Dunbar Gala is on the move again

THE crowning ceremony at Dunbar’s annual Civic Week will revert to a former venue - Lauderdale House.

The decision to move the event from the primary school, where it coincides with the school fair, was taken by the Dunbar Civic Week Committee.

Stephen Bunyan, chairman of Dunbar Community Council, informed fellow community councillors of the location change at their monthly meeting last week. Members also agreed to give Civic Week £500.

Mr Bunyan said there would be a market in the High Street from 10am until noon, with a band playing music. He added that local organisations would be encouraged to take part in the market. The Civic Week Queen, still to be chosen, would be crowned at Lauderdale House at noon before enjoying a light lunch with members of her court at Dunbar Day Centre. Mr Bunyan explained that the Civic Week Queen would join a parade at 1.15pm which would make its way from Lauderdale Park to the primary school where she would declare the fair open.

He said it was felt this arrangement would work better and added that street closures for Saturday, June 11, would be applied for. Mr Bunyan pointed out that the new Dunbar in Bloom group would be working to “brighten up” the High Street.

He later said the move would give both the crowning ceremony and school fair “a little more space”.

Formerly known as Dunbar House, Lauderdale House, the town’s most imposing building, dates from around 1740. It was built for Captain James Fall, local MP and one of four brothers. It was to Dunbar House that Scotland’s bard, Robert Burns, paid a visit to dine in 1787. Dunbar House was purchased by James Maitland, the 8th Earl of Lauderdale, who promptly renamed it. Maitland commissioned Robert Adam, considered by many to be the leading British architect of the late 18th century, and his brother James to carry out extensive alterations. It would become firstly the headquarters of the local militia and then an army barracks. During both world wars Lauderdale House, now flats, served as headquarters for training members of the British Army.