Loanhead festival rings the changes with new song

Pupils from Loanhead's primary schools join Gary Coupland in the recording studio to perform the town's new gala song.
Pupils from Loanhead's primary schools join Gary Coupland in the recording studio to perform the town's new gala song.

Loanhead may boast the oldest local festival in Midlothian but it is willing to move with the times.

This year a new gala song will be performed on Saturday.

The song and music was created by Singing Kettle star Gary Coupland with the assistance of P5 pupils from the town’s three primary schools.

Gary (52) explained: “Ross Perfect and Alan McLaren (from the gala committee) asked me if it was possible to update the old song as the children couldn’t understand it.

“I got in touch with all the schools and did a workshop with them. It was great.”

The catchy, new song recalls the town’s mining heritage and famous local employers as well as gala week events.

“I wrote about everything in Loanhead. I have stayed in the town for more than 20 years,” he added.

Twelve children joined Gary at the Sound Cafe recording studio in Penicuik. Gary provided his services for free as his contribution to the gala celebrations.

The P5 children will join Gary’s new venture Fun Box on stage at the schools’ assembly tomorrow (Friday) when the song will receive an airing.

Gary, who was with Singing Kettle for 31 years, thanked the staff at Loanhead, Paradykes and St Margaret’s Primary Schools for their support.