Remember when: Park life down the years

The Year of International 'Co-operation bus turns heads in 1965
The Year of International 'Co-operation bus turns heads in 1965
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This weekend will see Leith Links transformed into a riot of music and colour as the Edinburgh Mela presents a huge array of events.

And the crowds which flock to see acts including the Orb today and tomorrow will be just the latest to turn the popular park into a fascinating funfair, with the Links hosting a huge array of events over the years.

Refreshments at 1966's Scottish Miners' Gala

Refreshments at 1966's Scottish Miners' Gala

In 1966 the area was filled with tents and happy families as parents brought their children along for an exciting day out at the annual Scottish Miners’ Gala Day, which was thankfully blessed with glorious weather.

One of the highlights of the event saw actor John Cairney crown Valerie Riddell the winner of the Coal Queen Beauty contest, with the winner even getting an ermine throw to wear. A year earlier, the Links had played host to a brightly coloured double-decker bus which was touring Britain to publicise the year of International Co-operation.

Fancy dress was the order of the day in 1971 as the Leith Council of Churches Gala Day took over the site and the local youngsters got into the competitive spirit as they tried to win the prize for best costume.

Mrs Queenie Herron, wife of the Moderator of the Church of Scotland, presented the prizes to Karen Gray, seven, Rosalind, three, and Pauline Sim, six, and Nicholas Robb, six.

The Young Lyceum Theatre Company used the Links to present an open air version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in June, 1974, while in September, 1983, a full-scale war broke out as the area hosted a re-enactment of a battle between civil war troops of Cavaliers and Roundheads.