Anne is family’s third to crown gala queen

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A LONG-RUNNING tradition in Linlithgow is set to be passed to a third generation of the one family.

Retiree Anne Corr, 61, will tread in the same footsteps of mother, Lily Morrison, and grandmother, Mary Morrison, when she performs the traditional crowning of the queen at next month’s Linlithgow and Linlithgow Bridge Gala Day.

The former headmistress of Linlithgow Bridge Primary said she was delighted to be chosen for the ceremony, which she will carry out exactly 60 years after her grandmother enjoyed the same privilege.

Anne said: “It’s the children’s gala day and each year there’s a queen chosen. The names come out of a hat and she’s generally about 11, 12 years of age.

“This tradition’s been going on since before the Second World War. Each year someone from the local community is invited to crown the queen, which is quite an honour.

“It means a huge amount because it brings the schools and the community together. Local groups also take part – Cubs, Brownies, football teams.”

Anne, who was born in Linlithgow, both graduated as a teacher and married Raymond Corr in 1972.

Her first job came later that year at Linlithgow Primary. She would work as head teacher at Loanhead Primary in Midlothian for six years before coming “full circle” to finish her career back in her home town.

A decade-long stint at Linlithgow Bridge Primary ended with her retirement in August last year.

Anne said: “My parents were both born in Linlithgow and my grandparents were born in Linlithgow. We’re very much a Linlithgow family.

“My grandmother crowned the queen when my grandfather was Provost of the town. My mum also crowned the queen because she did a lot of work with the British Red Cross in Linlithgow. She was well known for that.”

Anne has not forgotten the day, 37 years ago, that her mother was involved in one of the town’s most prestigious events.

“It was the year our first son was born,” Anne said. “He was just a little baby when mum was asked to do it. We grew up going to the gala day each year. You were very aware what was happening and it was wonderful when someone from your own family was involved.”

Anne’s mother died in 1990, but her father, two sons and grandchildren Jessica, four, and Gregor, seven months, will be attending the crowning of Queen Elect Ruby Hudson at St Michael’s Parish Church on June 22.

Her responsibilities in the meantime will include meeting Ruby and attending rehearsals.

Of her father’s reaction, Anne said: “He’s over the moon about it – it’s quite an honour for him as well.”

She added: “I’ll be excited. The children always perform so well, so you don’t want to let them down.”