It was an evening which combined the two things that St. Andrews students just can’t seem to get enough of: Gumboots, wellies or Wellington boots by any other name, and balls. Welly Ball is organised in conjunction with the St. Andrews Challenge, a clay pigeon shooting competition which brings together shooters from all over the country. The after-party was preceded by a two-course dinner, and was held in the beautiful and picturesque Kinkell Byre, a mere coach ride away from St. Andrews, which swelled the number of guests from 500 to 750. Eden Mill Distillery and Emily Fruit Crisps sponsored the event and proceeds from the event went to the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust.
While the attire was black-tie from the knees up, the choice of footwear was more reminiscent of a day out in the fields, leaving the finished look a cross between James Bond and country squire. However, it was a novelty, which was one of the reasons that made the evening so memorable. The location was a brightly lit beacon in the dark and rather muddy November night, the wellies proving to be as practical as they were fashionable. Guests were led through to the main hall with its aesthetically pleasing rustic brick walls and timbered ceilings; the dance floor was flanked by a bar to each side. This was an immediate advantage as contrary to other balls, where darkened floor space took up most of the venue, they provided a well-lit place to relax and talk to the fellow ball-goers.
The bands providing the soundtrack throughout the evening were “Model Aeroplanes”, “The Black Sheep Music Society”, “Ali Ellis” and “Joe Jones”. The variety of music they provided meant that there was something for everyone, whether your preference was disco or slow dancing. Non-dancing related attractions included the food vans at the back of the venue that provided the hungry revellers with food from Blackhorn and Buffalo. Tucked away from the main hubbub, if you chose to venture that far, a Welly Ball tent offered a slightly less populated bar and a sofa seating area.
With alcohol, music and good times flowing freely throughout the night, the efforts and successes of the committee were obvious in the planning and execution. The location of Kinkell Byre was a contrast from the oft-used Lower College Lawn and provided a chance to ‘escape the Bubble’ albeit only for a few short hours. Whether your tastes were shotguns, balls, wellies, alcohol or even Blackhorn burgers, the night had activities and opportunities and entertainment for all, which continued into the small hours of the morning in true St. Andrews fashion.
Images sourced from Lightbox.