I’m sure many of us will have used Bartholomew’s maps over the years and may well still do. John Bartholomew and Sons was a very well known cartography company, founded in 1826 in Edinburgh, but it’s origins lie further back. In “`My Favourite Boy` – The Dunfermline Link with the Bartholomew Map Family“, Jean Barclay tells the story of George Bartholomew, a boy who had a difficult and unusual start in life, his parents fought a long court case, but became a skilled engraver of maps and plans. His son John, also trained as an engraver, went on to found the business.
Their story tells us much about both class distinctions and social mobility in late 18th and early 19th century Scotland.
In the next of our series on Dunfermline’s Industrial past, George Beattie describes the history of a Dunfermline based firm whose operations covered a range from grain milling, through grocery and brewing to running the City Hotel. “Fraser & Carmichael Ltd, Grain-Millers, Wholesale & Retail Grocers” tells, with press reports, photos and interviews, how this firm grew and prospered for over 100 years until 1971.
One of the directors, Daniel Fraser, became a councillor and served as Provost from 1924 to 1927, leading Dunfermline through some difficult times. George has told his story, based on his Dunfermline Press obituary, in Provost Daniel Alexander Fraser.
Sue Mowat has researched the history of the development of another part of Dunfermline. In “Harleys Acres” she describes how the area which lies roughly between James Street and Campbell Street has developed over the last 250 years, how it was brought into the administration of the town and how its use has varied from rail and bus stations to retail parks and shopping centres. She also makes a plea for proper archaeological assessment before any future developments closer to the centre of historic Dunfermline are carried out.
Although we are not able to hold meetings or outings at present, we can still publish new articles about Dunfermline’s history. I have a small stock written by local historians and intend to keep publishing them on this website over the coming weeks and months.
Today’s article, researched and written by George Beattie, is the latest in his series on Dunfermline’s Industrial Past. It relates how a local business grew to become an important firm in East of Scotland agriculture and then declined as tastes and society changed. But for over a 130 years “Hugh Elder & Son, Grain Merchants & Millers” was a well known Dunfermline business and it’s City Mills a local landmark. As always, George’s article is illustrated with some excellent period photographs.
In the next of our occasional series of “Tales from the Kirk Session” Jean Barclay has looked into the case of a man who was moving from Dunfermline to Muckhart and needed the permission of the Session, which, in this case, was not easily obtained.