Fair Queen ready for her big day

Andrea with mum Audrie, sister Amy and dad Kevin
Andrea with mum Audrie, sister Amy and dad Kevin

There is only a day left to go and the excitement is being ramped up before the biggest day in the Bo’ness calendar.

There is certainly a buzz around the town as the final preparations are put in place and none more so than at Kinglass Drive where the queen elect and her family are building up to one of the biggest days of their lives.

Andrea Robertson (12) was voted by her school Bo’ness Public Primary back in January. From that tearful moment in head teacher Mrs Genoe’s office when she rang her mum Audrie with the news her class mates had chosen her to be queen until the day that she is crowned on her throne in Glebe Park, will all be memories that she will cherish forever.

Andrea will be the 109th queen to be crowned on the Fair Day since it began in 1897.

Before that the day was traditionally a miners holiday with drunken antics thrown into the mix but Provost George Stewart looked to clean up the town’s act.

He introduced children to the event and modelled it on Lanark’s Lanimer Day. Over a hundred years later and the Fair is still going strong and Andrea is counting down the days to the big celebration.

She said: “I’m really excited and I’m looking forward to the whole day I can’t wait to get my hair done, wear the dress, the crowning and the dinner.

“It does now feel a bit more real but I still don’t think it has really sunk in yet. “I have been watching videos on YouTube of footage of the 100th Queen Eilidh Thomson on Fair Day and thinking that is actually going to be me!

“I have also spoke to some previous queens too. I am quite close with Nicole Bell – the 2012 queen – so she has been giving me advice.

“She says just to smile and enjoy the day it will be great. I’m so excited and only a wee bit nervous.”

It will be a “proud and emotional” moment for mum Audrie, dad Kevin and big sister Amy (15) when they see Andrea at the coronation next Friday.

Audrie (46), who was a flowergirl and presentee, said: “We’re really excited now. It has been so busy.

“We had the dress showing on June 3 at the Old Kirk Church in Bo’ness. Andrea and Amy helped design the dress and the dress maker Lorraine Fleming has been amazing.

“But it was last Saturday when we were driving through the town and seeing all the signs going up that it really hit home. We have been reading the programme too and to see Andrea being mentioned it is still quite unbelievable.”

This year’s theme will be Cinderella and there is always an incredible amount of work and effort going in to the building of the house frontages and arches which make for a wonderful spectacle as families from all over come to admire them on the Fair E’En the night before.

Audrie, who works at Bo’ness Recreation Centre as an admin assistant, added: “Everybody has been fantastic – family and friends have helped us and we couldn’t have done it without them.

“It has really shown the strong community spirit that we have in this town. Everybody pitches in and offers a helping hand.”

The scaffolding is still up on the front of the house but they hope to have the arch finished soon with Kevin (46), an electronic engineer by trade, being helped by Smart Farm in Linlithgow to build it.

Audrie said: “I have really enjoyed the build up. It is going in so quick so we’re just trying to enjoy every moment. The Fair E’en will be quite amazing. It is such an honour and we’re really proud.”

It will be an early start the next morning for Andrea and the family as she gets her hair done in the morning before the band comes at 8am then the crowning takes place at Glebe Park in front of the whole town.

Andrea admits this year will not be like any other she has experienced.

She said: “It feels different I’ve looked in the Bo’ness Journal before to see if I’m in any of the pictures of previous fairs so it’s nice to know that I’ll be in this one.

“All my friends and family are really excited for me and I can’t believe all the help and support we have received. I think it’s going to be a great day.”