Bathgate in old picture postcards

Bathgate in old picture postcards

Author
:   William F. Hendrie
Municipality
:   Bathgate
Province
:   Lothian, West
Country
:   United Kingdom
ISBN13
:   978-90-288-3167-4
Pages
:   160
Price
:   EUR 16.95 Including VAT *

Delivery time: 2 - 3 working days ((subject too). The illustrated cover may differ.

   


Fragments from the book 'Bathgate in old picture postcards'

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9. The Ba1bardie House staff's summer outing was one of the highlights of the summer season. The large number of staff was in no way unusua1 for a Scottish mansion in the days when most young girls left school at the age of twelve to go straight into service first as kitchen, scullery and below stairs maids and then to work their way up to posts such as parlour maids and even cook. Here all the members of the household are obviously dressed in their 'Sunday best' clothes for this long looked forward to break from househo1d routine. It is particularly interesting to note that with the exception of the young girl seated on the grass on the extreme left every person in the picture is wearing a hat, and her bonnet is lying by her side on the grass. The gentleman with his arm around her is John Addison senior and his son John Addison junior is standing behind hirn. Others whose names survive inc1ude Mrs. White, who holds her litt1e daughter in her arms while her hand rests on the shoulder of her young son George. His brother Alexander is the boy with the white Eton collar sitting on the rug holding one of the footballs next to Miss Robertson and Miss Hastie. The White children's father stands behind Alex in the back row fourth from the right. As a resu1t of the heat, jackets have been shed and lie draped over the bench seats of the horse-drawn brake, which at the end of this summer day of yester year wou1d take them home to the big house and back to work until the excitement of another Ba1bardie House trip came around next year.

10. Bathgate's original High Church occupied the same site as the present building. Built in 1739 it was a very typical Scottish 18th century church, with the small be1fry at the west end, the sole exterior adomment. lts stone walls were harled to proteet them from the effects of weathering and it was roofed with slate. After serving its congregation for almost a century and a half it was demolished in 1883 to make way for the present much more elaborate Victorian church, whose impressive clock tower is seen in several of the pictures in this book. Built in Norman style it cost i8,OOO to ere ct and its bell, which chimes every Sunday for moming worship, was donated by former Bathgate Provost John Waddell. When installed it was valued at i250. The church's fine pipe organ was installed in 1899.

11. This strangely shaped wooden bench can still be seen in Bathgate's High Church, but it is soon to find a pl ace in the town's new museum. For this is the famous 'Cutty Stool' or Seat of Repentance and was used frequently as a means of punishment by the ruling body of the church, the Kirk Session, whose members in the past wielded vastly greater powers than they do today. From the time of the Reformation to the 19th century the elders of the Kirk Session met religiously every week to discipline the fellow members of their congregation and any who had dared to miss the Sunday service, or who had perhaps either spoken or worse still fallen asleep during the minister's lengthy sermon, could be duly punished by being made to sit in full public gaze directly below the pulpit on the Se at of Repentance.

To make absolutely certain that the wrong-doers were seen by all, the Seat of Repentance was raised above the height of the other pews and the miscreants were often made to wear white gowns. Other crimes punished by public exposure on the Seat of Repentance inc1uded swearing, quarrelling with neighbours and wife beating, but the most frowned upon was what the Session Clerk carefully noted down as 'fornication' and the most unusual feature of the Bathgate 'Cutty Stool' was that it had two seats so that both of the couple who had shared in this sin, cou1d likewise share in their punishment together.

The most famous Scot to be public1y humiliated in this way for such behaviour was none other than the poet Robert Burns, but at least he got his own back by writing 'Holy Willie's Prayer'. The Kirk Session also exercised discipline over all of the children of the parish. Erring bairns were not made to sit on either of the seats, but were instead made to bend right over the middle section so that their bottoms were weU positioned for the Kirk Session's servant the Beadle to administer corporal punishment with the birch rod.

12. This rare view shows the church of the Au1d Lichts built in Livery Street in 1828. lts congregation dated from the ΓΌ1d and New Lights Controversy of 1799. By 1856 it proved too small for its worshippers and was sold to become Bathgate's first Roman Catholic chapel.

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13. During Victorian times, Bathgate's Roman Catholic population grew steadily until by the beginning of this century they had outgrown their original chape1 in Livery Street and using the same site, the parishioners decided to build a fine new church. The 1aying of the foundation stone took p1ace in 1908 and despite heavy rain a huge crowd waited to see it b1essed by the Most Reverend James A. Smith, Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh.

Since th en the Church of the Immacu1ate Conception as it was decided to cail it has produced many weil-known members of the Scottish c1ergy inc1uding Bishop James Monaghan and Bishop Vincent Logan of Dunke1d.

The church, which can seat 800, is one of the finest Roman Catholic churches in Scotland with particu1arly fine use of marbie brought speciaily from Italy and Greece and including the magnificent high altar which is made of rich oid Sienna marbie.

A glimpse of the comp1eted building with its unusual twin steeples can be seen in the background of picture 20.

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