Expats home in on Fair Day

240612 Kirking of the queen at boness fair.
240612 Kirking of the queen at boness fair.
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FROM Belfast to Tenerife, Grangepans to Deanburn, all roads lead to Glebe Park this morning (Friday) for the crowning of Bo’ness Fair queen-elect Nicole Bell.

Expats have flown in to share the joyous occasion with townsfolk and while the forecast was uncertain midweek, there was no dampening the spirits of all those involved!

Ahead of yesterday’s final run through, Fair chairman Jim Stewart said: “Rehearsals have gone to plan and the children are all ready to go.

“They don’t need any prompting, they all know what they are doing.”

And he added: “We’re fully prepared - whatever the weather.”

On Sunday at the kirking in Craigmailen Church the retinue emerged to the stirring ‘‘Chariots of Fire’’ music.

Olympic values and the message ‘there is a hero in everyone’ underpinned the service which was led by Pastor Frank Hartley and the double act of Esme Weir and Ewan Grant, Bo’ness Public School pupils.

Amy Lauder of St Mary’s Primary School received the Helen Ward-Birkby Trophy and confident readings were given by Nicole, current Queen Erin Meikle and Carla Hogarth, chief lady.

The choir sang their socks off, filling the church with the sounds of ‘Search for the hero inside yourself’, ‘Hero’ - with soloists Caitlin Wright, Casey Wilkins and Lauren Tenn-Mills - and ‘Oh happy day’, complete with choreographed routine.

Public School headteacher Gillian Genoe said: “Our pupils were outstanding at the kirking ceremony.

“From their presentation, to their behaviour and their performance, only superlatives could sum up what they achieved.

“We are immensely proud of them, and would like to thank each and every pupil and their families for making it such a special event.”

Speaking earlier this week, she added: “Having attended the retinue practices in school, and viewed the outfits and dresses of all the main characters, we are looking forward to putting on a grand performance on Friday that the whole community will be able to enjoy.”

A Carnaby Street, London, theme has been chosen by the queen -elect’s school and they will be joined in performing at Glebe Park and Douglas Park by St Mary’s presentees (Shrek), Deanburn (Jukebox Jive), Blackness (Carnival), Kinneil (‘What makes you beautiful’) and Grange (‘Marry you’).

Soaking up the fun-filled atmosphere, which also includes two headline entertainment acts this afternoon (Lady Gaga and Michael Buble tributes), will be expats from Northern Ireland, England and New Zealand.

Among those returning, with her three children, all five and under, is former Blackness Primary School pupil Lisa Grant, who now lives in Queensland, Australia.

A former fairy, flower girl and presentee, she said: “We look forward to the kids enjoying the day as much as I have previously.

It will certainly be something different to tell their friends about when we return!”

Birthday celebrations today include five-year-old Shannon McGlynn, who was born on the Fair Day in 2007, the only time mum Anne-Marie Travers has missed the town’s showpiece!