HOT STUFF IN COMRIE
New Year revellers gather for ancient festival of fire
The Shaky Village ushered in the New Year in its usual big way.
The Comrie Flambeaux is one of Scotland’s oldest fire ceremonies. As the bells rang in the New Year, ten-foot torches were lit at the top of Melville Square, which was packed with Hogmanay revellers. The crowds parted to let the Flambeaux take to the streets for the annual purification ritual, which sees them borne aloft to the four corners of the village.
This year, three of the village’s younger generation were carrying a flambeau for the first time.
Carrying a flambeau is a significant test of fitness for the bearers as they process to the boundaries of the community, which takes around an hour to complete, but Andrew Stewart, Shaun Laycock and Bryn Warburton were up to the task. The Flambeaux Parade was led by Comrie Pipe Band and this year there was a good turnout of guisers and topical small floats. Once back in the square, the torches were laid in a heap while the winning fancy dress entries were awarded their prizes, before the remnants of the Flambeaux were thrown off the bridge and into the river.
Well-known local couple Jimmy and Barbara Stewart had the difficult task of judging the fancy dress competition. Jimmy has been compere of the Hogmanay celebrations for over 20 years but this year the Flambeaux stalwart handed over the reins to son James.
Singles – 1 Lollipop Lady ( Diane Kaye); 2 Kermit the Frog (Amy Fenwick). Groups – 1 Rocket Man Blows Fuse; 2 Trump Wall; 3 RBS; 4 Has Beens. Special prizes went to Kardashians Come to Comrie and The Saloon Bar.
Overall winner and recipient of the Vic McEwan Quaich – Rocket Man Blows Fuse.
Flambeaux Comrie torch bearers bring in the New Year