Torphins Gala saved

Torphins Gala has been saved from potential cancellation after a local business stepped in to help.

The popular event was left without a venue after its normal site at the village playing fields was dug up for drainage work.

That left organisers struggling to locate a suitable alternative site, large enough for all the events. However, the Station Garage has offered to host the gala to prevent its cancellation.

It will now go ahead on Saturday, August 18, as planned on land next to Station Garage on the outskirts of the village.

Gala chairman Dave Cowie said he was delighted by the offer of the venue, which has guaranteed the show can now go ahead.

Dave said: “We normally hold the gala at the playing fields but they have been dug up by Aberdeenshire Council for improvements and drainage and there is no way it can be used at present.

“We were left in a real fix because there is no other suitable venue in the village that is large enough for an event like the gala.

“When the Station Garage heard it might have to be cancelled, they were in touch immediately with an offer to host it.”

The gala chief added: “It is a tremendous gesture by the Station Garage because if it had not been able to go ahead this year then obviously it would have left a question mark over the whole future of the event.”

Bob Shepherd, of the Station Garage, said: “As a local business, we know how much the gala means to the village. Everybody looks forward to it and the committee put in a power of unseen work to make it happen.

“When we heard it was under threat, we knew we just had to help. This will keep it going until the playing fields are back in use. Torphins needs the gala, summer would not be the same without it.”

The gala celebrations will kick off on Thursday, August 16, in the Learney Hall with a talk from top British climber, Andy Kirkpatrick.

A children’s disco will take place in the Learney Hall on the Friday night, followed by a Battle of the Bands competition, featuring local groups.

The main gala day on the Saturday will see a parade from the Learney Hall to the Station Garage at 1pm, with all the normal events taking place during the afternoon.

This year will see a countryside celebration theme for the gala and the events include a scarecrow contest along with the popular pet parade and a series of individual It’s a Knockout-style challenges.

The 12.5km hill race, the Learney Challenge, which last year was won by top Scottish international runner Robbie Simpson, will also go ahead as normal.

The gala finale will be a fancy dress disco on the Saturday night, again in the Learney Hall.

To order tickets for any of the evening events and further details about the gala, visit Torphins Gala Facebook page or the Torphins village website.