Fireballs go ahead despite flooding

More than eight thousand people flocked to Stonehaven on Hogmanay to welcome the new year with the historic fireballs ceremony.

Despite the High Street and Harbour area having been devastated by floods just a week before, local resident all rallied round and decided that the traditional ceremony should go-ahead.

Organisers and locals worked tirelessly to make sure the Town was ready and they did not disappoint.

Restrictions had to be placed on numbers to 8,500, because of access problems caused by the recent flooding which destroyed part of the boardwalk – one of the main access points to the harbour area and the pier at the harbour had also to be cordoned off from spectators on safety grounds.

This meant that the for the first time in the history of the Fireballs the High Street had to be closed off, with the area reaching capacity at 11pm resulting in over a thousand people having to be turned away.

But for the 8,500 revellers who lined the streets, the evening did not disappoint and the 45 strong squad of swingers, led by Jim Stephen, set off at midnight and welcomed in 2013 in a blaze of fire. They were cheered on by the crowd who had generously been donating money all night to the Stonehaven flood fund, more than £7,500 was raised on the night.

One couple in the crowd had travelled all the way from New Zeland to take in the famous site. They said: “We heard they were amazing so we wanted to see them.

“We are currently travelling around the world and chose Stonehaven for our New Year’s stop. We are so glad we did- the fireballs are incredible and the Town is such a friendly place.”