After the long spell of warm, dry weather the weather forecast all last week was for an isolated day of rain on our Gala Day. However, it was dry on Saturday when we went to The Golden Fleece for our pre-Gala breakfast. It remained dry, getting warmer, as the morning progressed, and we went about setting up the Gala with a sense of optimism.
The next hope was that it would not rain on the procession led by The New Orleans Jazz Band, especially as the fancy dress had taken on a renewed popularity this year. It didn’t and after the Gala Queen Lucy Crowther, assisted by Poppy Overend and Isabelle Vidler-Hurt her attendants, the healthy sized crowd enjoyed the stalls, games, the Magician, the band and other attractions not least the ice cream stall and the tea tent.
The races got underway shortly after 3.00pm, and everything was fine. Quite quickly though black clouds appeared, and the temperature dropped. People started leaving the Gala Field in numbers anticipating the worst. Others stayed, hoping that “it won’t do much” or “it will soon pass”. Unfortunately neither of these assessments proved correct and the downpour came and effectively ended the Gala. The races were discontinued and most of the other attractions closed.
In a perverse way we felt we could have things much worse. We had been able to prepare in the week preceding, and on the morning of the gala unhindered. Furthermore, a large crowd came and had two hours of fine entertainment in dry weather and after the storm we were able to put most things away dry (always a bonus}.
Fancy dress winners received their prizes after the official Gala Opening, but over half of the medal winners in the race events had left before an abbreviated medal presentation was held. We are trying to identify the non-recipients via the local schools etc, but if anyone who was placed in the first three in the final of any of the races held has not received their medal, or been contacted by 30 June 2018, please get in touch.
The Gala Committee would like to thank all those people who have helped and supported us again in so many ways. Your appreciative backing is much welcomed.
On Friday 9th March 2018 the Gala Queen and her attendants were chosen by the traditional secret draw carried out by last year’s Queen and attendants at the disco held once again at Harden Primary School.
The Queen is Lucy Crowther and her attendants are Poppy Overend and Isabelle Vidler – Hurt all of Harden. The girls are pictured below shortly after being chosen and you will see them on the day at the head of the procession through the village sitting on a vintage wagon kindly lent by Alan Noble of Cyprus Garage.
The girls all receive a dress courtesy of the Gala Committee and bouquet (supplied by Flower Couture of Bingley) and later they receive a framed photograph as a memento of the day.
All the children attending the Gala Society Christmas Party, which is usually held on the first Friday in December, are entered in the draw.
The winner is then able to pull the giant switch at the switch on and carols around the tree the following Sunday evening.
In 2017 the lucky ticket holder was Nicholas Moffatt and here are some pictures of him before and after the switch on.
For those of you who do not know the village Christmas tree and its lights are provided and erected by the Gala Committee. Other additional lights are supplied by the Parish Council. Then at the switch on the vicar conducts Carols around the tree and refreshments are also provided by the Parish Council. This is a truly joint village event.