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1976 – As We See It


When 16 pupils of St. Mary’s Primary school, Bo’ness, perform the Maypole Dance at the Fair this summer, they will be reviving one of the Festival’s oldest traditions. This is indeed appropriate for their headmaster is well-known local history enthusiast Mr. Pat Mahon, but on this occasion he had no idea that he was bringing a piece of history back to life. “As a comparative newcomer to Bo’ness I do not know much about the early Fairs which started in 1897”, he told me. “We simply chose the Maypole Dance because it is such a colourful spectacle, but I am delighted that it has links with the past”.

The Smiths Share Flower Power

If Queen of the Flower Girls, Karen Smith, needs any advice on performing her royal duties, she need only turn to her Mother to receive it. For exactly thirty years ago her mother, then Elma Brooks, played the same role at the crowning of another Grange School monarch, Sadie Potter, who was the first Queen crowned when the Fair was revived after the Second World War in 1946.

In the intervening years Elma married a “Black Bitch” and emigrated to the United States. As Karen grew up in Fairhaven, New Jersey, her mother never failed to tell her about the Fair and now that the family are safely back home in Bo’ness their story could hardly have a better fairy story ending with Karen looking forward to playing the part about which she often asked to hear as her bedtime story all those thousands of miles away across the Atlantic.

Lucky Three For Fairy

Another Grange School pupil who seems to possess a very appropriate magic touch is this year’s Queen of the Fairies, Fiona Harbison, because this is the third time in her six years at school that she has been chosen to play a part in the Fair. On the first occasion that she appeared Fiona was a fairy, then she appeared as one of the Grange School presentees and now her luck is in again as she has been chosen by her fellow pupils to be the Fairy Queen.

In The Picture

Providing a very regal setting for our cover picture is Hopetoun House, which, under the new Hopetoun Preservation Trust, is offering visitors many new attractions this summer including a costume exhibition and many evening concerts and lectures. The cover picture, along with most of the others in this year’s magazine, has been specially taken by Ian Rae.

Other specialists at producing eye-catching pictures are the pupils of all the Bo’ness schools who entered whole heartedly into the new Fair Art Competition, winners in which were:

PRIZE WINNERS – Over-All Prizes

5-8: 1st, Tracie Boshar (7), Grange School: 2nd, David Wallace (7), Kinneil School: 3rd, Sandra Marshall (6) Public School.

8-12: 1st, Suzanne Stewart (9). Public School: 2nd, Yvonne Gray (11), Grange School: 3rd, Margaret Kennedy (11), Public School:

12-14: 1st, Robert Brandreth (14), Bo’ness Academy: 2nd, Aylen Goldie (12), Bo’ness Academy: 3rd, Iain Grant (13) Bo’ness Academy.

15-over: 1st, Stewart Galloway (15), Bo’ness Academy: 2nd, John Nisbet (15), Bo’ness Academy: 3rd Charles Bow (15) Bo’ness Academy.

St. Mary’s – 1st, Louise Brankin (12), St. Mary’s High School: 2nd, Karen Gow (12), St Mary’s High School.

Mardi Gras

Adding a touch of Mardi Gras to this year’s Fair will be the High Society Jazz Band, who as well as playing as usual in the Parade will also entertain in various parts of the town.


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