Scots in London Gala Evening brings Scotland to the heart of London
The best of Scottish poetry, music, song and dance featured prominentlyin a gala event that brought London’s part of the Scottish diaspora together on Wednesday 11 October under the approving eye of HRH Princess Anne, The Princess Royal.
The Gala evening combined a showcase for Scottish culture with networking opportunities for Scottish societies, clubs, churches and charities, supported by the Scottish government and London’s Scottish business community, to display their wares.
In 2019 The Princess Royal had formally signed off our three-year Armistice 100 project (which included a virtually sold-out commemorative book Scots in Great War London) with a call to continue the work they had begun. But the formal launch was delayed by the pandemic and its consequences. On Wednesday, The Princess Royal was back, praising the work of Scots in London in bringing together Scottish organisations and individuals to celebrate the wealth of Scottish culture and talent across the capital.
She was speaking at London’s St Columba’s Church (where once EarlHaig, no less, was an Elder) which hosted the sold-out event for 300 Scots in London guests, staff and performers for an evening filled with Scottish culture and networking.
Opened by the rousing sounds of the Pipes and Drums of the London Scottish Regiment, the programme highlights included the ScotsCare Choir, recitation of Burns poetry by Alain English, the Tartan Thistle Dancers, performances by Elizabeth Thomson, Mary-Jannet Leith and folk duo Duncan Menzies and Will Chamberlain, and joint performances by Còsir Lunnainn (London Gaelic Choir) and Crown Court Choir. The evening was expertly compered by Downton Abbey’s David Robb.
After the concert, guests enjoyed a reception with Scottish refreshments and music and the opportunity to meet staff from all the member organisations. Guests and staff then came together for Scottish country dancing and a hearty rendition of Auld Lang Syne to finish the evening.
The Rev MacLeod, Convenor of the Scots in London Forum, said, “We are excited to be launching this new collaboration of Scottish organisations in London. We were greatly honoured that our Patron, HRH The Princess Royal attended our event to officially launch our new initiative. All ourorganisations and guests enjoyed a great evening showcasing Scottish talent from across the capital.”
Scots in London would like to thank all their member organisations for their support of the event, with special thanks to St Columba’s Church for hosting the event, The Caledonian Club for providing the refreshments and the Scottish Business Network for their support of the evening.