Fifers had fun in the sun - or lack of it - at the weekend. Dunfermline's annual children's gala saw hundreds of youngsters from local primary schools parade through the streets to the sound of music on Saturday. Led by three pipe bands and five brass bands, the theme of this year's parade was musicals and youngsters and their parents were all dressed up for a superGALAfragilisticexpealidocious experience. Stiltwalkers, theatre groups and children's entertainers also took part in the extravaganza which ended with a fun afternoon in Pittencrieff Park. Kelty also hosted its summer gala, which saw a parade make its way from Cocklaw Street to Central Park where there was a funfair and an array of games. In Falkland, a festival street fair dominated the village centre where there were a range of activities, including falconry displays and medieval re-enactments. Visit Falkland spokesman Stuart Pearson said: "It's great to see everyone coming together to enjoy themselves in a place that they all love." Meanwhile, large crowds lined the Tay for Newburgh's annual coble boat race. The event, which sees pairs of rowers race in traditional rowing boats, is a highlight of the town's social calendar. The first boat race is thought to have taken place in 1880 between youths and men who worked in the salmon fishing industry.
Dunfermline's Carnegie Hall is celebrating eight dazzling decades of entertainment. Its reputation may be overshadowed by its famous counterpart in New York but the Fife landmark has attracted some huge stars over its 80 years in existence. Actor Ewan MacGregor, comedians Craig Hill and Daniel Sloss and musicians KT Tunstall, Barbara Dickson, Richard Jobson and Deacon Blue are among those who have graced the stage in recent years. A number of them have offered congratulations to the venue on reaching its oak anniversary. To celebrate, the theatre is offering two weeks of events coinciding with the October school holidays. On Friday, it launched a free 80 Moments In Time exhibition to show off a collection of memorabilia from the archives. The ribbon was cut by Fife Provost Jim Leishman, who said: "I have so many great personal memories of the fantastic Carnegie Hall - not only appearing on stage but sitting in the audience watching so many acts over the years. "Kelty Musical Association played a huge part in my life. "I'm delighted to be part of this celebration." On Friday evening, Oscar-winning producer Gareth Ellis Unwin introduced a special screening of The King's Speech. Over the next fortnight, events will include a talk by Andrew Carnegie authority Sharron McColl on the "other" Carnegie Hall, a costumed family film day, a ceilidh, screening of Laurel and Hardy's Way Our West and four free movie afternoons. Commissioned in the early 20th Century to give the town a public hall for the arts, the 1930s art deco theatre was designed by local architect Thomas Rutherford. It was named in honour of Carnegie and opened in 1937 with a programme of musical recitals and children's entertainment. Dunfermline District Council took over its management in 1974 and two years later Billy Connolly recorded his Atlantic Bridge album at both Carnegie Halls. For more information visit the box office at www.onfife.com/venues/carnegie-hall.
Ambitious plans to help regenerate a Fife community should be drawn up within weeks. Neglected areas of Buckhaven are in line for a £24,000 facelift thanks to an intensive planning exercise involving local people. The Buckhaven Links! project, led by members of Planning Aid Scotland (PAS), has come up with ideas to spruce up the coastal town's foreshore and centre. It includes suggestions to attract more people to the waterfront by installing paths, raising grass embankments and creating new artwork. Proposals for Randolph Street involve sprucing up empty shopfronts with shutter art and cleaning dirty pavements. More benches, flower beds and art are also proposed. The final chance for the public to have their say was the end of April and PAS are now working on a masterplan which should be complete by the middle of the year. The entire process was kick-started by local environmental charity Clear Buckhaven, which carries out work in the community at its own expense thanks to a band of volunteers. It was awarded £20,000 of funding to carry out any work contained in the final plan and Fife Council contributed another £4,000. Clear secretary Allen Armstrong said locals had been keen to be involved and had come up with several impressive suggestions. "There were some more ambitious things that won't see the light of day like an open air theatre and an education centre," he said. "But other suggestions will certainly be do-able." He added: "We've always talked about the foresaken foreshore in Buckhaven, a town built around the sea and fishing. "The harbour has gone and we're left with a sterile green desert but it's a fabulous location with potential." Mr Armstrong said the charette fitted in well with the Scottish Government policy of encouraging local people to do more for their own communities. The Buckhaven plan follows a similar exercise in Leven two years ago which saw proposals drawn up to improve the shorehead and links between the town centre and the retail park.
Parents of anti-social youngsters could be called to crunch talks with police as part of a crackdown on bad behaviour. Officers in Dunfermline have been writing to mums and dads to inform them if their child is spoken to about unacceptable conduct in public. But they have warned the next step will be face-to-face meetings if the behaviour persists. Chief Inspector Irene Ralston said parents had a "key role" and should know where their children were going at night. Police have been carrying out resource-intensive operations involving community wardens and safer communities officers at weekends. Dunfermline bus station is among the areas targeted and councillors have also voiced fears about the dilapidated Pilmuir Works building in the centre of town, which has become a magnet for some children. Councillor Neale Hanvey said the eyesore, now in the hands of receivers, was of almost universal concern. "Inside is a death trap. It's in a dreadful state of repair," he said. "There are huge hazards and part of the roof has gone. "Kids managed to break in the week before last and threw a fire extinguisher from a second floor window onto Pilmuir Street. "How that didn't hit a car or a pedestrian is a miracle really." Mr Hanvey said his main concern was if a child entered the building alone and became injured. "There would be no way for them to raise the alarm and get help. It's really worrying," he said. Chief Inspector Ralston said there had been ongoing issues with youths in Dunfermline and south west Fife for some time. "There is an element of displacement where they move from place to place," she said. "They hang around the bus station at night and we're working collectively to tackle it." She added: "We have been speaking to kids - there are large groups of them -and taking their names. "Last weekend we got 43 letters sent out to parents in this area and the south west Fife area." Ms Ralston said diversionary activities had been introduced to give the teenagers involved more to do. "We have deployed a fortnightly street football pitch into Chalmers Street car park and this has proven to be a huge success," she said.
Kirkcaldy will turn pink next month as Scotland's newest Pride parade gets under way. Hundreds of members of the LGBTI community are expected to march behind a pipe band as the celebration of diversity kicks off on Saturday July 1. And up to 2,000 people could gather in the town square at the end of the parade where seven hours of entertainment and information-sharing is planned. Marchers will meet outside the Cupcake Coffee Box on the High Street at 12.45pm and will be ready to go by 1pm. With many carrying banners and rainbow flags, they will walk along the pedestrianised High Street, up Whytescauseway and into Wemyssfield before stopping in front of the town house. Stuart Duffy of Pink Saltire, one of the organisations behind the spectacle, said a huge festival-themed, family-friendly event would then be staged, hosted by drag queen Nancy Clench. "There will be entertainment with a community feel and an LGBTI theme," he said. "Local bands and headline acts will be announced over the weekend and into Monday and there will also be fun for kids in a family zone." Further entertainment will be on offer at the nearby Adam Smith Theatre, which is being used as a satellite venue. "That will be a hub for young people and a special youth zone will be created there," said Stuart. A safe place and quiet zone will be opened at New Volunteer House in East Fergus Place. Stuart added: "It's open to absolutely everybody.The hashtag we will be using will be #beproudbeyou. It's not too political. It's about having the confidence to come out and be who you are and be respected." As well as promoting diversity, organisers believe the festival will give local businesses a boost. "It's a big deal for the town," said Stuart. "It will bring people into the town centre so there will be an economic impact as well. "Some cafes will open for Pride breakfasts in the morning before the parade." Permission for the parade was given by Fife Council on May 24 and is in line with its commitment to work with LGBTI groups to develop appropriate policies in schools and across council services to address discrimination.
Six new £1 million apartments are being created on Scotland's most expensive street. The Scores in St Andrews, which leads to the first tee of the Old Course, boasts an average house price of £2.2m. But it seems the eye-watering price tags are not putting off potential buyers as two of the new properties have already been snapped up. The luxury two and three bedroom apartments have become available thanks to the transformation of a former nursing home by two award-winning companies. Eastacre Investments from St Andrews and Dundee-based Andrew Black Design are renovating the imposing Craigmount home. It was originally built as two townhouses in 1898 and ceased trading three years ago. Andrew Black predicted the apartments would become some of the most sought-after accommodation in Scotland. "This is a great opportunity to show off our skills on another high-end residential project," he said. "It's also great to be collaborating with another local business which is so committed to the town and to the preservation of ancient buildings." Iain Landsburgh, a partner with Eastacre, added: "We are creating a fantastic luxury development on what is arguably the best and most enviable street in Scotland. "Everything about these properties, and the views which the buyers will enjoy, are simply unrivalled and we very much look forward to revealing the transformation when the scaffolding comes down later this month." The project began in January and is expected to be complete by January next year. Situated on a cliff top and lined with Victorian detached and terrace houses, The Scores is said to have unbeatable views of St Andrews Bay and the North Sea. The narrow road eventually culminates at the first tee of the world-famous golf course." In December, researchers from the Bank of Scotland said The Scores had knocked addresses in Edinburgh off the top spot to become the most expensive street in Scotland. Balmoral Court in Auchterarder was the only other location in the top 20 outside Scotland's main cities.
A report on how police responded to an incident which ended in the death of a Fife woman will be considered by prosecutors. Scotland's police watchdog has concluded its probe following the death of Elizabeth Bowe from St Andrews on September 20. The Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Pirc) launched an inquiry focusing on the initial police response leading up to the incident. Its findings have now been passed to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) for review. Ms Bowe, who was originally from Levenmouth, was found badly injured in her flat at Bobby Jones Place at around 9pm on Saturday September 17 2016. The 50-year-old was taken to Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, for treatment but died two days later. Her brother, Charles Gordon, 52, has been charged with raping and murdering her. On the day she died, a 51-year-old man appeared at Dundee Sheriff Court charged with assaulting her the previous week. In a statement, a Pirc spokesperson said: "The Police Investigations and Review Commissioner has now concluded its investigation following the death of a 50-year-old woman in relation to an incident at a property in St Andrews on Saturday September 17. "The investigation focused on the initial police response leading up to the incident." The Crown Office confirmed it has received the report. The charges against Gordon allege that he struggled with his sister before putting his hands around her neck. He is accused of putting a dressing gown around her neck and a bag over her head which restricted her breathing. He is also charged with behaving in a threatening manner towards detectives. He has denied the charges and will stand trial at the High Court in Livingston in May. Gordon made a brief appearance before Lord Bonomy at the High Court in Glasgow last week, when it was revealed the case is expected to last up to six days. Ms Bowe is thought to have lived in her flat for around a year.
A 15-year-old boy has been arrested and charged with assault following an attack in Burntisland at the weekend. Police confirmed the move after shocking video footage emerged showing a gang of youngsters rampaging through the town on Saturday night. It comes after another 15-year-old was charged with vandalism during the same incident. A report will be submitted to the children's reporter and the procurator fiscal. The video showed three people being attacked by several boys and girls in the Lammerlaws Road area at around 8.30pm. One of the victims was stamped on as he lay on the ground. Another was kicked and punched. It is thought more than 40 teenagers were involved in the mayhem, which included fighting, vandalism and breaking into property. Police launched an investigation on Saturday night and inquiries into the full circumstances are continuing. Officers said they were following positive lines of enquiry.
One of the main roads through Forfar has been closed following an accident. Two people were hurt in the crash between a Vauxhall Vectra and a Citroen C3 on Queenswell Road at around 8.20pm. https://youtu.be/gc9WJmrIZnE None of the injuries are thought to be life-threatening. Both casualties were taken to Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, after being removed from their vehicles by firefighters. The police and ambulance service were also on the scene. Both vehicles suffered extensive damage in the smash on the A926 at its junction with Craig O Loch Road. Traffic was diverted via Castle Street and Manor Street. A police spokesman said Angus Council were contacted to help clear up a spillage of fuel on the road.
Fire-raisers and litterbugs have turned part of a Fife village into a dumping ground, it has been claimed. Concerned Cardenden residents have called for a halt to illegal dumping and youths gathering under a railway viaduct amid fears for wildlife and the environment. SNP councillor Rosemary Liewald said she had been contacted by a number of people angry about the mess beneath the viaduct, which is next to a footpath leading to Hyndloop Terrace. "Sadly we have seen this area turned into a dumping ground with broken glass, plastics and other debris," she said. "This is also a gathering spot for youths who are involved in fire setting, including burning our constituents' wheelie bins. "This also poses a threat to wildlife and damages our environment." She added: "There is absolutely no excuse for people dumping their rubbish at this site. "It is unsightly and affects the quality of life for local residents." Cardenden Community Council has also expressed serious concern about the situation. Chairman, Dave Roy said the worst case scenario would be pollution of the local environment. "It also encourages others to dump more waste," he said. "People are even throwing bags of rubbish into the area, including used nappies." Mr Roy said the community councillor was looking at preventative measures to stop the dumpers and had asked Fife Council to do everything possible to catch those responsible. "They obviously do not care about the impact of their actions on the environment and the cost to the taxpayer for cleaning it up," he said. A community payback team recently carried out a massive clean-up of the area and, according to Ms Liewald, made a huge difference. "Please, please let's do all we can to keep it this way," she said. "We live here. Let's be proud of where we live." Dawn Jamieson, Fife Council's safer communities team leader, said: "We are aware that this area has had some issues with young people and anti-social behaviour and it is an area already patrolled by our officers. "I'd like to remind the public that anyone caught fly tipping could face a fine of up to £200." Fly tipping can be reported to Fife Council at www.fifedirect.org.uk