Bo’ness SNP launches new History timeline

On Saturday (2nd January) Bo’ness Branch SNP launched its new online timeline, which covers the history of Scottish Nationalism in the town, from 1944 until present.

Going far beyond the history of the SNP itself, the timeline looks at the wide variety of groups located in Bo’ness which helped bring about the Scottish Parliament – the Scottish Covenant of the 1950’s, the ‘Bo’ness Rebels’ Ceilidhs and Songbooks of the 1950’s and 60’s, and the impact that historic events such as the return of the Stone of Scone had in Bo’ness.

It is shown in this multimedia timeline that many key figures in the Scottish Literary revival, such as Hugh MacDiarmid, Hamish Henderson and Norman MacCaig regularly attended events in Bo’ness, with their portraits hanging on the wall of the now demolished Lea-rig bar.

The timeline also provides footage and photos of commemorated Bo’ness Councillors such as John and Harry Constable.

The timeline was aided by the help of many locals who were happy to share information via local History groups on Facebook, research in old newspapers, work in archives, and reading of other works which have looked to Bo’ness as a key site in the folk revival in Scotland. The timeline also benefitted hugely from appeals for information being shared in local and national newspapers.

Commenting, Bo’ness Branch Vice-convener David Mitchell, who designed the page said :

“I am delighted to share with people this new, informative page on our website. While the page obviously does have a political focus, this history stretches far beyond just the SNP, and into Scottish Nationalism in the broadest sense. 

There is in here so much to learn about local history – the lea-rig bar for example is a regular mention, as is the strong history of SNP councillors in Bo’ness, which is well commemorated locally, with a street in the town being named after Councillors John and Harry Constable.

The help we have received in doing this has been wonderful – people of all political persuasions have come together to aid this research, and we have in some cases helped others learn a bit more about their own family history, and about their town. 

This is in many ways a good local reflection on national changes in Scotland over the past century. Those who have read James Robertson’s “And the Land Lay Still” will find in this timeline a real-world re-telling of the changes Scotland has seen since the Second World War.

It would be fascinating to hear similar histories of other political traditions in the town”

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