Campania – Collision – Calamity

When the people of Edinburgh, the Lothians and Fife awoke on the morning of Saturday 6th November 1918 they found word in their tight-packed, crowded columns of their newspapers that victory in the four year long First World War was at last only days away. There was, however, not one single word about the news story on their own shores – the sinking of the Royal Navy’s first aircraft carrier, H.M.S. Campania within sight of the Forth Bridge.

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Bathgate’s Burns’ Enthusiast

Burns enthusiasts every January celebrate the Birthday of Scotland’s national bard but it is doubtful if any mark it in such an elaborate manner as Bathgate spinning wheel maker John Stark did during Victorian times. Every year on 25th January, Starkie, as he was known in the old mining and weaving burgh, marked the birthday of his favourite poet by declaring Burns’ Day a personal holiday Continue reading Bathgate’s Burns’ Enthusiast

Salt From the Shores of the Forth

Television cookery expert Delia Smith’s recipe for success in the kitchen puts Maldon sea salt at the top of the list of essential ingredients. Her choice is an intriguing reminder of the days when all of Scotland’s salt came straight from the sea.

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The Skire Siller

Every year at Easter, Her Majesty the Queen distributes specially minted Maundy Money to the same number of pensioners as there are years in her age. Scotland once had its own much more elaborate version of this annual church ceremony. Known as the Gieing o’ the Skire Siller, this event took place at Linlithgow’s historic St. Michael’s Kirk, if the Scottish monarch happened to be in residence at the neighbouring royal palace.

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