The large crowd in the Victory Christian Centre at Elder Park gave the River City actor a huge ovation as he arrived to carry out the historic task. But in true beauty queen style, 11-year-old Dani Kilbride struggled to keep her emotions in check as she was piped and applauded into the hall to take up her new title and ceremonial role.
The Pirie Park Primary School pupil wiped away tears of joy as legendary comedian Johnny placed the Govan Fair crown on her head.
The veteran actor said it was “a huge honour and privilege” to be asked to carry out the important task for a second time in his old home town of Govan. He then headed off to join the parade with Queen Dani and her assistants Kristofer Campbell, Lauren Costick, Melanie Gilmour and Connor Taylor.
Earlier Johnny had laughed when Dot Courtney, Chair of the Govan Fair Association, revealed he referred to himself as “The Govan Dinosaur”. The comic admitted even he had not been about in 1756 when the first Fair procession was led by members of the Govan Weavers Guild. All of 256 years later, huge crowds once again lined the route to cheer as the people of Glasgow’s ancient burgh celebrated The Olde Govan Fair.
Leading the way for the 22nd year in a row as bearer of the famous Sheep’s Heid was Stephen Dornan.
Recently re-elected as a councillor for the Govan ward, he sported a kilt and dark glasses as he waved to the crowds and carried the historic 20lb relic atop a heavy wooden pole.
The sheep’s head has long been the symbol of the Olde Govan Fair.
The event was once again a triumph for the men and women of the Govan Fair Association, led by Mrs Courtney and Vice Chair Kenneth Kerr.
Honorary Members are Harry McNab OBE JP, Margaret MacLean JP and Evelyn Sherry. Committee Members are Jimmy Stringfellow, Robert Dickie, Anne Dickie, Kyle Thornton, June Ramsay, Sandy Black and Bryan Bannerman. Plus Assistant Chief Marshall Freddie Hunter, who also masterminded the schools football tournament at Ibrox Complex.
*PHOTO by Eddie Aitken. More photos of the big night can be seen at: Eddie Aitken Photography