Gala day voted a huge success

Linlithgow Children's Gala Day -  the newly crowned Queen Isla and her retinue.
Linlithgow Children's Gala Day - the newly crowned Queen Isla and her retinue.

Saturday might not have been the warmest on record but the retinue for Linlithgow gala day was hot stuff!

The well-drilled and immaculately turned out retinue was a credit to their families and their schools said gala day chairwoman Evelyn Kidd this week.

Mrs Kidd paid tribute to the community spirit which drives so many towns and villages to determinedly cling to the tradition of the gala day.

It is a tradition which is still particularly strong in West Lothian where communities large and small have a stalwart band of volunteers determined to ensure that the show must go on.

And go on its surely does in Linlithgow where 156 children took the stage in the retinue which saw Isla Calvert crowned gala queen after a spectacular procession from Linlithgow Bridge to The Peel.

‘‘Anyone can be anything in the Linlithgow gala day,’’ said Evelyn.

‘‘It’s very democractic in that respect. There is no voting or anything like that. Each child is given a number and the whole thing is done by computer.

‘‘I think it is a much fairer system because it is completely random.’’

Mrs Kidd paid particular tribute to the school teachers and parents who steward the event.

‘‘They are happy to do so and we appreciate that very much,’’ she said.

Queen Isla’s mum Gail Calvert said the family was knocked out by the participation of friends and neighbours in the run up to the event.

‘‘It was a great day and Isla had a ball. She was bit nervous but took it all in her stride on the day.

‘‘She was absolutely shattered by the time we got home though!’’

Gail added: ‘‘We didn’t have time to get nervous or worried because of other circumstances but everyone was great and helped to ensure things went well and Isla’s dress was lovely.

‘‘It was worth all the effort in the end and we were just glad that it was dry on Saturday.’’