Our eyes tend to glaze over at the promise of yet another university dance. However, hearing the words ‘welly’ and ‘ball’ in the same sentence causes a lot of students to double-take. Every ball has its own persona and a different style separating it from the others. But Welly Ball’s adventurous attire throws a new, and let’s say practical, combination into the mix. Appealing to all fashion lovers, the unique combination of wellington boots and black tie not only relieves girls from the pain induced by their high heels, but also conforms to the theme of the evening, country sports.
Since the very first Welly Ball, the infamous event has become increasingly distanced from its host, St Andrews Clay Pigeon Shooting Club. Historically, the club managed the ball itself, however, over the years a separate committee, placed in charge of purely organising and advertising the ball, has emerged. Despite the success and creativity of its proceeding media promotions, there has been a shift in focus away from the shooting club, obscuring the real purpose and celebrations behind the ball.
Every 9th November, Clay Pigeon Shooting Club invites seasoned shooters from universities all over the UK to compete in the St Andrew’s Shooting Challenge, an event considered to be one of the most prestigious University shooting competitions in the country. The Welly Ball dinner is then held later that evening at Kinkell Byre for the competitors to honour their victories and mourn their loses- usually through copious amounts of champagne. After a series of slurred, albeit moving, speeches by the team captains and a customary recital of ‘God Save the Queen’, dapper gentlemen and dashing ladies immerse in what can only be described as “losing it”.
All that being said, the Welly Ball committee has made the ball an event in and of its own. Whilst still managing to maintain its prestigious reputation, the committee has transformed the evening into a more humble and all inclusive experience. From the delicious hog roast dinner (paired with a complimentary 1/2 bottle of wine) to the after-party filled with dancing and DJs, the 12th annual Welly Ball will cater to all. As always, Kinkell Byre will be beautifully decorated with an abundance of magical fairy lights draped across its two dance floors. This year, dinner guests will be serenaded by romantic Scottish bagpipes on arrival and later entertained by a series of jazz bands. Whilst party-goers can experience special music guests Tolga, Ashton Squire, Wireless and Matt Payne.
Aside from the very much enjoyable prospects of dining and dancing, we arrive at the most important subject, charity. At the heart of almost every university event is the desire to help others- a notion Welly Ball is no stranger to. For the 6th year in a row, Welly Ball is raising funds for the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, a charity that works to raise awareness and support depression in adolescents.
Overall, this year’s event presents students with the chance to attend a ball like no other. So I recommend you leave your heels at home, put your wellies on and get ready to enjoy the festivities, blister free. Follow the Welly Ball page on FaceBook to stay updated with their announcements and ticket sale dates!