George Robertson starts today a new series of articles on local history in which he features stories from “Reminiscences of Dunfermline – Sixty Years Ago“. This book by Alexander Stewart was published in 1886 and so these articles take us back in two steps. As George says, the book “captured the flavour of Dunfermline and it’s people at the time in question” and so provides a different perspective on our past.
The first article concerns “Dunfermline’s Post Office” and vividly illustrates the immense social changes which took place between the 1820s and the 1880s.
At the end of the Eighteenth century Scotland, and Dunfermline had very limited school provision, but several religious societies were working to try to improve things. In “The Life and Times of the Poor School of Dunfermline” Jean Barclay describes the short, but not straightforward, history of the Charity or Poor School.
William Stevenson & Sons, House Furnishers, Auctioneers and Removal Experts, is the next article in George Beattie’s series on Dunfermline’s Industrial and Commercial past. William Stevenson, worked at several trades before starting this successful firm, which was based for many years in Bruce Street. As always in George’s articles, this one contains some fascinating photographs of Dunfermline’s more recent past.
We have recently revised the article on George Roberson FSA to include an imposing portrait by John Rattray of his father, Robert Robertson, who was provost of Dunfermline between 1854 and 1861.
George Robertson (1835 to 1916), was a businessman and antiquarian who played an interesting part in the life of Victorian Dunfermline. As well as running a shop, he was an officer in the Dunfermline Rifle Volunteer Corps, contributed sketches to Henderson’s “Annals of Dunfermline”, was a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and was appointed by H.M. Board of Works as Keeper of the Abbey and Royal Palace. His namesake, and fellow local historian, George Robertson tells his story in “George Robertson FSA, Keeper of Dunfermline Abbey and Palace“.