Thornton games off as Fife gets ready for Highland Gatherings

Following a break of three years owing to the Covid-19 pandemic the 2022 Highland Games season in Fife is gearing up to make a welcome return.

By Shane Fenton
Tuesday, 10th May 2022, 3:36 pm
Highland dancers at the Burntisland Games. (Pic: George McLuskie)
Highland dancers at the Burntisland Games. (Pic: George McLuskie)

The first event in the Kingdom set to take place at Markinch on Sunday, June 5, writes Shane Fenton.

Unfortunately it is not all good news as it was announced at the beginning of the week that the Thornton Highland Gathering, which is over 150 years old, won't be taking place for a third successive year.

The Memorial Park event was scheduled for Saturday, July 2, however the committee made a short announcement confirming its cancellation on their Facebook page on Monday evening.

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The statement read: ''Due to circumstances beyond our control sadly we will have to cancel the Gathering for this year.

"Hopefully we will have everything in order for next year and look forward to your support''.

This is sad news not only for the Fife circuit but the entire Royal Scottish Highland Games Association.

It was however anticipated that some games might find it difficult starting up again after the covid-enforced hiatus.

Circumstances for many events will have changed and Thornton are not alone in calling off with the games at both Rosneat and Carmunock having already pulled the plug for this summer.

All being well there are still dates for the events to be held in Fife in the coming months.

St Andrews Games which are usually held on the last Sunday in July have been moved back a month until the last Sunday in August owing to the 150th Open Golf Championship taking place in the town.

Games scheduled to go ahead are; Markinch – Sunday, June 5, Cupar – Sunday, June 19, Ceres – Saturday, June 26, Burntisland – Monday, July 18, Inverkeithing – Saturday, August 6, St Andrews – Sunday, August 28 and Bowhill – Sunday, September 11.

It will be a welcome return for the Burntisland Games, the second-oldest oldest of its kind in the world.

Like most, it was cancelled for the last two years due to the pandemic.

Aside from the two world wars it was the only time that the famous event had been called off since its formation in 1652.