Fife mums want to bring back glory days of village gala

Youngster and parents ready to set off on the Welly Walk. (Pic George McLuskie).
Youngster and parents ready to set off on the Welly Walk. (Pic George McLuskie).

Two Fife mums want to bring back the gala glory days of yesteryear in their village , and have set their sights on 2018 to make it happen.

For generations past they were the biggest event in towns and villages across the Kingdom, but in recent years many a community has witnessed the demise of their own gala with the lack of volunteers, money and time all playing their part.

Coaltown mums  Elaine Lawson, left, and Nikki Webster have set up a Gala Committee. (Pic George McLuskie).

Coaltown mums Elaine Lawson, left, and Nikki Webster have set up a Gala Committee. (Pic George McLuskie).

And in the small village community of Coaltown of Balgonie on the outskirts of Glenrothes, there will be no gala parade along the main street this year, as there is nobody willing to organise it.

However, local mums have clubbed together to rally the community in a bid to get the gala resurrected for next year, and they already have the support of many Coaltown youngsters who put their best foot forward in the first of a series of fundraising events at the weekend.

A Welly Walk organised by Coaltown mums Nikki Webster and Elaine Lawson proved a big success and has already made them even more determined to succeed.

“The village gala was one of the main events in the community each year and as a kid something you all looked forward to,” Nikki told the Gazette.

“It’s a real shame there won’t be one this year so we felt we needed to act because to lose that tradition, especially in such a small community such as Coaltown of Balgonie, would be extremely sad,“ she added.

So, having recently formed a new gala fundraising committee, Nikki and fellow mum Elaine, are aiming to rally support among fellow Coaltown residents and raise enough money to stage the event again next year.

“While it’s sad that there will not be a gala this year, we have to be realistic,” Nikki explained.

“That’s why we want to get the community council, councillors and the school behind us, I’m sure we can do it.”

Around 30 children, accompanied by parents, took part in the Welly Walk through the village on Saturday.

And their efforts have already got the backing of local councillors.

“I’ve had the privilege to attend and judge some of the competitions at the gala over the years as well as attending with my own family so I was delighted to hear a new committee had been formed,” said Cllr Ian Sloan, who attended Saturday’s event.

“Galas are a long held tradition and a great way of the community coming together so wish them every success.”