George Robertson starts today a new series of articles on local history in which he features stories from “Reminiscences of Dunfermline – Sixty Years Ago“. This book by Alexander Stewart was published in 1886 and so these articles take us back in two steps. As George says, the book “captured the flavour of Dunfermline and it’s people at the time in question” and so provides a different perspective on our past.
The first article concerns “Dunfermline’s Post Office” and vividly illustrates the immense social changes which took place between the 1820s and the 1880s.
William Stevenson & Sons, House Furnishers, Auctioneers and Removal Experts, is the next article in George Beattie’s series on Dunfermline’s Industrial and Commercial past. William Stevenson, worked at several trades before starting this successful firm, which was based for many years in Bruce Street. As always in George’s articles, this one contains some fascinating photographs of Dunfermline’s more recent past.
In the next in his series on Dunfermline’s Industrial and Commercial Past, George Beattie relates the history of David West & Son, Road Haulier of Rumblingwell and Touch. This business started in 1920 using ex-army vehicles and grew steadily. Early in the Second World War it was placed under the control of the Ministry of War Transport to prioritise war work and later it was briefly nationalised. The company was re-started following de-nationalisation and continued to thrive until merged into a much larger UK business in the 1960’s. The article shows the scale of the economic changes made by the needs of wartime and also the subsequent changes in the UK economy as national companies superseded local ones.
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.
Sue Mowat describes the development of an area of central Dunfermline in her new article “Before The Bus Station” . Using some excellent large scale maps of the town she illustrates her research on the changing uses of the land where our Bus Station now stands and tells us of the people who once lived there.