Weather looks kindly on Monifieth Mediaeval Fair

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LADY LUCK smiled on cue once again on Sunday in Monifieth as the town centre, glowing with sunshine, was filled with residents and visitors alike all flocking to the annual Mediaeval Fair.

The event is loosely based on the original fair held in the middle ages in the small community of Monifieth, and named after St Rule who is purported to have been instrumental in helping the Culdee monks establish a settlement in the area.

Bargains were to be found aplenty amongst the numerous craft stalls. It was pleasing to see how many local voluntary groups had taken advantage of the occasion to come along and promote their organisation, raise funds and seek new members.

For those deemed to have been wayward over the past year, the solution was found in subjecting them to spend a short period in the stocks, where they acquired a good soaking from their friends.

The stilt-walker and clown proved a particular attraction for the youngsters who were encouraged to come and try feats of juggling.

The organisers are to be congratulated for putting together an excellent and wide variety of entertainment, which was virtually non-stop throughout the afternoon. It opened with a roaring selection from the pipes and drums of the 1st Monifieth Boys Brigade Pipe Band.

A display of Zumba dancing was next, with volunteers from the audience being introduced to this fun and exhausting way of keeping fit and losing weight.

The exemption dog show was literally a howl, and yet easier to judge than could be imagined. The dogs wagged their tails to order in the ‘waggiest tail’ event, sat uncowed and pensive for the ‘dog with the wisest face’ and there were laughs all around when it seem to prove the myth to be true that dogs get to look like their owners, or is it the other way round?

Time to meet St Rule himself, who was greeted by the highland dancers, as he opened the Fair. Wilma Tolmie brought along youngsters from her dance troupe who delighted with reels and flings, lilts and jigs, all to the skirl of the pipes.

Then it was time for one of the nail-biting competitions of the afternoon, the bonnie babies contest. The judge seemed to have found a formula to please all doting mums as they emerged with big smiles and lots of rosettes.

Members of Monifieth Amateur Dramatics (MAD) entered stage left, with a teaser for their upcoming production, ‘Dad’s Army’. The snippets provided had the audience in hoots, and will undoubtedly realise a scramble for the remaining seats for next weekend’s show.

A group of young dancers from the Angus Centre for the Performing Arts, were next on stage and their show included a wide variety of Irish Dancing. Teacher, Lisa Linton put them through their paces with some fancy footwork in reels and jigs.

They were followed by the fancy dress contest. With a decided mediaeval theme, all the contestants managed to leave with a prize.

The audience were then entertained by the first of the two bands from the 4Real Youth Group. Geared towards the younger members amongst the spectators, their rendition brought much applause from young and old.

The River Valley Stompers were next to appear on stage. This group of line-dancers from Dundee provided a super display of various formations set by leader Ann Stewart.

The last dance group was a trio of Egyptian exotic dancers, belly dancers as they are frequently called. Their mid-eastern music and style was widely appreciated.

The entertainment concluded with the second of the 4Real bands. Complete, with solo singer this time, the young people demonstrated their versatility. Both bands were a credit to the hard work they had obviously put in, and congratulations are due to leader David Liddell for his encouragement and support.

In between times, youngsters enjoyed rides in the mini-carnival, climbed the tower provide by the Army Cadets or slurped an ice cream.

Chairman of the organising committee, George Mitchelson, expressed his delight at the support for the fair.

He said: “It was so encouraging to see so many people in attendance. The committee had set out to provide an event for all members of the community, and from all accounts it was a great success.”