Easter News

Easter Saturday morning, Dreel Burn, has meant only one thing to the AIA these last 26 or 27 years – The Duck Race. Thanks to massive support from traders in the town, and indeed massive support from all the buyers of Ducks, the Duck Race has become an institution. The Duck pushers said this was one of the easiest Duck Races, no ducks escaped and 25 prizes were won. The crowd piled into Dreel Halls for refreshments and an Easter Bonnet Parade judged by the Fisher Lass and Lad.

The Duck Race has now been surrounded by King Creosote’s ‘Yellae Deuks’ Festival, a three Day event that culminated in an ecstatic crowd dancing to all his ‘big international hits’, the loyal fans favourites. Some of the best in Anstuther, Scottish and British music played over the Easter Weekend. The crowd consisted of friends old and new, young and older who also enjoyed an Easter Picnic and the stunning weather Anster had to offer on Easter Sunday.

Next Sunday, the AIA are helping to support the Table Top Games Club’s fund raiser for the RNLI Anstruther Lifeboat Station.

Elizabeth Gordon, Hon. Patron

Duck Race 2015

The AIA’s big fun fundraiser, the Duck Race, takes place this Saturday morning at 10.30am when up to a 1000 yellow plastic ducks get chucked off a bridge and are cajoled towards the finish line at the Dreel Bridge. It’s a great sight and lots of fun.

Prizewinners are announced in Dreel Halls immediately afterwards and the public are invited to join us in refreshments and see the Easter Parade. There are prizes for the best hats so come and have some fun.

Ducks are available where you see the yellow duck sign. We have already had amazing support from local traders selling the ducks so a great big thank you to them.

Elizabeth Gordon, Honorary Patron

March News

At the AIA AGM, retiring President Elizabeth Gordon spoke of the success of Dreel Halls and the fun that had happened there over the last fourteen months. Dreel Halls has become an important venue for various clubs, groups, ceilidhs and parties. There remains the challenge of turning Dreel Halls into a venue with access and facilities for all, and although our recent planning application was turned down the AIA will strive to achieve this.

Thanks were given to our supporters and members, especially the two Petes from Colinsburgh Community Cinema in screening films and Fife Free Press for their support in publishing our news and launching their calendar in Dreel Halls.

The new Committee is ready for action. They are Kate Anstruther, John Barker, Jen Gordon, Chloe Milne, Cllr Elizabeth Riches and Alan Stewart. Elizabeth Gordon and Christine Keay were made Honorary Patrons for a five year period. The Committee’s first task will be to get the Duck Race organised for Easter Saturday.

We finished our Anster Nicht season with local success story Murray Barnett giving a demonstration of cooking with artisan bread. There were tastings of a pineapple jam and hot cross bun pudding and a savoury pizza dish. Murray also explained the advantages of artisan bread using less preservatives and causes less bloating. The tasting was enjoyed by many and it was an enjoyable end to the Anster Nicht season.

Elizabeth Gordon, Honorary Patron

AGM 2015

We had an excellent film night at Dreel Halls on Sunday, with the screening of the South African film ‘Felix’ as part of the Scotland Africa Film Festival. Once again, thanks to the two Petes from Colinsburgh Community Cinema, this was a lovely big screen presentation. The vibrant colours, wonderful music and a story that brought a tear to the eye contributed to a good Sunday event. The AIA Committee will be working hard to bring Community Cinema to Dreel Halls in the Autumn.

This week we have an early meeting and AGM starting at 7pm on Thursday, before award winning Artisan Baker, Murray Barnett gives us a talk on bread making. Only full members can vote at the AGM but all are welcome at the talk staring about 7.30pm. There will be, as always at the AIA, refreshments.

This week keep a lookout for the ‘Yellow Ducks’. Easter weekend means our Duck Race on the Saturday at 10.30 and our Easter Picnic on the Sunday afternoon. Ducks will be available where you see the yellow duck sign.

Elizabeth Gordon, President

Scotland Africa Film Festival at Dreel Halls

This Sunday, the doors are open at 6.15pm at Dreel Halls for a film show. Showing as part of Africa in Motion, the Scotland Africa Film Festival, the two Petes from Colinsburgh will be putting up the screen and projecting so the AIA can screen the film Felix. This 2013 film has been described as, ‘Billy Elliot with sax meets Buena Vista Social Club in South Africa’. It is directed by the SAFTA lifetime achievement winner Roberta Durrant and has been described by one critic as standing out simply because it has bucket loads of charm.

The AIA is pursuing the possibility of having its own screening equipment in the Dreel Halls so come along and support us. Tickets, with refreshments, are £4 for adults and £2 for under 18s. Tickets on the door.

Elizabeth Gordon President

February News

At our most recent Anster Nicht, local architect Fermin Beltran of Fife Architects led an informed discussion on green homes. In an intelligent and comprehensive presentation, Fermin helped the audience consider what was really green and how this impacted on both ecology and the economy. Architects can provide some answers and in an area like the East Neuk there is the challenge of ensuring that the existing housing can be improved. It was a thought provoking evening.

Our Final Anster Nicht will also involve a local businessman when we have Murray Barnett, Artisan Baker talk about his very delicious bread. That meeting will be held on 12th March immediately following our AGM.

Next Sunday, 8th March there will be a film show. This is part of Africa in Motion, the Scottish African Film Festival, and the film is a delightful tale called ‘Felix’, about a young African dreaming of becoming a saxophonist. There are details on our website and there will be more information in the local press next week.

Elizabeth Gordon, President

Spring News

Dreel Halls continue to be very busy this Spring. Now on the third week of February we have our Anster Nichts and this Thursday we have Anstruther based Fife Architects, Lucy and Fermin Beltran talking about Eco architecture, sustainability and being green. Fermin will have a presentation and would welcome questions about both the economics and the ecology of modern architecture, We look forward to welcoming members and visitors alike.

Elizabeth Gordon, President


The AIA held its second Candlemas Supper on Sunday in Dreel Halls. Candlemas was originally called Imbolc and was celebrated with different customs all over Celtic Britain welcoming the halfway point between the darkest day and the days of even light and darkness. We celebrated with mulled wine and lots of comfort food. There were readings and poetry from America, Wales, Cornwall, England, Scotland and Orkney. These were stories of ancient customs and changes in the landscape as Spring approaches. We finished with lighting our candles in the darkness and having young Sophie Palmer read a poem she had just been given. The Hall looked lovely with its daffodils, greenery and candles. There was fine gathering of folks originating from all over Britain and South America.

Our next event is our Anster Nicht on Thursday 19th February when our speakers are the joint husband and wife team called Fife Architects.

Elizabeth Gordon, President

Candlemas is Coming

On February 2nd we’ll be halfway between the Winter and Spring solstices. Our ancestors celebrated the Imbolc, which later became known as Candlemas and the AIA will have a celebration this Sunday at 4pm at Dreel Halls with a Sundowner Supper. This will be a simple event with Mulled Wine and soft drinks, a light supper and plenty of candles. There will be some readings and stories by some of our supper guests and anyone can bring along a piece to read about the coming of Spring or Candlemas. Our last Candlemas was a lovely event and we hope this will be too. Please see our events page for details and let Elizabeth at the Community Kist know so she can get an idea of numbers.

We’re pleased to have our Hall used more and welcome people into its space. There’s something on nearly every day now and another 40th birthday was celebrated at the weekend. There was a bit of tidying up of flower pots this weekend and hopefully more will be done before the next blast of winter descends.

Elizabeth Gordon, President

January News

The Association has a busy week ahead when we team up with two other Anstuther organisations. On Thursday night Anster Nichts return with a talk brought to you courtesy of the 3BCDT, the Community Development Trust. The talk is entitled ‘Demon Frigates and Spectre Barques’ and is about the supernatural seas of nineteenth century literature. Our speaker is Emily Alder of Edinburgh’s Napier University and she will talk about the status of ghost ship. All I can say is ‘shiver me timbers’.

On Friday Night David Jack returns with a Ceilidh for our Dreel Halls First Birthday Party. We are putting on this event with Anstruther and District Allotments Association. They will be using their seasonal vegetables to make soup. There will also be cake. Tickets are £6, with special deals for children and families. It is also a BYOB event, with games and prizes, so come and dance the night away.

We are delighted to be collaborating with these two groups. The town has a successful history of groups working together, having a good time and raising money for projects and we are happy to follow on.

Elizabeth Gordon, President

Building a thriving and resilient community, improving Anstruther for all