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.Brendan “Jock” McCann has sent us information about Fergie Byrne, our Maths master, who was president, in 1935, of a committee to raise funds for the Church Hall at St Nicholas & St John Cantius Church, Broxburn, to be known as the Canon Hoban Memorial Hall. -


Des had come across a copy of the souvenir programme for a grand carnival and bazaar at the Public Hall, Broxburn over two days in 1935.  It was supported by a concert and aimed to raise funds to build a church hall (now the Canon Hoban Memorial Hall).  It contains a good deal of deliberate humour and some which has only attracted humour through the passing of time.  So far as the former is concerned, admission was threepence, children under 12 - 1d and centenarians free.  Rules for visitors included: 'Do not enter the bazaar without paying but you may pay without coming in; be sure to bring your purse full.  It is immaterial whether you take it away with you or not if it is empty; if you do not see what you want, ask for it.  If you do not get it take what you don't want.  Pay for it and ask no further questions'.  Amongst the adverts, I particularly liked the Clifton Arms ('commodious rooms available for smokers etc'), the County Laundry ('support local industry by sending us your washing') and HM Watson (' a seasonable selection of Pyrex glassware, kerbs, new Krinko-Ware, hot water bottles and a selection of other gifts suitable for Christmas').  Most interesting (for me)  was PR Barrett, Commision Agent.  The address was 18 Thistle Street, Edinburgh.  The strap line was 'send your lines in soon, PADDY pays the piper and you call the tune'.  The ad included the immortal lines 'smile when you win, laugh when you lose'.  It also claimed 'letter business a speciality'.
The President of the Bazaar Committee was Fergus Byrne, MA.  Apparently, this onerous task exonerated him from the organisation of any of the stalls.  There were seven stalls.  Number 7 was the parcel office and cloak room.  'Visitors, having made their purchases, should leave their parcels here and can then partake of refreshments and enjoy the entertainment with the peaceful consciousness that their goods are in safe keeping' . Parcels could be made up at a rate of 1d for small parcels and 2d for large parcels.                                                                                           
The Carnival also featured Madame Zora (palmistry).  The evening concerts offered: the pupils of the Catholic School; the Strathbrock Musical Company; and the Advanced Division Coons (honest).  The programme included an appeal.  It said 'we appeal to our audiences to be orderly and peaceful so that the necessary coin extraction may be carried out without undue struggle.  By acting as advised, we will  get to the bottom of your purses much quicker'.

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