Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Kirkcudbright Cake and Candy Sale

From the Dumfries and Galloway Standard, 25th December 1915.


Cake and Candy Sale

A cake, candy, produce, and toy sale, promoted by the Kirkcudbright War Work Party, working in connection with the scheme for voluntary organisations, was held in the Town Hall on Thursday afternoon.  There were three principal stalls, which had been erected by ex-Provost Wallace, and all were attractively decorated.

The cake and candy stall was in charge of Mrs MacMyn and assistants, and it contained a great quantity of tempting goods, including all sorts of fancy cakes, sweets, shortbread, etc., laid out in a manner well calculated to tempt purchasers.  Mrs Brown, Knockbrex, was convener of the toy stall, which was laden with an immense assortment of articles has likely to catch the eye of the youngsters, balls, crackers, Christmas stockings, teddy bears, toy crabs, Chinese lanterns, etc., were displayed in endless variety. The produce stall had for convener Miss Muir, Castle Street, and it simply groaned under its load of hares, pheasants, fowls, cheese, butter, etc. The flower stall, which contained a pretty collection, was in charge of Mrs R. L. Wilson; and the refreshment department was ably superintended by Miss Rankine.

There was a large attendance when the sale was formally opened.  Mrs. Brown, Knockbrex, presided, and in introducing Mrs Maitland, Cumstoun, to perform the opening ceremony, said that as usual they were out for money, and this time they wanted a great deal more than they had ever wanted before.  Already the Central Association had asked for 500 mufflers and 500 pairs of mittens for 8th January.  That meant a lot of work and a lot of money to buy wool.  The Kirkcudbright Work Party had 418 cuts of wool out just now, so they would gather from that how much money was wanted.  Last year the work had been very haphazard.  Various ladies throughout the county appealed for goods for their husbands' men, without saying what number of men or what quantity of goods, with the result that some soldiers got far more than they knew what to do with.  She heard of one soldier who got 15 pairs of socks and sent 14 pairs home to his papa.  (Laughter.)  That was obviously bad business.  Under the new arrangements there could be no recurrence of that kind of thing.  The Red Cross had done a great deal in connection with the Work Party, and some of them were present to assist that afternoon.  They had also given a contribution of £8 7s instead of taking a stall.  She had pleasure in introducing Mrs Maitland to open the sale,,,.

Mrs Maitland said she had been looking round the stalls, and felt sure that after all the good things on them had been eaten it would make all more kindly disposed towards our "Tommies," and work all the harder to provide the outer comforts that were so much wanted at the front.  She had great pleasure in declaring the sale open.  (Applause.)
A brisk business was then commenced and the goods quickly began to disappear from the stalls.  The proceedings were much enlivened by the programme of instrumental music submitted by Messrs J. M'Robert (piano), Mr J. M’Gowan (violin), and Mr H. Livingston (cornet).  Songs were tastefully rendered by Misses Logan and Rae and Gordon, and Master A. M’William.  Misses Gretta M’Lean and Marjorie MacMyn danced the pierrot and pierette dance; Miss Oliva Clark the tambourine dance; and Master D. MacMyn played a violin solo very nicely.  Madame Orynthia, the famous palmist, had numerous clients during the afternoon and evening to have their hands read.

The drawings amounted to £75 16s.

[I have included this mainly because of the frank admission that provision of comforts to men in the Army had previously been inefficient, and that the Work Party needed money to buy wool for the mufflers and mittens that had been asked for.  (A cut was a quantity of knitting yarn.) The sale did very well in taking  £75 16s. - at the start of the war, many working women earned no more than £1 for a 40 hour week, so this was a considerable sum.] 

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