Highland games cancelled

The East Links, where the Highland Games should have taken place on August 5.'Staff photo

The East Links, where the Highland Games should have taken place on August 5.'Staff photo

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MONTROSE Highland Games have been cancelled for the second consecutive year amid fears that the weather could ruin the event financially.

Games committee chairwoman Robina Addison this week said the decision has been taken reluctantly but, with the weather taking its toll on summer events across the county, it would be “too much of a gamble” to continue and possibly have to cancel at the last minute.

The plug was pulled on last year’s event at the 11th hour when torrential overnight rain meant the East Links games field was waterlogged and it became obvious that spectators were unlikely to turn out. The committee suffered a financial loss as a result.

Routinely attracting more than 5,000 people, the games rely on admission money to help finance the following year’s event and Mrs Addison said the committee could not risk the same thing happening again.

The only events which have been salvaged this year are the dancing competitions and the coronation of Rose Queen Erin McGlynn, both of which will be held in the town hall.

Mrs Addison said: “We have enough money to cover prizes but if there were any unforeseen weather problems we couldn’t cope. A lot of things would have to be paid up front and we have all sorts of new rules and regulations imposed by the Highland Games Association that would carry an added financial burden.

“When you put them all together it could cause a severe financial loss if the weather is bad and it’s so unpredictable this year. We just don’t want to incur any more expense by going ahead with it and having to call off the day before. We’d also have needed a bigger gate to help us out this year and we’d be competing with Arbroath’s Sea Fest which is on the same day. It’s not a decision we’ve taken lightly.”

It is only the second time in the games’ 34-year history that they have been cancelled but Mrs Addison said there is no question the popular event will not continue.

She added: “There will be fund-raisers before next year’s games, although we had one or two this year which had to be cancelled, also because of the weather. It’s a sad situation.”