New Year rev­ellers gather for an­cient fes­ti­val of fire

Strathearn Herald - - FRONT PAGE - Lynn Duke

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

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