IN SEPTEMBER 1938, Queen Mary, mother of George VI, paid a visit to Alloa as the honoured guest of Walter and Violet Erskine, the Earl and Countess of Mar and Kellie.

She had been invited to lunch with the Erskines at Alloa House on Friday, September 9.

However, on her way to the town, she stopped at the Kincardine Bridge, spending half an hour there inspecting it.

She was welcomed by Edward Bruce, 10th Earl of Elgin and Lord Lieutenant of Fife, then presented to his wife Lady Katherine Elgin, and James Boyd, the chief engineer of the bridge.

The swing span did a full circle then the royal party left to the cheers of waving crowds and headed to Alloa.

Having travelled through Clackmannan, Queen Mary arrived at Alloa House shortly after one o'clock by the east entrance, where she was greeted by Earl and Countess of Mar.

Among the guests waiting were the Tsar and Tsaritsa of Bulgaria, Princess Alice, and Lord George and Lady Violet Balfour of Burleigh.

Once the Dowager Queen had finished the lunch, she planted a tree near to the house to commemorate her initial visit there some years before.

Along with the other guests, except the Tsar, Boris III and his wife Giovanna, she joined them for a group photograph. She then thanked the Erskines for their hospitality and left in the royal car.

The pavements in the main part of Alloa were crowded with onlookers and well wishers.

The Queen had left the house via Clackmannan Road while the crowds cheered and hoped to get a glimpse of her as she passed.

Ahead of the royal car was the Clackmannan County police car, with both proceeding very slowly.

Behind them followed other cars, containing other royals and personal friends of the Queen who had accompanied her on the visit.

The procession wound its way up Shillinghill, Mill Street and Bank Street, then Bedford Place and Grange Road.

People cheered her, and school children, who had been given a special day off, waved their flags enthusiastically at the royal visitor.

Queen Mary wore a white outfit with marching white hat, white gauntlet gloves and a white umbrella.

She acknowledged the crowds with a smile and a wave.

The entourage then made its way to Cambus, where again large crowds including school children from Tullibody, had gathered, then they made their way to Stirling where she was formally received at Stirling Castle by Erskine, the hereditary Keeper of the Castle.