The object of the Society is the study of
Scottish history and to foster an appreciation of historical
buildings and sites, especially those in West Lothian. The Society
also has a role in advising local planning committees on the
demolition or alterations to listed buildings in conservation
The Society was formed in1964 by Basil Skinner
who was director of Extra-mural studies at Edinburgh University
from 1966 to 1979. Basil believed it was never too late to learn
and that academic study should be open to all.
In 1979 Hopetoun House was experiencing
difficult times and it was Basil, a man passionate about local
history, who was instrumental in setting up a Preservation Trust
and served as its first Chairman.
Basil was renowned for his attention to detail
and thorough approach to research.
He was convener of an Edinburgh University
conference on the future of the Union Canal and campaigned against
plans to fill in long stretches of the canal.
Basil spent many years fostering a love of
local history, historical sites and buildings in West Lothian and
it is hoped the Society he founded continues his good work.