“Old Gala Club Goes to War”

Exhibition Opening Night

Councillor John Mitchell

27th March 2009


Bob McKendrick welcomed members and invited guests to the opening of Old Gala Club’s annual exhibition in Old Gala House, Galashiels. Bob gave a brief outline of the Club’s activities and collections, and thanked the committee and members for their help and contributions to the exhibition. He also thanked various others including the Scottish Borders Museum Service, David Leckey, John Armstrong, .John Milne, Ian Howel, Mrs. Dalgleish, Mrs. M. Murray, Mr. & Mrs. Trotter, Mr. A. Young and Keith at Old Gala House. He said that this is the forth in the “Goes To” series. In previous years Old Gala Club has gone Shopping, gone to Church and gone on Holiday.


Bob then invited John Mitchell, Councillor for the Galashiels and District region of Scottish Borders Council to open the exhibition “Old Gala Club Goes to War”, on this the 70th anniversary of World War II.


Councillor Mitchell said that he missed the end of hostilities by five years, but his mother had told him of the “Doodlebugs” (V1s & V2s) flying overhead, and how they had to make for the nearest shelter if the engines cut out.


He went on to praise those who had made the exhibition possible. “Many have toiled very hard to get everything here physically and set it all up,” he said. “I am told by Murray Dickson, the club’s Vice President, how the milkmen and postmen would go about their business and at the same time gather information for use in guerrilla tactics.” No stone has been left unturned, as the Old Gala Club has delved into the past of Galashiels and district in World War II. The various cabinets are packed with war memorabilia, including newspapers, photographs and a running video showing films taken during the war in Galashiels, Selkirk and Hawick. These had been difficult times – when children were separated from their parents, and warplanes flew over Galashiels on their way to bomb Clydeside.