Lights on in Markinch and Leslie!

Carols at Markinch. Pics: FPA
Carols at Markinch. Pics: FPA

The countdown to Christmas is underway after communities in Markinch and Leslie gathered to witness the annual lights switch-on.

In Markinch on Sunday, around 400 locals were entertained by the Tullis Russell Mills Band and Markinch District Community Choir with the event compered by Darren Stenhouse of Kingdom FM.

The gathering then watched guest of honour, the former Markinch Primary School head teacher Sandra Forbes, who retired in August, conduct the fourth official switch-on ceremony of the town’s festive decorations.

A family party was held in Drummonds Hotel - formerly the Laurel Bank Hotel - where local DJ Judd Clark entertained the crowd.

Councillor John Beare, chairman of Markinch Community Trust, which organised the event, told the Gazette he had been delighted by the turn out.

He said: “After all the work that went on behind the scenes, it is really gratifying for the Trust and its volunteers, that so many of residents came out and supported the event. The planning for next year has already begun!”

Judd Clark, secretary of the Trust added:”We are especially grateful for the choir, band and all the local traders who supported the event.

“We are also hugely grateful to the community of Markinch who participated, it makes all the preparations worthwhile.”

On Monday, Leslie switched on its lights - and honoured its citizen of the year.

Kay Morrison, Depute Provost of Fife and Glenrothes councillor, made the presentation of a silver salver to Helen Frew for her charity and fundraising work for the elderly over the last three decades.

“The ceremony is always a feel-good community event and one that really does mark the start of the festive period in the town,” said Cllr Morrison. “The school children were in fine voice once again and had everyone joining in.”

The gathering was entertained by pupils from Leslie Primary School who sang a number of carols before Mrs Frew was given the honour of conducting the official lights switch-on.

“I’m honoured to have been chosen on behalf of the Old Folks Committee to switch on the lights - Christmas has begun!” said Helen.