Enjoying the Golden Gala

Brighouse Gala parade
Brighouse Gala parade

Thousands turned out in force to make the 50th Brighouse Charity Gala anniversary event one to remember.

The golden gala procession kicked off from Garden Road, with the colourful parade filing through the town centre and into Wellholme Park, where the event was held.

To celebrate the event’s 50th anniversary, the first ever gala queen Judy Pilling rode in the procession alongside last year’s queen Paige Roderick and this year’s gala queen Imogen Turner,16.

The Mayor of Calderdale Lisa Lambert also joined with proceedings as crowds were wowed by the likes of the Brighouse Star Twirlers, the Diamond Gymnastics Club and many more.

A newly wed couple also got a surprise while watching the procession, when the Los Angeles police SWAT team arrested them after their reception at the Lane Head Hotel, Brighouse Wood Lane.

And when the procession reached the park, there was plenty for families to enjoy throughout the sun-drenched afternoon.

From mini go-karts and model train rides to donkey rides, a fairground, charity stalls, a Companion Dog Show and the Tigers Children’s Motorcycle Display Team, both young and old were entertained.

Music was also provided by the Clifton and Lightcliffe Brass Band, who took part in the first gala in 1965, and they were supported on stage by The Little Jazz Funk Orchestra.

Ground chairman, Peter Edwards, said: “It went very well, it was a really lovely day.

“The weather was absolutely fantastic, there were thousands there and it was a good day for everybody.

“It was a resounding success.”

And gala queens from across the decades came together to make their mark on the grand anniversary celebration.

Jean Ainley, president of the Brighouse Gala committee, worked tirelessly to track down as many past gala queens as possible.

Around 12 , including the first ever gala queen Judy Pilling, reunited on the day, adding a special touch to the event.

Jean said: “It was lovely, some of them I’d only seen for one day, but they came in and it was as if they had seen me yesterday.

“They all had a really good time, so much so they want to have a reunion every year.”

Jean also organised a photograph display of past gala’s, which she said was very well received.

The gala procession collected £706 and the entrance money on the day came to just over £7,000.

The best float was won by the 1st Brighouse Guides and the best walking group was Little Learners playgroup.

The duck race winning tickets are: 1st prize: 1331; 2nd prize: 4351; 3rd prize: 2630.