We want our ancient burgh title back!

Presentation of petition to Cllr Neil Crooks asking for Kinghorn to be reinstated as a Royal Burgh
Presentation of petition to Cllr Neil Crooks asking for Kinghorn to be reinstated as a Royal Burgh

LOCALS have handed over a petition to Fife Council calling for Kinghorn to be reinstated as a Royal Burgh.

Over 600 residents have signed it, demonstrating the strength of feeling behind the claim.

Unlike other Royal Burghs in Fife, Kinghorn has lost its signage to show it was granted Royal and Ancient Burgh Status by Scottish kings long ago.

But now there is a campaign, started by a group of residents, to put this right and restore Kinghorn’s ancient title.

King William the Lion made Kinghorn a Royal Burgh prior to 1172, making it one of the earliest Royal Burghs in Scotland. Although Royal Burghs were legally abolished in 1975 when local government was re-organised, the title is still used by some communities.

Kinghorn Community Council believes the title is an important part of the town’s living heritage.

With the backing of the Kinghorn Historical Society and supported by the community council, the petition was presented to councillor Neil Crooks, chairman of the Council’s Kirkcaldy area committee, on Tuesday to seek a positive outcome when the committee considers the Kinghorn community’s request.

Catherine Melvin, speaking on behalf of the petitioners, said: “We feel very strongly that Kinghorn should have its ancient title restored.

Town pride

‘‘We are very proud of our town and this is an important part of our history that should be allowed to live on.”

Jim Alison of the Kinghorn Historical Society said: “We were honoured to be asked to support the petition. Local businesses and staff at the community centre have helped us achieve 600 signatures within a short space of time. Hopefully this move by local people will encourage Fife Council to act.”  Chris Mitchell, chairman of Kinghorn Community Council, said: “We are a strong and vibrant community with deep roots in our history.

‘‘We want people entering Kinghorn, using our facilities, and dealing with the community council to recognise our heritage as one of the features that make our town such a great and interesting place.”

Mike Melville, Fife Council democratic services, said: “Royal Burghs were abolished under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 and replaced by the district and regional councils from 1975.

‘‘These were subsequently abolished in 1996 and Fife Council became the authority.

‘‘However, a number of community councils do continue to include ‘Royal Burgh’ in their official title.

‘‘There is a process for changing the names of community councils. Whilst Royal Burgh status cannot be reinstated, if a community council formally agrees to change its name it will be considered by officers and unless controversial, would be adopted in the next revision of the scheme which is every few years.”