Pensioners celebrate Linlithgow parade with Bield

Two 83-year-old pensioners were given a “once in a lifetime” chance to become the Bield Deacon and Bield My Lord at this year’s Linlithgow March and Gala.

Cissie Cowan and Bill Townley, who reside at Bield’s Brae Court development, took part in the Linlithgow Marches on June 19.

Both Bill and Cissie took part in the full parade, starting at 11am from the High Street, to Linlithgow Bridge, continuing on to Blackness. They walked in the main group, consisting of Deacons and My Lords.

Prior to taking part in the parade in an open-top car, the duo also attended the breakfast at the town hall.

Cissie, who took on the role as Deacon, said: “I thoroughly enjoyed my day and am happy to be chosen to represent Brae Court in this way.”

Bill, Bield’s My Lord, added: “I enjoyed this once in a lifetime experience.”

The march, referred to as the Common Ridings, is a ceremony practiced since the 14th century, on the first Tuesday after the second Thursday in June.

The ceremony simulates the tradition of checking the boundaries of the town for intruders or damage to the wall that would have surrounded the village.

Today the wall has been deconstructed, with the procession marching from the Linlithgow Bridge to Blackness – highlighting where the wall would have been.

Brae Court’s manager, Rena Kirton-Vaughan, said: “They both loved it. We were really lucky that the rain stayed away until the festivities were over too.

“The whole event really helps to keep the memory of the town alive.”

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