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A Writer's Tale - N. Tranter
Aberlady In Tymes Past
JP Reid - Local Character
A Walk Through Aberlady
Aberlady At War - WW2
Football In Aberlady
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Aberlady Gala - An Annual Celebration
- History and Photos -
Click images to enlarge them
Aberlady Village GalaJune is a month which everyone in Aberlady looks forward to with great anticipation as it is then that the annual village Gala takes place. It begins on the first saturday of the month with the crowning of the Gala Queen and parade of floats and continues throughout the week with events and activities organised to suit all ages.
In The BeginningIt is a tradition which began in 1949 with the crowning - by Mrs. Hope of Luffness - of the first Aberlady Gala Queen, Jean Watson. Her Consort was Duncan Graham.
But where did the idea of an Annual Village Gala come from and why was Jean Watson chosen as the first Queen?
When the suggestion of a Gala Queen came up so did the problem of how to choose someone for the honour. It was the local Primary School Headmaster, Mr. Ross, who suggested it be the girl Dux of the school ( the Dux was the best girl academically ).
On the Sunday it was the 'Kirkin 'o' The Queen', when the Gala Queen and her court would attend Aberlady Church, before laying a wreath at the village War Memorial. The remainder of the week was taken up with various events in the village which she attended. Most of these took place in the Church Hall ( it is now a private house ), opposite the Sea Green.
Jean said of her experience "this was a very exciting week in my life and i am so pleased to have been there at the very beginning".
1950s and 60sThe Gala was at its most spectacular in the 1950s and 60s ( my opinion ) when lorries and drivers were readily available. There was prizes awarded for the best dressed floats ( lorries ) and each driver took great pride in how well their float was decorated, which resulted in many really spectacular results. As well as lorries the parade also consisted of the entrants to the fancy dress competition and people with decorated bicycles (they walked behind the floats )- some years there was also decorated cars.
Throughout the decade it fell more and more into decline with successive years seeing a shorter parade than the previous one until - and here my memory is a bit vague - it ceased altogether? ( for a year? two years?).
It was only revived when villagers realised that the event could be lost forever if immediate action was not taken. In 1980 a meeting was held ( in the small hall ) at the Community Hall. It was very well attended and a new Gala Committee was formed. I was one of around twelve people who took on the task of resurrecting the Gala, and it has continued to the present day.
Present DayNowadays, Aberlady Gala is run along similar lines to those earliest ones with the crowning and parade of floats beginning
Established TraditionBut wherever the events take place it is important that this long established village tradition continues, particularly in these modern times when people often live more insulated lives than previous generations, as it is one time in the year when all sections of the community have an opportunity to take part in something together.
For more pages of Gala images click Here
We would like to thank the first Aberlady Gala Queen, Jean Watson, for the use of some of the photographs on this and other pages.
If you have any photographs - or know someone who has - of previous Gala's or indeed any other aspects of Aberlady please contact us Here.
Please tell your friends about The Aberlady Pages ( aberlady.net ) web site .
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Everything on this site including all photographs is Copyright © Mike Carey unless otherwise stated.
Copyright© Mike Carey 2002 - 2017
Aberlady - a Scottish village in East Lothian