About Us

Bathgate Procession and John Newland Festival is an annual celebration which is known and highly-regarded throughout central Scotland. Local people and those not so local eagerly anticipate the event, which takes place every year on the first Saturday of June.

The event was started by the trustees of the Old Bathgate Academy in 1844 to commemorate the school’s founding. The procession began as a Founder’s Day Parade on April 17, 1844, in remembrance of John Newland’s contribution to the building of Bathgate Academy.

School pupils marched from The Academy that day to The High Church and the day was designated a holiday for the town by Newland Trustees who believed the date commemorated Newland’s birthday. And in 1849 after the service in the parish church, the pupils paraded through the town and began the tradition of a parade.

Procession in the Park

Procession in the Park 2014 brings you the best outdoor entertainment available. A wide and varied programme ensures that there is something for everyone to enjoy. We welcome back to Bathgate two of our main attractions and say hello to one making their first appearance at Procession in the Park. In the live music marquee we have two bands also making their first appearance. You can read more about these acts on the next few pages. Procession in the Park brings you the best the outdoor entertainment world has to offer and although this doesn’t come cheap, entry to Procession in the Park is free. This is your day, so regardless of what the weather brings please come and join us at the Meadow Park on Procession afternoon. Have a great time!

Orator 2014

The 2014 Newlands Orator is Rev. John Peter Sandison Purves
The Newland Oration takes place on Friday 6th June at The High Church, Bathgate at 8pm.
John was born on 6 August, 1948 at the Elsie Inglis Memorial Maternity Pavilion, Edinburgh, the son of Rev Jock and Mrs Annie Purves, Livingston Station. He was the younger brother of Jean Brumby, Morag Gomis (deceased) and Elspeth Murphy.
His school education started at Livingston Station Primary School followed by Bathgate Academy where he was also enjoying football and athletics.
In 1966, John became a science student at Edinburgh University, graduating with a Hons BSc Physics degree in 1970. The sporting vein continued here in the volleyball club. Following on from this John went overseas to Malawi, as a VSO teacher, teaching at Blantyre Secondary School. Whilst there, until 1972, the volleyball continued but was joined by hockey and various other outdoor club.

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