Bo'ness Fair queen elect Ellie all set for crowning day

The crowning of the 2021 Bo’ness Fair Queen takes place tomorrow (Friday, August 13).

By Fiona Dobie
Thursday, 12th August 2021, 9:43 am
Updated Thursday, 12th August 2021, 1:16 pm
Ellie pictured with sister Kallie (10), who is a bower girl; dad, Thomas; brother Koen (5) and mum, Laura.  Pic: Michael Gillen.
Ellie pictured with sister Kallie (10), who is a bower girl; dad, Thomas; brother Koen (5) and mum, Laura. Pic: Michael Gillen.

Ellie Van Der Hoek will be crowned by Valerie McKay in the smaller than usual ceremony, behind closed doors, in the grounds of the town’s St Mary’s Church.

Earlier this year organisers were forced to opt for a format similar to last year as Covid restrictions meant it was impossible to plan for the traditional celebrations.

It means that the day’s events have been scaled down and the crowning ceremony, featuring the entire retinue, will be streamed live online for the wider community and those further afield to enjoy.

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Bo'ness Fair queen elect Ellie Van Der Hoek will be crowned this week. Pic: Michael Gillen.

The stream will start at 10.45am.

Despite the changes to the Fair Day – which should traditionally have taken place on Friday, June 25 – queen elect Ellie, a Grange Primary pupil, is still excited about this week’s events.

Twelve-year-old Ellie said: “I’m really excited, it’s a nice experience to have been picked as the queen.

"The rehearsals have been going well and I’ve been enjoying them.

"I’m happy that I don’t have to wear school uniform because I wanted to wear a nice dress.”

Ellie has been heavily involved in all of the preparations for the big day, having designed her own dresses and the Fair programme.

Last month mum Laura said the family had been trying to keep things as normal as possible for Ellie’s Fair experience.

As part of that, they are erecting an arch – designed by Ellie herself – outside their Castlehill home for the occasion with help from family and friends.

This year, a number of the retinue will be participating in the arch tradition now restrictions have eased, albeit that some may be smaller than they may otherwise have been in a normal year.

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Where to find the arches on Bo'ness Fair E'en

Mrs Valerie McKay has the honour of crowning this year’s queen.

She is very well known in the town, and probably best known as author and editor of Sons a’ Brass, 150 years of Bo’ness and Carriden Band.

This year’s Fair is something of a family affair for the Van Der Hoeks as Ellie’s sister Kallie is also in the retinue as a bower girl.

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