Gala Days
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Gala Days


Throughout the 1960s Edinburgh print unions held gala days on the Thomas Nelson Recreation Grounds at Parkside, which were open to those who worked in the printing and publishing trade. These events were purely social days and had many events for the whole family. 

Watch 'Gala Day' (3:10 min - Silent Film)

This employee from Nelsons remembers organising a stall for the event:

'We got Nelson to give us the grounds to use for a gala day. The galas were always a great success. Aw the people involved in the printing and bookbinding come up there, to Parkside. At the Gala they had stalls for kids putting on these ping-pong balls intae jars an that you know. I always remember one time I went for the gold fish to a place down in London Road. This chap, had a car and everybody didnae have cars in these days. I went wie him to get these four hundred gold fish an they gave us it in a big plastic bag, you know, quite big bag wie water in it. I had to sit like that on ma knee in this car! An’ I thought so, so, (laughs) of course it was heavy you know. However we brought them in and got the kids started up on their with their fish an of course they’d supplied us with wee bags, ken wie, for the water. An right doon fae Parkside right away doon to St Leonard’s right away doon you seen aw the bairns going doon wie their wee fishes, you know! (laughing) Then they had balloons, they put Helium in the balloons wie messages on them and the balloon that was, that was picked up, a phone, number tae to phone back to see where it was. The furthest away one got a prize. There was that, an’ there was, eh, there was a boxing match, we had a box-, two boxers, Edinburgh boxers, fought in an exhibition fight. They had a model railway, they had a wee railway with a wee train running an taking passengers, eh, kids. They had ponies an’ that, oh it was a great thing'.