THE history of the Musselburgh Festival is shared in a new exhibition at the town’s museum, which runs until August 8.

Past Honest Lads and Honest Lasses have rallied round with support by donating items of memorabilia for the display, which includes photographs of past events, riding boots, stirrups and a riding crop.

The variety of gifts presented by local industries and the community to Honest Lads and Honest Lasses at sashing ceremonies can been seen, as well as trophies for events such as the Honest Lads’ Race, Ladies’ Race and Crusaders Riding Club competition.

There is a chance to get a close-up look at sashes embroidered with the names of every Honest Lad and Honest Lass from 1936 to 2011 and the Burgh Standard, which plays an important role during the annual festival.

Official outfits worn by the Honest Lad and Honest Lass are exhibited, as well as programmes, pennants, the first minute book for festival organisers the Honest Toun’s Association and words for the Musselburgh Song. Information is on show about the carriage used on election night, when the official party is transported through local streets to waving crowds.

The birth of the festival in 1936, when Jimmy Arthur was Honest Lad and Ina Vass, Honest Lass, is also outlined.

This year’s Honest Lad Aidan Maguire, Honest Lass Claire Dougal and attendant Abbie Thomson were amongst the first to enjoy a tour of the exhibition after their recent visits to local primary schools and Musselburgh Grammar School.

Stefanie Talac, honorary secretary of the Honest Toun’s Association (HTA), said this was the first exhibition about the festival at the museum and they hoped that as many people as possible would pay it a visit.

She said: “We are delighted at the way the exhibition has turned out. We had a lot of help from past Honest Lads and Honest Lassies.

“There is a beautifully bound photograph album from the Honest Lass of 1948 which was presented by the local paper mill. Our 50th year Honest Lass was presented with a travel iron from Brunton Wire Mill. The connection with the fishing community in Musselburgh is also shown in the gifts with a ship in a bottle and model boats.”

She added: “During the festival, the Honest Lass pins a pennant to the top of the flag and it has the Honest Lad’s name on it. Each pennant is in the museum as well.”

Stefanie said that while the festival is on from July 20 to 28 this year, some of the display items will be removed as they will have a part to play in the event itself, before being returned to the museum afterwards.

She added: “The museum is a great asset to the town. We are really pleased that we have had the opportunity to have the exhibition in the museum. It is the first since the museum’s inception and hopefully we will do so again in the future. The exhibition is here for people who want to learn more about the festival and we hope they do.”

The museum at 65 High Street is open Thursday to Saturday, 10.30am to 4pm.