Whitburn, West Lothian
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Whitburn, looking west towards the town centre
Whitburn shown within West Lothian
|Population||10,391 (2001 Census)|
|OS grid reference|
|Council area||West Lothian|
|Lieutenancy area||West Lothian|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|UK Parliament||Linlithgow and East Falkirk|
Whitburn (Scottish Gaelic: Am Fionn Allt, meaning "The White Burn") is a small town in West Lothian, Scotland, halfway between Scotlands's two largest cities, located about 27 miles (43 km) east of Glasgow and 23 miles (37 km) west of Edinburgh. The nearest major towns are Bathgate, 4 miles (6.4 km) and Livingston, 8 miles (13 km).
The town was once dominated by Polkemmet Colliery – a large coal mine – but this was closed as a result of damage by underground flooding during the 1984-85 miners' strike and never re-opened. The colliery buildings have gone and the coal bings that once were prominent have now been removed. Work to dismantle Bing No 3, the infamous burning bing, started in August 2006 and was completed by February 2008. The last major outbreak of burning occurred in 1998.
The town's population was boosted by the 1960s Glasgow overflow. The town's Murraysgate and surrounding areas north-west of the cross were established to deal with the overflow.
The local secondary school is Whitburn Academy. It is a state run non-denominational secondary school serving pupils aged 11 to 18. Its catchment area is the town of Whitburn and the surrounding villages of Fauldhouse, Longridge, East Whitburn, Stoneyburn, and Greenrigg. There are approximately 1,000 pupils at the school.
The town's primary schools include Whitdale, Polkemmet, Croftmalloch, St Joseph's and Burnhouse.
Sport and recreation
On 16 January 2012, a planning application was submitted regarding the rebuild of the Swimming Pool and drawings of the new facility were posted on the Xcite Leisure Website.
Whitburn Martial Arts Centre opened in 2009, though ran as West Lothian Taekwon-Do since 2004. They ran free Taekwon-Do keep fit classes at Polkemmet, Croftmalloch and St. Joseph's Primary Schools in Whitburn from 2004 to 2008. The Centre funds many students to compete at National Championships and has many Scottish and British Champions.
The town holds its annual gala day on the fourth Saturday in June, and sees a parade take part through the town, followed by games and races at King George V Park. The gala day is part of a week of activities known as the "Civic Week", the Civic week also attracts a fairground and fireworks display which is based just on the edge of King George V Park.
Polkemmet Country Park is located to the west of the town, and incorporates woodland, a golf course, cafe, and play area. The park is also locally famous for the Polkemmet Horn which can be seen from the M8 motorway which runs to the north of the country park. There is also a disused steam locomotive from Polkemmet Colliery on display.
The town was once the site of Levi Strauss & Co., the clothing manufacturer. The plant opened in 1969, employing a work force of over 500 local people. At its height, the plant was producing 4 million pairs of jeans in a year. The plant shut its doors in December 1999.
The town has been given the go-ahead for a 500 million pound project called "Heartlands". This has included the removal of 1.4 million tonnes of shallow coal reserves by opencast methods and the regeneration of 600 hectares (1,480 acres) of derelict ground, to the south-west and west of the town. It will also include land at Cowhill, next to the M8 motorway, where a new junction and business park is planned. A roundabout and spur road have been built at the west of the town to allow access for the construction of the new junction and business park. This new roundabout replaces a dangerous pair of sliproads on the B7066 road. The project will provide 4000 new jobs, 2000 new homes (with the land available for more), 2 championship golf courses, a 5 star, 150 bedroom, luxury golf lodge and hotel and a 350 car park and ride facility.
Whitburn Band is a brass band formed in 1870. The band has been successful on the contest stage and competes at the British Open, National Final and European Championships, and has been Scottish Champion on 15 occasions. The band maintains strong links with the local community of Whitburn by offering concerts throughout the year and participation in civic activities. Whitburn Band retained its Scottish Open Championship title in November 2007 as well as again being crowned Scottish Band of the Year. The band is now the 2008 Scottish Champion and is ranked 7th in the World of Brass / British Bandsman /4barsrest World Rankings.
- Elizabeth Paton or Bishop, mother of Robert Burns's first illegitimate child, Elizabeth Paton Burns, married John Bishop, factor to the Laird of Polkemmet and was buried in the Whitburn churchyard.
- "Environment: Bing 3 (the burning bing)". Heartlands. Ecosse Regeneration Limited. Retrieved 9 March 2011.
- "X-Factor Leon has singing in his genes". Edinburgh: The Scotsman. 15 October 2007. Retrieved 15 December 2007.
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