In “Bacca B: John Beveridge and his Two Careers” Jean Barclay gives us a short biography of a well-known Dunfermline tobacconist and Town Councillor, who, in 1850, moved to Edinburgh and began a new career in an unusual profession.
In the next in our series on Dunfermline’s Industrial Past, William Mitchell and Sons Ltd, George Beattie relates the history of another of the soft drinks manufactures. They latterly operated from Garvock Hill, having built the factory which later became the Vine Centre. The firm operated from about 1938 until 1993, when they were taken over by Woodrow.
In “An Excellent Goose for Dunfermline“, our last new article for this year, Jean Barclay brings to our attention an unusual newspaper article written in 1865 and collected in the “Folio of Oddities”. In it, the unknown author speculates on how Dunfermline may have developed, or rather , not developed, had the Damask Linen business not become established. This gives us an unusual assessment of how important hand-loom weaving industry actually was to the growth of the town.
In the first of three articles about Dunfermline soft drinks manufactures, George Beattie tells the story of Gilbert Rae, whose company demonstrated the innovation and experimentation of late Victorian Scotland. Gilbert Rae produced ginger beer, lemonade, kola and many other products and he pioneered the use of electricity, motor transport, scientific testing and much more as he built up a large business.
In the next of his articles based on Alexander Stewart’s “Reminiscences of Dunfermline – Sixty Years Ago”, George Robertson describes the provision of pharmacy and medical care available in Dunfermline in the early years of the 19th Century. As you might imagine, they are very basic and seem to be based largely on traditional remedies. “Old Fashioned Pharmacy” indeed. Stewart himself notes by how much pharmacy and medical practice had improved even over his “60 Years”.