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Stonehouse Gala
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The first Gala day on record was on Saturday 19th June 1948.  The Gala Queen during this period was called the ‘Queen of the  Roses’. The first Queen was Anne Elliot and her Champion was  James Aitken. Food rationing was still in force so application to  the food office was essential to produce supplies for the large  gathering of people attending the event. Stonehouse Merchants’  Association presented the committee with a cheque for £50  (reckoned at the time to be a magnificent sum) to set in motion  an annual Gala Day as the initial one was deemed a great  success. Gala Days from 1949-1952 followed more or less the  same format, lapsing between 1953 to 1958.   In 1959 a meeting was called to revive the event, to be held in May, changing the name  of the ‘Queen of the Roses’, to the ‘May Queen’, and the ‘Boy Attendant’ to ‘Herald’.   (The May Queen originates from an ancient Celtic festival). A horse drawn open Landau  was hired from the Co-op to transport the May Queen to the park. The Stonehouse  Silver Band and Larkhall Silver Band were regulars at the Gala days. The Stonehouse  Pipe Band had only a few members during this time. The Tilework Park in Union Street  was used for the Crowning Ceremony but there were problems with the park being  waterlogged. On one occasion Guy Hamilton’s field off Udston Mill Road had to be used  in an emergency. Before 1963 the boys had worn Elizabethan costumes, but by 1964  they had converted to kilts. The Gala Day then lapsed from 1965-1974.   Today the festival, now held on the 2nd Saturday in June, remains a vibrant, colourful  and fun packed occasion which the village and visitors look forward to every year. The  festivities begin with a procession through the village to the Alexander Hamilton park for  the crowning ceremony and where the crowds can enjoy fairground atractions, stalls,  musical entertainment and dancing displays. Throughout the village residents and  organisations will hold parties, barbeques and dances to complement the celebrations  hold parties, barbeques and dances to complement the celebrations. 
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