Red Cross Fete, 1918

During WW1, a fete was held at Stonefield, at the large Curling pond, just off John Street. The location of this former curling pond is now where the fields are in the public park, where the modern summer gala is normally held.

In Summer months, when the green was not frozen over, it was used by the Blantyre Cricket Club and it was that organisation that stood aside that day to let the fete take place.

On 22nd June 1918, Blantyre held a Red Cross Week which culminated with the fete on Sat 29th June not far from Low Blantyre Station.

The event organisation originated with the Merchants’ Association. The various shopkeepers carried out amongst themselves a shop to shop visit, and the result was a collection of £540. At the opening of the fete, Mr Robert Foster presided, and the Rev. James Campbell, in a few words, introduced Miss Livingstone, who gave an interesting account of the work done by the Red Cross Society both at home and abroad. Putting this in context, the war in Europe was very much still ongoing!

Afterwards the various amusements commenced. The takings for the day amounted to £138, but when the ticket money was also returned, Blantyre’s fete had raised over £200. The band the 91st Glasgow Company of the Boys’ Brigade, under Bandmaster Mr Wm. S. Murphie, rendered singing selections during the day and another pleasing combination which attracted much attention was the Blantyre Philharmonic Association, under Mr James Laurie. The artistes were Miss Edith, Miss Dandy Ross, comedienne, and Mr Walter Irvine, with Miss Armie B. Laurie as pianist. The secretarial arrangements were in the hands of Mr Wm. Brown.

From the encyclopedia, “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2019

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