Family 'flabbergasted' and 'excited' about daughter's Bo'ness Fair role

The mum of Bo’ness Fair queen elect, Ellie Van Der Hoek, has spoken of the family’s excitement at her being chosen for the role.

Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 6:00 am
Bo'ness Fair queen elect, Ellie Van Der Hoek (12); dad, Thomas Van Der Hoek (47); Koen Van Der Hoek (5); mum, Laura Van Der Hoek (36) and Kallie Van Der Hoek (10) is a bower girl. Photo by Michael Gillen.

And it’s set to be an extra special day for the family as Ellie’s sister Kallie is also part of the retinue as a bower girl.

Laura Van Der Hoek couldn’t hide her delight as she spoke about what it means for 12-year-old Ellie to be queen representing Grange Primary.

She said: "We’re all really excited and honoured that Ellie has been picked.

28-06-2021. Picture Michael Gillen. Pictured: Kallie Van Der Hoek (10) is a bower girl; dad, Thomas Van Der Hoek (47); Koen Van Der Hoek (5); mum, Laura Van Der Hoek (36) and Bo'ness Fair queen elect, Ellie Van Der Hoek (12).

"None of us expected it. We were flabbergasted when we got the phone call. I was greetin’, Ellie was greetin’, her sister was greetin’.

"Kallie is a bower girl, so there’s even more excitement about that. It’s nice that it’s a family occasion and both girls are part of it.

"I’m born and bred Bo’ness, so the Fair is huge to us. We’re absolutely delighted, the whole family is.

“It’s the most magical day in the world. Every wee lass’ dream in Bo’ness is to be picked as queen at the Fair.

"We’re so proud of Ellie and what she’s achieved. She won the Carriden Cup at school and then she recently went for her black belt in TaekwonDo and became the youngest in her club to pass it. We thought it couldn’t get any better than this, but now she’s been picked as Fair queen.”

Ellie’s dad Tom, sister Kallie (10), and five-year-old brother Koen, were also thrilled to hear the news, along with the wider family.

As a result of the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, for the second year in a row, the traditional large celebrations for the Bo’ness Children’s Fair Festival are not taking place.

Instead, a smaller ceremony, held behind closed doors in the grounds of the town’s St Mary’s Church on August 13, will be streamed online.

Now the preparations for the big day have begun in earnest. Laura continued: "It’s a rollercoaster now trying to get the dresses and the arch organised and to get everything done in time.

"Although it’s not a normal Fair we want it to be as normal as we can possibly make it for Ellie. Normally she would have two dresses – one for the Kirkin of the Queen and the other for the day. We’ve decided to stick to the tradition and she’ll have two dresses.

“She’ll have her picture taken in one for the programme and her main dress for the crowning.”

Laura added: “This is a huge thing for the whole family.

“We’ve been having three-way conversations discussing dress designs and things, with us, my mum and my auntie.

“My auntie and uncle who live in Canada are more like grandparents to the kids, and if restrictions allow it will be the icing on the cake if we can get them back here beside us.

"After the crowning we’ll be along to my parents’ and it will just be us as a family celebrating the day.

"This is the first Fair queen we’ve had in the family, so we’re all looking forward to the day. We’ll all cherish every moment.”