A tribute to Gala King Andrew Irvine

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The funeral was held recently for Andrew Irvine, who was crowned Newtongrange Gala King in 1960. Mr Irvine was 68.

The only son of Jessie and Jimmy Irvine, the family lived in Dean Park, now named Main Street.

He attended Newtongrange Primary School and enjoyed an active part of the Boys’ Brigade. His primary school years culminated with being Gala King at the village celebrations.

Mr Irvine moved to Dalkeith High School where he excelled academically. He was extremely proud to be awarded the Dux Medal for his achievements.

Although a keen artist, he chose to study maths and mathematical physics at Edinburgh University, graduating with a 2:1 degree.

He met his future wife, Jennifer, while at school. They started courting in 1963 and married in 1970. As well as gaining a wife, he was delighted, as an only child, to gain five brothers and sisters.

The couple moved to Croydon when Mr Irvine went to work for ICL (now Fujitsu). He travelled extensively and made some life-long friends in the company. When he left in 2002, he had been with the company for 32 years.

After a brief pause, he started a new job at the local primary and secondary schools as an IT technician.

This was in New Mills, Derbyshire, where they moved as a family in 1986 with their daughter Lindsay and son Nick.

Andrew loved his holidays and friends and often they travlled extensively in Europe and America, but in recent years Skiathos in Greece was a favourite destination.

Mr Irvine was very proud of his Scottish heritage andthough he spent many years south of the border, he always followed the national teams in football and rugby.

His other love was music, borne out of his teenage years in the 1960s. At the funeral service, at Stockport Crematorium, his choice of music was ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’ by the Rolling Stones and ‘Going Home’ by Mark Knopfler.

Mr Irvine often visited Newtongrange and, on his last visit, spent time at the library and a lovely day or two revisiting many places of his youth.

He was thrilled to board the train to Edinburgh. At the end of the day, this former Newtongrange Gala King was home with his ain folk.