History of the Procession

This year’s Procession is on the 1st June 2019, a tradition that began 175 years ago.

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.

Thank you to Bob Romans for supplying this photograph

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.

We would love to hear your stories and see photographs from previous Processions. Please email bathgateprocessionmediateam@gmail.com or contact us through Facebook if you have anything we could use on the website and social media!