Gala queens set to be reunited to mark 50 years

Jean Ainley, President of Brighouse Charity Gala committee.
Jean Ainley, President of Brighouse Charity Gala committee.

The Brighouse Charity Gala has stood at the heart of the town’s social calendar for decades. Now, organisers hope to make the 50th anniversary one to remember by reuniting gala queens from years gone by.

Jean Ainley, president of the Brighouse Gala committee, wants to track down as many as possible in a fitting celebration of the popular annual event, which was first held in 1965.

The grand anniversary celebration will be held in Wellholme Park, Brighouse, on Saturday, June 27, and Jean hopes that gala queens of past and present will add a special touch to the day.

She said: “The plan is to get as many past gala queens as we can.

“We want to get them to the gala, hopefully wearing their sash and their Brighouse coat of arms pendant.

“It will really bring back some lovely memories.

“It would be fantastic to see so many of the gala queens for a chance to catch up, share stories and see how things have gone for them over the years.

“We already have some interest, but we would love to get a little bit more.”

Jean, 74, has played a key role in the gala since 1968, when she became secretary - a role she held for 29 years.

“We’re hoping to make this gala special and we really want to go to town with it,” she added.

“There’s been some great galas over the years - the gala queen gave us a figurehead at a time when Brighouse didn’t have anything and the gala was something which belonged to the town.

“It brought people in and drew people in from out of the area. It was lovely meeting people who came year after year and became friends.”

If you are a past gala queen and would like to attend the event, contact Jean Ainley on 01484 712141.

Alternatively, email brighouse.echo@brighouseecho.co.uk.