Burgh Beautiful Linlithgow
Competitions - Beautiful Scotland 2021
Progress Towards Beautiful Scotland Judging in August
Burgh Beautiful’s Competitions Working Group has been busy since the beginning of the year preparing for this year’s Beautiful Scotland competition in August. The last time we competed in a similar competition was in 2018 when we were invited to represent Scotland in the Britain in Bloom UK finals, in which we were delighted to win the ‘Town’ category.
Preparations for this were very challenging because, at that time, all the town’s roads and pavements looked particularly neglected, entailing a massive amount of voluntary work from Burgh Beautiful volunteers and other town residents to upgrade Linlithgow’s public realm to a standard worthy of our floral displays and environmental projects. We decided to take a break from Beautiful Scotland in 2019, and of course the restrictions and uncertainty associated with the coronavirus pandemic necessitated cancellation of the competition in 2020 and postponement until this year.
John Mason of the Competitions Working Group produced a comprehensive report in January, listing the improvements required on the judges’ route and categorising them under the heading of the organisations which would be involved. As always, much of this relates to the removal of weeds and detritus from the streets, and this is being pursued with West Lothian Council staff in the hope that they can do as much as possible, particularly given that Community Payback cannot help this year because of virus-related difficulties with the transport of offenders.
Similarly, because of the need to avoid transporting the judges in a car (to avoid the risk of virus transmission), the entire route this year will be on foot, in and around the centre of town. Another related change this year is that the need for a ‘Powerpoint’ or similar presentation to the judges at the start of the tour has been removed, making the contents of the ‘Judges’ Portfolio’ of information, forwarded in advance to them, all the more important.
Recent projects on the revised judges’ route include the upgrading by Linlithgow Civic Trust of Carmelite Friary site and the footpath through to Rosemount Park, with the much valued help of the Rotary Club of Linlithgow Grange. And Burgh Beautiful volunteers have successfully re-planted the flower/shrub beds at the Low Port roundabout which had been much in need of a ‘makeover’.
We have received promises from the Council about such things as the replacement of rusty railings at Low Port and the repainting of lampposts at Low Port and West Port, but time is marching on … so we live in hope!
A big worry has been the condition of our two major High Street gap sites; thanks to Council and public pressure, both landowners have taken some action to improve matters – the Templars Court site has been tidied up and a hoarding has been erected along the front of the Victoria Hall site. We hope that the necessary paving works associated with both can be completed in time for the judging.
Our revised route this year ends at the Cross, following a walk down the Kirkgate from the Peel. Historic Environment Scotland has been alerted to tidy up relevant areas, but promised wildflower areas are postponed until 2022 because of the pandemic.
We have walked the route again and noted in detail the tidying-up still required – we are seeking confirmation of the Council’s contribution, but, in the meantime, we have sought and gratefully received further help from volunteers to enable the town to look as good as possible – and more assistance is always needed!
If you own or lease property anywhere along the judges’ route – Manse Road, Station Road, High Street, The Cross, West Port, St Ninians Way and Kirkgate - we would be especially grateful if you could weed and sweep along the frontages to help ‘spread the load’.
And finally, the main thing of course is the high standard of our floral and environmental work that we want to show to the judges. So a massive ‘thank you’ is due to all who have helped with Linlithgow’s entry, and all who will be involved.
Fingers crossed for the judging on Tuesday, 10 August!
Judges Portfolio - 2021
The judging of Linlithgow's entry for Beautiful Scotland 2021 will take place on August 10th.
You can download and view the Judges Portfolio and its Appendixes:.
Britain in Bloom 2018
Linlithgow won the Town category in Britain in Bloom 2018.