Ooh give this a go! No peaking at the answers!
Since we're back in lockdown, and you may have some empty half-hours to fill, here are twenty local history questions for you, to exercise your brain cells. Most are fairly easy, but there are one or two more tricky ones.
1. Which Torphichen man designed the first ocean-going steamship, and what was the boat called?
2. Which Bathgate-born doctor discovered the anaesthetic properties of chloroform?
3. Which Linlithgow-born chemist suggested chloroform to James Young Simpson?
4. Which order of knights had its Scottish headquarters at Torphichen?
5. Which castle stands on the banks of Harperrig Reservoir?
6. Which Edinburgh butter merchant made his fortune as Depute Master of the Rolls under James VI and I, and built himself a fine house near Linlithgow?
7. Which regiment was raised at the Binns in 1681?
8. Which West Lothian peer was Viceroy of India from 1936 to 1943?
9. Whose daughter married Walter the High Steward of Scotland in 1315?
10. Where was the first large commercial oil works in the world built in 1850-51?
11. Who was born in Linlithgow Palace in 1542?
12. Before a famous battle, a Scottish king saw a ghost in St Michael’s Church, Linlithgow. Which king and which battle?
13. Mrs Elizabeth Bishop died and was buried in Whitburn South Churchyard in 1817. Who was her father?
14. What was the official name for West Lothian until the 1920s?
15. In which town or village was the Thistle Tower?
16. Which family used to own the estate of Polkemmet at Whitburn?
17. Which two rivers formed the southern boundary of the old West Lothian county (pre-1975)?
18. With what industry do you associate the terms ‘stoop and room’, ‘sinkers’, ‘brushers’ and ‘dooks’?
19. In what year did the Burngrange disaster happen, when 13 men died in an explosion in a shale mine?
20. In what year was Tam Dalyell MP first elected to Parliament?
The answers are shown below.
1. Henry Bell. The Comet
2. James Young Simpson
3. David Waldie
4. The Knights of St John of Jerusalem (also known as the Knights Hospitallers)
5. Cairns Castle
6. Thomas (or Tam) Dalyell
7. The Royal Scots Greys (also accept their original name – the Royal Regiment of Scots Dragoons)
8. The (second) Marquess of Linlithgow (also known as Lord Linlithgow)
9. Princess Marjory, daughter of Robert the Bruce
10. Bathgate (the Bathgate Chemical Works)
11. Mary Queen of Scots
12. James IV. The battle of Flodden in 1513
13. Robert Burns. His daughter (‘Dear bought Bess’ of the poem, The Inventory) married John Bishop, the overseer at Polkemmet Estate.
14. Linlithgowshire, or the County of Linlithgow.
15. West Calder
16. The Baillie family
17. The Breich Water, and the River Almond. (There was a short stretch where the Caw Burn was the boundary, but mainly it was these two rivers.)
18. Mining – coal and shale