Jim takes up mantle of Riding of Marches

Jim Carlin joined Linlithgow Deacons Court in 2003. Picture: Alan Murray

Jim Carlin joined Linlithgow Deacons Court in 2003. Picture: Alan Murray

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A Lothians solicitor has been installed as the new Provost at Linlithgow Deacons’ Court – the body that oversees the annual Riding of the Marches.

Jim Carlin, from Bathgate, was born in 1955 and attended St Mary’s Primary before moving on to the now demolished St Mary’s Academy.

After excelling at school he went to study law at Edinburgh University, graduating in 1976 and embarking on his two-year apprenticeship with Bathgate firm Williamson and Wilson.

He was admitted as a solicitor in 1979 and was a partner at Drummond Miller for 25 years, moving to Linlithgow in 1980.

The 59-year-old has spent the last 35 years in legal practice and now specialises in liquor licensing laws.

Jim joined the Linlithgow Deacons Court in 2003, little imagining that some 11 years later he would be installed as the new Provost and ceremonial head of the Marches.

He has formerly held the post of Senior Bailie and taken charge of various roles within the distinguished organisation, including finance and administration convener.

The court sits from September through to June every year and oversees the organisation of Linlithgow’s Riding of the Marches – including orchestrating the vital fundraising efforts that keep the event going.

But aside from his involvement with the court and his legal work, Jim is also known around town for his football refereeing exploits.

He has been involved in refereeing since 1978 and is a former president of the Edinburgh and District Referees Association, and served as a linesman for professional football matches between 1985 and 1995.

Among many fond memories, Jim highlights being a match official during the famous 1990 Scottish Cup Final – when Aberdeen secured a 9-8 victory over Celtic in penalties – as one of a handful of stand-out moments, as well as spending a year as a FIFA linesman.

His tales from the frontline of Scottish football now regularly entertain guests on the after dinner circuit.

Jim lives in Clarendon Road with wife Vicki, a nursery school teacher and 16-year-old son Ross, a pupil at Linlithgow Academy. He currently works as a consultant with Sneddon Morrison in Whitburn.

Speaking of his new position, he said: “Thanks are due to Past Provost Jack Adair and his wife Christine for their three-year tour of duty. Christine provided constant support for Jack who left his own distinct imprint not least by famously hosting a Meeting of the Court in the Scottish Parliament.

“The annual Riding of the Marches belongs to the townsfolk and we in the Court are simply charged with its safe custody. There are plans afoot for the spring to ensure that every household in the town receives an updated summary of how the Court is made up, what we do and when we do it.”