We decided to visit the County Town today to enjoy its Gala. Unfortunately, I didn’t study too closely the printed agenda in the local paper. It was hard enough finding the agenda amongst all the advertising, which undoubtedly pays something towards this rather mediocre local news provider and the printing of the agenda itself.

Just for a moment, let me enlighten you about the page of advertisements amongst which the Gala agenda was lost. They are mostly local businesses who advertise once a year for Gala day, (it happens with our town’s Gala day too) trying to tempt shoppers in with little offers. A sign of the times, offers were not that visible this year. Any small manufacturing firms will announce themselves on the back of the annual celebration, a reminder to people they are still in business. It is easier to find a needle in a haystack than finding jobs in the paper; they are few and far between.

We arrived in the town to find colourful bunting fluttering in the breeze. A few stalls were functioning in the town square, a regular Saturday event. Apart from that, nothing seemed to be happening.

Refreshment time, you have a choice of two places for a coffee, one is not so welcoming just for a drink…you feel you have to buy an array of sandwiches or cakes. Wetherspoons, the pub chain, it had to be. Providing you specify what you want, the coffee can be very acceptable.

The pub was bustling with groups and families, all the kiddies were very well behaved. A short stout fellow wearing a wide pair of spotted trousers, a bright spotty shirt with his face made up as a clown, holding a half pint of shandy asked me what I was looking at. ‘Your spots of course‘. He’d been collecting donations for charity. He explained we were about three hours too early for the Gala itself! The clown advised his friends that as we came from the ‘other town’ he and they had to talk to us very slowly, so that we could understand what was going on.

As it was a pleasant afternoon, we went for a walk along the riverside instead, walking some distance up to the tidal marsh, exchanging greetings with dogs and their walkers.



0 thoughts on “DECIDEDLY DOTTY

  1. It is something like a local Carnival. There are vehicles that are decorated to a local theme or issue, (we call them ‘floats’)a Gala Queen is crowned. She is usually of school age, about 17 or 18 years old, and she has two attendants who are of a similar age. The Gala queen and her two attendants will visit the two, (or possibly three) residential homes for old and frail people during the Gala week. She will probably visit patients in the local hospital.

    Parading around the main streets, there will be a local Scottish pipe band, very good they are as well. There is a strong entertainment tradition in the region, and there might also be a fiddler’s group and brass instrumentalists.

    People throw coins into collector’s hats towards the cost of the activities and some of the money is donated to local charities.

    Of course, people go to the pubs, they do so early on in the afternoon and then drink too much. There is usually some late night revelry in the main square. I have never participated in that part of the gala night.

    My own town has not yet celebrated its gala, it will be very soon. There are similar arrangements, with excellent musicians playing later in the day. Some of the local hotels participate with charity events during the day.

  2. There is never an official reception. We left at least an hour and a half before the start of the main parade. The town is not very interesting to us. We did not want more cups of coffee to pass the time! :no:

  3. I went to a Country’s Festival one month ago with my wife.

    It was a good moment, even if we don’t know how to dance the “Square-dance” nor all dances…

    We listened to Jeane Manson, Who has still a lovely voice…

  4. There are Country and Western Festivals here, a big one is held every year in my town. It is held over about four days, including a weekend. I don’t go to it. I hear from people who have been. It is fresh for the visitors but not for the local people, as they have a mixture of Scottish and international Country music, and Country and Western Music events all year round.

  5. I haven’t gone in the past. That’s the first time… But we were very happy ! It changes us our habits ! And, between us, it’s better than Rap or actual young’s music… :)) :))

  6. I used to go to the Scottish Ceilidh (like a Scottish country dance and social time). It was very energetic. Dancing in fun. Country music nights, were more about socialising while listening to people play and sing.

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