For the love of Dysart – tributes to Councillor Kay Carrington

Kay at the Dysart Windmill which she helped to get restored
Kay at the Dysart Windmill which she helped to get restored

Tributes have been paid to Kay Carrington, the councillor who spent the majority of her life campaigning to improve her beloved Dysart.

She passed away, aged 61, on Saturday at the Victoria Hospital from ovarian cancer.

Born and bred in Dysart, Kay was educated at the local primary school then Viewforth High, and during her time as a councillor she fought long and hard for a new school to replace the outdated Viewforth.

She was delighted to be asked to lay the foundation stone for the new Windmill Community Campus and to see it being built and opened in August.

She worked in a bank in Burntisland and then at Meikle’s carpet factory as a receptionist, before returning to education, attending Fife College to gain qualifications enabling her to work in the insurance industry.

She got into politics through her work with the Dysart Regeneration Forum and became a councillor in 2007.

During her two terms, she made a valuable contribution to the wider work of the authority and to Kirkcaldy, serving as spokesman for economy and planning, and vice chairman of Kirkcaldy area committee.

She was actively involved in local organisations such as Kirkcaldy4All, Kirkcaldy YMCA and in her own community of Dysart, where she lived in Howard Place and brought up her only son, Leon (32).

As well as the new campus, she campaigned for improvements to Dysart harbour and Dysart windmill and was a staunch supporter of the annual Dysart Gala.

Outside of politics, her big passion was music. She was an avid White Stripes fan, attending many of their concerts around the country and dedicating a wall of her home to the band.

She was delighted when she got to meet her idol, Jack White, before a concert in Glasgow, and in 2013, pupils from Sinclairtown Primary produced a song called ‘Oh Kay’ about her, as part of a project with Kirkcaldy YMCA.

More recently Kay was delighted to welcome her first grandson, Cullen, to the family.

She is survived by Leon, his wife Jolene, brother Leslie and mum and dad Leonard and Marion.

Her funeral will be held at Kirkcaldy crematorium on Friday, December 2 at 10.15am.

This week as a mark of respect, flags have been flying at half mast at both Kirkcaldy’s Town House and Fife House in Glenrothes.


Fife Council leader David Ross: “Kay was a dedicated and committed councillor whose driving force was first and foremost a wish to help people and improve her local community. She was always enthusiastic and optimistic in everything she took on and was involved at the heart of the community she served.”

Gordon Brown, former PM and Kirkcaldy MP: “She was a dedicated, hard-working and compassionate councillor who worked hard to serve the community in which she was born and grew up. She was at home taking up the cases brought to her by local residents and will always be remembered for her optimism, her cheerfulness and her devoted commitment to social justice: she really cared about the people she served.”

Fellow Dysart councillor Lawrence Brown: “It’s a huge loss to Kirkcaldy. A lot of people won’t have realised all of the work she has done as a lot of it was behind closed doors, but she never stopped and was always smiling.”

Cllr Neil Crooks, chairman of Kirkcaldy area committee: “Kay brought a real sense of earthy reality to everything she engaged with while at the same time quietly demonstrating her skills on the employability, economy and tourism agendas where her professional background shone through. Her smile was infectious and in this serious world of politics she always looked for the best in people. Her popularity across the political divide was significant.”