Hitler took first place in the Dalkeith parade

The Parkes Band were popular in Midlothian during the 1930s
The Parkes Band were popular in Midlothian during the 1930s

In April, the Store milk horse broke away from its cart in Eskbank Road and smashed into the wall at the Buck’s Head trying to turn into Buccleuch Street, writes Alan Mason (Dalkeith History Society).

It was obviously heading for the stables behind the Store building in Lothian Street.

At Borthwick Rural, my wife Helen’s granny, Mrs Parkes, gave a demonstration on “cutting out hints and reseating men’s trousers”. It was the age of make do and mend!

The following month her grandfather, Mr Parkes, was the MC at a dance in aid of the Gorebridge Nursing Association, and the music was provided by “The Parkes Band.”

My father-in-law, Tommy, was the band leader. He played a Stroh violin which is a violin with a horn on it to amplify the sound. Sadly, he sold it many years ago but I saw one being played by a musician in Princes Street last summer.

His brother Jimmy played the drums, Archie Gladstone played piano and there was a trumpeter whose name I have sadly forgotten.

The band played in halls throughout the area and were the resident band at the Easthouses Co-operative Hall during the winter. For three years around this time, they played Wednesdays and Saturdays in the Masonic Hall in Dalkeith.

They were also in great demand for barn dances, held on farms at the end of the harvest each year. Tommy told me you could hardly see for stoor once the dancing started up and the band would have been strung up from the rafters if they dared to take a five minute break!

They were also paid in kind as well as cash. He had fond memories of one farmer’s wife who always gave them socks she had hand-knitted, “They were so rough, I think she used barbed wire instead of wool!”

The Dalkeith Show was held at Lugton for the first time in June 1934. Previous shows had been held at Shed Park, which was now part of the new golf course.

Also in June, Dalkeith’s annual Fancy Dress Parade took place. This was a huge event, with entrants from all over Edinburgh and Midlothian. The Advertiser said, “No one would ever be pessimistic as to predict failure for a fancy dress parade at Dalkeith. The word is unknown in this connection.” How things have changed!

The winner in the Boys’ Section was William Haughney, of Elmfield Park, who dressed as...Hitler!