Town facing no-frills gala, warn organisers

Published: 25 Feb 2010 06:006 comments

THE financial woes facing Tranent's gala committee show no sign of abating after its chairman announced that cost-cutting measures must take place at this year's celebrations - and warned 2010 could be the last year that residents can enjoy the family-friendly event.

Gala committee chairman Tom Logan told Tranent and Elphinstone Community Council (TECC) last Tuesday that organisers were in "dire straits" due to the rising costs of staging the jam-packed week of events and a lack of community support.

He explained that one of the traditional features set to be absent this year was the colourful bunting that decorates the town centre throughout the gala week, and blamed the committee's decision on a recent hike in East Lothian Council fees for erecting the flags.

"We've agreed as a committee that we're not going to be responsible for putting the flags up this year," said Mr Logan.

"The council hit us up for £1,085 for erecting last year's flags and there's no way the gala committee can afford that this year.

"And we're now being charged for using the Loch Centre and we've got to have rehearsals there in the run-up to the gala day and use it as a building for various different occasions.

"It's just money that we don't have."

He told community councillors that the 2010 gala funds were at the £6,000 mark, but that figure was unlikely to stretch to support next year's celebrations.

"If we don't get more money from somewhere I think it's safe to say this will be Tranent Gala Day's last year," added Mr Logan.

TECC chairman Raymond Strang lamented the risk to the gala day, saying: "For my generation, the gala day was always the big day of the year. Group member Robert McNeill echoed his concerns. "The community of Tranent has changed drastically over the last 10-15 years and that is a lot to do with the new builds that have taken place," he said.

"What we have in Tranent are a lot of very well run (school) Parent Councils and communities that are actively revolving around the schools.

"Unfortunately, what suffers as a result of this are organisations like the gala committee and a lot of people in the gala committee are people who have been born and bred in Tranent.

"It's just a sign of the times."

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  • Craig Mercer
    Unregistered User
    Feb 25, 13:08
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    As a resident of Tranent who has two children who attend the gala events i noted last year between myself and their grandmother we spent approximately £100 on events at the gala day. It seems to me that the Gala has the potential to be self funding. Having read this article it appears that money i thought would be reinvested into the gala is not happening but going to other sources. I noted that the rotating thrill ride has the potential to make approx. £3500 on the gala day. How much of this is contributed to the gala funds?

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  • anti-gala
    Unregistered User
    Mar 3, 21:49
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    If Tranent gala supported all of its youngsters who live there then maybe they would get more support... I do not support the gala along with a lot of my friends in the same position as it exludes our children. Tranent gala committee advertise the gala as a childrens day yet they discriminate against our kids as they go to school in other villages although they live in Tranent. Our children have no choice.. if they go to Macmerry School they dont get into Macmerry Gala as we live in Tranent. I thought in this day and age everyone had a choice. Seems not. There are at least 11 children I know of that are being discriminated against and all their friends and families do not support the gala because they dont support them.

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  • lieforit
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    Mar 16, 20:29
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    the gala committee is in dire need of new blood whether it be to aid the support to help and/or advise new ideas.people must be allowed to voice their opinions and views at meetings if they are to join instead of being shot down and disheartened.every bit of help must surely be valued if our gala is to continue....after all this was and should still be a family week of events that seem to have fallen to the wayside..

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  • Chairman
    Unregistered User
    Mar 23, 21:11
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    As chairman of the Tranent Children's Gala Day Committee, I thought it only right that I should add to the comments which have been appearing over the last view weeks, after my last article.

    As you are aware the Committee is made up of volunteers whom we have 7 members, who work tirelessly all year, trying to organize the Gala Day and other fund raising events, to raise much needed funds, to keep our Gala Day running year in year out.

    I have asked numerous occasions for the residents of Tranent to come to our monthly meeting's to view any comments you may have, whether to better the Gala day, or if you are not happy what we are doing, come along and air your views with us. It is the committee members who take up there own time to do the nightly Crowning Rehearsals, do the tea and rolls for the Gala Court, who organize and run the sports, and the various events through out Gala Week.

    What people don't realize every thing which is laid on the Gala Field the committee have to pay for; the Bands charge us between £400and£500 each, that's 3 Bands on Gala Day and 4 Bands during the Gala Day Parade.

    Finally I would to clear the problem of Children not being eligible to be picked for the Gala Court, We like every other Gala Day in East Lothian and Scotland, have our Constitution which states," The selection of the Gala Court shall be from Primary Seven of all Tranent Primary Schools." This is laid out by all Gala Days through out Scotland.

    And finally I am happy to meet with any one who would like to speak to me regarding our Gala Day, after all this is for the Children of Tranent, Please come along to our meetings and speak to us, help us better it.

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  • lieforit
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    Apr 9, 13:52
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    re anti-gala's comment,, if being a tranent resident and sending your child to another school, if they feel the towns schools are not fit for their children, then why should they have the priveledge of being entered into the draw for the town's gala court ????

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  • tranentresident
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    Jun 6, 22:29
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    It might be helpful to see what money is being made at the expense of children's enjoyment. The gala shouldn't be a commercial venture and something that greedy individual/organsations are looking to financial benefit or gain from. It's disgusting to see what costs are being attributed to using the Loch Centre for rehersals, bands appearance fees and for adding some colour to the high street of Tranent (something that is very much needed, given the state of it!). I dredd gala day as I find it a very costly day out for the kids and resent paying over the odds to stall holders - my attitude might change if I knew what money was going back into the gala day funds. I'm disgusted with East Lothian Council - it's about time they did something for the residents of Tranent! There appears to be sufficient funds to pay for a fireworks display?

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