The day the whole town turned out for a parade full of fun and celebration
ORMSKIRK Gala Day was held during each August for many years. The organising committee started throughout the summer months with several committees set up to ensure the smooth running of this popular event.
Mr J.J. Balmforth, the ironmonger of Aughton Street, presided over the General committee, an Entertainment Committee made sure that a circus was booked and all necessary plans were put in place to accommodate the Circus in the Gala Parade before setting up on the Victoria Pleasure Grounds.
The Procession and Turnouts Committee set about organising the order of the parade to include Tradesmen and Farmers Turnouts, a wagon or cart pulled by a team of heavy or working horses, decorated according to that year’s theme.
The wagons were then judged in a series of classes with an entry fee of between 1s and £1. The winners were awarded prize money for first, second and third places ranging from £1 to £5 depending on the class.
Entries were limited to Master Tradesmen living within a onemile radius of the Market Cross and all other entries could be from within a six-mile radius of the Cross.
This was to allow entries from tenants from surrounding farms to enter their own turnouts or decorate a cart for the Tableau procession.
Apart from the cash, special prizes were awarded by committee members and town businesses: Mr J.J. Balmforth, presented a pair of carvers valued at 21s to the winner of the Tradesman’s Master Class for Heavy Horse Turnouts; Mr James Arnold Williams, provision dealer, of 31 Burscough Street, promised a prize valued at 21s for the winner of the Single Heavy Horse Turnout; William Gilbert, draper of 10 Moor Street, also promised a 21s prize to the winner of the most humorous float or tableau.
There was also a ‘fancy dress on a quadruped’ category for both adults and children and a bicycle fancy dress parade with a baby show held in the Corn Exchange.
The whole town turned out for the parade with all the all business premises along the main streets being elaborately decorated for the event.
The winner of the children’s fancy dress on a quadruped was a young man named Thomas Hough (1895 – 1985) who is shown in the picture dressed as Charge of The Light Brigade survivor Sgt Major James Ikin Nunnerley, who had a gentleman’s outfitters, at 27 Moor Street.
The photo was taken at the rear of the Queens Head Hotel, Moor Street on the day of the Gala.
Thomas is wearing a miniature uniform of the 17th Lancers.
Thomas is also wearing Nunnerley’s medals.
The photos belong to Thomas Hough’s son-in-law Bob Hanley.
Thomas Hough with Charge of the Light Brigade survivor Sgt Major James Ikin Nunnerley
Thousands took to the streets of Ormskirk every August, for the town’s Gala Day
Winner of the ‘children’s fancy dress on a quadruped’ Thomas Hough