Nostalgia: ‘The Queen walked by me at Highland Show’

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Stranded kittens, pancake surprises and a very regal encounter – it was to prove a particularly eventful year at the Royal Highland Show.

Retired writer Beryl Beattie from Livingston recalls going to the show in the late 1960s, describing the atmosphere as 
“second to none”.

“There was a very upmarket Edinburgh furniture store called C&J Browns, which was run by two brothers,” she says.

“One of the brothers was dealing with customers at a stall and the rain was pouring down the back of his neck, but the people buying the expensive furniture didn’t seem to notice.

“They had a cookery show and that year the famous chef Fanny Craddock appeared.

“She was cooking pancakes and the best surprise of all was when she cut them up in to tiny pieces and gave them to people in the audience.

“While I was at the show, I was standing chatting to people when who walked past me but the Queen.

“At first I’d thought to myself, ‘I’m sure I know that woman’!

“We were sitting in the audience of the fashion show and it was being filmed for TV – I watched the coverage when I got home later that day. There I was, sitting in there and the commentator said, ‘for this farmer’s wife, it was a lovely afternoon’. But I wasn’t married at the time!

“At one point, the models in the show were in hysterics because they could hear a cat meowing in the changing area.

“It turned out a kitten had fallen down a hole.

“They called the fire brigade who, when they found out the girls were fashion models, seemed to arrive before the phone was put down. The firemen put down a rope and the cat was pulled back out.”