Braemar: 1946 & 1947

Picture from Press & Journal

The 1946 Gathering prompted a letter from the Marquess of Aberdeen, Lord Lieutenant of the County, complaining about the traffic arrangements for those attending by motor car.   A Committee was set up.   The Games went ahead, but with steady rainfall throughout.   It was the first Games after the War though and their majesties were present, welcomed by the Marquess of Aberdeen, for just over an hour.   The Scotsman for Friday, 6th September, 1946, started its report as follows.

The Duchess of Kent with her children, the Duke of Kent and the Princesses Michael and Alexandra, were there too and seemed to enjoy the sport.  The results however as published by the ‘Scotsman’ –

Despite the weather, the meeting was a success – certainly if the smiles of the Royal couple below are anything to go by.    

The Royal tradition from the early days of Queen Victoria’s reign in really significant.   The royals all seem to enjoy the day (picture above from 1947), and it does indeed make the Games part of the Gathering different from any other in the country.   There was one disappointment on the day however as the P & J says below

The clothing coupons were the bane of everyone’s life at the time.   Athletes were having difficulty getting vests and shorts – how do you tell your family that they can’t get a pair of much needed shoes, or trousers or skirts or whatever because you were using the clothing coupons for a harriers vest?  There were some ways round it – asking former runners to hand back their old vests was one, but it was much more difficult getting the full highland rig out on coupons.   The March of 1000 pipers is one of the features of Cowal Games and the pipers are always popular; losing the march from the programme was unfortunate.

The weather in 1947 was better than in 1946, but the Royal Family were present, and the march was back.   And as a piece of social history, have a look at the number of cars in the picture above that were used by the local population to get there.    


Picture from The Courier & Advertiser

The Royal family was there again on a dull day which turned to drizzle in the afternoon, but nevertheless the crowd was estimated to be at about 30,000.   The King’s interest was in evidence when he started up a discussion with Mr John Michie, President of the Royal Braemar Society, about having more events confined to local athletes – the number of events for them that year was only 4 in a programme of 45 events.    The march of clansmen was not in evidence but the march of the pipers was there to ne seen and had over 100 pipers.   Interest in the Games was intense – note the following from the Forfar Dispatch.

The various newspapers provided many photographs despite the prevailing weather and some from the Aberdeen Press & Journal are reproduced here.   Results:

A good time was had by all but what was to come in 1948 – the centenary of Royal patronage of the Gathering?

Another General View, from The Scotsman this time.