Bloomin’ Marvellous? – It certainly was!

I think we can happily say that our two latest events in Inverkeithing, ‘Swing Into Summer Tea Dance’ on Friday 1st May, and ‘Spring Into Summer Art and Craft Fair’ on Saturday 2nd May, were thoroughly enjoyed by all who took part in them.

On Friday 1st MayBenita and her Jazzmen beguiled us with their fabulous blues and jazz songs and musical arrangements. They were: Benita Baugh (vocalist), Sean Hughes (drums), David Graham (piano), John Vance (bass) and Bill Marshall (clarinet) – they really were a treat to listen, and, of course, to dance to!

Much tea, coffee and delicious cakes were also enjoyed (cakes created by Millbrae Cafe, High Street, Inverkeithing).

The Masonic Hall was decorated with beautiful paper flowers, birds and butterflies to celebrate that spring into summer feeling, mostly created by volunteers during our two crafting evenings held at The Friary, Queen Street in the run up to the event.

Benita's dance    Benita's moves

Artist Rosie Gibson baked and decorated a May Day Cake especially for the event, which was raffled during the evening. She embellished the cake with a version of one of the ‘nuggets of wisdom’ from Generation 1925 -35 that she gathered in Inverkeithing and beyond, as part of her Luminate Festival of Creative Ageing project:

“Work and Play as tho’ we are living in the early days of a better world.”

Rosie's wisdom cake

The nugget is derived from writer and artist Alisdair Gray’s “Work as if you live in the early days of a better nation”, which is engraved in the Canongate Wall of the Scottish Parliament building. He attributes the quote to Canadian author Dennis Lee.


May Day & Beltane Celebrations

Play on the Green

When Inverkeithing Arts Initiative decided to hold our next event(s) on the 1st and 2nd May 2015, our thoughts turned to May Day, and traditional celebrations which mark the changing of the seasons. 

In Scotland, May Day was usually celebrated as the Celtic Beltane’s Day, a fire festival, still celebrated on Edinburgh’ Calton Hill, the purpose of which was to celebrate the changing of the seasons from spring to summer, and encourage crops to grow, while girls rose early to wash their faces in the dawn dew. We don’t think we can introduce real fire to the celebrations (!) but we’re thinking it’s a great excuse for us all to celebrate the fresh summer days, the budding of nature, and to have some fun outdoor activities for children (if possible).

We also found, from the book ‘Inverkeithing & North Queensferry Through Time’ by Eric Simpson and George Robertson, that the garden area next to the Civic Centre and behind the Friary was once known as ‘the children’s playfield’. We thought this was appropriate as we plan to have our daytime event on 2nd May at the Civic Centre.

This made us begin to wonder if Inverkeithing has ever had Beltane/May Day celebrations, after all, it is one of the places in Scotland which still celebrates the Lammas Day on 1st August, with a procession, a Lammas Queen and the Hat and Ribbon Race.

For lots more interesting information about traditions in Scotland, visit

If anyone has any reminiscences of the past in Inverkeithing, or ideas for the May events, please do post on Facebook or get in touch by email:

(This comes from the blog at

images The Children’s Playfield, Inverkeithing (pre-1950s)

images-9  In more modern times