When writing the article about Mary Thomson and the Female Industrial School, a great deal of searching was done to try and find a photograph of Mary or some of her pupils but with no success. This photograph was found in the Journal Almanac 1913, a copy of which is in the Local History Section of Dunfermline Library. Mary retired in 1881 and this picture was probably taken around that time. It is extremely grainy in appearance but perhaps someone has the original print in their photo album? If so please contact the website.
The Scottish Local History Forum has published the latest issue of it’s news-letter “Clish-clash” . Click the link to read it. It contains lots of further links to all sorts of news and articles, including details, found in the Aberdeen City archives, of the first Scottish vessel to cross the Atlantic, in 1596.
Amberley Publishing, £14.99
Secret Dunfermline is a short account of the history of the town and it’s surrounding area which, as the publisher says, “delves into the town’s murkier past, blending the serious with the not so serious”.
The book begins with a swift survey of the prehistoric origins, including some interesting discussion on Roman activity in the local area. It then moves on to cover the better known era of Queen Margaret and the beginnings of the town. Unfortunately there is an editing error when Duncan I is referred to as “David” throughout one passage.
The central part of the book covers the Reformation, the reign of James IV and I, the period of the infamous witch trials and the Great Fire. The links between these events are described, including King James’ interest in, and personal fear of, witchcraft. The origins of the reformation, including the burnings of the protestant martyrs in St. Andrews, are covered and several stories of the persecution of so-called witches show how dark a period of history this was for many.
The book then moves forwards again to describe the recovery of the town after the fire. The story of the rise of the linen industry and how the secret of damask weaving was smuggled into Dunfermline from Edinburgh is told, along with the subsequent industrial mechanisation, and later decline. The reasons for the building of Rosyth, the Dockyard and Naval Base are discussed and the last chapter covers the life of Andrew Carnegie.
Secret Dunfermline makes no attempt to be a scholarly work. It is an easy read which provides a lively introduction to the long history of the town. One of it’s strengths is the number of original photographs, 80 across 96 pages, which vividly illustrate the story.
Photographs reproduced with permission of the publisher.
Aberdour Heritage Centre and Station Gardens are setting up a programme of guided walks round the village.
The first walk, ‘Knowing Your Place: Aberdour Place-Name Walk’ is planned for Saturday 20th October in the afternoon. The other walks will be scheduled for 2019. Further details are available in “Aberdour Heritage Walks” and a booking form is also available. Please copy or print this form then reply directly to the Heritage Centre at
Post: Aberdour Heritage Centre and Station Gardens, The Station, Station Place
Aberdour, Fife, KY3 0SN
if you would like to attend.
14th February 2018
Inverkeithing Local History Society 7:30 pm The Townhouse
Arthur Lloyd “America Part 1”
Kincardine Local History Group 2 pm Community Centre
Gerry McMullan “Outlander”
15th February 2018
Dunfermline Historical Society 7:30 pm Abbey Church Halls
AGM followed by Roy Johnstone “Women Pilots of WWII”