Fife town hosts revival of unique coal carrying races

A unique Fife event is set to stage its comeback after a five-year absence.

By Allan Crow
Monday, 23rd August 2021, 5:28 pm
The coal carrying races return to Fife this weekend
The coal carrying races return to Fife this weekend

The Scottish Coal Carrying Championships return to Kelty this weekend with new sponsors on board.

The race - one of only two held in the world - is expected to attract up to 5000 spectators on Saturday.

The event will feature market stalls and entertainment on a day as crowds watch to see who triumphs in the big races.

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Men will carry a 50-kilo bag of coal over 1000m, while women will carry a 25-kilo bag, and children a 15-kilo bag of coal.

The coal carrying event was originally created by Michael Boyle in 1995.

His aim was to create an enduring link between the modern-day village and its rich coal mining heritage.

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Lack of sponsorship between 2016 and 2019, and then the pandemic in 2020, forced its cancellation.

This weekend’s event goes ahead with sponsorship from National Pride, a community interest company, which, together with an investor, has recently bought the 976-acre former coal mine of St Ninians and Loch Fitty, near Dunfermline.

It plans it into an eco-therapy, leisure and wellness park to promote healthy activity, rejuvenation and mental resilience.

National Pride UK are specialists in repurposing and rejuvenating redundant land and buildings, to support local health and social benefit through focused environmentally sustainable economic regeneration projects.

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown together with National Pride UK Directors will present prizes to the race winners.

For further information in the big race can be found online at

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