Kirkconnel and Kelloholm Children’s Gala celebrated a special milestone this year, marking 75 years since the first Gala Queen, Miss Evelyn Jaap, was elected and crowned.

The Gala has run almost continuously since then, with the exception of a 5-year respite in the 50’s and 60’s.

(Image: Dane Harkness)

This year saw the big day finally arrive in which Miss Jessica French, alongside her two attendants Melody Burns and Kacey Lammie, as well as page boy Rhuben Turnbull, was crowned as the Gala Queen of Kirkconnel and Kelloholm for 2024.

Crowning the new Queen.Crowning the new Queen. (Image: Dane Harkness)
1959 Queen, Hazel Clelland.1959 Queen, Hazel Clelland. (Image: Dane Harkness)
To celebrate the 75th Anniversary, a reunion of over 40 past Gala Queens also set off from Kelloholm Primary School to once again parade the streets of Kirkconnel and Kelloholm, this time in an open-top double decker bus.

The earliest Queen to attend was Anne Graham (McLeod), who was Queen in 1950.

A reunion of Queens.A reunion of Queens. (Image: Dane Harkness)

1949 Attendant Chrissie Bennett.1949 Attendant Chrissie Bennett. (Image: Dane Harkness)

After the crowning moment, Nithsdale Park was bustling with people of all ages, filled with shows, stalls and entertainment provided by Lynette Turner School of Highland Dance and Impression Dance Company.

Fun on the day.Fun on the day. (Image: Dane Harkness)

Enjoying the day.Enjoying the day. (Image: Dane Harkness)
The Gala Week for 2024 was brought to a close with the Gala Dance, which saw a three-course meal provided by Knockenhair Hospitality and entertainment from “Amplifive”. The last Gala Draw of the year was held, and the winner of the wood carving was announced, so tying up the year once again.

Kirkconnel & Kelloholm Gala.Kirkconnel & Kelloholm Gala. (Image: Dane Harkness)

The Gala Committee hope everyone had a great Gala Week, and are pleased to have been able to mark this special anniversary for an institution which holds countless memories for so many people.