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Bo’ness Crowning Queen’s delight despite Covid restrictions

The woman chosen to crown this year’s Bo’ness Fair Queen has spoken of her delight at landing the role after 20 years service on the committee.

Fiona Burns lives on Dean Road with her husband Tom, who has also been involved with the Bo’ness Children’s Fair for two decades and is the procession convener.

Fair Day 2020 should have been next Friday, June 19, however, the organising committee have taken the difficult decision to postpone it until August 28, when Fiona will crown Bo’ness Fair Queen Elect Lily Harvey behind closed doors, with the ceremony to be streamed online.

She said: “I am so excited about crowning Queen Elect Lily, but gutted that it won’t be the Fair experience I thought it was going to be. The town will miss the hype and excitement in the run-up.

“I am hoping that I will be able to participate in some capacity along with the kids from Kinneil in the 2021 Fair.

“It has been really nice getting to know Lily. She is such a lovely wee girl and I am sure we will have this special bond forever. But I would probably have had more meetings with her and all the kids if it had been a normal year.

“I’ve walked up to her house and spoke to her from a distance at her door. We have also had video calls, just so I can get to know her better.

“It’s quite a tradition, having a special bond between the Queen and the person crowning, that lasts for years and years. I know that past ladies crowning the Queen kept in touch with the girls as they grow up. Like I say, it’s quite a tradition in the town.”

Fiona has been synonymous with the fair for years.

She said: “On the December 5 I received my honourary membership for 20 years’ service with Bo’ness Fair.

“It was a lovely award to receive and I was so thrilled.

“I started off on the Appeals Committee helping with fund raising. I then became the vice-convener and then on to the convener.

“Latterly on the committee I moved to being the programme convener which I loved.

“However, organising the Bo’ness Fair Programme is a large task and due to family commitments I had to step down. That was two years ago now.

“So it’s a huge honour to be asked to crown the Queen at the Fair this year.”

Fiona, who is an office administrator for Amey, has used her work connection to benefit the Fair.

She said: “Amey Highways, who I currently work with, have done the traffic management for Bo’ness Fair for three years and this would have been the fourth year if it had not been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This has saved the Fair £8000 per year as they offer the service free of charge. Amey are a company who like to get involved in the community, I took the advantage of asking them to help the Fair.”

Fiona previously worked for Hewlett-Packard as a project co-ordinator and was also an events co-ordinator at Dundas Castle.

Fiona and Tom have a son, Jordan (26), and a daughter, Hannah (22), as well as a grandson, Calum (2).

Article from the Bo’ness Journal by Kevin Quinn

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