Ceilidh flash mob mean business on Kirkcaldy High Street

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Shoppers on Kirkcaldy High Street looked on in surprise when a couple of dozen dancers held an impromptu ceilidh at the entrance to the Mercat Shopping Centre.

The flash mob was the idea of students at Fife College who are currently studying for a National Certificate in Business at the St Brycedale campus.

Accompanying the dancers, who performed the Gay Gordons, Virginia Reel and others, was class tutor Bernie Hewitt and accomplished accordion player who can regularly be seen busking on the High Street in Kirkcaldy and Dunfermline.

The students organised the flash mob when asked plan and run a project at short notice to finish off their course.

Bernie said: “The whole idea of the unit is that you take on and do something that you’ve never done before. You describe your feelings beforehand, do it, and then write a short report about yourself afterwards.”

As well as completing part of their college course the group were also collecting money for the charity Combat Stress which Bernie explained was close to his heart.

“I’m ex-forces, I spent 30 years in the army and it was a charity I started supporting whilst I was still serving and have carried on ever since.

“When I left the army I stared busking for Combat Stress and it’s amazing the number of people who will put money in the tin when they see what it’s for.”

The charity supports both serving and former members of the forces who have developed mental health problems as part of their service and Bernie said it can sometimes take up to 15 years after leaving before a veteran will come forward with their problems.

“Sometimes they don’t realise that they have a problem and then when they do there’s that macho thing of not wanting to come forward.

“A rough and tough soldier who’s spent six months being blown up in Afghanistan isn’t going to come forward and admit there’s something wrong with his mind.

“Combat Stress do superb work with them but the problem is money. It takes £16m a year to run.”

Joining the students were members of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society and pupils from Auchmuty High School in Glenrothes. Bernie said that all had “loved it”.

He added: “The students really threw themselves into it and they’ll remember this for the rest of their lives but now they’ve got to go back to class for the boring bit and write it up!”

The group who took part in a ceilidh flash mob on Kirkcaldy High Street

The group who took part in a ceilidh flash mob on Kirkcaldy High Street

You can learn more about Combat Stress, which has a 24 hour helpline on 0800 138 1619, at the website www.combatstress.org.uk.