Fiction and Non-fiction

Other website links that may interest you:

Updated 26 November 2010

On this page
  • Website pages by or about Armadalian Writers
  • Publications by Armadalians
  • Publications about Armadalians
  • Brief Biographies of Armadale Writers
  • West Lothian Writers
  • Publications about West Lothian Subjects
  • Armadale-related CDs / DVDs / Films / Videos
  • Interested in Scottish Archaeology?  Here are some Useful History Texts
  • Extracts from 1980s magazines (Armadale and area) courtesy of Ron Dingwall
Publications about Armadale
  • History of Armadale Association have produced many publications about Armadale over the last seventeen years.   Their list of publications is now only on their dedicated webpage.

  • Please note that the page does not contain a comprehensive list, but merely what I have encountered so far.  If you know of an Armadale-related publication that would interest other visitors to the site, please let me know.

  • Look also at the section Publications about West Lothian Subjects, or including West Lothian Subjects

Armadale in Minutes by Robert Kerr, produced by The History of Armadale Association, price £5 (+ postage and packing for those outside Armadale). A dust-jacketed hardback of 219 pages, 56 photos/illustrations, 3 maps.  It can be bought locally or ordered from Betty Hunter, Secretary of The History of Armadale Association: HAAsecretaryarmadale.org.uk.  Why not visit the HAA page to read about their activities?

Some of the surnames included in the book's text:

Addie, Aitken, Anderson, Archer, Arthur, Baillie, Baird, Ballantyne, Bamburgh, Barnard, Baxter, Bell, Beveridge, Binning, Bishop, Black, Borza, Boyd, Brock, Brown, Bryce, Bryden, Byers, Caesar, Cairns, Calder, Calderhead, Cameron, Campbell, Carr, Chalmers, Cherry, Clark, Clarkson, Cochran, Cochrane, Collie, Conner, Corsie, Cowan, Craig, Crawford, Cunningham, Currie, Cuthbart, Dalling, Daves, Davidson, Davie, Davis, Dennistoun, Donald, Donaldson, Donnelly, Douglas, Druce, Drummond, Drysdale, Duncan, Easton, Edwards, Elder, Farquhar, Ferrier, Finlay, Finnlay, Fleming, Forrester, Forsyth, Frew, Gall, Gardner, Gartshore, Geddes, Gentleman, Gibb, Gibson, Gilchrist, Gillespie, Gillon, Gilmar, Gordon, Gorman, Gowans, Graham, Gray, Gregor, Greig, Grey, Hailstones, Hall, Hamilton, Harrower, Harvie, Hickman, Honeyman, Hope, Howatt, Hunter, Hynd-Brown, Inglis, Kelly, Kerr, Kirk, Lawson, Learmonth, Lees, Leggat, Leishman, Liddell, Longmuir, Love, MacAdam, MacDonald, MacDougal, Mackay, MacLachlan, MacLellan, Mallace, Marcella, Marr, Marshall, Matheson, Maxwell, McDonald, McDougal, McDowall, McGarrie, McGowan, McGregor, McHardy, McIntosh, McKinnon, McLachlan, McMillan, McNab, McNair, McNicol, McPhail, Millar, Miller, Milne, Moffat, More, Morrison, Muir, Newton, O'Donnell, Parker, Paterson, Pollock, Prentice, Quin, Ramsay, Ranken, Rankin, Readman, Reid, Rennie, Roberts, Robertson, Rodger, Rodgers, Rosebery, Russell, Sharp, Shaw, Shearer, Sibbald, Sim, Simpson, Sinclair, Smith, Snedden, Sneddon,  Steel, Stevenson, Stewart, Swan, Syson, Teape, Temple, Tennant, Thomson, Turner, Walker, Wark, Watson, Waugh, Wetherspoune, White, Williams, Wilson, Wood, Wylie, Wyper, Young.


Have you read...?

If you are well-acquainted with Armadale, you may be interested in The Observations by Jane Harris (named by the book industry, on Thursday 19 May 2007, as one of the 25 authors who are seen to be the future of British writing). 

One of the sources for her first novel is Armadale's Past and Present.  Unfortunately, the name of the author of Armadale's history is quoted incorrectly in the novel's acknowledgements.  It should be R. Hynd-Brown.

January 2008 Update: We're grateful to Sarah Savitt from Faber for letting us know that the error has been corrected.

Can you identify the local references in the novel?

Publications by Armadalians

(photo supplied by Shelley White)

100 Armadale Children's Galas - celebration: A commemorative booklet of photos, was launched in 2009 by Queen of Hearts Molly McDonald.  Molly is seen here with (L-R) Gala secretary Susan Rooney; principal sponsor Armadale station's Sandra Carter; and President Stuart Borrowman.

The Tales of Hastie Fae the Dale by Alex Hastings, 2009, Rossendale Books.  If you would like to contact him directly to order a copy, please e-mail Rosie and she will put you in touch.

  1. Poems - A Puckle Mair by Davie Kerr  Review in Scots Tung Wittins

  2. A Puckle Poems by Davie Kerr, 2000, printed and bound by Essential Print, Whitburn.

  3. People's Stories: A Study of Everyday Literacies in Armadale  (Read the background to the project)

  4. Poetry of the Dell (Being Sketches of the Poets and Poetry of the District of Woodend, Torphichen, Linlithgowshire), re-printed from the West Lothian Courier, 1887, Laurence Gilbertson, Jubilee Hall, Bathgate.

  5. My Daily War Diary 1940 - 1946, written and published by Tom Fleming, 2003, printed by Athenaeum Press Ltd, Gateshead

  6. Once in Every Lifetime by Tom Hanlin, 1945, Nicholson and Watson

  7. Yesterday Will Return by Tom Hanlin, 1946, Nicholson & Watson

  8. The Miracle at Cardenrigg by Tom Hanlin, 1949, Victor Gollancz Ltd, London

  9. see TOM HANLIN 's page for more publications

  10. Armadale Gala Day Programme 2007: If you were in the the 2nd Year (1967-8) with Mrs Mulholland at Armadale Academy; in 2a (1976 - 1977) with Mrs Forsyth at Armadale Primary School; in 4a (1979 - 1980) with Mrs Gray at Eastertoun Primary School; in Primary 5 (1983 - 1984) with Mrs Connerton at Armadale Primary School, you will be interested to see the photos in the Gala Day programme.

  11. Our Town, Our Team ARMADALE......! researched by Stuart Borrowman, John Lee and Jimmy Smeaton in aid of Armadale Thistle Supporters' Club, 2006, printed by Inprint, published by Armadale Thistle Supporters' Club with financial assistance from West Lothian Council

  12. Gowff - Golf  The Boys Fae The Dale, researched and written by Andy Anderson, May 2004

  13. Armadale: Past and Present  by R. Hynd-Brown, 1906, printed by F. Johnston & Co., proprietors of Linlithgowshire Gazette, online since 2002 courtesy of Jim McGregor

  14. Armadale Today 1982,  an expanded version of the 1978 booklet, Directory of Organisations in the Armadale Area, produced by the Community Centre and the Community Council, (Comment from Rosie: a wonderful snapshot of Armadale's life in the early 1980s, with community advice and organisations and also full of poems by local people)

  15. Armadale Town Guide 1989, produced by Armadale Community Council

  16. Armadale Public House Society Ltd, October 1901 - October 1951, (booklet)

  17. Nursing at Tippethill in the 1940s, Booklet of Reminiscences of Mary (Falconer) Flynn (booklet), published by West Lothian Council : Local History Library.

  18. Many thanks to Jim McGregor for the following information:
    Blackridge, Westrigg and Westcraigs Centenary Gala Day, Sunday 28th June 2009.
    The booklet "100 Years of Gala Days in Blackridge, Westrigg and Westcraigs" was launched on the 30th May 2009.
    The Gala Committee distributed a copy to every household free of charge to mark the historical significance of this year's Gala Day.
    Further copies  on sale at £2.00 for villagers to send to friends and family outwith the village.
    The booklet is full of Gala facts and photos and will appeal to anyone who has had connections with Blackridge/Westrigg/Westcraigs.  I enjoyed reading it. Highly recommended! Rosie

Publications by Robert Kerr 1927 - 2009

Armadalian Robert Kerr produced many manuscripts, study papers and books over the years, and so it seemed fitting to give him his own section!

All of Robert Kerr's writing and maps of the West Lothian area can be seen by contacting West Lothian Library Headquarters, Connolly House, Hopefield Road, Blackburn, West Lothian, EH47 7HZ

Information courtesy of Sybil Cavanagh


  2. Armadale in Minutes, A Chronological History by Robert Kerr, 2008, HAA 

  3. A History of Armadale, West Lothian, (86 pages), 1996

  4. A History of Barbauchlaw, (2 pages)

  5. A History of Bathville, (5 pages), 1996

  6. A History of Bathville II, (6 pages), 1996

  7. A History of the Ancient Barony of Ogilface in the Parish of Torphichen, 1993

  8. A Revised History of the Ancient Barony of Ogilface: Giving owners or lessees of lands of Barony, 1994

  9. A History of the Land Occupied by the Ancient Barony of Ogilface in the Parish of Torphichen, Manuscript 1994

  10. A History of the Estate and Lands of Cathlaw, (2 pages), 1996

  11. A History of the West Lothian Town of Armadale and Surrounding Area, manuscript, 1992

  12. A History of the West Lothian Town of Armadale and Surrounding Area, manuscript, 1994

  13. A History of Westfield and District near Armadale, (3 pages), 1994

  14. A History of Woodend, near Armadale, West Lothian, single sheet, 1995

  15. Bridgecastle and Bridgehouse, (2 pages), 1998

  16. Gowanbank: Notes on Gowanbank, north of Blackridge, (½ page), 1998

  17. Plan of Lands of Hardhill and Lands of Harestanes in the Ancient Parish of Bathgate: Showing boundaries of the two estates, and the farms and other notable sites they included, 1990

  18. Sketch map showing the boundaries of Couston, Bridgecastle,  Barbauchlaw, Hardhill and Polkemmet Estates, sketch map, 1990

  19. Sketch maps of Armadale c1850 and of surroundings c1773 and 1820, sketch map, 1990

  20. A History of Blackridge, Woodend and the Lands of Ogilface, 1995

  21. Bedlormie House, West Lothian, (2 pages), 1998

  22. A History of Balbardie, Ballencrieff, Barbauchlaw, Bathgate, Boghall and Boghead Estates, 1995

  23. A History of Bathgate, manuscript, 1993

  24. A History of Bathgate, typescript, 1994

  25. A History of Bathgate, typescript, 1996

  26. A History of Bathgate, (78 pages) 1997

  27. A History of Bathgate, (edited by Robert Harkness), 2006

  28. A History of Lochcote Estate and Lands, (6 pages), 1996

  29. Historic Map of Bathgate, sketch map, 1990

  30. Sketch map of Bathgate: farms and estates, with dates, sketch map, 1990

  31. Sketch map of Bathgate: industrial: mainly industrial places of employment (pits, quarries, etc.) c1850, sketch map, 1990

  32. Sketch map of Bathgate c1898: Historic places in and near Bathgate town, overlaid on road and rail system of c1898 (with dates), sketch map, 1990

  33. Sketch map of the farms and estates of Bathgate district - with dates: Historic Maps, map 1

  34. Sketches of Bathgate Buildings: S3

  35. A History of Places within and near Beecraigs Country Park in West Lothian, to be read with the historic map of the park, 1997

  36. Lochcote - Miscellaneous Information and Map of Lochcote Estate

  37. Historic map of Beecraigs Country Park, West Lothian: Scale c 6 inches:1 mile, 1997

  38. Sketch map of Beecraigs Country Park, West Lothian: Showing boundaries of earlier farms of Whitebaulks, Hillhouse, Balvormie lands and many of the old field names, A3 sketch map, 1997

  39. A History of Blackburn, Stoneyburn, Seafield and District, 1994

  40. A History of Bo'ness and District, manuscript, 1994

  41. A History of South Queensferry, Kirkliston and district, 1995

  42. A History of South Queensferry, Kirkliston, Winchburgh and the Parishes of Dalmeny and Abercorn, 1994

  43. A History of Broxburn, Uphall and Ecclesmachan, 1995

  44. A History of the Parishes of Strathbrock, Uphall and Ecclesmachan (including Broxburn), 1994

  45. A History of Fauldhouse, Longridge and District, 1994

  46. A History of Fauldhouse, Longridge and District, (3 pages), 1995

  47. A History of Whitburn, East Whitburn and District, 1994

  48. A History of Linlithgow, (29 pages), 1994

  49. A History of Linlithgow, (44 pages), 1995

  50. A History of Livingston Parish, 1994

  51. A History of Livingston New Town Area, 1994

  52. A History of Livingston New Town Area, 1995

  53. A History of the Three Calders and Kirknewton Parish, 1994

  54. A History of Torphichen, West Lothian: the first 4 thousand years, photocopied manuscript, 1991

  55. A History of Torphichen, West Lothian: Book 2, pages 13 - 20, brothers, knights and preceptors, 1992

  56. How James Sandilands became Lord Torphichen.  Also the first tenants and farms of Torphichen Parish.

  57. Assorted Information on Torphichen's History, (10 pages)

  58. Persons Buried in Torphichen Kirk Graveyard, handwritten

  59. The Estate and Lands of Wallhouse, (5 pages), 1996

  60. The Well, the Square, Torphichen, (2 pages), 1998

  61. Torphichen's First Council Housing Scheme at Greenside, (2 pages), 1996

  62. A History of West Lothian (County and District), manuscript, 1995

  63. Glimpses of West Lothian Past, (8 pages), 1998

  64. Glimpses of West Lothian Past, 2006

  65. Notes on West Lothian Place Names, manuscript

  66. Robert Kerr's Histories of West Lothian Towns and Villages: Vol 1, typescript

  67. Robert Kerr's Histories of West Lothian Towns and Villages: Vol 2, typescript

  68. Robert Kerr's Histories of West Lothian Towns and Villages: Vol 3, handwritten

Publications about Armadalians

(See also HAA publications and Section: Publications about West Lothian Subjects, or including West Lothian Subjects)

Annie Drummond's Treasured Memory by Pamela Blevins in The Ivor Gurney Journal, 1997, (love affair of Annie Drummond, an Armadale nurse, and Ivor Gurney, poet and composer and patient in Bangour War Hospital, 1917)

Annie Drummond d 1959, of Armadale, nursed Ivor Gurney, poet and composer, at Bangour Hospital

After Annie Drummond McKay's death in 1959, her daughter discovered her mother's treasured possessions, which included a copy of Poems of Today inscribed 'To Nurse Drummond with thanks for joy and best wishes for all things to come, September 1918, From Ivor Gurney, S. Albans'  Also a score of The Western Playland, which he had dedicated to her.

From October 1917 to March 1918, they were close, but a break ensued. 

Although an intermediary tried to contact Annie on his behalf, and sent her The Western Playland, Annie did not reply.  By this time she was happily married to James McKay in Boston, Gurney having been certified insane 3 weeks after Annie's marriage. 

Gurney died in an asylum in 1938 and Annie was also affected by mental illness later, dying in Medfield State Hospital in 1959.

See The Ivor Gurney Journal 1997, Annie Drummond's treasured memory by Pamela Blevins.


List of Tom Hanlin's papers held by the National Library of Scotland

Tom Hanlin, by Hugh Macpherson in Scottish Book Collector, Edinburgh, 1989

Pithead Metaphysics: Tom Hanlin's 'Once in Every Lifetime', by Manfred Malzahn in ScotLit (Aberdeen: Association for Scottish Literary Studies), 1992

Other material on TOM HANLIN

Brief Biographies of Armadale Writers

DR ANDERSON: The Sport of Pigeon Racing (1947), which contains a history of the worldwide sport and a detailed account of the development of the sport in the Armadale area.


Andrew Barnard was born in 1860, son of Francis Barnard..
After leaving school, he worked for one year as a coalminer before he suffered a knee injury. Later he was employed as an engineer with W. Muir & Sons, Bathville.
When he married, he built a cottage situated between Woodend and Armadale. He wrote the poem, The Sparrows that Bide in the Lum.


Francis Barnard was born in May 1834 in the hamlet of Devon Square, Clackmann, moving later to Airdrie and eventually to Bo'ness and Grangemouth.
When he married, he moved to Woodend. Shortly after his arrival, he contributed poetry to Scottish newspapers. In 1875 his poetry was published in a collection entitled Sparks from a Miner's Lamp.
In 1889 his Chirps frae the Engine Lum was published by L.Gilbertson, Jubilee Hall, Bathgate
He was a keen observer of nature and a passionate lover of Scottish 'makars'. He is also known for Sweet Armadale and The Voices I' the Glen.

When the Airdrie and Coatbridge Water Company proposed to cut off the water from the stream, Barbauchlaw, at Forrestburn, he was spurred to action, as the following verses show:

Some loons - the deed I'll ne'er forgie-
Hae on it cast an envious e'e,
An' nolens volens frae you an' me,
Wad steal the burnie clean awa.

Jist think on't noo, a dead-sea pool,
Nae birdies then wad sit and trill
Their sang beside the purlin' rill,
They wad desert it ane an' a'.


Had Nature meant them sic a boon,
She'd sent the waters hurlin' down
Straucht at the first to Airdrie toun,
And never thocht on us ava.

The cleanly guid-wife bleachin' claes
Nae mair we'd see upon its braes,
Nae snaw-white sark on Sabbath days,
Or kirk for the guidman ava.

O bardies a' about the glen,
Laird, tenant, cottar, lift your pen,
An' sign your protest, let them ken,
they canna get our burn awa.


Farmer Brock of Barbauchlaw Mains, born 1793 died 1855, wrote a poem about the severe frost of 1817, which ruined the Hairst.



1801: born in Dunipace, Stirlingshire, son of a woollen manufacturer of Denny. 

c1818: his father died and he had to find employment.

1826: he was appointed as Armadale's first schoolmaster. He lived at Whitockbrae.

1833: he moved to Glasgow and became a merchant.  He wrote many nostalgic poems about his time in the Armadale area, such as  Morag's Faery Glen, Sweet Birkenshaw, Meet me on the Gowan Lea.  Some of his finest songs were set to music by Matthew Wilson.  William Cameron died in 1877.

Below: Birthplace of Jessie Harvie of Barbauchlaw Mill. She inspired Armadale's first schoolmaster to create a poem, Jessie o' the Mill, later published as the popular broadside ballad Jessie o' the Dell



JC: Sweet Armadale (1940); Doun the Auld Wheatock Brae (1940)


Tom Fleming was born in at Beech Cottage, West Main Street, Armadale in 1921, the youngest of six children, to Charles and Jane Fleming.
He worked for United Collieries as a Despatch Clerk, until his appointment as a Mine Surveyor. His book My Daily War Diary 1940 - 1946, records his experiences with 168 (City of London) Light Field Ambulance attached to 8th Armoured Brigade.



1907 - 1953

writer of Armadale, now has his own page on the website!




Tae Rabbie; Yesterday


William Jeffrey, son of manager of Woodend, died in Glasgow in 1946.



A Chapter's Close; A Puckle Poems; Poems - A Puckle Mair; one of the reminiscence sections in Where were you, when spitfires flew?

See Ti Flow, or No

See also Dale Poetry, which Davie hosts.  It includes an update of his poem Heatherfield Roondaboot


He was born in Armadale in 1927, son of James and Mary KERR. He was educated at Armadale Primary and the old Bathgate Academy before continuing his studies at Glasgow School of Art and Herriot Watt College.  He worked in the various parts of the building industry, initially as an apprentice architect with Thomas Roberts, Architects, of Bathgate and latterly as a draughtsman / surveyor for West Lothian Council.  His interests included the Scouts movement; playing in the Armadale and Whiterigg Pipe bands; sports, leading to his training as a football referee; politics and Scotland's heritage and culture.  He produced a considerable library of manuscripts, research papers and books about Armadale and the West Lothian area since his retirement in 1991.  A few of the many publications are shown on this page. 

Sadly, Robert died early in 2009. 



He was born in Whitburn in 1962 and moved around the Lothian area since then. He settled in Armadale with his wife Karen. Andy still has contact with his son and daughter, but Andy and his wife have to visit the grankids as their guard cat is terrified of children.  Andy told us, "I still have my dear Mum, two sisters and two brothers. I still miss my father though; he could be helping me renovate an old motorbike or doing some DIY." 

Andy remembers how he slipped into writing: reading too many bad short stories, novels and seeing too many bad movies from the 60s and 70s. He decided to try writing. Could it really be worse than what he had read, that was already in print?  Andy created a short story called Minion, using his clan name A.L. MacKinnon. He just sat down and wrote, not being confined by what rules he read in How to Write books. His story was accepted for publication in an anthology called Blackest Death Volume I.
Since then he has brought out Short Shocks Volume I - Two short horror stories. See http://stores.lulu.com/andylove
Andy also wrote a short story The Crawler, for an anthology book called Menage-A-20, Tales With A Hook, which was created to help authors around the world. The authors decided to make it free. See http://www.menage-a-20.com/
What does 2010 hold in store for Andy? He is currently writing a young adult short for an anthology, a Christmas story for a free publication that will be sent to troops abroad at the end of 2010 and writing his collection of stories in
Short Shocks II.
email : ShortShocks@Yahoo.co.uk See http://www.goodreads.com/andylove for more information.

Mrs MURGATROYD: Armadale Glen (1950); Auld Russell's Raw

Sweet Armadale (Parody on Bonnie Strathyre)

You can sing o' the hielands and hillsides sae braw,
Aye o' dark Lochnagar and the Comries an' a'.
But I'll sing of the beauty surrounding the vale
That lies on the north side of sweet Armadale.

I see in the distance the Ochils in view,
Asleep in the silence and saft, hazy hue.
And a sigh of content in my breast I inhale
When I'm roving the north side of sweet Armadale.

Doon the auld Wheattock Brae lies the road to the Glen,
Where echoes the blackbird in yon shady den.
And the Scottish bluebell ever tender and frail,
You'll find on the north side of sweet Armadale.

The Barbauchlaw runs past, it reflects on the trees,
And the bright butterfly flits awa' in the breeze.
And the red setting sun sets a glow o'er the vale,
That lies on the north side of sweet Armadale.

By the late Mrs. M. Murgatroyd of Unity Terrace, Armadale




West Lothian Writers

Ironstone, a celebration of new writing from West Lothian, issue one, edited by Magi Gibson, published by West Lothian Council, 2005

Ironstone, a celebration of new writing from West Lothian, issue two, published by West Lothian Council, 2007

Versions, A Third Anthology of Poems by members of Quill (West Lothian) (Quill members meet every second Monday at Bathgate Community Centre to write and help with each other's poetry.  Details from Secretary Donnie MacNeill, 01506 431389)

Publications about West Lothian Subjects, or including West Lothian Subjects

No particular order as yet - merely a taster of some of the books that have been read!


  2. The History of Westfield and Bridgehouse A colourful and informative 24 page booklet, priced at a modest £2-50, available from Westfield School and the local shop.
    'This little history of our area is published to celebrate the life of Westfield school and the community it serves. We are a small but very popular and successful school working for the village of Westfield, the hamlet of Bridgehouse and the scattered rural population in the area around.' From the Foreward by Lesley Ann Gould, Chair of Westfield Parent Council.
    Congratulations to the pupils and staff of Westfield School, and all the other people who have contributed to this attractive publication. Highly recommended!


    Posted 20 November 2008


    Not specifically Scottish, but of local interest: The Forgotten Conscript, A History of the Bevin Boy by Warwick Taylor, Pentland Press, Durham, 1995

                                                                                                                                                                                                 Lothian, except Edinburgh, (from Nikolaus Pevsner's The Buildings of Scotland series) by Colin McWilliam, 1978

  3. Border By-ways and Lothian Lore, by T. Ratcliffe Barnett, published by Robert Grant & Son, Edinburgh

  4. West Lothian District Official Guide, issued by WLDC, 1980s

  5. Mining Silver in the Bathgate Hills,  Local History Library, Blackburn, WL, 2004

  6. The Bangour Story, A History of Bangour Village and General Hospitals by WF Hendrie and DAD Macleod, Reprinted by Mercat Press, Edinburgh, 1992

  7. Shale Oil: Scotland, The World's Pioneering Oil Industry by David Kerr BSc, designed, word-processed, photographed, artworked and published by the author, 1994

  8. Catalogue of Plans of Abandoned Mines, Vol V (Scotland) Linlithgowshire (West Lothian)

  9. Blackridge (A Miscellany) by Jimmy Borrowman

  10. West Side Stories, Writing from Edinburgh, compiled by Grace Barnes as part of a writing project entitled 'My Story', 2005

  11. Lost Railways of the Lothians by Gordon Stansfield, published by Stenlake Publishing Ltd, Glasgow 2003

  12. The Bathgate Murder (Durhamtown)1856 by Edward S Flint, Edinburgh 1996

  13. Scots Words and their Meanings as used in West Lothian,  produced by The West Lothian Broadly Scots Society, 2nd edition, 2001

  14. Where were you, when spitfires flew? Life on the Home Front, A collection of stories by 40 West Lothian residents who kept the home fires burning, compiled by members of West Lothian History and Amenity Society, produced under the Home Front Recall scheme, funds provided by the Big Lottery Fund.

  15. Keep Smiling Through: West Lothian at War 1939 - 45, produced by West Lothian District Libraries Local Studies Department, 1995

  16. Bathgate in the Great War by Neil Anderson, 1999

  17. Caunle, Caunle, Birning Bricht, Candle making in the Scottish Shale Oil Industry, by David Kerr, 2005, West Lothian Local History Library.

  18. The Wee Bangour Express, booklet written by Rev. A.D. Stirling, 2000, West Lothian Council Libraries, Local History Library.

  19. The Winchburgh Murders, booklet produced by The Local Studies Department, WL Council Library Services

  20. County Survey Report, West Lothian County Planning Authority, 1970

  21. Capital of Silicon Glen. West Lothian: transformed for good?, written by Stuart Borrowman, published by Drumduff Publications, December 2000, printed by Hugh K. Clarkson and Sons, West Calder

  22. Foundlings -  West Lothian's Abandoned Children (booklet), published by West Lothian Council Libraries: Local History Library 2000

  23. Routes Across West Lothian, A Transport History Map, produced by West Lothian History and Amenity Society, printed by Nimmos, Edinburgh

  24. Linlithgow in Early Victorian Times, A study based on the 1841 Census of the Royal Burgh, by Andrina Baillie,  published by West Lothian Council : Local History Library, 2006

  25. The Gemme's a Bogey, Traditional Scots Rhymes collected by Mary Ferrie, reprint courtesy of Awards for All, Heritage Lottery Fund, May 2003

  26. Blackridge (A Census Analysis) by Jimmy Borrowman

  27. Behind God's Back, A History of Blackridge in West Lothian, by Stuart Borrowman, published by West Lothian Council, November 2005

  28. Blackridge Yesteryear (a local history), by Jimmy Borrowman, 1988

  29. A  History of Blackridge by Stuart Borrowman, 1981

  30. Discovering West Lothian, by W.F. Hendrie, published by John Donald Publishers Ltd, August 1997

  31. West Lothian, An Illustrated Architectural Guide, by Richard Jaques and Charles McKean, published by The Rutland Press, September 1994

  32. West Lothian Place Names, by John Garth Wilkinson, published by Torphin House, August 1992

  33. Whispers from the Back of Beyond; Your Guide to Researching Family History in West Lothian, Scotland, written and published by Matthew Fry, August 2000

  34. Monumental Inscriptions in West Lothian (pre-1855), by  John Fowler Mitchell, published by Scottish Genealogy Society, December 1975

  35. The Poets and Poetry of Linlithgowshire, Alex M. Bisset, John Menzies and Co, Edinburgh and Glasgow, 1896

  36. Torphichen by Jack Smith, 1997

  37. The Buildings of Scotland, Lothian except Edinburgh, by Colin McWilliam, published by Butler and Tanner Ltd, Frome and London, 1978

  38. Place Names of West Lothian, by Angus MacDonald, published by Oliver and Boyd, 1941

  39. Mining The Lothians by Guthrie Hutton,  Stenlake Publishing, 1998

  40. From Starlaw to Burngrange, West Lothian Mining Deaths and Disasters, 1870 - 1947, produced by West Lothian District Libraries Local Studies Department, 1996

  41. West Lothian Slavery and the Slave Trade, produced by West Lothian Local History Library, 2007

  42. 50 Glimpses of West Lothian Past and Present, by McGonagal 2nd

  43. Lothian, A Historical Guide, by Mark Collard, 1998

  44. Airdrie Weans and Bathgate Bairns by Isobel Simpson, published by J. J. Simpson, 1997

  45. Model Lodging Houses of West Lothian, produced by The Local Studies Dept of West Lothian District Library HQ

  46. West Lothian Wildlife, Annual Review 96, West Lothian Natural History Report, ed Martin Collinson, 1996

  47. West Lothian Wildlife, Annual Review No.2, West Lothian Natural History Report, ed Martin Collinson, 1997

  48. Torphichen Kirk by Jack Smith, 2006

  49. Standing Witnesses, An Illustrated Guide to the Scottish Covenanters, by Thorbjörn Campbell, Saltire Society, Edinburgh 1996

  50. Scottish Collieries, An Inventory of the Scottish Coal Industry in the Nationalised Era, by Miles K Oglethorpe, RCAHMS and The Scottish Mining Museum Trust, June 2006

  51. Memories of West Lothian Boxers and Their Times by Jim Duffy

  52. The First Edinburgh-Glasgow Royal Mail Coaches - 3. Middle Route (Paper) by Bill Cochrane (with useful references for further reading/research)

  53. The Third Statistical Account of Scotland Vol XXI, The County of West Lothian, ed by Patrick Cadell, Scottish Academic Press, Edinburgh, 1992. Note that this volume reflects the county before the 1975 reorganisation of local government.

  54. Twixt Forth & Clyde by AG Williamson, published by Putnam, London, first pub 1942

  55. Jails, Clinks and Lock-ups; crimes and punishment in West Lothian. Text of the Bennie Museum Spring lecture, May 1998.

  56. The Bathgate Book Maps, Up-to-date survey and maps drawn by Dorothy Slater

  57. Scots Words and their Meanings as used in West Lothian, produced by The West Lothian Broadly Scots Society, printed by Hot off The Press, Livingston, 2008

  58. The Scottish Refractory Industry 1830 - 1980 by Kenneth W. Sanderson, published Edinburgh, 1990

  59. The Sport of Pigeon Racing by Dr. William Anderson, published by The Racing pigeon Publishing Co ltd, 1st pub 1947, revised 1954

  60. Vernacular Building 29, published by Scottish Vernacular Buildings Working Group 2005

  61. Brick, Tile and Fireclay Industries in Scotland by Graham Douglas and Miles Oglethorpe, published by RCAHMS

  62. Bathville Brick and Fireclay Works Catalogue, published c1900

  63. United Fireclay Products Ltd, Fireclay Manufacturers, Standard Pipe Catalogue, Bathville Office

  64. The Linlithgowshire Gipsies by Walter Simson, (Reprint of chapter IV from History of the Gipsies, with specimens of the gipsy language, London, 1865) WL Council Libraries Local History library, 2005

  65. Whitburne Ane Histore o' its Auld Paroch Kirk, by Rev G A McCracken, 2000

  66. Blackburn: the story of West Lothian's cotton and coal town by Sybil Cavanagh, Luath Press Ltd, Edinburgh, 2006

  67. Winchburgh Railway Disaster 1862, WL Local History Library pamphlet, 2006

  68. West Calder Memories, by Alex Fleming, Isabella Kirk, Margaret Porcher, Ruby Rankine, Helen Sneddon, published by WL Local History Library to commemorate the Centenary of West Calder Library, 2004

  69. Scotland's Stonehenge? : a plea for the recognition of our ancient antiquity, [Abstract: David Colman appeals for more money to be spent on promoting the ancient site of Cairnpapple, and Torphichen  Preceptory] article by David Colman, 1996

  70. The Antonine Wall, Rome's northern frontier, by Geoff B. Bailey with reconstructions by Mike Moore, published by Falkirk Council Cultural Services, 2003

  71. Keep Smiling Through, West Lothian at War 1939 - 45, West Lothian District Libraries Local Studies Department 1995

  72. A West Lothian Miscellany, West Lothian History and Amenity Society, 1983

  73. Bathgate in the Great War, Neil Anderson, 1999/2000

  74. Old Armadale and Blackridge by John Hood, see Stenlake . (It’s a paperback of 52 pages, but it has 55 photos of Armadale and Blackridge on its covers and inner pages. Rosie)

  75. Armadale in Old Picture Postcards, by William F. Hendrie, 1998, published by European Library, Zaltbommel, The Netherlands (Comment from Rosie: an interesting collection of photos with accompanying commentary)

  76. Bathgate in Old Picture Postcards, by William F. Hendrie, 1996, published by European Library, Zaltbommel, The Netherlands (original publication 1985)

  77. A News-Sheet Outlining Some of the Important Events of the year 1881 in Armadale, Linlithgowshire, researched and written by Jan Malloch as part of study for Certificate in Scottish Family History Studies 1998

  78. Armadale Small Area Statistics, Census 1991, General Register Office for Scotland

  79. A Look at the Armadale Works of United Fireclay Products, article reprint, Euroclay, Jan/Feb 1979

  80. 100 Years of Gala Days in Blackridge, Westrigg and Westcraigs launched on the 30th May 2009 by the Gala Committee
    (The booklet is full of Gala facts and photos and will appeal to anyone who has had connections with Blackridge / Westrigg/Westcraigs.  I enjoyed reading it. Highly recommended! Rosie)

  81. The Knights of St John of Jerusalem in Scotland, ed. Cowan, Ian Borthwick. Mackay, P. H. R. Macquarrie, Alan,  printed for the Scottish History Society by C. Constable, Edinburgh, 1983. (Highly recommended!)

  82. Historic Linlithgow, the archaeological implications of development, the Scottish Burgh Survey, by E. Patricia Dennison, Russel Coleman, (Edinburgh: Historic Scotland in association with Scottish Cultural Press, 2000)

  83. _________________________________________________________________________________________


  85. Researchers may be interested in the Newsletter of West Lothian Heritage Services:

    Researchers may be interested in Heritage, the newsletter of West Lothian Heritage Services 

    I have listed a few of the contents for each edition I have read

    October 2006 included:

    • Worst Disaster in West Lothian's History: the Winchburgh Railway Disaster

    • Linlithgow Union Canal Society

    • Strathbrock Stories

    • Princess opens new footbridge: the footbridge at Almond Valley Heritage Centre

    • Former Bathgate Academy saved

    • When is Statistical not Statistics?

    • The Chieftain Forge

    Spring 2007 included:

    • Simply Samplers

    • Lochcote: can you help?: an appeal for a photo of Lochcote mansion house

    • Keep the Home Fires Burning

    • Putting Whitburn on the Map

    • The Armadale Nurse and the War Poet

    • Lost Mansions of West Lothian

    • The Bloody Muscovite's Descendants

    • Preserving School Archives

    Spring 2008 included:

    • Archaeological investigations at the Burgh Halls,Linlithgow

    • Before the railway came: 1823 print showing part of Linlithgow canal (opened 1822) given to Linlithgow Union Canal Society

    • Granny’s getting younger!: Appeal for reminiscence items from the 1950s onwards

    • Simply Samplers make a comeback

    • Banners and Benefits

    • Can you help? These SMT bus drivers and conductresses were based in the Broxburn depot in the 1950s.

    • Lost mansions of West Lothian: Boghead House near Falside

    • Rediscovering Tom Hanlin

    • Fleming of Bathgate

    • Bathgate’s Cinema Heritage

    • West Lothian County Council 1890-1975

    • LDC Technical Library photographic collection

    • History of Armadale Association

    Autumn 2008 included:

    • Good Old School Days! Redhouse School Senior Class 1961 photo

    • James Maitland

    • Historic Gems Uncovered

    • Anti-social Behaviour 18th Century Style

    • Remembrance 90

    • Log on to Your Family Tree: WLFHS

    • Linlithgow in Print

    • A Soldier's Tale: Peter Jack of Blackridge

    • Donating Objects to Local Museums

    • Bathgate History Group

    • West Lothian History and Amenity Society: Syllabus

    Spring 2009 included:

    • Robert Burns and Highland Mary

    • Linlithgow Burgh Halls (update)

    • Building on our artistic heritage

    • West Lothian and the Forgotten War: Korea 1950 - 1953

    • Robert Burns, Freeman of Linlithgow?

    • Calling all Guides

    • The Incorporation of Wrights

    • Appeal for Deposits

    • Hame and Awa

    • Linlithgow for Bells

    Other publications I have read included articles on subjects such as:

    • West Lothian History and Amenity Society's discovery of Christina Kay's grave ( the inspiration for Muriel Spark's character Miss Jean Brodie)

    • Buried Treasure: The Bathgate burial grounds records 

    • Levi's Uncut!

    • West Lothian and Slavery

    • East Carribber Limekilns

    • Putting West Lothian on the map


Publications about Midlothian

Camilty Gunpowder Works, West Lothian Local History Library booklet, 2009. (A well-researched and illustrated account of the Gunpowder Mills at Camilty, south-east of West Calder, Midlothian. Recommended! Rosie)

Interested in Scottish Archaeology?  Here are some Useful History Texts
  • The Nation Survey'd -Timothy Pont's Maps of Scotland, edited by Ian C. Cunningham, John Donald, 2006

  • The Landscape of Scotland, A Hidden History by C R Wickham-Jones, Tempus, 2001

  • But the Walls Remained, A survey of unroofed rural settlement depicted on the first edition of the Ordnance Survey 6-inch map of Scotland, RCAHMS and Historic Scotland, 2002

  • Forts, Farms and Furnaces, Archaeology in the Central Scotland Forest, RCAHMS, 1998

  • RCAHMS: Tenth Report with Inventory of Monuments and Constructions in the Counties of Midlothian and Westlothian, Edinburgh 1929

  • The Castles of Scotland by Martin Coventry, Birlinn, 2006

  • Scottish Prehistory by Richard Oram, Birlinn, 1997

  • Castles and Tower Houses of the Scottish Clans 1450 - 1650 by Stuart Reid, illustrated by Graham Turner, Osprey Publishing, 2006

  • The Forts of Celtic Britain by Angus Konstam, illustrated by Peter Bull, Osprey Publishing, 2006

  • Air Photo Interpretation for Archaeologists by D. R. Wilson, Tempus Publishing Ltd., 2000

  • From the Air - Understanding Aerial Archaeology, K. Brophy and D. Cowley, Tempus Publishing Ltd., 2005

  • The Handbook of British Archaeology by Lesley and Roy Adkins, Constable

  • Above Scotland: The National Collection of Aerial Photography by Dave Cowley, RCAHMS, 2009 (200 illustrations!)

  • In the Public Eye RCAHMS Annual Review 2007 - 2008

Armadale-related CDs / DVDs / Films / Videos

A Daunder Round Armadale, produced by The History of Armadale Association, is a video produced in the hope that it will stimulate interest among walkers and other community groups, in some of the historic countryside walks around our town. 1999

Etna Brickworks 16mm film showing production of bricks at the works.

Etna Brickworks Advertisement, supported by the Scottish Museums Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund, between October 2002 and March 2004, which involved children and parents in the creation of multimedia advertisements for products and services represented in the museum collection.

Looking at the Dale: Armadale in Old Photographs, CD devised and produced by Zoe Wright for West Lothian Libraries.

Extracts from 1980s magazines (Armadale and area)

courtesy of Ron Dingwall

Dale News + Views, first edition, Editorial Board: Bobby Laidlaw, YOPs Supervisor; Grace Harris, Armadale; Linda Emms, Armadale; Paula Watson, Armadale; 3 YOP trainees (Identifications variable).

8 pages, which include: an editorial; congratulations to Bill Bailey on title choice; an article on local history; Armadale Venture Scout Unit report; Armadale Ranger Guide Unit advertisement; Your Own Say (a local article by Bill Bailey); advertisements on behalf of local businesses.

It seemed only appropriate for the first edition to include an account of early Armadale as well as a 'renewal' poem that seems appropriate now in light of the imminent changes to facilities in the town.


     Originally the land on which Armadale is built was said to have been a hunting ground for lords and the king.  Boar was the animal that was hunted the most therefore Boarbocklaw later becoming Barbocklaw.  In 1734 Frederick the Prince of Wales granted the estate, of which Barbocklaw was a part, to Harry Cochran.  It was sold and resold to different people for different things such as death of the previous owner or bankruptcy.

     The town came into being when a new road from Edinburgh to Glasgow was built in 1786.  This formed a junction with the country road near the east end of the estate.  A tollbar was built and a tollman's house.  The toll was licensed to sell spirits and ale until an Act of parliament on May 15 1855 stopped it.

     After the building of the road, Carron Iron company set up mines to dig for the coal that had originally been worked by the locals.  Miners were brought in, but as accommodation was scarce many built huts for themselves.  John Russell, a joiner, noticed the demand for housing.  He secured feu near the cross where he set up a workshop and a house.  The feu was granted by Sir William Honeyman, Bart of Armadale on the 4 August 1795.  The town was born."

"Armadale Primary School by Mrs. Hadden

In Queen Victoria's Golden Age
Our School wis just the thing
Weans wrote on slates, had wooden plates
Wi a brass school bell to ring.

The heating system in the school
Wis the very latest one,
By love, it worked wi gusto
On coal, ten bob a ton.

This may come as quite a shock,
Auld Queen Vic's expired
The roof leaks, the woodwork creaks,
The auld grey walls are tired.

All over Lothian Region
There are new schools by the score,
Even here in Armadale
We're the only auld yin o' four.

Big renavations were agreed
The teachers jumped wi' glee,
An' aw the mammys o' the weans
Wir glad this wis tae be.

Then the plans wir "cut" again
It really made us sick.
Right in the middle o' the holidays
Whit a dirty trick!

We then tried a Petition,
Ye must have thought us daft.
But if need be in the years tae come,
We'll no be half as saft!

We're no askin' fer fancy things,
Nor wantin' tae be pampered,
All we want is that our school
Should meet a decent standard.

All the weans in Lothian
Should be treated just the same
An' if we git wir fair share,
We'll haud naebody tae blame.

Here's good news! our upgrading
Has started now at last.
Let's hope the worries of the school
Will be burried in the past."

Dale News + Views, Christmas Edition 1982.

8 pages, which include: an editorial; a recipe for Cabbage and Potato Pie; an article about local history; a poem by a local poet; an advertisement aimed at 16 - 21 year olds on behalf of the Youth Employed Club offering 'Snooker, Table Tennis, Trips away, Badminton, Basketball, Football' at Armadale Community Education Centre; advertisements on behalf of Armadale Pre-school Playgroup, Armadale Adult Unemployed Group, the 28th West Lothian Scout Group, the Gunbro School of Dancing, and local businesses; Isobell Bell's Music Review.

I chose the following extracts because there is a lively interest from this website's visitors in the community that used to stay at Woodend as well as in the recent archaeological investigations of the area.


     On a promontory of land above the Barbauchlaw Burn at Woodend Farm, there once stood a castle which guarded and overlooked the route from the religious places of Torphichen and Monklands.  If you stand on this spot you can imagine why it was chosen as it has an unbroken view both to the east and west.  No one could pass without being seen - or could they?  have a look and let your imagination wander.

     We have to go back a long way to approximately the year 1120 when the barony of Ogilface came into existence although it is first on the records in 1165.  A castle was probably built sometime between these dates.

     The name Ogilface goes further back as it is believed to come from two words UCHEL = HIGH and MAIS = FIELD which it certainly is.

     After the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 there was a very gradual penetration into Scotland particularly when the Canmore Kings, Edgar, Alexander and David encouraged them by granting lands and giving power to combat the power of the Celtic chiefs.  It was this factor that brought the DE BOSCO family (Armadale's first known resident?), north to take up the barony of Ogilface and build a castle on the site which, to quote the 18th Century Statistical Account "must have been a place of some strength though no great size".

     Early details are difficult to come by, but if we return to 1320 an important year in Scottish History, we find that Thomas De Bosco granted a charter to the monks of Newbattle which allowed them to cross to Monklands.  Looking at a physical map of the area it is easy to see why this spot is important as it would have been the junction of the two ancient routes (a) Torphichen - Monklands and (b) East - West route.

     Perhaps we can get an insight into those people from the records where it tells us that Robert de Livingston, Keeper of the Palace of Linlithgow from 1434 - 1449 who possessed the land of Ogilface and Middle Binning, was found guilty of the crime of LESE-MAJESTIE in 1449 and executed.  So what intrigue and high treason did the owner of Ogilface take part in to end up on the chopping bloc? (answers as soon as it is discovered).

     After this point in history, Ogilface Castle was becoming ruinous as the owners were staying in more sumptuous surroundings such as Bridge Castle.  However, the lands were bestowed on the Earl of Douglas and then in 1593 it was known that Alexander, 1st Earl of Linlithgow had a charter for the possession of the Barony of Ogilface.

     Thereafter the lands of the Barony were broken up and the Barony ceased to exist, but the name can still be found to this day in Blackridge, a street named Ogilface Crescent."

"Many poems have been written about Armadale and Woodend as well as the scenery along the Glen scenery which we as Armadalians fail to appreciate. This poem was written by Mr. James Ballantyne of Woodend.


Poets hae sung o' maidens fair,
Wi' rosy cheeks and gouden hair,
But there is nane can half compare
Wi' Woodends bonnie lassie.

She's aye sae modest trig an' clean,
O' maidens fair she is the queen,
I'm shair the like was never seen,
O' Woodends bonnie lassie.

Not e'en the "Maid o' Birkinshaw",
Nor "Jessie o' the Dell" sae braw,
Wha wi' her Willie strolled the twa,
Apuin' nits fu' cheery.

The bard who sang his merry lays,
Amang Barbauchlaws bonnie braes,
Whaur aft he pu'd in bygone days,
Primroses for his dearie.

The maiden fair of whom he sang,
Till a' the hills an' valleys rang,
When strollin' the sweet flo'ers amang,
Wi' her, his bonnie Jessie.

So like him noo I fair wad sing,
My byre, though feeble in the string,
Till a' the meads an' valleys ring,
In praise o' Woodends lassie.

She's sweet and worthy higher praise,
Than my puir muse is fit tae raise,
But sing I will my humble lays,
Tae Woodends bonnie lassie.

An' if it e'er should be my lot,
Tae tak' a wife an' big a cot,
Ye guiding powers refuse me not,
My ain', my bonnie lassie."

The TRIANGLE, April 1988: The community newspaper serving Armadale Blackridge Westfield

Local election runners; local business advertisements; notices on behalf of community groups such as the Blackridge Community Action Group; Armadale Playscheme; Armadale Good Neighbour Network; Armadale Strollers 50+ group; the Sunshine Club; Armadale Community Enterprise's Seminar for local unemployed; Indoor Bowling Club results Articles about: YTS; lack of facilities for young people in Armadale; Westfield Community Centre Steering Committee; School in the Community; Grant Knox and Armadale Bowling Club; Armadale Academy Cross Country Review; Review of The House Martins 1987 Tour; Whither Blackridge? (extract from the last article below)

Since a number of website visitors have expressed interest in mining in the area and also in the activities of Armadale Academy, here is another publication reflecting community issues, with an emphasis on community losses and gains. 

"Whither Blackridge? (J. Borrowman)

As a native of Blackridge - if asked - I would say that probably the best thing that happened in my lifetime in the village was the building of council houses particularly the first big scheme - The Clachan. It freed many tenants from the inadequacies of the miners' rows and the political and economic control of the United Collieries. Picture it for example where I was brought up. The Top Terrace. Outside, dry lavatories, with the consequent epidemics of scarlet fever and diphtheria raging periodically, or overworked women doing massive washings in a tub on the outside pavements.
...demand for coal was the basic reason for the development from a scattered farming population of 94 in 1841 to a fairly stable population of predominantly miners and their families of 2147 to 2126 in 1951. Today we have 1629 (1981).
As a youngster and as a youth we had at least 3 local pits (all United Collieries) Westrigg, Standhill, and The Craigs (new pit) with Netherton Mine, Blairmuckhill and Woodend fairly adjacent. We had three quarries, Westcraigs, Blairhill and (shortlived) Ogilface.
Westrigg pit was the flagship of the United Collieries with its washery, workshops, stables, blacksmith shop, rent office (for non mining tenants), coke ovens. It also produced the electricity for most of their houses. Known locally as the sprays many a young lad took his first illicit dip in its waters.
Indeed when one is young one tends to ignore the bad things and remember the more pleasant time....."

"School in the Community

Over the last year a number of local adults have been involved in activities at Armadale Academy.  At present the daytime involvement of adults within the school has been confined mainly to the Craft, Design and Technology Department, where around 18 - 20 men are actively involved 2 afternoons per week on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.

Projects being undertaken range from making wooden toys, furniture to wrought iron gates and planters, instruction on basic woodworking and metalworking skills are available and credit should go to the staff at Armadale Academy who have supported adult involvement......"