ONE of the longest-serving business owners in Largs says the scheduling of Old Firm football matches has resulted in a big downturn in takings.

The latest Celtic v Rangers fixture was played on the Saturday of the Easter weekend with a 12.30pm kick-off.

But Quilly Clark said it was one of his quietest Easter days in 40 years despite being blessed with glorious sunshine. 

Mr Clark, who runs the Flying Elephants and children's rides on Largs Prom, believes holding such a well viewed and popular football match on a Bank Holilday weekend is an own goal for tourism.

He blasted: "There were a few people out, but it was nothing fantastic. Good Friday was best.

"But do you know what spoils it? Rangers versus Celtic playing on a Bank Holiday weekend - it definitely has a big effect on trade. 

"It happened twice last year - over an Easter weekend and a May weekend - and it affects numbers coming out, without a doubt.

"It would be much better if these games didn't take place on busy holiday weekends.

"Sometimes the weather is against you, but it was a nice day on Easter Saturday - yet it was quiet because of the Old Firm derby."

Quilly told the News he was still hopeful that this summer could see a big boost in trading after telling us last year that it was one of his worst summers in all his time in Largs.

Largs and Millport Weekly News: Trunk call - Quilly says old firm stampede is bad for business on bank holsTrunk call - Quilly says old firm stampede is bad for business on bank hols (Image: Newsquest)

He added: "It is good news that Largs has been rated the second best seaside destination to visit for good value, so hopefully we will get a turn out of that this year.

"People want good value and a bargain - if you live 20-30 miles away you will probably visit us. When you look along our coast it is the nicest places to visit.

"And of course one of the biggest secrets is one of the best views of the town is from the flying elephants up above in the Largs sky.

"'Bring me sunshine' is the message - and also a bit of heat!"

Quilly brought the Flying Elephants attraction to Largs from the Czech Republic in 2018 after a two-year planning process that involved four visits back and forward to central Europe, as well as a lorry to transport the fairground ride across the continent to bring it to Largs.

The ride takes people 20 feet high up in the air, and it means that they can see up and down the coastline on a clear day.