‘Foosty’ village hits out at author’s snide jibes

St Monans, East Neuk, Fife.

St Monans, East Neuk, Fife.

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ST Monans is as welcoming as a “foosty bag of peanuts” and is in need of a “good kick up the backside”.

So says tourism writer Edward Burns in a blog following a visit to the East Neuk burgh.

And it was its sleepy nature in particular which annoyed the writer after he arrived to find advertised tourism hotspots closed.

Writing on www.thegoodsoupguide.co.uk, he claimed the village’s windmill, church, heritage collection and a café were all locked.

He said: “When a town allegedly has so-called tourist attractions then the very least that town can do is properly manage them to avoid visitor disappointment.

“St Monans windmill is only properly open for two months each year.

“Yet there is a large roadside sign that suggests it may be a top-notch tourist attraction.”

But locals have been quick to defend St Monans and, while secretary of the community council Ruth Craib admitted the points raised about closures were valid, she claimed there was more to life in the village.

She said: “There are people who work very hard in St Monans to make it what it is.

“We’ve had to put a cap on our community choir numbers, we have an arts festival and a fantastic Sea Queen event.

“Over the past five years community spirit has been really good.”

Councillor Donald Macgregor batted away Burns’ comments, saying he must have been feeling a bit “fed up” when writing the piece.

He said: “He does not seem to appreciate that the East Neuk coastal villages are like a string of pearls strung on a necklace, and that it is unreasonable to expect all shopping facilities in each.”

Councillor Elizabeth Riches said that knocking things was “easy”, and added: “It’s disappointing when guides use language that can be damaging to a community without thinking through what they have to say.”