Are we set for sunshine on the Links Market?

Organisers are hoping for good weather when the market comes to town next week.
Organisers are hoping for good weather when the market comes to town next week.

Organisers of Europe’s longest street fair are hoping rumours of a spring heatwave in Scotland will come true next week when the Links Market rolls into town.

The annual event is back in Kirkcaldy once again for six days from Wednesday (April 18) to the following Monday (April 23).

There will be rides for all ages to enjoy.

There will be rides for all ages to enjoy.

Some weather forecasters have predicted an area of high pressure which will draw up warm air from the Mediterranean – just in time for the market arriving.

But Billy Hammond, chairman of the Showmen’s Guild Scottish Section, isn’t convinced Kirkcaldy will be basking in hot sunshine, but said he will be happy if the weather stays dry.

He said: “We are hoping for some better weather than we have had up until now.

“I am not sure about a mini heatwave but it has got to be better than snow!

Provost Jim Leishman with Billy Hammond, chairman of the Showmen's Guild Scottish Section, at last year's event.

Provost Jim Leishman with Billy Hammond, chairman of the Showmen's Guild Scottish Section, at last year's event.

“As long as it stays dry that’s the main thing.”

Mr Hammond revealed that extra security measures will be in place once again, the same as last year.

For 2017, the Scottish Showmen’s Guild revealed it was extending road closures to block vehicles from driving along the Promenade into the fair – to prevent an incident like the terrorist attack in Nice, France.

Mr Hammond revealed the group has held discussions with police, but assured once again there was no intelligence of a threat to the market.

How things have changed: Archive image of the Links Market.

How things have changed: Archive image of the Links Market.

Security for the event will be provided by both a private firm, which works inside the market, and the police, who will cover the boundaries.

He said: “We are having extra security in place the same as we did last year.

“With any large events we have to take into consideration extra security because of potential terrorist activities, so the two ends of the promenade will be blocked so no vehicles can drive in from either side.

“It worked well last year so we are having these measures in place once again.”

The Links Market, which is still thought to be Europe’s longest street fair, dates back over 700 years and first started in 1304.

Mr Hammond said over 250,000 people have come to the market the past two years.

He said: “The event will have something for everybody - there will be over 100 attractions for children, adults and plenty of entertainment for families.”

Stephen Duffy, Kirkcaldy parks, streets and open spaces team manager at Fife Council, said it expects up to 8000 people to be in attendance at peak times.

He said: “The road closures will start at Charlotte Street through to the entrance of Morrisons and will be in force from 10pm on Saturday, April 14 until 4pm on Wednesday, April 25.

“Fife Council is working closely with the emergency services and the Showmen’s Guild to ensure visitors have a great experience at the event.”

Meanwhile, locals are also invited to pop along to Kirkcaldy Links Market and Model Show exhibition, which is run with the Fairground Association of Great Britain.

The fairground models will be on display in Linktown Church Hall on Saturday, April 21 from 10am until 4pm.

Admission is free.