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16th June 2018

The Gala Day committee are always looking for new members who can spare some time to ensure that the Gala Day flourishes.

 2018 will be the 82nd  Anniversary of the Gala Day Celebrations.

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Keep it Alive

The Gala Day is a time for families
Young kids and families alike
So please remember as a child
Exactly what YOU were like
Remember the feelings, you felt as a child
As the parade passed you by
And all the people waving high
Remember how excited you were
And think of the kids today
Cause that`s exactly how they`re feeling
So please don`t take that away

Fran McGurk

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Gala Day Sports and a Mother’s lie!

The Gala Day Sports shattered my dreams! There you are, I’ve said it. I’ve finally got it off my chest. It affirmed to me, once and for all, that I would never be an Olympic Gold Medal Winner. Worse than that though, it also confirmed what I was beginning to realise; mothers could be fly, sneaky and prone to little white lies!

When the Gala Day sports were held on the actual Saturday of the Gala Week, there was usually a great response up the park ( now please, I don’t want any arguments on the reasons why this was changed; take it up with the Committee, or better still volunteer your services – I’m sure you will be welcome!) Everyone seemed to be out, the races were full, there were laughs and tears, tumbles and trips, dodgy decisions and tantrums. All for the sake of a few extra pence, that was immediately exchanged for rides on the dodgems, waltzers, speedway etc.

  Approaching Gala Day I felt confident of securing some extra cash at the Gala sports; various uncles and aunts had offered a couple of bob for “the shows” but I’d declined their offers. My extra cash was safe I thought. Why did I have this supreme confidence you may ask? Well….because my Mother had told me I was a fast runner!

This had come as a slight shock to me I must confess, because although I didn’t consider myself slow, I didn’t think I was that fast! Okay, I could beat John Mac Kenzie (but who couldn’t!) but usually Morrison, Alexander or McGinty left me trailing. (This may have been down to the footwear of course, as there are scientific facts somewhere proving that the Dunlop Red Flash white trainers they would wear were significantly speedier than the black gutties purchased through the Co-operative Club that I had been blessed with.)

My confidence had come from the unofficial time trials that my Mother had taken on me, and I now duly believed I was a speed king! How had she achieved this? Well, she had asked me to run to the shop at the top of the street; I wasn’t too keen, but she then said those magic words “Go on, I’ll time you!” I was off like a shot.

The messages would usually be things like a loaf, a pound of carrots and a packet of firelighters (which would all go in the same bag usually, giving the bread and carrots a hint of petroleum for extra flavour!) If you were lucky you got a few extra pence for a quarter of sweets. You beauty, bring on the pineapple chunks! The only downside of this being, to avoid any greedy sisters or pals getting any, you had to scoff them down before you got home. So you were then sprinting with message bag swinging and pineapple chunks slavers dripping of your chin…not easy!

I’d rush in, gasping for breath. “Wit wis ma time?” She’d look up, suddenly remembering what she had promised to do. “Oh, yes that was 1 minute and 39 seconds, well done!”

  Now, by this time I had been studying distances at Forth Primary and watching the 1968 Olympics. The distance to the shop I’d estimated was 350 yards and back, and the guy who had won the Olympic 440 yards gold medal had a time of 46 seconds! So, you do the maths!!....a minute in the shop, 440 minus 350…geez! I must be a certainty!!

The Gala Day race couldn’t come quick enough. But, life has ways sometimes of kicking you in the Opal Fruits (made to make your eyes water!) and it didn’t quite work out that way. I ended up 3rd last, only beating Armit and Blair who has been smoking a fag between then as they ran.

So I wasn’t a Jesse Owen. I was more a Jessie Griffin.

I wasn’t a Daily Thompson. I was more a Jean Thomson.

I wasn’t a David Hemery. I was more a David Hamilton.

And as for my mum, well next time she could go to the shop herself! So kids as you line up in this year’s Gala Day races, try your best and give it your all; but just this time only, don’t always believe your mum.

Alan Morton

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