Clish-clash 33

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.

New Book “Secret Dunfermline”

By Robin Thompson

Secret Dunfermline
Gregor Stewart
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.


Photo of a seat outside Dunfermline Abbey Church, believed to have been made from a piece of the original shrine to st. Margaret

A seat outside Dunfermline Abbey Church, believed to have been made from a piece of the original shrine to Queen Margaret

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.


Photo of the Pends Gatehouse where Dunfermline's Linen Industry Started

The Pends Gatehouse where Dunfermline’s Linen Industry Started

Photo of Rosyth Castle

The ruins of Rosyth Castle are now surrounded by the dockyard


Photographs reproduced with permission of the publisher.

Aberdour Guided Walks

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

Email: station@aberdourheritage.uk

Post:  Aberdour Heritage Centre and Station Gardens, The Station, Station Place
Aberdour, Fife, KY3 0SN

if you would like to attend.

February 2018 Diary Dates

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”

February 2018 Meeting

15th February 2018

The DHS Annual General Meeting will take place this year at 7:30 pm, in the Abbey Church Hall  and will be immediately followed by –

“Women Pilots of World War II”, given by Roy Johnstone.

Roy has been fascinated by history all his life and, since retiring from a career in law, has developed and presented a wide range of talks on historical topics. These range from Mary, Queen of Scots to modern times. He is a very popular speaker who last year spoke on 156 occasions.

All visitors will be made very welcome.