Armadale Children's Gala Days

History of the Event

Updated 19 June 2010

Gala Day Index

Molly, Queen of Hearts 2009


If you have any information or photos of past Gala Days that we could copy and publish on this website, please e-mail Rosie

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History of the Event

  • During the late 1800s, there were annual summer parades of the local friendly societies in Armadale.

  • In 1900 these parades were combined as a Children's Demonstration to mark the Relief of Pretoria in the South African War.

  • In 1902 Armadale Children's Gala Day was established to celebrate the donation of Wood Public Park to the town by James Wood, coalmaster of Bathville.

  • In 1911, a pageant featuring a Queen was introduced.

  • From 1925, the pageant with its Queen became a regular feature of Armadale's annual celebrations.

  • Scroll down the page for a more detailed chronological account of Gala Day history.

Gala Days,  see 4.46 and 4.47 for background information


Royal Proclamation


Whereas it has come to our knowledge that many of our faithful and devoted subjects desire to know our royal mind concerning divers important questions which do affect the present and future well-being of Armadalians at home and abroad, we do desire that our Royal will and pleasure be promulgated, set forth, and made known in the following proclamation:
1. That all our loyal subjects strive to keep our laws, and act towards one another in all good faith, and with hearts abounding in hope and charity.
2. That a spirit of meekness, gentleness and truth be cherished and all insincerity, deceit and hypocrisy be condemned.
3. That the spirit of purity, in word, thought and action, be cultivated, and that no evil or envious thought, or wicked deed be done in this, our beloved land.
4. Lastly, that each and every person in this, our Royal domain, enjoy to the full and pleasure of this, our Festive Day.

Given at our court at Armadale, [date]

[Name], Queen

All Hail to The Queen!

Armadale Gala Day Song

All Hail to the Queen!
All Hail to the Queen!
Let bells sweet and clear,
through the whole kingdom ring,
with hearts light and gay,
This bright Gala Day,
Our joyful voices raise,
And our homage pay.

Hail, once again to the lovely Queen,
Hail, once again to the Queen,
Re-echo the song through the forest wide,
Let mountain and woodland ring,
Ye birds, sing your sweetest notes this happy day,
Ye bells, send abroad a welcome call,
May long life and happiness attend our noble Queen,
The Queen of the Gala Day.

All hail to the queen!
All hail to the queen!
We pledge every heart to be loyal and true,
A labour of love,
our service shall prove,
And time will show how gladly,
We bow to you.

Champion's Challenge

We have this day elected Lady [name] our chosen and lawful Queen of Hearts, to reign on this our Festal Day, as Children's Chosen Queen.  As faithful liege and humble Champion of this, our Sovereign Lady, I stand this day.  If one there be so base and despicable who dare deny in the slightest jot or tittle her royal and sovereign right this day, in this, her royal domain, let him now stand forth, for him do I challenge to mortal combat.

Armadale Children's Gala Day,  2010: Centenary Celebrations!

Armadale Children's Gala Day 2010 Committee

Office bearers elected at the AGM in Colinshiel on Wednesday 2 September 2009 at 7.30pm :

President, Stuart Borrowman; Vice-president, William Cunningham; Secretary, Susan Rooney 12 Church Place; Treasurer, Freda McInulty; Pageant convener, Annmarie Rickis. 

The committee now numbers seventeen, the highest for many years.

Armadale Children's Gala Day,  20th June 2009:  Crowning ceremony in Armadale Academy: Molly MacDonald to be crowned Queen of Hearts by Ms Emma Rickis; Dylan Bathgate, Champion; Amy Harris, Fairy Queen; Sarah Jane Brown, Flower Queen

Children's Gala Day 2009 Standard Bearers: Murray Armstrong, Ryan Stott, Nathan Thomson, Kamil Witonski

Bands performing: Armadale Flute Band; Barrhead Brass Band; Blackridge Thistle Flute Band; Coalburn Silver Band; Galashiels Ex-servicemen's Pipe Band; Newland Concert Brass; Seafield Juvenile Pipe Band; Torphichen and Bathgate Pipe Band

Gala Day 2009 Index of Photos

The Gala Day is for Armadale's children.  It is paid for by a small council grant, donations, sponsorship and advertising.  It costs about 16,000 to stage the event, and so every penny that can be donated will make a difference!

Want to help? Want to know more?  Contact stuartborrowmanbtinternet.com

Armadale Children's Gala Day, 21 June 2008: Crowning ceremony in Armadale Academy: Emma Rickis, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Ms Emma Drummond; Jordan Johnston, Queen's Champion; Shelby Broughton, Fairy Queen; Shannon Black, Flower Queen; Stuart Borrowman, Master of Ceremonies.  Photos of 

Gala Day 2008 Photos

The Committee's special guest for 2008 was Mrs Tracy Sinton nee Scott, Captain of the 1st Armadale Girls' Brigade since 1997 in recognition of her work with Armadale Girls' Brigade.

Armadale Children's Gala Day Committee for 2007 - 2008: Honorary President: Jim Sibbald; President: Stuart Borrowman; Vice-President: William Cunningham; Secretary: Anne Ross; Minutes Secretary: Lynne Rennie: Treasurer: Jane Blake; Assistant Treasurer: Freda McInulty; Sports: Susan Rooney; Bands and Parade: Ian Mitchell; Catering: Billy Cunningham; Pageant and Events: Yvonne Mitchell and Anne Ross; Transport: Heather Burch; Youth: Tom McAulay; Programme: Stuart Borrowman and Catherine Roy

The Gala Committee lent the Miners' Union 30.  In 2008, as a result of Stuart Borrowman's research, Nicky Wilson, President of the Scottish NUM repaid the loan  by presenting Councillor Borrowman, Queen-elect Emma and Queen Emma Drummond with a grant of 100 towards the cost of Gala Day.

Armadale Children's Gala Day, 16 June 2007: Crowning ceremony in Armadale Academy: Megan Drummond, Queen of Hearts, crowned by former Queen of Hearts (2006) Ms Megan McLeish; Brendan Thomson, Queen's Champion; Stephanie Hosie, Fairy Queen; Lindsay Royle, Flower Queen.

Gala Day Photos

Decorated Homes



  Jim Sibbald (below) led the way to the Queen-elect's house after Friday's proclamation from the steps of Tollgate House!

On Saturday, unreliable weather shortened the parade, but crowds lined the street to cheer the Gala participants on.

2007 Gala Day Committee: Jim Sibbald, President; Billy Cunningham, Vice-president / catering; Anne Ross, Secretary / pageant; Jane Blake, Treasurer / pageant; Ian Mitchell, Bands; Yvonne Mitchell, Transport; Susan Rooney, Sports; Stuart Borrowman, Programme.

Armadale Children's Gala Day, 17 June 2006: Crowning ceremony in Armadale Academy: Megan McLeish, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Ms Leanne Valentine; Elliott Mazs, Queen's Champion; Hannah Caddell, Fairy Queen; Linzi Wilson, Flower Queen.

Armadale Children's Gala Day, 18 June  2005: Leanne Valentine, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Ms Nicole Thomson; Ryan Scott, Queen's Champion; Annabel Davies, Fairy Queen; Jenna Douglas, Flower Queen. Decoration Winners: Commercial Premises: ABC Tots; Overall Winner: Eastertoun Primary - Leanne Valentine; Armadale Primary - Lisa Anderson;  St Anthony's Primary - Jenna Douglas

Armadale Children's Gala Day, 19 June  2004: Nicole Thomson, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs May Ball, Warden of Bield Housing Association; Stephen Watson, Queen's Champion

Crowning delayed by 2 days because of heavy rain.  This was the last outdoor pageant.

Armadale Children's Gala Day, 21 June 2003: Toni Beveridge, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Ms Nancy Taylor, 38 years Guide leader and winner of the Laurel Award; Sean Bakhsh, Queen's Champion; Lauren French, Fairy Queen; Claire Johnston, Flower Queen.

In 2003, Jimmy Smeaton commented: "I was nominated to crown Queen Kirsty at Armadale Children's Gala Day.  I really appreciated the occasion and enjoyed every minute of the day.  It was truly an honour for me and I really appreciated all the hard work and organising the Committee does.  I thank them for making the day a very happy memory for me!"

Armadale Children's Gala Day, 15 June 2002: Kirsty Macdonald, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mr Jimmy Smeaton; Jaimie Redmond, Queen's Champion; Rebecca Clouston, Fairy Queen; Stephanie Dawson, Flower Queen. Decoration Winners: Commercial Premises: Rings'n'Things; Overall Winner: Eastertoun Primary - McDonald; Armadale Primary - Leitch;  St Anthony's Primary - Burt

In 2002, William Evans commented: "What a day the 16th June 2001 turned out to be the day I was invited to crown the Queen at Armadale Gala Day.  As an Armadalian born and bred, and having reached my three score and ten, I really thought this honour had passed me by, but to my delight the Gala Day committee made my day!  I was so proud to crown Queen Emma and I hoper she has had a happy and successful year..... I had a wonderful day and thoroughly enjoyed myself."

Emma White commented: "Being the Queen in the Gala Day is something I will always treasure.  It was very cold but I didn't mind because I was so excited.  I received beautiful presents.  I had the best day ever..."

Armadale Children's Gala Day, 16 June 2001: Emma White, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mr William Evans, secretary of Armadale Thistle; Colin Gibb, Queen's Champion; Jenna Douglas, Fairy Queen; Jenny Wallace, Flower Queen. Decoration Winners: Commercial Premises: Tollgate House; Overall Winner: Eastertoun Primary - Smolack; Armadale Primary - White;  St Anthony's Primary - Douglas

Mary McLaughlin wrote about the 100th Anniversary of Armadale Gala in the 2001 programme: "What a pleasure it was when the brass band came and played outside the house before the car collected me that morning, and to top it all, being treated so well by a very fine and gallant young man, Greg, the Queen's Champion, a gentleman indeed....." [Mary McLaughlin crowned the Queen in place of her husband  who was ill, but they were delighted that he was visited later by various members and organisers of the pageant.] "I hope that Queen Lisa has had a wonderful year, what a privilege to be Gala Queen at the beginning of a new Century."

Armadale Children's Gala Day, 17 June 2000: Lisa McLernon, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mary McLaughlin (who stood in for Mr John McLaughlin); Greg Morrison, Queen's Champion; Amy McGrorty, Fairy Queen; Stacey Taylor, Flower Queen. Decoration Winners: Commercial Premises: Rings'n'Things; Eastertoun Primary - Ferguson; Armadale Primary - Lafferty; Overall Winner: St Anthony's Primary - McLernon

Armadale Children's Gala Day 19 June 1999: Nicola Tease, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs May Drummond; David Dowds, Queen's Champion; Kirsty Bonnar, Fairy Queen; Suzanne Craig, Flower Queen.  Decoration Winners: Commercial Premises: Rings'n'Things;  Eastertoun Primary - Sinton; Overall Winner: Armadale Primary - Bonnar;  St Anthony's Primary - Burt

Heavy rain and so the crowning ceremony had to take place indoors.

Gillian Hutton wrote about the day in the 1999 programme, "My day as Gala Queen was fantastic.  I was so nervous and excited but everything was brilliant including the weather."

Armadale Children's Gala Day 20 June 1998: Gillian Hutton, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mr Alex Maxwell; William Cosgrove, Queen's Champion; Gemma Farquhar, Fairy Queen; Cheryl Wright, Flower Queen. Decoration Winners: Commercial Premises: Rings'n'Things;  Eastertoun Primary - Cochrane;  Armadale Primary School - Hutton;  St Anthony's Primary - Stafford

Gordon Bradley wrote in the 1998 programme: "Armadale Gala Day 1997 may well be remembered by many people for the torrential rain with which the day dawned and continued resulting in the procession being delayed.  Despite this the community spirit of Armadale shone through and the participants and spectators alike were determined nothing would dampen this annual festival."  He ended wryly by saying "When the Gala Day Song is sung may 'Hail to the Queen' be our acclamation and not mean rain." [!]

Armadale Children's Gala Day 21 June 1997: Crowning ceremony in Community Centre: Ashley Callaghan, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mr Gordon Bradley; Gary Henderson, Queen's Champion; Samantha Marshall, Fairy Queen; Natalie-Louise Smith, Flower Queen. Decoration Winners: Commercial Premises: Tal's Shoe Repairs; Overall Winner:  Eastertoun Primary - Marshall; Armadale Primary - Smith;  St Anthony's Primary - Henderson

Armadale Children's Gala Day 15 June 1996: Lauren Hume, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Miss Hazel Forrester (formerly Assistant Head Teacher at Eastertoun Primary School); Scott Kerr, Queen's Champion; Vicki Longlands, Fairy Queen; Joanna Brogan, Flower Queen. Decoration Winners: Commercial Premises: Tal's Shoe Repairs; Eastertoun Primary - Hume; Overall Winner: Armadale Primary - Langlands;  St Anthony's Primary - McManus

The proposed Gala Day Sports were postponed this year because they would have clashed with the televised football match Scotland v England in the European Championships.

In the 1996 Gala Day programme, Margaret Forrest reminisced about 1995's Gala Day: "Long Live Armadale Gala Day!  In these days when so many traditions are falling by the wayside, it is good to know that Armadale Gala Day is in good heart and in safe hands, as was made abundantly clear in 1995.  from start to finish the programme showed the excellent work of the enthusiastic and hardworking committee which was suitably rewarded with reasonably favourable weather.

My day as the person selected to crown Queen of Hearts Claire Gardiner began with a most pleasant surprise.  To be escorted from my home by a pipe band to the assembly point at the academy was a nice gesture by the committee and made me feel like a VIP so how much more important Queen Claire must have felt on her big day..."

Claire Gardiner commented: "I was quite surprised when I was picked to be Queen but very happy to be chosen.  At first I thought the weather wasn't going to be very good, but the sun came out on the day and it stayed dry for the crowning ceremony at the pa rk..."

Armadale Children's Gala Day 17 June 1995: Claire Gardiner, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Margaret Forrest; Russell Smith, Queen's Champion; Jennifer Grey, Fairy Queen; Laura Hamilton, Flower Queen. Decoration Winners: Commercial Premises: Bield Sheltered Housing; Eastertoun Primary - Currie;  Overall Winner: Armadale Primary - Thomson;  St Anthony's Primary - McManus

In the 1995 Gala Day programme, Helen Findlay looked back to the previous Gala Day: "As our 1995 Children's Gala Day approaches, I reflect with pride at having received the invitation to crown our Queen, Kirsty Duffin on the Gala-day of 1994.  This was indeed a great honour for myself and my family and the memory of that day will always be very special.

The sun did not shine for Queen Kirsty on her special day but the happiness which was radiated by our Queen and all the children who took part, more than made up for the terrible weather on the day..."

Kirsty Duffin commented: "Since Primary 1 I have told everyone \I would love to be Queen of Armadale Gala-day.  So when it actually happened, it was a dream come true.  So when it actually happened, it was a dream come true.  I would like to thanks the Gala-day committee for all they have done for me and all the other children who took part in the Gala-day.  Also  I would like to say a big thank you to Helen Findlay, who was at first a stranger to me, but who has throughout the year become a very good friend.  My only regret was being crowned in the Community Centre as it did not have the same atmosphere as the stage would have had at the Gala-day Park but the weather being what it was it could not be avoided..."

Armadale Children's Gala Day 18 June 1994: Gala Day crowning ceremony held in Community Centre: Kirsty Duffin, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Helen Findlay; Kelvan Callaghan, Queen's Champion; , Fairy Queen; , Flower Queen. Decoration Winners: Overall Winner:  Armadale Primary - McGregor;  St Anthony's Primary - Harkins

Armadale Children's Gala Day 19 June 1993:Veronica Lynn, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs Alice Collins; Colin Slattery, Queen's Champion; Lisa Duncan, Flower Queen; Gemma Black, Fairy Queen. 

Armadale Children's Gala Day 20 June 1992: Miranda Hogg, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs Concetta Coia; James Cougan, Queen's Champion; Cheryl Bambrough, Flower Queen; Joanna Brogan, Fairy Queen. Mr Tom Black was presented to the Queen of Hearts upon his retirement as Treasurer.  He served the people of Armadale in his role as a committee member (Treasurer) for over 25 years and was partly to reinstating the Gala Day event .

Our thanks to Mrs Anne Cherrie for the additional information.

Armadale Children's Gala Day 15 June 1991: Angela Sinnett, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mr Robert Hughes, vice-chairman of Armadale Public House Society Ltd; Stephen Harkins, Queen's Champion; Vicki Horsburgh, Fairy Queen; Kerry Fergus, Flower Queen. Decoration Winners: Armadale Primary - Denholm;  Overall Winner: St Anthony's Primary - Sinnet; Eastertoun Primary - Taylor; Non-Domestic: Colinshiel

In 1992, Angela Sinnett commented on her experience of the 1991 Gala Day:

"As I went out to the car the band were playing and the majorettes had made an arch with their batons for me to walk under.  There were lots of people and the sun was shining bright.  When I arrived at the Academy the Floats looked great and the Bands were all very smart.....

I also enjoyed carrying out the other duties throughout the year which is a year I will always remember."

In 1992, Robert Hughes commented on his experience of the 1991 Gala Day:

"On the day itself it looked like all the committee's hard work would come to nothing.  The skies were dark and rain looked likely at any moment.  twenty minutes before the start of the parade, down it came.  After delaying the start for thirty minutes, fortune smiled, the rain abated and the parade went ahead..................It was a real eye opener watching the Gala Day Committee preparing..... The time and labour these people donate, left me feeling just a little bit humble.  All I gave, like so many others, was money....."

Armadale Children's Gala Day 16 June 1990: Rachel Shaw, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs Isabel Colquhoun; Stuart Brown, Queen's Champion; Karen McCreight, Fairy Queen; Clare Robertson, Flower Queen. Decoration winner:  St Anthony's Primary - Harkness; Eastertoun Primary School - Bradley; Overall Winner: Armadale Primary - Denholm; Non-domestic: Colinshiel Home

Armadale Children's Gala Day 17 June 1989: Ann Baxter, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs Margaret Dundas; Colin Denholm, Queen's Champion; Jacqueline Mulcahy, Fairy Queen; Lisa Hardie, Flower Queen. Decorated: Overall winner: St Anthony's Primary: Sinnet; Eastertoun - Hardie; Non-Domestic: Colinshiel Home; Armadale Primary - Knox;

In the 1990 programme, Mrs. M. Dundas wrote:

"This day has been the highlight of the parents and children who have participated since 1902.  Mr James Wood was a successful employer in various fields of work in Armadale, and to show the fellowship of himself and his workers, plus the people of Armadale, he gifted the Gal-day park on the 26th June 1902, the original day of the King's Coronation.

There was a lapse of two years (1970, 1971) then the Gala-day was resuscitated by Fr Hennesey, Tom Black, Mrs. Rowland who is now in Australia and who did the pageant along with myself.

From then on, through the hard work of various Gala-day committees, with sufficient public spirit to organise the Children's Gala-day, it still remains the highlight to bring family reunions of families at home and abroad...."

Armadale Children's Gala Day 18 June, 1988: Michelle Keane, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs Nan Devlin; John Ross, Queen's Champion; Claire Aitken, Fairy Queen; Lorna Rodger, Flower Queen. Decoration winner:  St Anthony's Primary - Sinnet; Eastertoun Primary School - Spence;  Commercial: Colinshiel Home; Overall Winner: Armadale Primary - Calder

In 1989's Gala Day programme, Michelle Keane described her Gala Day as "the happiest day of my life".

Armadale Children's Gala Day 20 June 1987: Suzanne Swan, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mr J Banks; Cameron Wood, Queen's Champion; Debbie Russell, Fairy Queen; Fiona Keenan, Flower Queen.

Armadale Children's Gala Day  21 June 1986: Linsey Banks, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs Nan Douglas; Craig Anderson, Queen's Champion; Claire Robertson, Fairy Queen; Sharon Carse, Flower Queen.

In 1987's Gala Day programme, Linsey Banks described her experience in My Year as Queen:

"It was 16 January when I had been picked to be Queen of Hearts.  Naturally I was very excited.  We had to get prepared for the big event.  First we had to get dress materials and my tiara etc.....My dress was ready for the Sunday I had my photographs taken for the programme.  The night before Gala Day I was proclaimed Queen outside my house by my Champion, Craig Anderson and my Heralds, Christopher Bent and Alistair Brown.  After I was proclaimed Queen I had a party for my friends and relations....... [On Gala Day] A car came for me at 10.30am and I was taken to the Academy along with my Chief Ladies in Waiting, Mairi MacKay and Shirley-Ann Boyd.  Sitting in the lorry I felt really proud .  I felt happy as I went past looking at all the happy faces.  At 1.30pm I was crowned Queen of Hearts by Mrs Nan Douglas.  One of the best parts of the day was visiting Colinshiels old folks home and Tippethill Hospital . My last duty of the day was presenting the Trophies to the winners of the sports....."

Armadale Children's Gala Day 15 June 1985: Marie Mulcahy, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs Isabella Smith; David Toal, Queen's Champion; Lesley Lindsay, Flower Queen; Fiona Reid, Fairy Queen.  Gala Day crowning ceremony held in Watson Memorial Park.

In the 1986 Gala Day programme, Marie Mulcahy described her special day.  Here is an excerpt: "I thought the parade was large and colourful with decorated lorries, bands and people in fancy dress together with Majorettes, Scouts, Boys Brigade, Guides and Brownies with colours flying , marching smartly through the town... All too soon the ceremony was over and the moment I was crowned Queen by Mr Smith and the people who were presented to me, a number of who came from abroad, became very pleasant memories which will last for a long time."

Armadale Children's Gala Day 16 June 1984: Julie Harkness, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mr John McNeil; Russell Browning, Queen's Champion; Sarah Jane Brady, Flower Queen; Lindsay Torrie, Fairy Queen.

Armadale Children's Gala Day 18 June 1983: Kerry Burns, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Fr Charles Kelly; Adrian Lee, Queen's Champion; Sharon Dundas, Flower Queen; Suzanne Poland, Fairy Queen.

Russell Torrie won the Armadale Gala Day Young Musician of the Year Title.

This is the year when Armadale Community Council presented the Gala Day Committee with a new banner costing about 600.

In 1983's programme, J. H. Hall signalled awareness of changes in Armadale's life: "Our Burgh has seen many changes and the Armadale of today is taking on a new look.  Long famous for its attractive well planned housing schemes which housed the majority of its inhabitants.  Now we see the development of private housing estates, bringing an influx of new people into our community.

Owing to recession, employment in Armadale has shrunk.  No longer are we surrounded by pits Buttress, Standhill, Woodend and Easton, and our Engineering and brick industries are severely curtailed.  Today we have to face that a large number of our Townspeople no longer work in Armadale and have to travel outwith the Burgh for their daily employment.

In our midst today are many of the people with their children who have come to Armadale and who I hope that by this time have found the Armadalians a friendly sociable community.

Elsewhere many old traditions are dying out but it is noteworthy that here in Armadale are sufficient public spirited persons to continue to organise the children's gala day, still a very important day in the life of the Burgh.  An event associated with family reunions, renewal of old friendships and the making of new ones.  by their attendance over the years, Armadalians from all over the world have shown their continued interest and enthusiasm for the Children's Gala Day."

Armadale Children's Gala Day June 1982: Lesley Mulcahy, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs Elizabeth Mitchell; Paul Savage, Queen's Champion;

Armadale Children's Gala Day 20 June 1981: Debbie McAllister, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs Elizabeth Lochhead; David Cox, Queen's Champion; Audrey Christie, Flower Queen; Donna Hendrie, Fairy Queen.

Karen Higgins won the Armadale Gala Day Young Musician of the Year Title.

Armadale Children's Gala Day 21 June 1980: Rae Anderson, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs. Anne Sibbald; Colin Cougan, Queen's Champion; Paula Robertson, Fairy Queen; Charmaine Carrol, Flower Queen.

Armadale Children's Gala Day, 16 June 1979: Eileen Horne, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs. E. Robertson; Sean McGuire, Queen's Champion; Lynda MacDonald, Fairy Queen; Georgena Thomson, Flower Queen.

Armadale Children's Gala Day, 17 June 1978: Heather Clark, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs. Margaret Colquhoun; Richard Gibb, Queen's Champion; Gillian Cherrie, Fairy Queen; Deborah Savage, Flower Queen.

In 1978 programme, there was a Foreward from Emanuel Robertson in which he told of an encounter with a 'celebrating' Armadalian in South Street. "I admit I felt a trifle cynical when he pointed out - most vehemently - that the Gala Day was really 'a day for the weans', but the story doesn't end there.  Just at that moment a number of small, well dressed children passed us on their way to the park and my new found acquaintance let go of my hand and with much arm waving, stopped the children in their tracks.  He then proceeded to give each child a half-crown or a florin - his pockets must have been weighed down with all the coins.  ....  Depending on where you place the emphasis, there isn't much wrong with a community which produces a situation like that.  Long live Armadale Gala Day; it gives you Armadalians an opportunity to express your generosity and kindliness to and concern for the 'weans'."

Armadale Children's Gala Day, 1977: Andrea Saunders, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs. A. Love; Robert Muir, Queen's Champion; Karen O'Donnell, Fairy Queen; Linda Mackay, Flower Queen. Decoration Winners: Commercial Premises: Bathville Inn; Mrs Mackay

Also, since it was Silver Jubilee Year, Margaret-Ann Vint as Queen Elizabeth and Linda Scott as the Duke of Edinburgh appeared in a coach entered by Armadale Academy.

Armadale Children's Gala Day, 1976:  Denise Robertson, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs M. Prentice; John Molloy, Queen's Champion;  Fairy Queen; , Flower Queen.

Chief Ladies in waiting: Margaret Forgie; Kathleen McConnell; Sceptre Bearer: Alan Brady

Armadale Children's Gala Day, 21 June 1975: Jacqueline Dalziel, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs Annie Kerr; David Anderson, Queen's Champion; Lynn Davies, Fairy Queen; Karen Stafford, Flower Queen.

Armadale Children's Gala Day, 22 June 1974: Audrey Elliot, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Miss Fraser; Colin Macfarlane, Queen's Champion; Janie Peden, Fairy Queen; Shona McGuire, Flower Queen.

Gala Committee President: Jim Ellis

Armadale Children's Gala Day, 16 June 1973Elizabeth McNaught, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs Helen Fagan; Gordon Bailey, Queen's Champion;

Armadale Children's Gala Day, 1972Ann Robertson, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs Margaret Walker; Mario Marzella, Queen's Champion;

1971 No Gala Day: Insufficient Gala Day Committee members
1970 No Gala Day: Insufficient Gala Day Committee members

Armadale Children's Gala Day, 21 June 1969Angela Prokipczyn, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs V. Campopiano; Alex Jeffrey, Queen's Champion;

In an email to the website, Deborah Challinor ne Banks recalled, 'I was a Fairy in the Gala Day of 1969. I remember vividly sitting on the lorry and then getting my little box of cakes from a tent somewhere in a park........ What's more, my mother told me that she was a flower girl sometime around 1951 (not sure of the year.. she thinks the Queen of Hearts was called Isabel).'

Armadale Children's Gala Day, 8 June 1968Isabel Brown, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs G. Ewart; John Burgoyne, Queen's Champion; Audrey McLaren, Fairy Queen; Catherine Donnelly, Flower Queen.

In the 1989 Gala Day programme, Isabel Ramsay nee Brown reminisced about her time as Queen of Hearts, Armadale Academy's first Queen Elect.  Here is an excerpt: "Being chosen as Queen in 1968 was a special event in our family since my aunt Annie Brown (Mrs Hailstones) was our first ever queen in 1926.....  As a young girl I doubt I appreciated the level of commitment and sheer hard work that organisers of Gala Days endure to make such days successful.... I regard Gala-days as an important part of local life and I can honestly say that during the past 21 years I personally haven't missed an Armadale Gala...."

Armadale Children's Gala Day, 10 June  1967Stella Brown, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs J.H. Hall; Alistair Cooper, Queen's Champion; Linda Rickis, Fairy Queen; Moira Nelson, Flower Queen.

In 1967's Gala Day programme, Alexander B. Niven, M.A., the Rector of Armadale Academy, which was being built at the time, wrote about his hopes for the new Armadale Academy: "They say that when a town or village gets too big, people lose interest in local festivals; if this is so, Armadale must be grateful, though I feel that, so strong is the community spirit, the town could grow appreciably and still muster support for an occasion like this.  This community spirit is one of the reasons why I look forward to working in Armadale.  It is reflected in the well-supported Gala Day; I have seen it too in the attitudes of the men and women with whom I have had association these last fifteen years..."

Armadale Children's Gala Day, 18 June 1966Monica O'Hare, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs A. Lamont; Lawrence Fagan, Queen's Champion; Helen Blake, Fairy Queen; Carol McKechnie, Flower Queen.

25 years later, Monica O'Hare reviewed her special day for the 1991 Gala Day programme.  Here is an extract:  'The excitement began long before the big day itself, there were dress fitting sessions and of course the house had to be decorated, not that I contributed much but dad had mustered the troops and it was great fun watching all the activity.  It rained the whole week before the Gala Day so a big tarpaulin was rigged up in the back yard to keep everything dry and dad's Army doggedly beavered away under their "big tent" to get everything finished on time..........With my first sight of the house in all its coloured splendour I was overcome with emotion.  I felt so proud of mum and dad for everything they had done for me, and for my sisters too, I just cried..................Later after a splendid banquet in a local hostelry I had to make a speech so I had another wee cry.  What a terrific day it was.'

Armadale Children's Gala Day, 19 June 1965Margaret Bennie, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs Watson; Robert Dryburgh, Queen's Champion; Glynne MacGregor, Fairy Queen; Margaret Dickson, Flower Queen.

In his Foreward in the Gala Day programme, Mr Alex Notman praised recent developments in the town: the Municipal Chambers; the new Technical School; the Town Council Civic Reception (the first since Armadale became a Burgh in 1863) to East Lowland and District Boys' Brigade as well as their invitation to the Methodist Church Synod in its centenary year; and the reclamation of derelict land to provide much-needed facilities for various playing fields.

Armadale Children's Gala Day, 20 June 1964: Agnes Cook, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs McKenzie; Robert McKay, Queen's Champion; Betty Beresford, Fairy Queen; Anne Maclure, Flower Queen.

Alex PETERS has contacted the website to ask for help to track down a photo of himself as a proud beefeater, possibly taken for the 1963/4 Gala.  He remembers his late mother, Catherine MACKAY, buying the photo from a local shop.  He would like to show the photo to his grandchildren, so if anyone can help, or if anyone would like to contact Alex (former friends from Bathville / Lindsay High / Armadale Academy?), please e-mail Rosie

Armadale Children's Gala Day, 22 June 1963: Irene Love, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs M. Ruxton; William Swan, Queen's Champion; Nan Brown, Fairy Queen; Maureen Passmore, Flower Queen.

To commemorate the Burgh's Centenary Year, twelve flowering cherry trees were planted in West Main Street, witnessed by the two headmasters and some older schoolboys.  School children, including those attending Bathgate schools, were given Centenary souvenir pens.  Many former Gala Queens participated in the procession.

Armadale Children's Gala Day, 18 August 1962: Ann Marie Fagan, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Miss King; Alan Armstrong, Queen's Champion; Isla Gilfoyle, Fairy Queen; Anne Ritchie, Flower Queen.

Armadale Children's Gala Day, 17 June  1961: Angela Sutherland, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs J. McNeil; ian todd, Queen's Champion;

Armadale Children's Gala Day, 18 June 1960:  Mary Corden, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs Love; Robert Lee, Queen's Champion; Mary Stewart, Fairy Queen; Margaret Chew, Flower Queen.

Armadale Children's Gala Day 20 June 1959:  Jean Gardner, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs Margaret MacIndoe; Ian Gemmell, Queen's Champion;Chief Ladies -in -Waiting: Mary Lindsay and Betty McKinna

Armadale Children's Gala Day June 1958: Ellen Henery, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs Mabel Dickson; Raymond Lockie, Queen's Champion;  Sheena Ferguson, Fairy Queen; Elspeth Hunter, Flower Queen.

1,000 children participated led by Parade Marshal, Robert Currie


Armadale Children's Gala Day 22 June 1957: Muriel Brown, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs W. Ferrier; Eric O'Connor, Queen's Champion; June Pennycook, Fairy Queen; Loraine Fagan, Flower Queen.

Armadale Children's Gala Day 1956: Joy McConnell, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs J McNicoll; Queen's Champion, Christopher Brand

Armadale Children's Gala Day 1955: Betty Bennett, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs Helen Muirhead; Queen's Champion  William Watson

Armadale Children's Gala Day 19 June 1954: Fay Hutchison, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs Maxwell Gardiner; Champion, Bobby Simmonds

Armadale Children's Gala Day 1953: Jessie Dougan, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs J. F. Millar;  Queen's Champion, John Thomson

1953: Armadale Public School Alice in Wonderland float in the Parade. Alice: Jean Ferguson; Mad Hatter: Jim McCreadie; The Duchess: Christine McKenzie. The teacher in the middle: Bob Currie, Geography teacher.  With his fiance, Jenny May, the Art teacher, he worked on the float.  According to his niece, Jean Speirs (ne Ferguson),  Bob was very enthusiastic about Armadale Gala and helped out several years.

Armadale Children's Gala Day 1952: Jessie McMahon, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs Jean Smith; Jack Drummond, Queen's Champion

Boys' Brigade at the Gala Day Parade, photographed in Mayfield Drive/Calder Crescent, c1952? Jim McCreadie at centre with his head turned to his left.

Did you know or go to school with Nan ALLANShe has written to say that she lived in Armadale until 1957 when her family moved to Toronto Canada. 'My Dad, Andrew ALLAN, is 88 years old and still lives in Toronto. My Mom was May McINTYRE who sadly died in Toronto in 1990. My grandparents, Agnes (KNOX) and Tom McINTYRE also moved to Toronto. I'd love to hear from any classmates from the time I was in Armadale. I have such wonderful memories of my childhood and all the great times. My name is now Nan McCORMACK.' If you would like to be put in touch with Nan, please let me know. Rosie

As a result of various emails, we believe that this photo was probably taken about 1952

  • Nan ALLAN is kneeling on the floor, second from the right. Her cousin, Norma BLAIN, is kneeling and is the first one on the left. She lives in London, Ontario, near Toronto. Nan thinks the first person standing (at the front) on the right is Margaret POW. The girl in the back row in the middle (under the letter R) is Mary Anne LOVE
  • Norma BLAIN wrote: 'I am Nan McCormack (Allan)'s cousin.  I am the Norma BLAIN in the Gala Day Fairy picture.  I am now Norma Ferguson and as Nan told you I live in Canada now, in London, about two hours from Toronto.  What great memories Nan and I have enjoyed as we looked at the site.  I've been back to Armadale a couple of times since leaving in 1958.  I've been in contact by email with an old neighbour Linda BROWN.  I'd love to hear from anyone else who remembers me.  My sister Marilyn is still living near Toronto but both my parents, Daisy (nee McINTYRE) and Dad Tammy BLAIN have passed away.  (Mum in 1983 and Dad in 1990)  I think there must be some confusion about the date of the Fairy picture.  It says it is 1950, but that would make Nan and me 3 years old.  I'll try to find the original in my picture box and see if there's a date on it.  I'm guessing it might have been more like 1954 or so.  I'd love to visit again at Gala Day time.  Hoping to hear from some old pals, Norma.'
  • Anne POTTER (BONNES) has contacted us in May 2009: 'I am standing next to Nan in the school photo..... I live in the same street as her cousin Norma. I have been living in Canada for the past 40 years in Burlington, Ontario.' 

Can anyone identify anyone else in this group?

(This photo appears on the cover of Picturing The Past, vol 5, A photographic look at old Armadale, produced by The History of Armadale Association, available locally from the Library, the Wool Shop and the Post Office, 3  INDEX 5

or from Betty Hunter, Secretary of The History of Armadale Association

Re Gala Day decorations:

'...my faither had the shop a' done up as well.  We had trellis up the wa's, just like a wee artificial garden,... Oh, and he used to decorate a' the Cross wi' naval ensigns .... He used to go to a' the boats that came into Bo'ness and, you know, they were getting broken up and they'd sell quite a lot of the equipment.... And he bought a load o' flags, naval ensigns, bunting, the tricolors, you know.  He used to decorate the whole of Bathville Cross with the decorations and then when the prisoners of war started coming hame, he used to lend that out for to decorate their houses when there were a welcome party, for them coming hame efter they'd been in prison.'

Catherine Vidler, interviewed in Mair Tales Fae The 'Dale

Armadale Children's Day 1940: At the request of the police, no pageant was held this year because of bombing fears.  There were merely 2 bands: 'the proceedings were carried through with great success'  Every child was given a new 'do-decagonal threepenny piece'.

Armadale Children's Day  1939: Chrissie Tennant, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs D.C. McFarlane;  Queen's Champion , David Peden

Armadale Children's Day 1938: Mirella Ugolini, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs James Wylie; Joey McDonald, Fairy Queen; Ann Black, Flower Queen; Champion, John McLuskie; Cavalier, Alex Morrison.

The Gala Day banner was presented. 2,500 children participated in the pageant, which was held in Wood Park.  The Goth Committee gave 10 shillings to every pensioner, widow and blind person in the area on the eve of the Gala.

Armadale Children's Day  1937: Jessie Williams,  Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs W. B. McNair.  Queen's Champion  Stanley Sanderson.

Bobby Smith and his cousin Tommy are included in this Gala photo kindly supplied by Margaret Beatson Sloane ne Smith

Armadale Children's Day  1936: Marion Peden,  Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs Barbara Somerville; Queen's Champion  Norman Rhind

Armadale Children's Day, 1935: Helen Frew, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs J.M. Watt; Queen's Champion  Matthew Peden; John Brown, Herald

I have just learned that it is Armadale's 100th gala this weekend.  My mother was the queen in 1935, Helen Frew. 
Sadly she passed away 5 years ago, but was always proud of being the queen....
When I was a child we always came to the gala, I always wanted to be a fairy, but could not be one due to not being at an Armadale school.
I was stopped charging pennies to see my Mum as the Queen, I seemingly had all the kids in the street coming in to see the photo (I have the 2ft high individual one in a frame), in my defence I was very young.
Have a wonderful day, and well done, Armadale was always excellent.


Marion Kelly

Armadale Children's Day, 1 July 1934: Cathie Hamilton, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Miss Wotherspoon in place of her mother who was ill; Queen's Champion  Tom Owens

In 2008, Mary Flynn ne Falconer reminisced about her role as Armadale Children's Gala Day Flower Queen in 1934

Armadale Children's Day, 1933: Martha White, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs John Drummond; Queen's Champion  William Walker

Armadale Children's Day, 1932: Sadie Neilson, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs Kenneth McDonald; Queen's Champion  David Ramsay

Armadale Children's Gala Day, 1931:  Only a fancy dress competition and sports because of the Depression.

Armadale Children's Day, 1930: Nellie Kerr, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs Baird; Queen's Champion  George Strickland

Armadale Children's Day, 1929: Pearl Warnock, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs Morton; Queen's Champion  Francis Clark

Armadale Children's Day, 1928: May Wark, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs Janet Somerville; Queen's Champion  Charles Fleming; Elma Peden, Fairy Queen; Cathie Donnelly, Flower Queen.

4,000 children participated

Armadale Children's Day 1927
Armadale Public School...............Red
Armadale Catholic School.........White
Northrigg Public School...............Blue
Special Characters.


Ladies-in-Waiting - Jenny Harris, Margaret Morris, Margaret Rae, Margaret Wilson, Lizzie Anderson, Cathie McLuskie, Isa Forsyth, Mary Hunter, Bethia Davidson, Margaret Peden, Jeanie McGregor, Janet Owens.
Maids of Honour - Sarah Muir, Jane Mason, Agnes Ferrier, Lizzie Holt, Chrissie Wylie, Jeanie Forgie, Mary Knox, Janet Leitch, Rena Ballantyne, Reta Clarkson, Mary Hamilton, Liza Kerr.
Lords-in-Waiting - James Wilson, Wm. Sinclair.
Queen's Heralds - Wm. Bennett, James Louden.
Queen's Champion -Thomas Morris.
Queen's Pages - Mark Watson, Charles Henderson.
Crown Bearer - Robert Tweedle.
Sceptre Bearer - William Ferrier.
Token Bearer - Wm. Leith.
Standard Bearer - Alex.Peden.
Queen's Guard of Honour - Alex. Rodger, Andrew McDonald, Wm. Ferguson, James Cheyne, Robert Brand, John Brown, Alex. Denholm, Wm. Hant, Tom Rennie, Francis Clark, John McCluskey, James Lindsay, Jas. Fraser, Jas. Walker, Wm. Hamilton, Chas. Millar, Hugh Watson, Robert Calderhead, James Denholm, Cornelius Lee.
Queen's Own Dancers - Margaret Scott, Isa Gilchrist, Martha Orr, May Brown, Nan Millar, Elizabeth McMillan, Helen Park, Martha McKay, Elizabeth Cartmill, Agnes Brand, Jean Wood, Jessie Murray.
Elves - Andrew Balloch, John Banks, David Crichton, Alex. Peden, Tom Owens, Dan Brown, Samuel McKay, Wm. Johnston.
Bells - Jeannie Dougan, Annie McKay, Mary Ritchie, Margaret Falconer, Lizzie McGowans, Ina Hamilton, Isa Nimmo, Mary Edwards.
Queen's Jesters - James Connor, Andrew Muir, Archie McLay.
Flower Queen - Marion McLean.
Flower Maidens - Jean Cook, Jessie Watt, Agnes Archer, Margaret Williamson, Lilian McNair, Isabel Miller, Eleanor Gardner, Mary Hant, Elizabeth Denholm, Betty Williams, Nancy Finnie, May Anderson, Mary Alexander, Margaret Hay, Minnie McLay, Elsie Bishop, May Easton, Ella Sneddon, Margaret Galloway, Cissie Muir, Margaret Brown, Isa Russell, Minnie McDowell, Bessie Walker.
Seasons - Spring, Betty Peat and Lily Murray; Summer, Betty Leitch and Nana Leyden; Autumn, Margaret Forsyth and Rosie Greenan; Winter, Mary Paton and Annie Graham.
Nations - Scotland, Ella Duncan and Zella Murray; England, Cathie McDonald and Mary Quinn; Ireland, Peggie Easton and Peggie Poland; Wales, Peggy Ramsay and Bridget Gibbons.
Britannia - Mary Wark.
Father Neptune - Hugh McKenna
Sailors - Jack Gallacher, Sinclair Sutherland, John Brannigan, James Friel, John Prentice, Andrew Galloway, William Maxwell, Stephen Hastie, Andrew Spalding, David Knox, Alex. Harris, Thomas McCue, Thos. Brown, Wilbert Fraser, Andrew Owens, Richard McCorry, George Hastie, Wm. Park, Kenneth McAlpine, Robert Prentice, Matthew Blair, Peter D. Rankine, James Paton, John Fraser.
Highland Dancers (boys) - James Brown, Wm. French, John Torrance, Wm. Bowtle. Girls - Margaret Forret, Margaret Smith, Jeanie Paul, Agnes Sanderson.
Fairy Queen - Katie Hanlin.
Fairies - Kathie Feeley, Mary McKeown, Margaret McConnell, Ellen Quinn, Agnes Casey, Teresa Quinn, Louie Greenan, Kathie Donnelly, Mary O'Donnell, Alice Wilson, Ellen Graham, Mary Burke, Nana Watson, Katherine McLoughlin, Cathie Casey, Alice Feeley, Mary Cecilia Darroch, Mary Robinson, Mary O'Brien, Myra Doyle, Mary McKinnon, Mary Graham, Annie Graham, Charlotte Flannigan.
Red Riding Hood - Winnie McClement.
The Wolf - Wm. Knox.
Jack and Jill - James Thomson, Isla Torrance.
Little Bo-Peep - Jean Oliver.
Little Boy Blue - Alex. Archer.
Babes in the Wood - Agnes Brown and Mungo Brown.
Little Miss Muffet - Isa Peden.
Tommy Tucker - Joseph Tennant.
Mistress Mary - Georgina Hall.
Wee Willie Winkie - James Watson.
Goldie Locks - Mary Hall.
The Three Bears - John Gordon, Robert Wood, Robert Hume.
Old Mother Hubbard - Jean Kerr.
Little Jack Horner - Wm. Storrie.
Mary and Her Lamb - Cathie McLean.
Humpty Dumpty - Alex. Walker.

Armadale Children's Day 1927: 

Mary Bonar, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Miss Finlay; Thomas Morris, Queen's Champion ; Katie Hanlin, Fairy Queen; Marion McLean, Flower Queen.

Armadale Children's Day 1926: 

Sushannah Martin, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs Draper in Wood Park; Queen's Champion  Patrick Leyden

The Gala Committee lent the miners' Union 30.  In 2008, as a result of Stuart Borrowman's research, Nicky Wilson, President of the Scottish NUM repaid the loan  by presenting Councillor Borrowman, Queen-elect Emma and Queen Emma Drummond with a grant of 100 towards the cost of Gala Day.

Armadale Children's Day 1925: From this year, the crowning of the Gala Queen became a regular feature of the celebrations.

Annie Brown of Hardhill Terrace, Queen of Hearts, crowned by Mrs Wilson of Bedlormie House; Champion Robert Blair; Marion Prentice, Flower Queen; Jeanie Mann, Fairy Queen; Mary Brown, Britannia.

Committee members: Alex Riddell, President; Martin Prentice, Vice-President; Tom Cunningham, Secretary; William Smith, Treasurer.

Armadale Children's Day about 1924/5:

Constable at the head of the procession: Constable Louis Leith who served Armadale for eight years.  He was stationed in the old Station House at Louveurs Gardens, Station Road

Armadale Children's Day 1921: None staged because of big Miners' Strike that year.
Armadale Children's Day 1918: 3,000 children participated
Armadale Children's Day 1916: The first presentations of the Armadale Burgh Medals were made on this day to Sergeant William Coventry and  Lieutenants David McKelvie and Frank O'Reilly.

During the ceremony, Provost Wilson commented on the artistic quality of the medals, 'on them, for the first time officially, are displayed the Burgh's Coat of Arms, the same design as suggested by the Marquis of Bute in his book dealing with Scottish Burghs' Coat of Arms.  I congratulate Mr Ballantyne, jeweller, on his success in the design of the medal.  the badges are indeed very handsome, and, I do not doubt, will, in the future, be handed down as heirlooms.

In giving these gifts I think we agree Armadale has acted in no unstinted or ungenerous fashion.  While we honour these brave men, whom we are proud to have with us today, we do not forget those men who have, too, acted a brave part, but who will return to us in life no more.'

Armadale Gala Day, 1913*

Special Coronation Song

by H. Somerville, Armadale Schoolmaster, 1911

With songs of joy our Queen acclaim,
Now crowned with honour due,
her happy subjects round her stand,
Their hearts are real and true;
Blest be her reign whom now we hail,
The chosen Queen of Armadale.

For her may richest gifts abound,
Of person, heart and mind,
May justice guide her sceptre's sway,
Fair Truth and Mercy kind;
Blest be her reign whom now we hail,
The chosen Queen of Armadale.

Then raise again the tuneful song,
Rouse echoes far and near,
Let universal nature wake,
To swell the thrilling cheer;
Blest be her reign whom now we hail,
The chosen Queen of Armadale.

Armadale Children's and Coronation Festival, 22 June 1911A special pageant was organised to celebrate the Coronation of George V and Queen Mary. 

James Wood said," Although we have the Children's Day annually we have not a Coronation every year, nor would we wish to have it..."

The special event during this Gala Day was the crowning of a Gala Queen, an event that was not repeated until 1925 from when it because a regular aspect of the Gala festivities.  Janet McLean / Love, Queen of Hearts, was crowned by Mrs James Wood of Bathville; Champion Hector WylieJeannie Paddle, Fairy Queen; Grace Wilson, Flower Queen, were some of the people who participated in a pageant, which became a regular event from 1925.

As part of the joint celebrations, bonfire was built on No3 bing and the Armadale ladies from the British Temperance Society sold tea and coffee, but not lemonade, while the widows continued with their usual sales of soft refreshments that included lemonade.

1909?: Armadale Gala Day Arch over West Main Street *

Armadale Children's Day 1908Poor weather interrupted proceedings and sports were cancelled.  Woodend had a separate gala day that year.

Armadale Gala Day, 1907*:

First Armadale Children's Day 1902: The planned Coronation of Edward I/VII and the gift of Wood Park by coal master James Wood promised a special day for all.  The Park, which was opened officially on 26 June 1902, became the area in which refreshments were provided for Gala participants. Although the Coronation was cancelled because of the King's illness, the event went ahead and helped to ensure that a special children's day would become a feature of Armadale life. 

In the following years, the event was accompanied by cheerful flags horse-drawn floats as well as the enormous floral arches, which were constructed by the miners and their families, all around the town.  The Park continued to be used as a popular venue, not only for Gala events, but also for summer concerts on Sundays and weekday evenings as it was equipped with a bandstand, as well as a maypole, drinking fountain and swings for the children.

Armadale Children's Demonstration Saturday 9 June 1900 Pretoria, South Africa was captured by the British Army on the 5 June, and so a celebration was arranged in Armadale.  In wet and windy conditions, the children walked through the flag-decorated main streets of Armadale, accompanied by Armadale Brass Band and Armadale Diamond Jubilee Band.  1,600 children participated in the event. On arrival at Volunteer Field, every child received a bag of food.  Sports were conducted until 8 pm.  The day was windy with occasional rain, but it was very much enjoyed, and so it was agreed that such celebrations would be held every year.  Cost of the event: 37 16s 8d

From about the 1870s, there have been annual summer parades and Armadale children's celebration days, organised by Armadale's friendly societies.