Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

East 17 to entertain crowds at Scottish Coal Carrying Championship in Kelty this weekend

East 17 in their heyday.
East 17 in their heyday.

Nineties pop sensations East 17 will lead the entertainment at Scotland’s only coal carrying championship on Saturday.

The Stay Another Day singers are top of the bill at the first Kelty coal race in five years.

And they will be among a host of musicians brought in to entertain hundreds of spectators before and after the gruelling competition.

The 2013 event.

The bizarre event sees hardy competitors heft heavy bags of coal up the village’s main street.

It’s been described as a test of both athleticism and endurance and participants have been known to collapse along the way.

Male competitors carry 50kg bags on their backs over the 1km uphill route.

Women have it slightly easier with 25kg bags and there are also races for kids and fancy dress mascots.

East 17 coal race
The mascots race.

Organiser Michael Boyle wants a party atmosphere and hopes the crowd will join in the fun.

“It’s all systems go and everything is coming together,” he said.

East 17 and other entertainment

East 17 will take to the stage at Kelty Community Centre on Main Street after the races.

They have a new line-up, with Terry Coldwell the only original member left.

But while it’s a far cry from the heady days of the Smash Hits Poll Winners Party of 1994, they can still expect a decent-sized audience.

“There’s always a huge crowd at this event,” said Michael.

“The streets are always lined with spectators and they love to see the entertainment.”

Other bands include Perth’s Last Orders and the McAndrews Sisters.

Live music will also help kick off the main event, thanks to the likes of Kingdom Brass Band and Methil and District Pipe Band.

A funfair in the grounds of Kelty Primary School and a heritage bus tour of the village are also organised.

Coal Carrying Championship

More than 50 brave participants have signed up to the men’s race this year.

It’s one of four events and stewards will be on alert to keep crowds safe if any of the 110lb bags come crashing down.

Prizes will be presented by former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Liberal Democrat MSP and former coal race runner-up Willie Rennie and Labour MSP Alex Rowley.

Mr Rennie was Dunfermline and West Fife MP when he took part.

Michael launched the Scottish Coal Carrying Championship in 1995 and it ran for 21 years before hitting funding difficulties

However, money became available this year as the country began its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s the only coal carrying championship in Scotland and is second only to the World Coal Carrying Championship, in Gawthorpe, West Yorkshire.

And the Scottish Parliament formally recognised it as the national championship in 2013, acknowledging its links to Kelty’s rich mining heritage.

Road closures and toilets

A number of roads will be closed in the centre of Kelty from 11.45am on Saturday.

Oakfield Street and Main Street will reopen at 1.45pm.

There will be no parking in the grounds of the community centre.

Action from one of the junior races.

Toilets are available in the community centre and at Flawless Beauty in Main Street.

Meanwhile, competitions start with the mascots’ race at noon, from the old RBS building in Main Street.

Children’s races leave from the same spot at 12.10pm.

And they are followed by the senior ladies and men’s events from Flower Street/Oakfield Street.

All heats finish at Kelty Primary School and the prize presentation is at 1.15pm.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]