More anniversaries to celebrate this summer! It is 80 years since the first Elland Lane & district ‘Children’s Treat’. This event has been revived and will be held this year on Saturday 7th June .
It is 50 years since Elland Gala was resumed after the interruption caused by a world war and the austerity that followed. Thanks to Derek Sharpe and Elland Round Table plans for the gala were kick-started in late 1963. A committee was formed and Herbert Fox was elected Chairman. The original idea had been to organise for a ‘new’ gala in summer 1965 but such was the enthusiasm preparations were brought forward and Saturday 1st August 1964 was chosen for ‘Elland Charity Carnival’.
This gala was a resounding success. Mr Fox told the Courier ‘the carnival has succeeded beyond our wildest hopes’. A strong wind and occasional showers did not dampen the carnival spirit. People turned out by the thousand and the streets were lined six deep for the procession. Everyone then thronged to the Rec for a full programme of displays, competitions and sideshows.
Vehicles assembled in the Commercial Street car park (recent demolition had created this space before redevelopment) for judging. The Greetland Dyers’ Club Trophy for best tableau by a charitable organisation was awarded to Elland Wesleyans. The Casson Shield for best tableau non-charitable went to Elland Round Table. Smartest Vehicle – John Harling, Best trade exhibitor was Leslie Slater, Best comic character – Roy Buckley, Best Adult’s fancy dress – Michael Wormald, Best Children’s’ fancy dress – Angela & Martin Bland, Best decorated bicycle/tricycle – Mark Ashton, Best road-safety characters – Chris & Gary Thompson were amongst the winners.
A ‘Mr Elland’ competition was won by Michael Fallon (Elland Youth Centre) with Alan Sleight as runner-up. The earlier baby show attracted almost 100 entrants. Winners included Mrs Howard (three to six months), Mrs Bower (six to 12 months) and Mrs Gledhill (one to two years).
There were two queens in the procession – the Carnival Queen Linda Stubbings, accompanied by her attendants Lucy Gregory and Linda Holroyd, and the Youth Festival Queen Margaret Wild.
Three bands – Elland Silver, Elland Wesley and Elland Scouts – took part in the procession. Elland UDC Chairman Herbert Wilkinson and Vice-Chairman Albert Lane along with their wives rode in an open 1919 Sunbeam car. Bill Thomas (UDC Clerk) and other councillors followed in a council Land-Rover holding bags on long sticks to collect money for charity.
According to the Courier the procession took 15 minutes to pass – everyone appears to have joined in – Cubs, Rotary, Red Cross, Anglican Young People, Motor Club, St. John’s Ambulance, Blackley Baptist, Greetland Dantes 69, the list is endless. There will be many who remember this happy event. Please support this year’s Gala – Saturday 5th July ‘Tour de France Special’.
David J. Glanfield
Greater Elland Historical Society
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