Slamannan and Limerigg Gala Day to return for first time since 1999

A gala day is to be resurrected for the first time in more than 20 years this summer.

By Jonathon Reilly
Thursday, 30th January 2020, 1:13 pm
Updated Sunday, 2nd February 2020, 6:15 am
The Slamannan and Limerigg Gala Day retinue and committee members. Picture: Wullie Marr
The Slamannan and Limerigg Gala Day retinue and committee members. Picture: Wullie Marr

Residents of Slamannan and Limerigg have gone without the villages’ once-popular combined annual event since 1999.

That wait will come to an end, however, on Saturday, May 30 when Blinkbonny Park hosts the first Slamannan and Limerigg Gala Day in a generation.

Organisers are aiming to bring back to life the traditions which residents of a certain age will remember fondly.

Tentative discussions had taken place in recent years over the possibility of reviving the gala.

Yet those conversations didn’t come to fruition until a Facebook post created by councillor James Kerr began gaining traction.

Plans are now in place for a parade — involving a 45-strong retinue, including Gala Queen elect Ellie McCourtney (10) — and activities such as the Children’s Day races and pram race to make a welcome return.

Bev Kane, Slamannan and Limerigg Gala Day treasurer, said: “There have been talks for the last couple of years about how great it would be to get the gala day back and give the kids something to look forward to.

“It stopped because of the cost and the people running the committee getting older and there being no new bodies to take it over.

“It used to be held in a field called The Glebe in the 1940s.

“We’re hoping to have a gala week, bringing back traditions with Children’s Day races, a fun fair, a tug of war and the pram race round the perimeter of the park, where the men would get dressed up and hit every pub to sink a pint!

“Camelon Pipe Band and Linlithgow and District Pipe Band are booked and one of the local coal merchants has donated lorries and the Co-op has given us cars for the parade.”

Originally from Carronshore, Bev now lives in Slamannan with her husband and daughter and has seen for herself the success of the Carron and Carronshore Gala Day which was brought back from 18 years in cold storage in 2018.

It’s now the hope of Bev and the rest of the eight-strong committee their version will hit similar heights.

She added: “My daughter, who is six, was asking me, ‘Why don’t we have one?’ and now we have!”

A £9800 National Lottery grant has made achieving those ambitions slightly easier but organisers are not resting on their laurels as they have also planned a number of their own fundraising events.

These include a psychic night on Sunday, February 2 in the St Laurence Bar and a cabaret evening in Slamannan Bowling Club in April, the date for which has still to be confirmed.

Anyone who wishes to support the committee’s efforts can contact the ‘Slamannan and Limerigg Gala Day’ Facebook page or email [email protected]

The committee is made up of: Bev Kane, treasurer; Loretta Morris, vice chairwoman; Dawn McLaren, secretary; James Kerr; Barry Kelly; Chloe Blyth; Jade O’Brien; Katie Anderson; and Adele McDonald.

Other organisations to benefit from the latest National Lottery funding are Bonnybridge Community Council, Falkirk and District Community Safety Panel, Forth Environment Link, Shieldhill Gala Day, Stenhousemuir Football Club CIC and Tamfourhill Community Hub SCIO.