Joined: 27 Apr. 2001
From: Galashiels Selkirkshire United Kingdom
Q: Why were they gritting the roads in Galashiels this morning????
A: Because it's Gala Day!
The Gala Celebrations include a big procession of horses (and riders) through the town - at one point there is a big hill which they gallop up (called Scott Street). This is where everyone lines the streets to cheer them on. This is also where they deploy the gritters to stop the horses slipping as they gallop up the hill.
After missing it for a couple of years (due to trips away!) we decided to take Emily along to the celebrations this morning. It was great. We parked the car on the outskirts of town and walked with the crowds to Scott Street to wait for the galloping horses. After a 10 minute wait whilst the excitement built (these parades are never on time!!), the parade started with two mounted policemen checking the route was clear, followed closely by the local pipe and drum band.
Next came the big event - the horses! At the front was the Braw Lad and Lass and their attendants. Then came the rest of the horses - we reckon somewhere around 200 horses, their riders mostly wearing the traditional black waistcoat and white shirt and black and white rosettes, all galloping past us down a terraced house-lined road - very exciting! A magnificent sight and sound - all sorts of horses and ponies with all sorts of riders!
Then it was a quick sandwich lunch in town followed by a walk to the fun fair on the sports field, which Emily enjoyed immensely. She loved it all - Aquaball, Dodgems (with Dad), Fun House, Trampoline Bungee, Terrifying Drop Ride (with Mum), Aeroplane Roundabout, rounded off with a big bag of Candy Floss. Note we waited until the end for the candy floss!!
Quenton and I also enjoyed the fun fair - a traditional old-fashioned travelling funfair with all sorts of rides - gentle ones for the kiddies and scary ones for the teenagers!
Here's a site which has all you want to know about the Common Ridings in the Borders:
Return to the Ridings
Here are some photos of this mornings activities: