Nostalgia: The Queen in Midlothian

The Queen waves from a Land Rover during her tour of MacTaggart Scott, Loanhead, June 1961.  Picture: Midlothian Council Local Studies
The Queen waves from a Land Rover during her tour of MacTaggart Scott, Loanhead, June 1961. Picture: Midlothian Council Local Studies
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MORE than 1000 people welcomed the Queen when her Royal Highness made a brief stop in Midlothian on Wednesday to unveil a plaque to officially open the new Newtongrange station.

On the day she became the UK’s longest reigning monarch, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, accompanied by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, were making the rail journey on the Union of South Africa steam train from Waverley to Tweedbank, where Her Majesty officially opened the new Borders Railway.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visit Temple in June 1961. Picture: Midlothian Council Local Studies

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visit Temple in June 1961. Picture: Midlothian Council Local Studies

It was the first time in 50 years the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh had toured Midlothian.

The first stop for the royal party back in 1961 was Danderhall, where they were received by the Lord Lieutenant, the Rt Hon Earl of Rosebery.

The couple then viewed the Combined Purpose Health Clinic before heading to Dalkeith where standing room was at a premium.

There was an enthusiastic welcome for the royal guests in Bonnyrigg where they toured Henry Widnell & Stewart’s carpet factory before visiting King George V playing field.

The Queen inspects the Royal Scots guard of honour in Dalkeith, June 1961. Picture: Midlothian Council Local Studies

The Queen inspects the Royal Scots guard of honour in Dalkeith, June 1961. Picture: Midlothian Council Local Studies

The Queen and Duke then toured Newbattle Abbey College before travelling through Newtongrange and Gorebridge. At Temple, the royals were shown round a small rural housing scheme and invited to look round the house of Mr and Mrs J Gilchrist.

From Temple, the party moved on to Penicuik where the Queen planted a tree in the public park before continuing to Roslin to visit the historic Rosslyn Chapel.

The entourage, now running late, made its way to Loanhead for another “tumultuous” welcome in the Memorial Park gardens.

The royal party arrives in Bonnyrigg, June 1961. Picture: Midlothian Council Local Studies

The royal party arrives in Bonnyrigg, June 1961. Picture: Midlothian Council Local Studies

Staff sit of the roof of Dalkeith Bus Station to catch a glimpse of The Queen during her visit to the county in June, 1961. Picture: Midlothian Council Local Studies

Staff sit of the roof of Dalkeith Bus Station to catch a glimpse of The Queen during her visit to the county in June, 1961. Picture: Midlothian Council Local Studies