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.
Back issues of local papers can give us all sorts of fascinating information about the past. When the article itself is about “Past Times”, we are shown even further back. George Robertson has found an article in a 1909 copy of “The Leven Advertiser and Wemyss Gazette” which recounts how weddings were held in Fife mining villages in the 1860s. “WEDDING CELEBRATIONS IN 19TH CENTURY HALBEATH” shows us how different they were from today.
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.