THE array of smiling faces in the grounds of the Royal Northern and Clyde Yacht Club on Saturday afternoon confirmed another successful day in the history of the Rhu and Shandon Gala.

The gala has been a firm fixture of the area’s events calendar for 21 years now, and judging by the crowds who came along on Saturday, many of them from far beyond the two villages, the enthusiasm for the event is as great as ever.

The day began with the Helensburgh Clan Colquhoun Pipe Band and this year’s Gala Royal Family – king and queen Lewis Fell and Ella Taylor, prince Saul Rodgers and princess Lucy Barton – leading the parade from Rhu Marina along the seafront to the RNCYC’s grounds.

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Family races, birds of prey, dance and martial arts demonstrations, a dog show and a wide array of stalls ensured there was plenty to keep gala-goers of all ages entertained throughout the afternoon, before the day reached its traditional climax with a keenly-contested tug-o-war, in which the enthusiastic children had far too much energy for their hard-working adult opponents.

Gala committee chairman Gordon Black said: “We made it. And it was a surprisingly wonderful day considering the weather forecast.

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“A massive thank you to the Royal Northern and Clyde Yacht Club for hosting us again, and to the volunteers we had helping us put up and take down all the tents.

“An extra thanks to Fiona Baker for running the dog show, as well as Evan, Lynne and Bridget for running the barbecue; to Gay Black and the tearoom ladies for running the tea room for us; and huge thanks to Anderson Engineering for supplying all our power.

“And final thanks to my wonderful committee - Jonathan Trayte, Laird D. Black, Alison Kennedy Sturgeon and Richard Morgan. We did it!”

(All pictures from the gala day by Tom Watt)

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