Industry

Dunfermline without the Handlooms?

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.

The Schweppes of Scotland?

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.

Allan’s Bakery

Allan’s bakery was a feature of Dunfermline High Street from the 1880’s to the 1960’s. In another of our series on Dunfermline’s Industrial and Commercial past, George Beattie writes, in “Andrew Allan, Baker“, a short, illustrated history of the firm.

David West, Road Haulier

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economic changes made by the needs of wartime and also the subsequent changes in the UK economy as national companies superseded local ones.

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