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Plan for sculpture to celebrate Kirkcaldy’s 700-year-old market revealed

Kirkcaldy's historic Links Market could soon be celebrated in the form of a new public artwork.
Kirkcaldy's historic Links Market could soon be celebrated in the form of a new public artwork.

Plans for a new public sculpture designed to celebrate Kirkcaldy’s historic 700-year-old Links Market have been unveiled.

If approved, metal artwork in the shape of a carousel horse is to be cited on the town’s Esplanade.

It would be adjacent to where Scotland’s premier fun fair, also Europe’s longest fairground, takes place annually.

A two metre high sculpture has been proposed by Kirkcaldy West Community Council with it being positioned close to Basin Car Park.

Links market traced back to 1304

The origins of the famous Links Market can be traced back to 1304 when Edward I signed a charter allowing Kirkcaldy to stage a three-day trading fair during Easter.

A bird’s-eye view of Europe’s longest street fair.

Tens of thousands flock to the seafront every year to enjoy the modern day equivalent which now takes over much of the Esplanade over a six day period.

Stewart Ness, the community council’s chairman, said the sculpture is meant to celebrate more than 700 years of fairground heritage as well as the town’s links with the Showman’s Guild.

An artist’s drawing of how the carousel horse will look.

“We’ve wanted to do it for a long time and now we have submitted the plans and the design of the sculpture to planners,” explained Stewart.

Scotland’s premier fun fair

“The Links Market is a hugely important part of the town’s identity and history and we want to recognise and celebrate that.

“And having a carousel horse is an instantly recognisable image of the traditional fairground attraction.

“Positioning it on the raised strip between the Esplanade and Basin Car Park is also ideal as it will be within the heart of where the attractions are every year.”

Stewart said the £2,500 project has also received the backing of the local community as well as the Showman’s Guild.

And he hopes that if given the go ahead the sculpture could act as a catalyst for more public art along the sea front.

Tens of thousands of people flock to the six day Links Market event each year.

“There’s a lot of potential to be more creative along the Esplanade especially given the recently completed improvements.

“Who knows, the carousel horse could trigger similar projects which would be wonderful.”

Kirkcaldy’s Esplanade has just benefitted from a £1.4m upgrade.

Controversy

Meanwhile, if approved the carousel horse artwork would be cited just yards away from where a public artwork by celebrated artist, David Mach, brought controversy in 2015.

That sculpture hit the headlines when Kirkcaldy councillor Neil Crooks branded the abstract work an “embarrassment” and looking like a “whale’s penis”.

The controversial piece, which cost around £35,000, was removed less than three years later after it was first installed because of safety fears when parts of it fell off.

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