Blantyre Gala Day, 1917

It’s Gala Day in Blantyre so we need a fitting post today.

The annual children’s gala day hosted by Blantyre Co-operative Society (Ltd.) was held on Saturday 31st July 1917.  The weather was ideal for such event and war in Europe did not hamper attendance to any great extent. Close on 7000 people most of whom were children, with a large number of their parents, took part in one of the largest galas ever seen in the town. (modern current galas have been 2,000-2500 people in Blantyre)

The children in Stonefield district assembled at one o’clock in front of the society’s premises in Glasgow Road, and headed by the local bands marched to the High Blantyre premises, where they were joined by the High Blantyre children marching down Main Street. Thereafter the joint procession marched by way Broompark Road, Stonefield Road, Glasgow Road, and Craig Street almost in a circle back to the to the field at the Co-Op Bakery on Auchinraith Road.

By the time they got there, everything had been provided for the children’s enjoyment. On arriving at the field the children were provided with an ample supply of buns and milk, and thereafter fun sports were engaged in, for which prizes were given from local businesses. The committee were congratulated on the provision which they made for the children, who thoroughly enjoyed the outing. The local bands provided music.

Pictured on Main Street around that era is a marching band, with loads of children in tow. Some with barefeet! I can just imagine such small crowds of children making their way into a larger procession on Gala Days. Photo taken by David Ritchie, opposite his home.


1905 Todds Building

Featuring Blantyre Project Social Media with permission. Strictly not for use by others on or offline, our visitors said:

Margaret Mary OSullivan What a wonderful photograph !
Catherine McLachlan Simple times!! How lovely to see this
Jean Gibson My dad would have been 8 and maybe he and his brothers are in this photo. They lived in Cemetry Walk.
Catherine Sneddon The simple things in life amazing photograph xx
Stephen Kelly Where in main street is this?
Blantyre Project the arch doorway is now the main entrance to McLeans Newsagents. The men standing on the right at the fence would now be outside Gino’s Chip shop.

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