In 1817 a young woman from Edinburgh was arrested in Halbeath, for “stealing” a child. In “The collier’s Bearer and the Stolen Child” Jean Barclay tells the tragic story of Janet Douglas, her crime and her harsh treatment by the authorities.
Mima Robertson was a prolific Dunfermline author who wrote fiction for “The People’s Friend” for many years, five novels and some non-fiction. The best known is “Old Dunfermline” a history of the town from it’s beginning to the turn of the 20th Century. Jean Barclay is assisting with the archiving of her papers and presents here a short piece written by Mima on the working horses she came across in her childhood, followed by a brief biographical note.
Amelia Paton was a talented artist and an accomplished sculptor, whose best known works are the statues of David Livingstone near the Scott Monument in Edinburgh and of Robert Burns in Dumfries. She was also the sister of the well known artist Sir Joseph Noel Paton and was married to David Octavius Hill, the artist and early pioneer of photography in Scotland. In “Amelia Robertson Paton” George Robertson relates her biography and her involvement in artistic life of Victorian Scotland.
In the third of his series on aerated water manufactures in Dunfermline, George Beattie presents the history of James Woodrow and Sons, the largest and longest lasting of the these businesses. For 100 years from 1908 this firm produced, bottled and distributed a wide range of soft drinks, and also bottled beer and cider for several drinks companies. In 1993 they bought Mitchells as part of an ambitious expansion campaign. Their history is one of growth, in volume and geographical range, until they too were bought over by a still larger business.
In the next of his series of articles based on “Reminiscences of Dunfermline”, George Robertson presents Alexander Stewart’s description of life before gas lighting, both indoors and in the streets. He also discusses the means of communicating local news and announcements to the town – made by a bellman or, at a higher cost, by a drummer.