Coffee mornings and sales of work are a familiar part of village life, and have been so for as long as anyone can remember. However, for elegance, decor, entertainment and sheer endurance, modern day versions would compare poorly with a bazaar held here in late Edwardian times.
The bazaar described in the PA (16/7/10 and 20/7/10) was a two-day event staged by the church which still stands in Kirk Wynd. The full report gives even more detail of stall contents etc. than is included here, and can be read in a dossier of 1910 Abernethy News in our local museum in School Wynd .
“Whatever be the activities of the pleasant little village of Abernethy, bazaars are not likely to be one of them. Probably it is just this long abstinence from the bazaar habit which produced the reserve force, sufficient for such a bright and busy sale of work as was held in the Williamson Hall on Friday. “Abernethy U.F. Church has many friends,” said one of the speakers and the truth of this was evidenced by the well-laden stalls and the large number of visitors outwith the limits of Abernethy. The platform was prettily decorated for the occasion with greenery and festoons of gay scarlet carnations. The opening ceremony began with a hymn, Mr John Hunter presiding at the piano, and was followed by prayer from the Rev. Hugh Richmond. Mr David Dow, the Chairman, in a brief practical speech, outlined the object of the bazaar, which was to raise £250 for repairs to the church and manse.......
The stalls, which were artistically draped in art-green, had a wealth of embroidered and knitted goods. At Stall 1 were Mrs Thomson, U.F. Manse, in a pretty linen frock, with trimming of guipure lace, and hat of hyacinth blue straw wreathed with lilac. Mrs James Gray was in black, with vest of black lace over white, and black and silver bonnet with a touch of pink. Stall 2, at which one of the attractions was a guessing competition, had a pretty display of drawn threadwork, and some of these quaint and capacious baskets that are useful as well as ornamental. The Convenors here were Mrs Forbes, in a graceful gown of rose du barri eolienne, and silver and coral embroideries; and Miss Williamson in a green skirt with a cream silk blouse, and a black hat. At Stall 3 were Miss Patterson, Maybank, in a black lace gown over emerald green, with cream lace berthe and black hat; and by Mrs Edward Marr in a combination of white and dark green, and a hat with roses. The glory of a country bazaar is frequently its Produce Stall, and Stall 4 was no exception. Plump chickens reposed beside fresh eggs; country butter, scones, tempting in their flouriness, while amber coloured honey varied the rich tinted jelly. There were also sonsy cakes, and all varieties of toffee and tablet. At this stall were Mrs Dow, Balmanno, in a pretty black and white striped gown; and Miss Bailie, Drumhead, whose toilette prettily combined grey and black.
The Refreshment Room was very daintily set forth, the fireplace veiled by blue and white Canterbury bells. The Convenors were Mrs Wishart and Mrs W Peddie. Mrs Wishart wore a beautiful gown of Indian silk, enhanced with delicate embroidery and Valenciennes lace, a rose du barri scarf and hat of old rose satin straw, trimmed with black and knots of roses.
The second day’s proceedings at Abernethy United Free Church bazaar were opened by the Rev. Archibald Sutherland, York Place, Perth. The Chairman was Mr David Walker, Balgonie. The weather was favourable, and there was a large influx of visitors. Brisk business was done during the day, and by evening the stalls were pretty well depleted of goods.
The total sum drawn for the two days amounted to £420. The sale was very successful in every way The New burgh Brass Band was in attendance throughout the evening and a musical programme was carried out by a number of ladies and gentlemen.”
Note. The sum of £420 in 1910 would be worth £36,750 in today’s money!