WHAT ARE THE DEACONS NIGHTS?
As Linlithgow developed into an important 16th century trading town, one of the principal functions of the Marches Day was to make sure that everyone knew who the important craft and guild officials were.
Each of the local trades (shoemakers; tanners; curriers, bakers, wrights, cloth dyers, blacksmiths etc) appointed a deacon to represent the interests of their work force and to chair the meetings where trade standards and craft regulations were laid down.
On the two Saturdays before the Marches Day, these important officials were paraded along the town so that everyone knew who they were. Linlithgow's continuation of this centuries old tradition is now unique in Britain, although only one genuine trade deacon now remains: the Deacon of the Dyers, the last remaining craft fraternity.
The other "deacons" are elected by participating town organisations such as the Round Table,
the Forty One Club, the Canal Society, Lithca Lore and the Fire Brigade.
Any organisation can take part. The best way to find out more about getting involved is to attend the annual "Getting to Know You" meeting. The date, usually in March, will be posted on the Programme page.
The meeting brings together members of the Court and representatives from both experienced and not-so experienced organisations. Those present can exchange ideas and have questions answered about participation in Deacons' Nights and the Marches.