pupils to school. As these guidelines are relaxed further with each phase then more settled plans can be made.

Business Spotlight – Sweet Little Cheesecake Cake

The Sweet Little Cheesecake Café opened up on the High Street last year, bringing with it a delicious range of cheesecake options. On the menu, you can find white chocolate & strawberry, chocolate orange and some of your favourite chocolate bars, including Mars, Mint Aero, Caramac and Freddos!

During lockdown, owner Carol has been busy delivering cheesecakes around West Lothian and more recently opening at the weekend for takeaway. It has effectively meant her returning to what she did in Armadale prior to realising her long-held dream of opening a cafe in Linlithgow. Carol said “My cheesecake production facility was a huge success, largely through word-of-mouth. Aside from locals, we had a range of corporate clients. It’s almost gone full circle for me, making up bespoke orders instead of welcoming customers to my cafe. I’m supplying quite a lot of them, as well as delivering to new customers.”
Carol has been providing afternoon tea for two at £18 with dainty sandwiches, cream scones and meringues with fresh fruit, and canape-sized cheesecakes. This month during National Picnic month she is also creating Sweet Little Picnic boxes for two. These contain strawberries, mini cheesecakes, scones, traybakes, sandwiches and mini steak pies! These are also £18 plus delivery. You can arrange deliveries through FacebookInstagram, calling 07475 793239 or via Scoffable at the weekends.

As restrictions are now easing Carol is delighted to have opened up the café once again and welcome back visitors with new safety measures in place. Opening hours will be 10am – 4pm, 7 days a week and serving the full menu again. Booking to sit-in is advised and can be made via Facebook, by phone or email with maximum bookings of 6 people. The option of takeaway service and doorstep delivery is also still available!

You can read more about The Sweet Little Cheesecake Cafe in this recent edition of The Black Bitch Magazine on page 8. Follow on Facebook to keep updated with the latest news!

Community Spotlight – Linlithgow Amateur Musical Productions (LAMP)

This weeks community spotlight is on LAMP. Find out all about them with this great infographic!

You can follow LAMP on Facebook or visit the website to find out more.

Latest Covid-19 Guidance

Scotland moved to Phase 3 of the route map for coming out of lockdown on the 10 July 2020. See some key dates for future changes.

The current advice from the Scottish Government to stay safe, protect others, save lives is:

  • wear a face covering
  • avoid crowded places
  • clean hands and surfaces regularly
  • stay 2m away from other people
  • self-isolate and book a test if you have COVID-19 symptoms

See what you can and cannot do to help suppress the virus.

Community News 8th July: Linlithgow Open for Business & Detecting Potential Covid-19 Hotspots

Linlithgow is Open for Business Again!

After more than three months of lockdown, the moment businesses and customers have been eagerly awaiting has finally arrived. John Smith from One Linlithgow Business Initiative District (BID) shares the latest news.

It’s not only the historic High Street that burst back into life last week, but businesses throughout the town, including Mill Road industrial estate at Linlithgow Bridge.

Things are beginning to return to ‘normal’ but the Scottish Government’s vital ‘stay safe’ message has been given the number one priority to ensure the wellbeing of customers and staff alike.

One Linlithgow BID was voted in by businesses throughout the town towards the end of last year and was expecting to be working on a raft of measures to promote and support levy payers. Instead, the organisation has focussed almost entirely on providing vital practical assistance for a wide range of businesses as they try to cope with the restrictions necessary to ensure the pandemic does not return.

Eddie Linton-Smith, One Linlithgow BID co-ordinator, said they were delighted to see so many more businesses re-open. “But we need to make sure they can be sensible about hygiene and distancing,” he said.

“To that end, we’re supplying every bricks-and-mortar business in Linlithgow with bespoke PPE kits, including hand sanitiser, disposable gloves and masks, as well as distancing stickers, tapes and posters.”

The BID has secured £15,000 of Scottish Government funding, over and above part of a national support package for BIDs in Scotland. Eddie said “In the first two weeks we’ve given out over 50 PPE kits, and paid out a dozen grants, with many more in the pipeline. In total we’ve already provided £2,500 of direct support, and we’re just getting started!”

He added “To say the least, the last few months have been extremely difficult for many. Businesses in Linlithgow have shown incredible innovation and resilience. So despite everything we’re looking forward to a thriving local economy once again.”

Detecting Potential Covid Hotspots With Your Help!

Could you join the 3.9 million UK residents taking part in the COVID Symptom Study, the largest public science project of its kind in the world?

Take just 1 minute each day and help fight the outbreak. All data is analysed daily with Kings College London and shared with the NHS. 

One Linlithgow resident says:
“I’ve been a part of the COVID Symptom Study since lockdown began, submitting daily details for each family member on my mobile phone. It only takes a minute, it’s really easy, and it’s great to know I’m contributing to research and helping detect potential COVID hotspots.”

With the COVID Symptom Study data now flagging up potential hotspots, it will allow for greater surveillance and more focussed testing that could detect new outbreaks much earlier. To do this successfully, the study needs more people to join by using the app each day.

Please join if you can, and spread the word about the app with your friends and family. You can download as an app on your mobile phone and get a daily reminder to submit data. Find out more at

Linlithgow & Linlithgow Bridge Community Council Update

LLBCC is part of the Joint Forum of Community Councils in West Lothian. Collaborating and coordinating with other community councils in the region, sharing ideas, experiences, joining together to tackle issues. You can find out more information on the Joint Forum website.

You can get in touch with your community council via our website using contact us or by messaging our Facebook page.

Business Spotlight – Lilypond Crafts & Gifts

Lilypond Crafts & Gifts has been on the High Street for over 3 years now, although it has been trading online much longer. Run by sisters Evelyn and Kate, it provides a quirky and eclectic mix of gifts, including many handcrafted items from artisans in Linlithgow and the surrounding areas. You’re bound to find something that takes your fancy, either for yourself, or something that makes the perfect gift!

Lilypond has been trading online throughout the coronavirus pandemic and Evelyn was kept busy fulfilling orders and making local deliveries.

The shop opened back up last week with new safety measures in place. This includes a limit of 2 people in the shop, hand sanitiser, social distancing, face coverings and regular cleaning. Although back open they continue to offer free local delivery to EH49 postcodes.

The sisters are looking forward to welcoming people back to the shop and the High Street, and are thankful for the support during lockdown. Evelyn, who is also chair of One Linlithgow Bid, said “It’s now more important than ever that people shop locally to support independent businesses, and we can’t wait to see the return of tourists because of their importance to the local economy”.

Lilypond Crafts & Gifts are currently operating temporary opening hours of 10am-4pm Monday – Saturday. Follow them on Facebook to keep updated with any changes to these and the latest news, and you can see their full range on the website!

Community Spotlight – Linlithgow Burgh Trust

Linlithgow Burgh Trust (SCIO) was formed in 2017 and is run by a Board of Charity Trustees which operates mainly through three committees: Linlithgow Civic Trust, Burgh Beautiful Linlithgow and the Public Art Committee. The Finance and Admin Committee deals with governance and funding issues.

Burgh Beautiful Linlithgow is primarily involved in ‘hands-on’ work, creating and maintaining all the town’s public floral displays – hanging baskets, beds and plant containers – carrying out tree planting and other environmental improvements, encouraging wildlife and enhancing the urban scene generally.

The Civic Trust aims to encourage the conservation of the town’s historic buildings and environment and tries to ensure that new development is of good design, appropriate to the town’s character. We organise relevant visits and lectures and produce publications and merchandise that help to promote Linlithgow.

The first Burgh Trust public art project was the installation of the bronze sculpture of Dudley at the Linlithgow Union Canal basin in memory of Liz Burrows, who supported Burgh Beautiful. Earlier this year The Black Bitch statue was unveiled on the High Street and the next project will be a St Michael sculpture at Low Port.

Volunteers Wanted!

We are currently looking for volunteers to take on various roles within the Trust. Both Burgh Beautiful Linlithgow and Linlithgow Civic Trust are looking for new committee members who can attend committee meetings and support with some of the admin.

Burgh Beautiful require someone to work with the sponsorship of floral displays, who must be good with numbers!

The Civic Trust is looking for an organiser of the annual Perambulation of the Marches, which takes place on Wednesday before the Marches. An organiser is also required for the Doors Open Days which takes place in September.

If you are interested in helping out Burgh Beautiful, the Civic Trust and the Burgh Trust in any of these roles please contact

Latest Covid-19 Guidance

The current advice from the Scottish Government to stay safe, protect others, save lives is:

  • wear a face covering
  • avoid crowded places
  • clean hands and surfaces regularly
  • stay 2m away from other people
  • self-isolate and book a test if you have COVID-19 symptoms

Scotland is in Phase 2 of moving out of lockdown. The next review will be on 9th July. See some indicative dates for future changes and what you can and cannot do to help suppress the virus.

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 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 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!!!

Community News 24th June: Roadmap Out of Lockdown, LCDT Board, Community Council Update & Business Updates

Phase 2: Roadmap Out of Lockdown

Nicola Sturgeon announced that Scotland has moved to Phase 2 of the route map for moving out of lockdown. Some changes took place with effect from Friday 19th of June, some from Monday this week and there will be further changes on Monday 29th June.

So what changes have already taken effect?

Seeing family and friends

  • People who are shielding can now leave their homes for exercise and meet with one other household outdoors (maximum 8 people), observing social distancing. They can also take part in non-contact sports such as golf, hiking, etc.
  • People who are not shielding can meet with two other households outdoors (maximum 8 people) and social distancing must be maintained. You can use toilets indoors while visiting another household but hygiene measures are essential.
  • Anyone living alone or only with children under 18 can form an ‘extended household group’ with one other household (excluding households with people who are shielding). Extended household groups can meet indoors with overnight stays permitted and without physical distancing, but any other household meetings must remain strictly outdoors and at a two-metre distance.

Public transport

  • Face coverings are now mandatory on public transport. This includes buses, trains, trams, planes, taxis and private hire cabs, as well as enclosed areas on ferries.


  • Dental practices can re-open to deal with urgent care needs.

People are still being asked to work from home wherever possible and to stay in their local area during Phase 2.

From Monday 29th of June shops of all sizes will be able to reopen – but only if they have outdoor entrances and exits.

You can find out more about what is changing during Phase 2 and further dates regarding Phase 2 & 3 on the Scottish Government website.

Linlithgow Community Development Trust Board Meeting

The LCDT Board met last week and the key discussion was our communication plan. LCDT is committed to supporting and promoting good communication across the whole community. 

Linlithgow & Linlithgow Bridge Community Council Update

Linlithgow & Linlithgow Bridge Community Council have been meeting by Zoom to keep in touch. They will be providing a weekly update here from next week.

You can access meeting agendas and minutes on the Community Council website and you can follow their Facebook page for updates.

Business Updates – One Linlithgow

Subway is allowing a maximum of 5 customers, 2 meters apart in the shop at one time to comply with social distancing.

Footcare at Natural Therapies
Footcare at Natural Therapies is now open, reception hours are limited but a podiatrist or receptionist will get back to you if you leave a message.

Business Spotlight – The Line Gallery

The Line Gallery is based on the High Street and run by Gail and Elisabet. It has been shut the last few months during lockdown but there has been lots going on!
“Lockdown Postcards from The Line” has featured a wide range of small paintings, sketches and photographs from a raft of artists throughout Scotland. Many of them are regular exhibitors at the gallery and none of the works sells for any more than £100. They have been featuring the artwork on Facebook, and there has been a lot of interest!

Gail and Elisabet have also been actively supporting “Saying Thanks to Key Workers” along with a range of artists. They have been connecting key workers with an artist who will make them a portrait, either a painting, sketch or photograph free of charge. To date Lorna Pirrie, Ruth Nicol, Elisabet, Victoria Ross and Elaine Woo MacGregor have all been involved. You can still take part and you can find out more on the dedicated Facebook page.
The Line Gallery will be re-opening at 10am on the 2nd of July, having been cleaned and protective measures put in place. There will be paintings by Ruth Nicol featuring East Neuk in Fife, a special collection of silver form Molly Ginnelly and a new range of glass by Sally Moore.

You can read more about The Line Gallery in this recent edition of The Black Bitch Magazine on page 9. Follow on  Facebook to keep updated with the latest news!

Community Spotlight – Linlithgow Rugby Club Male Voice Choir

Soon to be celebrating their 30th anniversary, the Linlithgow Rugby Club Male Voice Choir have not been idle during the lockdown. While the members cannot meet to sing together, they have recorded their individual sections, sent them to a central hub where they were blended into a harmonious video. You can listen to the recording on You Tube at Enjoy!

Until the enforced lockdown, the choir would meet in the Rugby Club each Monday when they practice in their sections; Tenor 1, Tenor 2, Baritone and Bass. Then they join together to sing their four-part harmonies as a complete choir. The music ranges from traditional Scottish tunes through choir standards to a selection of well-known modern numbers.
If you are interested in joining the choir, all that is required is an ability to hold a tune and to enjoy singing within a group of like-minded enthusiasts. You can speak to our Chairman Peter Russell on 01506 843062 or Harry Lynch, Vice Chairman on 01506 884389.

My Linlithgow – Events

You can find out details of local events on My Linlithgow. This week this is what’s on:

Thursday 25th June 7-8pm Online
Wee Three Indies Presents Ann Cleeves run by Far From the Madding Crowd.

Community News 17th June – Information about Face Coverings

Face Coverings – All you Need to Know

The Scottish Government currently recommends the wearing of facial coverings when:

  • You leave the house and enter enclosed spaces, particularly where physical distancing is difficult to maintain and there is a risk of close contact with multiple people.
  • Travelling on public transport.
  • Entering some shops where it is not possible to maintain a two-metre distance from other customers.

There is no evidence to suggest there might be a benefit to wearing face coverings outdoors, unless in an unavoidable crowded situation, in which case there may be some benefit.

Nicola Sturgeon has advised there is “some evidence” that wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces, where physical distancing is more difficult, can protect other people if the wearer is infected. She has “strongly” encouraged people to start wearing them if they have not been doing so already. So wearing a mask is doing your bit to make sure you don’t pass on the coronavirus to anyone else, as you may be infected but not showing any symptoms.

A medical grade mask is not required, just a facial covering of the mouth and nose that is made of cloth or other textiles and through which you can breathe, for example a scarf or fabric mask.

After use, it is important you wash your hands first and avoid touching your face. After each use, you must wash the face covering at 60 degrees centigrade or dispose of safely. Face coverings should not be used for children under the age of two years. 

The World Health Organisation provides advice in the infographic below and also has videos about how to wear a fabric mask.

Business Spotlight – The Crannog Cafe

This week’s business spotlight is on Crannog Cafe run by Shonagh Brown. She is a newbie on the High Street, only taking over Café Delights in March and renaming it Crannog. However, she has been very busy throughout lockdown preparing meals and delivering them throughout Linlithgow.

This photo of Shonagh was taken by Queensferry Churches Care in the Community when she did over 70 “pensioner’s sized” afternoon teas recently for them! Their volunteers collected them and delivered them to the pensioner’s homes. 

Shonagh has a new menu every week for deliveries, giving priority to the vulnerable and elderly. She said “For some folk I’m the only visitor they’ll have all day, and I’ll have a 10-minute blether on the doorstep. I’m well-known for being very talkative!”

She is doing a fantastic job providing homecooked meals, afternoon tea and cakes, either for yourself or to treat family and friends. You just need to order 24 hours in advance by text, Facebook messenger or email, for delivery Monday to Friday.

You can read more about Crannog Cafe in this recent edition of The Black Bitch Magazine on page 6. Follow on Facebook to keep updated with the latest menus and news!

Community Spotlight – Linlithgow Twinning Association

Linlithgow is twinned with the French town of Guyancourt, which is situated about twenty kilometres south-west of Paris and close to the Chateau of Versailles. One of the key principles of our twinning relationship is that, in order to experience French culture first-hand, we stay with host families when we visit Guyancourt. We also host our French guests in our own homes when they visit Linlithgow. This can be a bit daunting at first, but many rewarding and long-standing friendships have resulted from these exchanges.
The main annual twinning event takes place annually over a weekend when exchange visits are organised between the two towns on alternate years. These are fun packed weekends of music, dancing, rambling and seeing new places. Plus, of course, discovering local cuisine and hospitality and the chance to make lifelong French and Scottish friends. Twinning is open to anyone living in Linlithgow and surrounding areas and individuals, couples and families are welcome to participate. All that is required is an interest in France and the French way of life. The ability to speak a little French can be useful but is not essential and it can be an excellent means of practising and improving your own French language skills.

The Association has already advised our friends in Guyancourt that, because of coronavirus, we will not be able to make our planned trip to Guyancourt in October 2020. Alternative dates are now being sought by both Associations. Linlithgow Twinning Association’s Annual General Meeting will be held using Zoom on Thursday, 25th June at 7pm. If you are interested in taking part please contact Gaynor Parry (01506844878).

Community News 12th June – Special Edition of the Black Bitch, Virtual Marches & Advice Support from 1st Step

The Black Bitch

The new issue of The Black Bitch Magazine is now available on their website, featuring all the latest community news. As the issue is online only due to Covid-19 please share with anyone that may not have access. 

However, a Special Edition of the magazine is being designed and printed especially for people in the community without access to the internet. Over the last three months being connected online has been a social lifeline for many people, a way to connect to those around us.

Linlithgow Community Development Trust (LCDT) recognise that feelings of isolation may be exacerbated by not having access to this important lifeline. To help address this LCDT is funding the design and printing of a special magazine edition.

This edition will contain a selection of articles from the current issue in a clear 12pt font size. Copies will be distributed to identified households via local organisations including Linlithgow Link, 1st Step, LYPP, the Coronavirus Support Group, churches, Bield Housing Association and Linlithgow Day Care Centre.

Wilson’s Newsagents has also kindly offered to help distribute the magazine to customers they know don’t use the internet, as well as including a copy in their deliveries to customers that are currently housebound.

If you have a relative, friend or neighbour, not online, who enjoys reading The Black Bitch Magazine, please let them know about this special edition created for them.

To request a copy, they can call the Linlithgow Coronavirus Support Helpline on 01506 200 838.

Stay Home, Stay Safe – Long Live the Marches

Despite the absence of a physical Marches Day this year Linlithgow Community Development Trust wish everyone in the town a very happy Marches Day for next Tuesday.
You can enjoy a wee sense of the atmosphere of Linlithgow’s civic festival by checking out the wonderful Linlithgow Marches videos available on Facebook.

A huge thank you to the Linlithgow Deacons Court who have produced this brilliant series of virtual Marches videos. Long live the marches!

Take the Right Step

Have you been affected by the current coronavirus situation and do you need some advice or help?

1st Step and West Lothian Council Advice Shop are teaming up to offer advice over the phone or email on issues that you might be worried about. 

This includes advice around debt; any benefits you may be entitled to claim, what you can claim if you’re self-employed or not entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), housing/tenancy issues and rent arrears.

All you need to do if you would like advice is to private message us with your email or mobile number and we will arrange for someone to contact you. You do NOT need to tell us what it is about just that you would like an appointment.

Business Spotlight – Bright Star Toys

Linlithgow Community Development Trust are starting a new regular feature, spotlighting local businesses. First up is Bright Star Toys!

Bright Star Toys is a relatively new business on Linlithgow High Street run by Ian Melville. He has been keeping his business as visible as possible, even though its doors have been closed due to Covid-19.

Ian has adapted by offering a free local doorstep delivery three days a week and a new click and collect service. Many of the shop’s products are now available to browse and purchase online on the new website. Although other products are available and Ian is happy to advise what else is available in-store. To arrange a delivery or collection call 01506 846326 on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings.

Ian said the feedback he’s received since launching the delivery service had been “unbelievable”. “We have been so touched by all the support. I can only say a massive thank you to all our customers, old and new.”

Although much of the business caters for youngsters, Ian has been finding there is also increased demand from adults looking for board games and adult jigsaws. The best seller for children remains Squishmallows, with new ones coming out regularly!

You can read more about Bright Star Toys in the latest edition of The Black Bitch Magazine on page 7. Follow them on Facebook for all the latest updates or visit to find out more!

Community Group Spotlight – Linlithgow Link

There is also a new community spotlight feature! If your group would like to be featured please email The week we are finding out all about Linlithgow Link.

Linlithgow Link is a voluntary group set up in 1979 to provide a service to the community.

The services provided are:

  • A car service for those unable to use public transport, we offer a friendly volunteer driver to take the client to a medical appointment.
  • Befriending and visiting those in the community who may feel isolated through age or ill health.
  • Caring Café once a month at the Low Port Centre which is run by Link volunteers.
  • Tuesday group which is held every Tuesday afternoon at Bield Housing West Port, a get together for the group with a cup of tea and cake.

At the moment, all of the above is unfortunately cancelled due to Covid-19. The volunteers are keeping busy though, picking up prescriptions doing some shopping. They are also handing out goody bags that contain some treats, essential supplies, word search book and colouring book.

We are extremely thankful for the donations we have received which will enable us to make up more bags to give out to the community at this difficult time.

We would also like to thank Queen Margaret Hall who have offered their space to make up goody bags and to the Day Care Centre who have offered the use of their mini-van to provide transport to medical appointments.

Latest Covid-19 Guidance

The current advice from Scottish Government is to protect yourself and others by:

  • staying at home
  • only going outside for essential food, health and work reasons
  • staying 2 metres (6 feet) away from other people
  • washing your hands regularly and as soon as you get home

We are now in Phase 1 of the route map for moving out of lockdown which now also allows meetings of two households outside whilst staying 2 metres apart.

Volunteers’ Week 2020

This week we are celebrating Linlithgow’s volunteers during Volunteer Week. Linlithgow Community Development Trust would like to thank all the wonderful volunteers in our town. Linlithgow is full of amazing local groups run by volunteers, over 120 the last time we checked!

There are groups covering sports, the arts, children’s activities, gardening, the community and many more. These groups only exist thanks to the people who volunteer their time and put in the effort to make them happen. There are not enough words to describe how amazing your dedication and generosity is, but this is a chance for us to say thank you for what you do. We are sharing just a few examples of the local community groups who would like to say thanks to their volunteers. 

Linlithgow Coronavirus Support

Linlithgow Coronavirus Support has over 100 volunteers engaged in practical tasks such as shopping and collecting prescriptions, but also phone support and befriending. We have a small team of coordinators who are the first line of contact with clients; they find and brief a volunteer to meet each request, and remain in contact with the client to ensure they know what is happening. 

For shopping requests, the volunteer pays up front and is reimbursed; we then discuss repayment with the client. With the support of a local business, we’re able to offer card payment by phone as an option alongside bank transfer and payment by cheque. 

Demand is steady but thankfully not overwhelming. Feedback has been excellent: one satisfied client wants to nominate us all for MBEs! And she’s quite right: they’re a delightful bunch, ready and willing to go the extra mile. On behalf of all our clients, thank you!

1st Step

THANK YOU VOLUNTEERS! Volunteers Week is a chance to say thanks to the volunteers that help us all in so many ways. This year, maybe more than ever, there’s a lot to thank them for! 1st Step‘s dedicated volunteers are making a huge difference to people in our local communities who need a helping hand at the moment.

Our new free food parcel service is now supporting over 100 people, and we’ve even heard that some folk are using the food we’ve delivered to make soup and pies for others in their neighbourhood. We have collected and delivered SO many bikes to key workers across West Lothian to keep them safe and healthy and be able to support us all. So the amazing work our volunteers do makes even more of a difference because it enables others to help each other too. Volunteers make things happen and get things done! THANK YOU.

Linlithgow Young People’s Project

Here at LYPP volunteers make our work happen. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to offer the range of activities we do especially around drop-ins, holiday programmes and mentoring.

All our work is built on forming good relationships with young people and that takes time – something our volunteers freely give. So to those who volunteer, on behalf of the LYPP staff and the hundreds of young people we interact with – THANK YOU!

Linlithgow Burgh Trust

Linlithgow Burgh Trust includes Burgh Beautiful, with around 120 volunteers involved in various activities in and around the town. Apart from the floral displays, there are regular litter-picks. We also do tree planting, pictured here in Triangle Wood near the Leisure Centre, and in Rosemount Park.

Our other branch, the Civic Trust, produces regular planning forum contributions. The LBT itself is responsible for the popular Black Bitch sculpture in the High Street. All this is done by volunteers, and we’d like to say a big Thank You to all!

Linlithgow Amateur Musical Productions

2nd Linlithgow Boys Brigade

2nd Linlithgow Boys Brigade is one of the largest companies in West Lothian. During lockdown we were unable to meet, but our leaders and helpers kept things running throughout.

#BBatHome is a home programme that was developed and is sent out to the boys on a weekly basis with lots of fun activities. Our Thursday sessions are now being run through Zoom until such times we can all meet again. This wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for the dedicated leaders and helpers – a huge thank you to you all!