St Andrews ‘May Dip’ celebrations were no party for residents

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REVELLERS who took part in this year’s St Andrews ‘May Dip’ have been criticised for their behaviour.

The Citizen was contacted this week by people complaining about the conduct of some of those who took part in the traditional event over the bank holiday weekend.

A resident living near the East Sands said he was unable to sleep because of loud music being played through the night at the event.

And a visitor to the town said he witnessed some students smashing bottles and urinating in public on Sunday afternoon.

The student celebration of May Day was held on the East Sands this year after the traditional venue, the Castle Sands, was closed recently owing to a landslide.

Every year people gather on the beach at dawn on May 1 to take a dip in the sea. The event is not organised by the university but has developed over the years as a tradition amongst some students.

However, one man who contacted the Citizen said he was ‘‘disgusted by the behaviour of some of a large gathering of drunken male revellers.”

“The group appeared to be having a party with no regard or respect for anyone else enjoying the pleasant weather and ambience of the beach and harbour.

“It would seem that the celebration was well organised with large volumes of alcohol being consumed, resulting in many of the group openly exposing themselves and urinating followed by the deliberate smashing of empty champagne bottles with no thought of the consequences of the shards of glass on anyone walking barefoot in the sand.”

The man, who declined to be identified, claimed one of the group identified himself as a member of the university’s Kate Kennedy Club. The Citizen contacted the club this week but nobody was available for comment.

Another local resident said he contacted the police to complain that he couldn’t sleep owing to loud music being played throughout the night.

He added: “I would be interested to hear who approved this event on the East Sands and who was responsible for granting a licence to play loud music from midnight until beyond 6.30 in the morning with no prior communication with the local community.

“The disturbance meant local residents were prevented from sleeping throughout the night. I reported the noise to the police and asked for some action to reduce the volume.’’

North East Fife Community Inspector Garry Muir said: “A complaint has been received in relation to issues stemming from the May Dip and our response to it.

‘‘In accordance with force policy an investigation is currently under way and it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”