On the 20th March 1936, a newspaper report suggested the Livingstone Pageant was likely to be dropped due to a lack of Public Interest. A suggestion was made that it might be advisable to discontinue the ‘Livingstone pageant Blantyre for a year’ is made in the annual report of the Scottish National Memorial to David Livingstone Trust, Ltd., which was presented this week at the annual meeting of the Trust in Glasgow. The pageant, which has been an annual event for some years, it is stated, “was staged last year on a Friday evening and Saturday afternoon in June, but although good work was put into the Boy Scouts of the district, the attendances did not justify the performance. A thought that in view of the falling off of interest of the local people may be well to drop it for a year.’
The attendances at the memorial during the year, it is pointed out, showed a gratifying revival. There was a total of 52,760 visitors to October 19, 1935, against 47,449 the previous year. The financial statement it is reported that, after meeting extraordinary expenditure, a surplus of just under £100 was shown.
This story interested me as a member of Blantyre Community Committee. The committee members currently in 2015 are arranging a joint Gala day with the Trust, to revive a Summer gala day for the town, one that is hugely advertised and with enough events to be talked about and attended, whatever the weather. More on that soon.
Pictured in the 1930’s are children playing at the paddling pool at David Livingstone Centre.