Fun returns after 15 years away

Bonnybridge Gala Queen-to-be Sophie Guyan
Bonnybridge Gala Queen-to-be Sophie Guyan

A village will be holding its first gala day in 15 years and organisers are pulling out all the stops to make it one in a million.

Bonnybridge Gala will make a spectacular – and long-awaited – comeback on Saturday with a real extravaganza which will feature the crowning of Antonine Primary School P6 pupil Sophie Guyan as Gala Queen.

Her right royal entourage includes Morgan Potter (Lady In Waiting); Jenna McIntosh (Maid of Honour); Bradley Benton (Herald); Liam Don (Courtier); Anna Burns, Abbey Carson, Erin McQueen, Katie Guyan and Alanna Gray (Flower Girls); Bruno Maccalli, Logan Proceck, Sam Munro, Stephen Palambo and Josh Orr (Page Boys); and Ava Beck, Kiarra McGreggor, Leah Lawrence, Lucy Thomson, Lauryn Watson and Niamh Boyle (Fairies).

Sophie’s coronation is just one of the magic moments planned for a day which begins with a parade from Anderson Park at 11.30am and the event itself taking place in Duncan Stewart Memorial Park from noon to 4pm.

The return of the gala day was only possible through the myriad of fundraising efforts by the community and the gala committee set up last year.

Emily Cowan, gala committee secretary, said: “After working tirelessly for the last year and a half its finally here, the week of the first Bonnybridge Gala in 15 years.

The bunting is up, the shops and houses are decorated and the funfair will be in town.

“Our Queen Sophie and her retinue will no doubt be extremely excited so come down and join us on the day, there is so much going on at a number of locations – Bonnybridge Community Centre, Duncan Stewart Memorial Park and Bonnyfield Nature Reserve.”

There will be inflatables, a petting zoo, a big lottery entertainment stage, market stalls, Tesco Bags for Help and CSGN funded nature activities, a rodeo bull and much more.

Local Councillor Billy Buchanan has organised a special treat for the community and is bringing along Guinness World Records representatives to help adjudicate the world “Welly Wanging” record.

Contestants can come along and take a fling and try to beat the record which currently stands at 63.98 metres for men – held by Finland’s Teppo Luoma – and 40.87 metres for women – held by Sari Tirkkon, also from Finland.

Councillor Buchanan is also putting up £1000 prize money for any man or woman who can break the record.

The gala is an important day for the village, but also a poignant one.

A football tournament for the school children will be taking place, with the overall winner taking home the Roy Sprunt Trophy, which is dedicated to a youngster who sadly lost his life the night before Bonnybridge Gala Day in 1935.

The Best Dressed Shop Trophy has been donated by Wendy Kane, the mother of Helen Kane, who was Bonnybridge Gala Queen in 1999. Sadly in April last year she was diagnosed with bowel cancer at the age of 28 and lost her battle with the disease in January this year. The shop trophy shield is dedicated to her memory.

Emily said: “Everyone keep their fingers crossed for dry weather and we hope to see you there. The committee would like to thank everyone for their support in bringing the Bonnybridge Gala Day back.”