The Dunfermline Historical Society recently received a portrait photograph of the Reverend Peter Chalmers, a minister of the Abbey Church, a local historian and an influential figure in Dunfermline life in the 19th Century. Jean Barclay has researched his life and in “REVEREND DOCTOR PETER CHALMERS, 1790-1870” she summarises his achievements in education, charitable work and historical research and also his difficulties in coping with the Great Disruption of 1843.
Jean Barclay starts a new series of short pieces based on a 19th Century compilation of writings about Dunfermline, the “Folio of Oddities”. In “The ‘Gude’ Mr Erskine and his Fiddle” she presents the story of a new father searching for the perfect minister to baptise a new born child.
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.
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.
As we approach the first Monday of a new year, it’s interesting to hear how this used to be the day of the main mid-winter celebration in Dunfermline. But after the calendar was changed in 1752, which date should be used? In “Auld Handsel Monday” Jean Barclay explains how this ancient celebration was celebrated and argued over until it was finally replaced by New Year’s Day and by Christmas Day.