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Last Updated: Monday, 1 January 2007, 14:59 GMT
Weather spoils Hogmanay parties
Reveller with umbrella
A reveller wrestles with her umbrella during high winds in Edinburgh
Severe weather led to the cancellation of Hogmanay celebrations in Edinburgh, Glasgow's George Square and Stirling.

Up to 100,000 people had been expected to celebrate on the streets in Edinburgh with a concert headlined by the Pet Shop Boys and Paolo Nutini.

Glasgow's organisers said they had been monitoring wind speeds in the square, gusts were reaching up to 70mph and they could not ensure public safety.

Power to about 16,000 homes has also been affected by the weather.

Other major Hogmanay events, including those at Aberdeen and Stonehaven were unaffected, with Wet Wet Wet delighting the crowd in the Granite City.

The Family Fireworks Display took place as planned in Inverness and Dundee revellers were treated to Hogmanay events laid on by voluntary groups.

Edinburgh cancelled its party in 2003 because of high winds, but it was the first time Glasgow had cancelled its outdoor New Year party, which was to due to include fireworks.

Unfortunately the weather forecast worsened and in the interest of public safety it proved impossible to continue with the planned programme of events
Tom Halpin
Lothian and Borders Police

The decision to cancel Edinburgh's 2006 Royal Bank Street Party, the concert in Princes Street Gardens and the ceilidh in the gardens was taken at 2030 GMT.

Edinburgh City Council said those who bought tickets would be reimbursed.

Andrew Holmes, director of city development, said: "Although we were confident throughout the day that Edinburgh's Hogmanay could take place, the weather forecast deteriorated significantly in the course of the evening, leaving us no option but to cancel the Royal Bank Street Party.

"This decision was not taken lightly, however public safety concerns were the most important factor in coming to this conclusion."

Tom Halpin, Deputy Chief Constable of Lothian and Borders Police, said: "Unfortunately the weather forecast worsened and in the interest of public safety it proved impossible to continue with the planned programme of events."

Despite cancellation of the main events, a smaller than usual fireworks display took place to see in the New Year.

About 25,000 revellers had been expected to welcome the New Year at the Glasgow event, which was to feature The Fratellis, Sandi Thom and The View.

However, party-goers were urged to stay away.

Marti Pellow
Wet Wet Wet singer Marti Pellow serenades fans in Aberdeen

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: "Due to the extreme weather conditions we regret to announce that Glasgow's Hogmanay has been cancelled.

"Our priority is public safety and while every effort was made to ensure the event could go ahead, a multi-agency decision was made after conditions deteriorated.

"The council will put in place arrangements for full refunds for ticket holders."

The band Deacon Blue had been due to headline Stirling's Hogmanay celebrations, which were to be set against the backdrop of Stirling Castle. However, the fireworks display did go ahead.

The Met Office issued a flash warning of severe gales up to 60mph to 70mph, and possibly reaching 80mph towards Galloway, Mull and Kintyre.

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