New Publication

"Galashiels Through the Years"

112 Pages
192 Photographs from the club's collection

Price 7.50 + P&P if required

Available now from committee members or from the Secretary:-
Helen Elliott
Tel. 01896 753337

Also available from the Border Telegraph office or their web site at


A town in the Scottish Borders, Galashiels lies near the junction of the Gala Water with the River Tweed, 33 miles (53 km) south of Edinburgh, in the heart of Sir Walter Scott country.

The town name is derived from the old words of Gwala - a full or fast stream, and Shiels - a shelter or hut and has changed many times since the first known reference in 1124.

The Club

The Club was formed in 1949 and our Internet presence was made in  2003.  These pages give an insight into the functions of the Club and we would be pleased to hear from anyone with an interest in Galashiels' history.

There is these days a growing interest in local history. For some people this starts by browsing through old newspapers or by reading memoirs or diaries from past ages and decades.

For some the interest starts by examining the displays in local museums or even in searching through the property deeds or feu duty records for their own homes.

For most people however, I suspect that an interest in a town or area’s past is stimulated by hearing taped reminiscence or by viewing old photographs.

Indeed old pictures give perhaps the easiest access to what the past or its personalities were like. It is for this reason that we always start our winter programme with a large-scale slide show of old Gala and area each September.

We do, of course, much more than simply collect photographs. The club has a burgeoning museum collection — but no permanent display rooms.

Our collection is recognised by the Museum Service for Scotland and the Scottish Executive as an important local collection — but its maintenance relies solely upon voluntary efforts by club members.

For many years now I have cherished the hoped that by virtue of our co-operation with the local Museums Service, we might be granted permanent display space and further storage areas in Old Gala House — perhaps in the rooms above the caretaker’s flat which are currently maintained on a care and maintenance basis.

To date this has not happened and the main focus of the local Museum Service’s activities remains in Selkirk with its much smaller population. Perhaps Galashiels folk just don’t kick up enough fuss!

I’d like to appeal to the public to donate or loan to the Old Gala Club for copying, photographic material of any age with a local flavour. The club’s collection has large gaps in many areas but particularly from the 1950s onwards.

We would like to welcome anyone interested in history to attend our monthly meetings — and hopefully come and join the club.

We welcome anyone interested in history to join our ranks and if you are prepared to join one of our activity groups such as the photographic group so much the better.

We aim to contribute to the store of local knowledge not just provide lectures but what we can do depends upon the number of people prepared to give their time and effort to assist in the club’s researches.

Any further information can be obtained from the club secretary Mrs H. M. Elliot.

Ian Miller, Old Gala Club president.


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