Sepia Saturday give bloggers an opportunity to share their family history through photographs.
Clowns & costumes in a century of parades and processions
To begin with, march along with the Earlston Clown Band!
Not in procession, but Earlston Clown Band in the Scottish Borders is here all appropriately dressed and ready to take part in the Galashiels Peace Parade of 1918 and the Galashiels Cycle Parade of the same year. The photographs are in the collection of the Auld Earlston Group - my local historical society. And that is all I know about them. A call, I think. to look up local newspapers to try and find more information.
Two more Auld Earlston images of the parade marking the coronation of George VI in 1937 - with the leading figure of Britannia.
Moving on seventy-two years and here is the Pipe Band leading the 2012 Fancy Dress Parade. Unfortunately I did not manage to get any decent photographs of the actual participants on what was a very chilly grey July day - as you can tell from the way spectators are wrapped up. This was the year of the Olympic Games in London so that was an obvious theme for many, including a brave set of ladies in swimming costumes and decorated swimming hats as the Earlston Ladies Synchronized Swimming Team "walking/paddling" along inside a giant blue rubber ring. Great fun - but they must have been so cold!
Into England and my 1950's childhood. I lived near the seaside resort of Blackpool, Lancashire and this is Staining Gala that I have featured before on my blog, where I was one of the junior dancers. I had ambitions to be one of the older girls and carry a garland - as here. On the left of the picture you can just make out some little boys, carrying the train of the Rose Queen as she processed to take her throne for her crowning, by some local worthy! Somehow my brother was persuaded to be one of the pages,dressed in a white satin suit.
Back to the Scottish Borders and a mounted procession at Hawick Common Riding.
The Cornet carrying "The Banner Blue" leads Hawick Common Riding
Photograph by Lesley Fraser, www.ilfimaging.co.uk
In the Borders Common Ridings are the focal point of the local calendar and last year Hawick celebrated 500 years of its event. It is both a symbolic riding of the town's boundaries, made in the past to safeguard burgh rights and also a commemoration of the "callants", young lads of Hawick, who in 1514, raided a body of English troops and captured their flag - the "banner blue". This skirmish followed the the ill-fated Battle of Flodden in 1513, when King James IV and much of the "Flower of Scotland" were killed. OtherBorder towns have similar ceremonies, celebrating their respective history and heritage, with mounted processions, bands playing, fancy dress parades, sports and community picnics.
It was my first visit to Paris and the first full day there marked Bastille Day - July 14th. I have always loved the ceremony of state occasions, and marching military bands, so dragged my husband to stand (for ages) by the Arc de Triomphe. We waited and waited and saw the armed forces and tanks go past and the French President - but where were the marching bands? We kept hearing music and thought they were getting closer, but we never saw them. Eventually rather tired and hungry after only a little continental breakfast), we gave up and walked down the Champs-Élysées. We came to a crossroads and heard the music very clearly - coming from four large loud speakers of a PA system! There were no live marching bands! It was all piped music! What a disappointment!
Happier memories this year of our holiday in St. Gilgen by the Austrian lakes, where we saw the the parade marking a local festival, with the band and people dressed in traditional costume.
And finally I could not end a post on processions without featuring one of my favourite photographs in my family collection. Taken abut 1912. it shows at the front my aunt Edith and mother Kathleen Danson taking part in a gala day at Poulton-le-Fylde Lancashire. The story was that the Tommy, the little boy behind them, had an uncle in America who had sent the Red Indian banner. I love the costumes of the little girls - the fancy white dresses, the little boots and the large hats.
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