Local MSP Commends Bathgate Group for Festival Name Change
Local Constituency MSP, Fiona Hyslop, has thanked and commended the decision made by the Bathgate Procession and Community Festival to rename itself. The Festival, formerly known as the John Newlands Festival, was named after John Newlands whose wealth was built from slavery.
Commenting, Fiona said;
“I appreciate the thoughtful and considered statement from the Bathgate Procession and Community Festival for taking the decision to use this title from now on, having changed it from the John Newlands Festival.
“John Newlands wealth was built from slavery and I know there has long been debate and pressure to change the associations of this Children’s and Community festival – the time has always been right but most particularly now to say Black Lives Matter.
“The name may be going, but we need to ensure that the knowledge that the wealth that came to the town from John Newlands and helped fund the old Newlands Academy came from the backs of slaves and that should not be forgotten. Let’s ensure the Festival next year is one of solidarity of unity of the Bathgate community with each other as we stand together in the spirit of humanity in all its diversity.”
To read the Bathgate Procession and Community Festival’s statement in full, visit: