There was a young lady called Helena...

Helena Nelson
Helena Nelson

The Kingdom’s towns and villages are featured in a new book of limericks published by a Glenrothes poet.

Helena Nelson, who runs independent poetry press HappenStance Press, has compiled a number of humorous poems into her book, ‘Fife Place Name Limericks’.

The book contains a set of illustrated poems with local place notes to give the reader more information about the location in case they have not come across it before.

And Helena has included a vast range of places covering the whole of the region in her limericks, from Newport-on-Tay to Inverkeithing, and North Queensferry.

The book also features rhymes about Glenrothes, Markinch, East Wemyss, Crail, Ballingry, Freuchie and Windygates among others.

The former English and communication tutor at Fife College said: “The very original of it dates back a long time, to some time in the early 1990s.

“Fife Libraries ran a competition asking people to write a limerick using a Fife place name.

“I remember entering that competition.

“I didn’t win it, but I wrote quite a lot for it.

“For this book, I went back to the original ones and have written more.

“Some places are really difficult because they don’t rhyme.

“The word Glenrothes doesn’t rhyme with anything, that’s why I ended up using words like ‘mothes’ and ‘frothes’.

“But sometimes the ones that don’t rhyme are the ones that are more fun to do.

“I’ve got lots more that are not in the book.

“I have written some rude ones, but I didn’t put any of them in the book.”

The illustrations were drawn by Gillian Rose, Helena’s daughter who is an art teacher at Balwearie High School in Kirkcaldy.

Helena’s love of poetry goes back many years.

She said: “I’ve written since the age of seven and my first book was published in 2001.

“It’s something I’ve enjoyed from that young age.

“I write in a range of styles from the very silly to the very serious.”

And Helena will be reading from the ‘Fife Place Name Limericks’ at a Fife Writes evening event at the Lomond Hills Hotel in Freuchie on June 26.

Fife Writes is a new writing group recently set up by Create in Fife in association with Fife Cultural Trust.

‘Fife Place Name Limericks’ is available from Fife branches of Waterstones, J&G Innes in St Andrews and online at