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Deans

(Livingston Station)
West Lothian

A suburb of the new town of Livingston in West Lothian, Deans comprises housing to the east and a large industrial park to the west. Deans takes its name from a nearby house and farm steading, owned by a Jacobite family, the Norvells, and Bonnie Prince Charlie and Lord George Murray are said to have slept there for a night in 1745. Deans developed into a village known as Livingston Station in the early 1870s in association with the coming of the Edinburgh-Bathgate Railway and oil shale mining. Deans Row were built for shale workers in 1885 and, by the end of the century, the village was home to more than 2000 people, many of whom had come from Ireland to escape poverty and famine. Some original buildings remain in the vicinity of Main Street; an Islamic centre now occupies the brick-built former Livingston Station School (1906), while St. Andrew's Church of Scotland dates from 1949. Many of the workers were former fishermen from Musselburgh, and Main Street was for a time known as 'Fishers Row'. Up to seven shale mines were worked here between 1884 and 1938 by the West Lothian Oil Company and later the Pumpherston Oil Company. The Deans Crude Oil Works operated from 1884 until 1949, while the associated and substantial Deans Bing was removed in the late 1970's, much of it being taken by rail to Renfrewshire for use as ballast in the construction of the M8 motorway. The sizeable Deans Industrial Estate now occupies the site of these works to the west but also extends to the north beyond the M8 motorway.

Houses were constructed in Deans North and Deans South in the later 1970s, with 200 homes replacing the rows of the miners' cottages of Livingston Station. While some public housing has been sold under right-to-buy arrangements, 625 homes remain managed by West Lothian Council. Located here is Deans Community High School (opened 1978) and three primary schools; namely Deans (opened 1969), Meldrum (opened 1976, rebuilt 2012) and St John Ogilvie Roman Catholic (opened 1977). Restondene, the first sheltered housing complex in Livingston, opened here in 1979.

There are two principal themes for the residential street names; golfing 'Avenues' and 'Ways' (such as Elie, Gleneagles, Harburn, Huntly, Jubilee, Kenmore, Lenzie, Muirfield and St. Andrews) and Scottish islands (Staffa, Jura, Bute and Arran).

Footballer Jimmy Scoular was born in Livingston Station in 1925.

In 2004, 240 homes in Dean South were abandoned having been declared unsafe due to the inappropriate use of Siporex lightweight concrete blocks. This led to a ten-year compensation battle for residents.


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