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A Recognised Collection of National Importance

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Community life

West Lothian was a mainly rural county before the advent of the shale oil industry, and the influx of labour required to work and process the shale had to be accommodated in new housing, often built in the shadow of the oil works. These company villages were often remote from established centres of the population and quickly developed as distinct, self-reliant communities.

Whereas the shale villages section of this website records the bricks-and-mortar of company housing, this section celebrates the people who served the industry and the everyday life of the shale oil communities.

West Lothian histories

Oral histories

Recollections of life and work in the early 20th century


A miscellany of life, work and leisure in shale field communities

Your writing

Your reminiscences and research, patter and poetry


Other Resources

Other sections of the website related to community life

Shale Villages

A listing and description of the company housing constructed to house oil workers and miners.

creative commons

We are happy to licence use of many images, extracts, and other resources of this website under a Creative Commons attribution, non-commercial licence (Scotland). See full copyright statement. Such material should be attributed to Almond Valley Heritage Trust and, where practical, a hyperlink provided to www.scottishshale.co.uk.