Full Linlithgow Marches programme returns after Covid enforced break

Linlithgow Marches returns to the town on Tuesday with a full programme of events for locals to enjoy for the first time since 2019 due to Covid.

The big day kicks off at 5am when the flutes and drums set off to wake the Royal Burgh before heading to Blackness. At 6am the piper and drummer sets off to the home of the Provost. At 7am The Reed Band will play 23rd Psalm at the West Port before heading to the home of the Provost.

The Provost Party meets for breakfast at the Burgh Halls at 8am before meeting the Dyers and other organisations at 10.15am ahead of the Fencing of the Court and prize giving at the Burgh Halls.

At 11am the Marches procession will leave the Cross and set off towards the Brig. After checking the western boundary and speeches, the procession heads back along the High Street and out to Blackness at 12.30pm. After paying respects at the War Memorial at 2pm the Baron Bailie is installed to look after Blackness for the year ahead

Large crowds in the town centre for the last Linlithgow Marches before Covid, in 2019. Picture Michael Gillen.

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    The Marches Day finale takes place at 5pm with the procession going three times around the Cross. During the day, bands will play throughout the town including at The Cross and Regent Centre.

    Stephanie Thomson, press officers for the Deacons Court is looking forward to the festival’s live return.

    She said: “We are very excited to be back. It has been a difficult couple of years. So now it’s really good to have something positive to focus on and bring back for the community to enjoy together.

    "It was really disappointing in 2020, obviously when we had to make the difficult decision not to have the full event.

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    Linlithgow Marches Provost Elizabeth Park. Photo by Andrew West.

    "We did virtual Marches in 2020 and 2021 which were quite successful. We wanted to show people new to the town what the Marches is and what it means to Linlithgow.

    "So hopefully being able to at least show them online the past couple of years will mean they want to come along this year to be part of the real thing and enjoy the great community spirit there is in the town.

    "I would encourage anybody that doesn’t know what the Marches is to have a look on our website and social media pages and then come along and join in. Even for just one of the processions then great, come along and enjoy the atmosphere.”

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    Stephanie also highlighted the Marches’ first female Provost.

    She said: "This is the first year for our new Provost, Elizabeth Park, who is the first female Provost ever for Linlithgow Marches.

    "So it is quite a big year for her and she is very excited. Her and her husband are both Black Bitches so they can’t wait for it. She is really humbled by it all.”