Queens for a Day – Pageants and Parades in Leith

″Gala; a social occasion with special entertainments or performances.″
Oxford Dictionaries


Since the 16th century, in towns and villages across Scotland, the annual fair or gala has been a focus for community life. Marking kinship, the day was a holiday and an opportunity to celebrate local industry and production, alongside sporting or musical prowess.

Today, far from fading into history, Gala Day has continued as an expression of community cohesion, sometimes the only opportunity for families or neighbours to get together.

Investigating the historic origins of Gala along with its strong Leith traditions, our new heritage project will work with volunteers from the Leith Festival Association and a broad range older and younger people to document and celebrate the Kings and Queens involved in this community wide celebration today.



Queens for the Day has been made posable with support from;

Stories, Stones and Bones
Stories, Stones and Bones is for any not-for-profit group wanting to engage more people with the heritage and take part in the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology. Stories, Stones and Bones grants between £3,000 and £10,000 are available to groups who want to discover their local heritage. Projects can cover a wide spectrum of subject matter from exploring local archaeology and a community’s cultures and traditions to identifying and recording local wildlife and protecting the surrounding environment to managing and training volunteers, and holding festivals and events to commemorate the past.


Heritage Lottery Fund
Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) aims to make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities across the UK and help build a resilient heritage economy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage.  www.hlf.org.uk  Follow us on facebook Heritage Lottery Fund Scotland and twitter @HLFScotland.


Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology
From World Heritage Sites to ancient monuments, listed buildings to historic battlefields, cultural traditions to our myths, tales and legends, the 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, running from 1 January to 31 December will shine a spotlight on Scotland’s fascinating past, some of our greatest figures, attractions and icons, as well as our hidden gems.


Photo Credit:

Courtesy of Graham Thompson, son of Dr G.I.Thompson. Girl Pipers at the Leith Pageant, 1965.