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.
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 areas past is stimulated by hearing
taped reminiscence or by viewing old photographs.
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
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 caretakers 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 Services activities remains in
Selkirk with its much smaller population. Perhaps Galashiels folk just dont kick up
Id 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 clubs 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
information can be obtained from the club secretary Mrs H. M. Elliot.
Ian Miller, Old
Gala Club president.