Fine weather ensured people turned out in their thousands to enjoy a popular fish festival in the Mearns at the weekend.

An estimated 5,000 people visited Johnshaven on Saturday for the annual festival, which is now in its ninth year.

Since its small beginnings, the event has become a part of the local tourist calendar and a vital contributor to the village economy. It is run by the Benholm and Johnshaven Heritage Society and most of the money is invested in a project to develop the former lifeboat house in the village harbour into a heritage centre.

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Son Halen Alaskan Bluesman performed live on stage, ably assisted by Sandy the PA man.

The group hopes eventually to raise about £75,000 to create a museum, tearoom and function facilities on the site.

Alongside the customary array of fish stalls, this year’s festival featured a food hall and barbecue. Entertainment included a fancy-dress raft race across the harbour and performances by the Craig Marroin Pipe Band. Heritage society joint secretary Maisie Murray said the number of people attending appeared to be similar to last year’s event, when the village’s population swelled to about 5,000.

"Everything seemed to go well and the entertainment in particular was excellent," she added. "We even sold out of food in the food hall. Seeing that number of people enjoying themselves makes all the work worthwhile."

Much work has already been done on the old lifeboat house thanks to the sums raised from previous years. The building is now watertight, new skylights have been put in and the doors have been freshly painted. The funding raised at this year’s event will pay for electrical and plumbing work.

There are also plans for the society to start using the site to display some of its artefacts within the next few months. Article courtesy Press and Journal