AFTER a period of 68 years Bowhill Highland Games has been resurrected for 2020 and the big day will be Sunday May 17.

The venue will be right in the centre of the Auchterderran, Cardenden, Bowhill and Dundonald communities, at Wallsgreen Park, the home of the John Thomson Football Park.

The idea of resurrecting the games came about due to a casual discussion in December between local councillor Linda Erskine and Highland Games veteran of over 50 years, Don Campbell, from Lochgelly.

Don said to Linda: "You know there is a terrific venue to revive the Bowhill Games at with Wallsgreen Park."

The Scottish Games circuit's top handicapper said that he reckoned he could hold the track, cycling, heavies and dancing events at Wallsgreen and cost the event plus put together a programme for her perusal by the turn of the year.

Linda said to him: "If you can do that we will speak early in the New Year and take the idea forward."

This was duly done and chair of Cowdenbeath Area Committee, Linda, set about contacting and meeting people to look at forming a committee with the idea of making the games happen during the summer with May a possibility.

Don said: "Highland Games is an integral part of our culture and heritage and Bowhill has a history of past games.

"There is also a very strong and vibrant community spirit and that added to having a venue in the heart of the village, this has all the makings of a great Highland Games which the villagers will be proud of for many years to come."

And the man who travels the length and breadth of Scotland every year with wife Margaret, setting the handicaps on the Games circuit, believes Bowhill Games was just meant to happen.

He explained: "In 1976, at Forfar Highland Games, I was fortunate to win the 100 yards sprint and as I waited to be presented with the prize I saw among the trophies a cup, 'Bowhill Highland Games The Gilbert Taylor Trophy presented by Maggie Lennie'.

"I knew at once this was a dance trophy donated by my wife Margaret's aunt Maggie, from Bowhill, who was a well known dance judge at Highland Games.

"The trophy was named by the Taylor family in honour of their brother Bert who was a paratrooper during the Second World War and died in action at Arnhem in 1944.

"After Bowhill Games folded, after running from 1946 to 1952, Maggie gave the cup to Forfar Highland Games and it has always stuck in my mind we should try to get the cup back for the family. Alas Forfar Games changed venues and the trail for the cup went cold over the years, but our quest for the cup has not diminished.

"Indeed, as we went to the Corrie Centre for the first meeting to launch Bowhill Highland Games 2020, news came on the car radio, as we happened to be passing Wallsgreen Park, that it was 75 years to the day that the Battle of Arnhem took place. Margaret and I just looked at each other and both agreed we thought this is a sign that the Games must go ahead."

Don said that Linda and Margaret King, of the Bowhill Centre, have been tremendous in rallying many enthusiastic and eager local people and it has seen the Bowhill Highland Games Committee formed and subgroups put together for fundraising etc and will be meeting every month up to the day of the event.

He added: "We have located some programmes from Bowhill Highland Games in 1950 and 1951 which contain some interesting information and the Games in those days were held at Orebank Park.

"Also a number of local members of the business community have become sponsors which has been excellent.

"We still would like even more people to join us in making the 2020 Bowhill Games happen".

And as we go to print Don contacted us to say that the first competitor for the Games has been confirmed.

"Margaret and myself were in Australia over the New Year period and we met a competitor from Down Under I have known for years," said Don.

"Les is now a top veteran runner but has won many races in Australia over the years, but he contacted me to say that he has re-arranged a trip over here to include the Bowhill Highland Games, which is really good news."

The Chieftain of the 2020 Bowhill Highland Games is to be local undertaker John Gilfillan.