A tradition that started with Grace

S Deanburn Primary School. Bo'ness Children's Fair principal retinue members.
S Deanburn Primary School. Bo'ness Children's Fair principal retinue members.

Even institutions as traditional as Bo’ness Children’s Fair Festival have to adapt to the changes around them if they want to continue to flourish.

And, this year, the committee has introduced a Guard of Honour to accompany Queen-elect Louise Wilson on h er big day next Friday, June 27.

Oddly, according to executive chairman Jim Stewart it’s an omission that has never been addressed over the years but has now been put right.

Said Jim: ‘‘There’s a limited role for boys in the Children’s Fair retinue and that was something that we felt had to be tackled to ensure that the children of today can take ownership of their fair in coming years and help ensure its continued success in the future.

‘‘It was felt that there was a shortfall in roles for boys so we decided to introduce a Guard of Honour to comprise six boys from the Queen-elect’s school and 14 boys from the other schools in the town.

‘‘They’ll be wearing kilts and I’m sure will be a splendid addition to the spectacle in the Glebe Park next Friday.’’

This year’s Children’s Fair retinue is the preserve of the town’s newest primary school, Deanburn, but that’s a relative term with the school this year celebrating its 40th anniversary and it is providing its 
seventh retinue.

Queen-elect Louise will be crowned by Mrs Elizabeth Raeburn, formerly a teacher of many years standing at Deanburn Primary before 

Mrs Raeburn has helped drill countless groups of presentees and several retinues over the years.

Said Jim Stewart: ‘‘It’s been noticeable at rehearsals - which have gone very well - that Liz Raeburn has a profound effect on the pupils who take more notice of her than the fair officials present!’’

The public will gets its first glimpse of the spectacle that is the Bo’ness Fair at the traditional Kirking of the Queen-elect - this year to be held in the Old Parish Church, Panbrae Road at 2pm this Sunday, June 22.