Senior Citizens’ Tea Party


 There has been a long tradition of the “Old Folks Tea” in St Monans, a party organised annually, early in the New Year, for senior residents of the community at which they are offered afternoon tea, entertainment and a gift. Over the years the event has been held in various places with this year moving to the new venue of a warm and welcoming Mayview Hotel Function Suite. This year’s party seemed to be greatly enjoyed by all and well attended by nearly 50 guests who were entertained by local young musicians, a slightly older Billy Buchan and all joined together in a sing-a-long. The Community Council were delighted with the good turn-out and look forward to the planning of next year’s event

Photo courtesy of Dave Scott, Links Media.  


Burns Supper – Sunday 25th January 2009

The 250th anniversary of Robert Burn’s birth was celebrated on the 25th of January by the first-ever St Monans Community Council Burns Supper. Hosted in superb style by Ena and Tom Hughes at the Mayview Hotel …..almost every member of the Community Council got involved in the arranging and entertainment. The village got right behind the event and a hundred tickets were sold….the proceeds going to St Monans Primary School and Sea Queen Day funds.

Nearly all the entertainment was provided by people who live in St Monans, and what a bunch of talented individuals we have! The Mayview Function Suite was decorated by Ena and her helpers, becoming a tasteful Scottish and Burns ‘oasis’ for the evening.

On Sunday evening our guests arrived early- many dressing up especially for the occasion in kilts or tartan trews, or sporting tartan ties – or tartan and thistle button-holes – and that was just the men! While the ladies wore tartan sashes, jackets, skirts and even tartan shoes, with many adorned with floral, thistle & tartan corsages! It was great to see so many people getting right into the mood of the evening…..

Community Council Secretary, Ruth Craib, introduced the evening and gave a brief outline of what would happen, as many Guests had said earlier that this would be their first Burns Supper.

Our Piper was Nicole Fleming, who gave the proceedings just the right atmosphere. Her stirring music had the company on their feet clapping as she piped in the top table!

Those at the top table were – Alastair Wood our MC for the evening, (and a friend and colleague of Treasurer George Brown’s wife, Win, from Glenrothes), accompanied by his wife Margaret. Then there was Community Council Vice Chair, Vic Bland; Community Council member Vicki Salvage; Local poet – John Brewster and his wife Rita; and our two Burns ‘Divas’ – Janet Reekie and Ann West.

After the traditional Selkirk Grace – Nicole piped in the star of the evening, The Haggis. Poosie Nancie’s duty of carrying in the haggis was beautifully performed by our present Sea Queen, Lisa Fleming, who looked charming in her traditional outfit, including a long white apron and white mop-cap!

Alastair Wood performed a stirring rendition of ‘The Address to the Haggis’, the Piper emptied her quaich (of Irn Bru!) – and the whole company joined in the fun of toasting the haggis.

The Mayview Hotel served us a veritable Burns Nicht Banquet!  Scotch Broth; Haggis, Neeps and Tatties, served with a helping of delicious Mince; Cranachan; Tea, Coffee and Home-Made shortbread. Excellent fare indeed!

The audience was also reminded to have suitable refreshments ready for the toasts to come.

Once the meal was cleared away – the speeches, poetry and musical entertainment began….. all graciously introduced by Alastair.

Vic Bland gave us ‘The Immortal Memory of Robert Burns’; explaining how he became acquainted with Burns many years ago as a butcher with Wiseman in Pittenweem. John Brewster’s ‘Address Ti the Lassies’ was a beautiful and humorous poem – especially penned for the occasion; followed by Vicki Salvage who Toasted the Laddies in a lighthearted ‘Reply’.

Janet Reekie gave two Burns recitations – ‘The Rights of Women’ and later – ‘John Barleycorn’. While Ann West gave us her choices of Burns poetry – firstly ‘An Address to the Toothache’ and later in the evening – the poem – ‘To a Louse’. Both Ladies delivered their poems with skill and great panache.

Janet’s recitation of John Barleycorn took us straight into one of the highlights of the evening – a raffle for the Famous Grouse 37 Year Old Malt Blend – a Special Edition bottle of Robert Burns Whisky…….. with only 250 bottles available world-wide. Alastair Wood’s wife, Margaret, drew the winning ticket, and presented the valuable prize to Tom Hughes on behalf of the winner – who wasn’t present. (Eck Ireland). The proceeds from this special raffle will be presented to the local RNLI.

The musical entertainment began with two songs from Rab and Roy of ‘Tackety Boot’. Had Robert Burns experienced a modern Car Boot Sale in Crail perhaps he would have written a song about it too, as Roy and Rab have!

Martin Salvage, Alistair Sutherland and George Brown gave us several Scottish songs on their guitars, with Martin singing and inviting the audience to join in. ‘Flower of Scotland’ was especially popular. This was the first public performance for this threesome. The first – but, hopefully, not the last time they play in public together.

Ian Thomson’s wonderful voice, accompanied by Alistair Sutherland on the classical guitar, was one of the highlights of the evening. Ian sang three Burns songs….. including ‘My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose’…  we could have listened to him all evening!

Bill Buchan entertained us well, accompanied on keyboard by Ruth Craib; Billy even taught us an amusing song about Hunting for Haggis!

Last, but by no means least we were treated to communal singing accompanied by Ruth and Brian Craib on keyboards and double bass. Most people discovered that they knew more Burns songs than they realised when they heard the melodies. Ruth thoughtfully provided song-sheets for everyone.

Community Council Treasurer, George Brown, proposed the Vote of Thanks and Community Council member Bill Buchan presented Alastair and Margaret Wood with whisky and flowers as a token of our appreciation.  Finally… Martin, Alistair & George lead the company in Burns’ most famous song, ‘Auld Lang Syne’.

As everyone left, the opinion of visitors and locals alike was that it was a great evening and they hoped we will hold another one next year!

(If anyone would like to ‘Do a Turn’ next year please let us know!)

The Community Council would like to thank Tim Hacking for providing the Burns Supper with a brilliant sound system and excellent lighting, and for working tirelessly with the performers to make sure everyone was comfortable with the sound & light they needed.

We would also like to thank The Famous Grouse (Scottish Whisky) for the generous gift of their bottle of rare whisky for our RNLI raffle.

St Monans Community Council

Present Members

Elspeth Scott, Chairperson

Ruth  Craib, Secretary

George Brown, Treasurer

Vic Bland, Vice Chairperson

Vicki Salvage, Tom Hughes, Ena Hughes, Billy Buchan, Donald MacEwan and Karen Jones.

St Monans Community Council meets on the 3rd Monday of every month at 7.30pm in St Monans Church Hall. All members of the public are welcome to attend.

Minutes of previous meetings are published in the East Fife Mail and copies are available to view in the Library, Post Office and Harbour Howff Cafe. We plan to also display minutes on this website.

St Monans Community Council are committed to working towards the enhancement of the lives of the residents of the village and to try to ensure that they are kept informed of new developments in the community. To that end, we plan to use this website as a tool for good communcation with residents.

The New St Monans Book ~ Have You Bought Yours Yet?

Not many years after the end of WW2 a young St Monans woman, Jenny Miller, married and emigrated to New Zealand. Although her life there has been very happy indeed ~ she never forgot her childhood and youth in St Monans. Now in her early eighties she has written a book of her early life as a child of the boat-building Miller family. Jenny Miller MacDonald’s book is full of fascinating glimpses of a St Monans which is very different from the place we know today. Whether you are a local, a new Simmininser, or a visitor – you will find much to interest you in this well-illustrated book.

St Monans: Cherished Memories of a Boatbuilding and Fishing Village in the East Neuk of Fife is being sold for Auld Kirk funds. Copies cost £5.oo and can be obtained from St Monans Post Office.

The Sun Shone for Sea Queen Lisa

Record crowds helped to make Sea Queen Day a great success this year.

The day began when Donald, our compere, introduced Eileen and Ian Reekie as this year’s St Monans VIPs. They declared the day ‘Open’ at 12 noon; they also judged the Children’s Fancy Dress Competition and the ‘Garden on a Biscuit Tin-Lid’ contest, while Mrs Maureen Lishman judged the Primary School Art Competition. There were lots of interesting stalls selling everything from crafts to plants to toys and novelties. We also had charity stalls hosting tombolas or selling various interesting items from home-baking to crafts. Superb Ardross Burgers and Montador Kippers were among the tempting snacks on offer, along with freshly-made crepes, local ice-cream and baked potatoes.

The Milnberg Jazz Band kept  toes tapping while we browsed the stalls, had our faces painted, skippered miniature boats, aimed golf balls at the anchored dinghy, bounced on the Bouncy Castle and rolled around in Sumo-Wrestling suits!

Sea Queen Lisa and her Royal Party were greeted by a heavy shower of rain when they arrived in St Monans on board ‘the Reaper’ at one o’clock, but this didn’t dampen any spirits ~ and the sun came out for the Crowning Ceremony. The afternoon was dry and pleasant for the Sea Queen, her Attendants, Page Boy and the Fisher Lass, who were accompanied by Piper Nicole – Lisa’s sister. The St Monans Spurs Youth Football Team were the Royal Guard of Honour for the day.

The 2008 Sea Queen’s first duty was to present the James Braid Good Citizen Award to Mr Vic Bland for his past services to St Monans. James Braid Jr and Mike Scott-Hayward spoke of Vic’s achievements – before Lisa presented him with an engraved quaich and a special certificate. The Sea Queen Raffle was Lisa’s final duty of the afternoon ~ thankfully all the prizes were claimed this year!

The Sea Queen Committee would like to thank everyone who contributed in any way ~ your help was very much appreciated and helped to make the day a success.

If you would like to join the committee you will be made very welcome; we do need new people with new ideas!  In the autumn please look out for posters around the village for more details.

* * * Next  year Sea Queen Day will be on SATURDAY JUNE  20th, 2009! ****