Cumnock Carnival

The carnival was the highlight of the summer for many people in Cumnock and from the surrounding districts. Hundreds of people took part in decorating their streets and entering a themed 'float' for the big parade through town ending at the Woodroad Park where the newly chosen Carnival Queen was crowned. Entertainment from bands, fair-side attractions, swimming competitions, exhibitions and plays lasted over a whole weekend.

The first carnival was staged in 1946 as part of the Victory celebrations in Cumnock and was so successful that it became an annual event in June or July every year. The Carnival Queen was traditionally chosen at a beauty contest at a local dance and this continued up until 1960 when the Queen was chosen from local schoolgirls. The last traditional Cumnock Carnival was in 1974 where due to lack of volunteers the tradition fell by the wayside. Cumnock Gala then took it's place in 1985 and in 2010 there was a revival of the traditional Cumnock Carnival, although not attracting the thousands of revellers that it enjoyed in its heyday.

Below we have researched most of the years through Chronicle archives, film, programmes and actual photographs of the events, many of which have been donated by members including Mary Little (photos), Janet Smith (Programmes + photos), Bobby Grierson (research and photos), Robert Stevenson (Photos) and Garry Savage (Newspaper clippings).

We will update gaps when we have new information.

Scottish Screen Archive's Film 'CUMNOCK CELEBRATION, JUNE 1951' by John Nimmo have agreed to share the link on their website: Thank you Scottish Screen Archive!


Queen: Netta Smith crowned by Mrs Herbert Morton, wife of Cumnock Picture House owner.
Ladies in Waiting: Cathie McHugh of 87 Wylie Crescent, Cumnock and May Rutherford.

Cathie McHugh in garden at Wylie Crescent
  • 1949_McHugh,_Catherine-Wylie_cresc
    Cathie McHugh in garden at Wylie Crescent
  • 1949_McHugh_Catherine-1st_lady_in_waiting_Cumnock_carnival1
    Cathie McHugh, Netta Smith, May Rutherford
  • 1949_McHugh,_Catherine-1st_lady_in_waiting_Cum_carn_2
    Cathie McHugh, Netta Smith, May Rutherford
  • Queen_1949
    Netta Smith crowning
  • Carnival_Queen_1949
    Crowning platform
  • Changue_carnival_Float_1949
    Changue float


Queen: Jean Thomson crowned by Mrs G Fredericks
Ladies in Waiting: Irene Allan and Stella Kelly.
Kilted Pages: Walter and William Ritchie.
Herald: David Shearer.



This was the Festival of Britain celebration

Queen: Betty Warnock crowned by Jean M Hunter of the Holm, Cumnock.
Ladies in Waiting: Stella Kelly of Gray Street, Cumnock and Jessie Anderson of Cairn Farm.

Kilted Pages: David Bell and Bobby Mitchell.

Flower Girls: Brenda Clark and Doreen Copeland.

CHG member Mary Little found some of these photographs many years ago in the old rubbish tip at Skares. Some other photos from Bobby Mitchell and the programme by Jenny Smith.

The link to the Scottish Screen Archive's Film 'CUMNOCK CELEBRATION, JUNE 1951' by John Nimmo:










Queen: Catherine Lindsay of Herdston Place, Cumnock crowned by Mrs Hannah, Glasgow.
Ladies in Waiting: Jean Kay of Wylie Crescent, Cumnock and Elsi Hodge of Glenlamont, Cumnock.


Queen: Moira Penrose of Keir Hardie Hill, Cumnock crowned by Edith Lindsay of Ayr Road, Cumnock.
Ladies in Waiting: Eva Stewart of Netherthird and Jean Kay of Wylie Crescent, Cumnock.
Train Bearers: Maureen Carballo and Margaret Currie.
Kilted Pages: William Simpson and Billy Falconer.
Herald: John Pearson.


Queen: Margaret Taylor of 53 Wylie Crescent, Cumnock crowned by Mrs Thomson of Newton Mearns, Glasgow.
Ladies in Waiting: Jean Morrison of 26 Carsgailloch Avenue, Netherthird and Maisie Skilling of 8 Elizabeth Crescent, Cumnock.



Queen: Betty Etherington of 1 Hearth Place, Cumnock crowned by Mrs G Connell, Ayr Road, Cumnock.
Ladies in Waiting: Jean Muir of 5 Logan Avenue, Logan and Carolyn Auld of 21 Carsgailloch Avenue, Netherthird.
Train Bearers: Linda McCall and Janet Irvine.
Kilted Pages: Robert Gilmour and Billy Millar.
Herald: Robert Adamson.


Queen: Anne Murray of Carsgailloch Avenue, Netherthird crowned by Margaret Henderson of the Holm, Cumnock.
Ladies in Waiting: Maureen Maxwell Cairnscadden Road, Craigens and Betty Smith of Glen Avenue, Logan.
Train Bearers: Marion Grierson of 36 Herdston Place, Cumnock and Sandra Scott.
Kilted Pages: John McGhee and Alexander Dunlop.
Herald: Robin Laughlin.



Queen: Helen Stewart of 19 Warrick Drive, Cumnock crowned by Marlene Sloane of Giffnock.
Ladies in Waiting: Jean Veitch of 59 Wylie Crescent, Cumnock and Margaret White of 36 Barrhill Road, Cumnock.
Train Bearers: Ann Young and Sadie Rush.
Kilted pages: Gordon Leman ?
Herald: ?


Queen: Margaret Brown



Queen: Sylvia Bain of the Glebe, Cumnock crowned by Mrs Mary Jolly of Keir Hardie Hill, Cumnock.
Ladies in Waiting: Francis Auld of Netherthird and Josephine Ballantyne of Logan.
Train Bearers: Margaret McCall, Joyce Clark.
Kilted Pages: James Kelso,  Don Robson.
Herald: Crawford Foster.



Queen: Vivien Steele

The Carnival Queen was chosen from the 3rd year at Cumnock Academy. Girls were nominated from 3rd and 4th tear classes and a secret ballot held. Viviene was in year 3b.

Queen: Maria Quadri of 72 Ayr Road, Cumnock crowned by Moira Anderson of the White Heather Club.
Ladies in Waiting: Alexis Anderson of 16 McQueen Avenue, Cumnock and Nancy Owens of 44 Emrys Avenue, Cumnock.
Train Bearers: Isobel Libberton, Joanne B, and Mary Woods, Yvonne Johnstone.
Kilted Pages: Brain Paterson, Alexander Simpson, Victor Kwiatkowski, and Robert Esquierdo.
Herald: Andrew Paterson.



Queen: Wilma Lennox from Glen Avenue, Logan crowned by Rosemarie Frankland former Miss UK and World.




Queen: Eileen O'Hare.

Ladies in Waiting: Christine Scoular and Margaret Richmond.

Herald: Willie Blane.

No info yet.

Queen: ?

Ladies in waiting: Carol Dunsmuir and Margaret McCall.

Queen: Eleanor Harkness of 34 Boswell Crescent, Logan crowned by Mrs A McKechnie of Barshare – Carnival Queen 1948.
Ladies in Waiting: Teresa Martin of 10 Craigens Road, Netherthird and Helen Burns 47 Craigens Road, Netherthird.



No info yet.

No info yet.

Queen: Rona Cleland from Drumbrochan Road.

Queen: May Richards

Queen: Sharon McBride
Ladies in Waiting: Samantha Steele and Helen McHugh.



Queen: Rachel Milligan.