Folk with fond memories of Lochgelly have decided to
share some of their thoughts. Feel free to e-mail me at Lochgelly@btinternet.com
is Michael Sawicz and I came across your site while doing a search of Lochgelly. I was born in Lochgelly in 1956 and
moved to Canada with my family when I was a year old.
the house that I was born in was on Hunter Street. My late father married a lady whose maiden name was Gillan. He worked
in a coal mine called the Jenny Gray in Lochgelly for about 10 years before packing up and moving to Canada.
you can say I am really wondering about my roots and my place of birth. As I left so young I have no memory
of my birthplace and would love to hear from any neighbours or former workmates who remember our family. Michael Sawicz
Ian. I received your email address from my brother Michael Sawicz and you have already given him a lot of information about
our old home town and for that I thank you much more than you can ever realise.
am the oldest in the family and I was about 10 when we left Lochgelly in 1957. I have been looking for information on
the school and church I attended, St Patricks's. Are they still standing?
Our great-grandfather, Francis
Gillan, was buried in a cemetery nearLochgellly - I seem to remember a railway track near it.
family doctor was Dr Foote, I believe his office was on Station Road up from St. Patricks school.
I remember right from where we lived on Hunter St. to go to Gelly Loch we went up through the park and down a road where my
dad had a "plot" where he raised chickens.
was something of an old boathouse on the shore of the Loch. I think there was an old mansion at the top end of the park
we turned left down a road then right to the road where the "plot" was located.
would like to hear from anyone who remembers me and thanks again for everything you have given to my brother. Regards.
Peter Starrs, Cornwall
I wonder if anyone remembers Peter Starrs who lived in South Street?
His mother was Agnes Starrs and he had a sister called Betty Mclroy.
I believe his brother lived in Ballingry. Pete was my father and I am
trying to find his side of the family and my name is also Peter Starrs.
I now live in Cornwall but remember visiting Lochgelly and especially
the cinema. Can anyone help? Thanks. Peter Starrs.
Brian Wilson, Kirkcaldy
Hi Ian. Just noticed
the new photograph of Lochgelly Ladies Pipe Band with my mother Mona Wilson (nee Davidson) situated at the very left
of the front row.
Sadly she died in 1999 and my father Jim Wilson died in February
2006. As a family we first lived in North Street next to Suttie's shop and from 1965 in Cartmore Road opposite the first
tee at the Golf Course.
The Lochgelly Ladies band were crowned World Ladies Champions in 1952 and
I still have the World Championship medal which my daughter wears with great pride.
My mother initially worked in the Store bakery and eventually managed the
Store chemist up to she retired. My father worked as an oversman in the Nellie Pit until its closure and then worked
for British Rail at the Wagon Repair Shop at Halbeath.
Would like to hear from anyone who knew my mum and dad or was involved
with the Pipe Band. Brian Wilson.
Carol Manton, Kent
My grandparents Mills lived in Lochgelly and my mum was born in Melville
Street in the Happyland. Grandad worked at the local pit the Jenny Grey and the family lived in the Eliza cottages
by the railway line beside the graveyard.
We would really like to know if anyone has any information about
the cottages or even photographs, as the family moved down to Kent in the late 40s.
We saw mum on one of your pictures in fancy dress and she thought
the sight was great. If anyone can remember mum it would be wonderful to hear from them. Her maiden name was Laura Kirby
Cowan Mills. Best wishes. Carol Manton
Wullie Davidson, Southampton
Your site brings back many memories, seeing some familiar names from
the past. I was born in Hall Lane, behind the Co-op bakery in 1933, the eldest son of Bunt & Effie Davidson (nee Shand).
I attended the South School from 1938 to 1945 and then Beath High School.
I served my engineering apprenticeship at the Minto Colliery (Brighills) and left in 1956 to join the Merchant Navy as Engineer
I married in 1959 and have lived in Southampton since then. I retired
as Chief Engineer with P & O in 1983 and worked for the local Health Authority till 1993 when I finally retired.
I usually come up every two years to see the family. My brothers and
sister live locally - Jim and Nan in Lochgelly, Ian in Glenrothes, Alex in Dunfermline and Andrew in Cumbernauld.
I would love to hear from anyone who remembers me from the early years
in Lochgelly. Bill (Wullie) Davidson
John H Reid
Great site, Ian. But did you know that Lochgelly was the centre of the universe? No matter where you go on this earth you will find someone
who knows someone from Lochgelly.
On my last visit to New Zealand, my brother-in-law, a retired commander
in the NZ navy took me to a lunch of retired naval officers and , in the pre-lunch small talk, I was asked which
part of Scotland I came from by a couple of the members.
When I said "Fife" one said "Oh, my mother came from Fife - where exactly
about do you come from?" I replied "Lochgelly" and his jaw
dropped before he told me "but that is where my mum came from."
Well, if his jaw dropped, his companions face collapsed. He said "My mother came from Lochgelly too."
Incredibly these two men had served, on and off, on the same ship for 30
years and were unaware of the common bond! John Reid.
Dear Ian, I was delighted to find your website. My name is
Pete Doherty (not the punk rocker). I was born at 5 Union St. in 1935. My brothers and sisters were: Rose, Mick,
Molly, John, Bernard, Gerald, and Margaret.
We moved to 15 Richmond Place (near the Opera House) and then we lived
at 120 Small St. I went to St. Patrick's in Lochgelly, and St. Columba's in Cowdenbeath.
I started in Glencraig Colliery at 15, attended Fife Mining
School in Cowdenbeath, and then served an apprenticeship at Donibristle
Aircraft Yard. I left in 1956 for my national service in the Navy.
Donibristle closed and I was forced to leave my Lochgelly friends,
and my cycling companions from the Auchterderran Wheelers and the Ballingry cycling clubs.
Some names I remember from those days are: Richmond Place: Eric
Anderson, Donald Clark. Small Street: Dave Shaw, Tam Dow, Curly Wilson, Jim Scott, Adam Graham. Fife Mining School:
John Keddie, Jimmy Logan, Colin McCullough. Lochgelly: Owen Conaghan, Will Wright, Jock Johnson. Cyclists: Jimmy Fairgrieve
and Brenda Dawson.
I worked in London, Glenrothes, and Motherwell. I emigrated to Canada
in 1966, and the US a year later. I retired there in 1991 after 25 years with a local engineering company.
I visited Lochgelly in 2003 with my wife, Patricia (Kirby) who worked
in the Post Office, but we didn't run into any one we knew.
Hi Ian, I'm wondering if you might be able to help me - or point me in
the right direction !!
I am working on my family tree and when I reach my mother's birth
in Lochgelly, where I know she had relatives who remained there when she moved to Bristol, the trail runs cold
with regard to a half-brother - Pat Hynes and his family.
My mother (born Helen Nora Hynes) was born in Melville Street
on 9th October 1919. Her father was Thomas Hynes and mother was Agnes Hynes (nee Byrne).
My grandfather had been married previously and had two sons, Tommy
and Pat. Tommy also settled in Bristol, but Pat either remained or returned to Lochgelly. I know he married and
had several children, the eldest being a daughter called Alison who would be between 65-70 years old now.
We do visit Scotland occasionally and I would love to trace Alison or
other surviving members of the family. Can anyone help? Pauline Beaven
Hi there, Just
had a look at your site with much interest, particularly the photo of Auchterderran Road featuring the McAllister family.
Patsy McAllister was my neighbour until we left Lochgelly in 1984. I grew
up calling her my 'Auntie Patsy'.
My mother and father knew them much longer than I did. My dad's name was
William Dewar who married my mother Mary. Patsy and Simon were like family to us and we still keep in touch with her
Thank you for the site. I still regard Lochgelly and these people as my
home and second family. I can briefly remember going to Patsy's mother's house in Walker Street in the sixties when I was
a child. So many memories. Eric Dewar.
Jim McNeil, Canada
Hi Ian. Just picked
up your web site, I found it very interesting. I was born at Brighills in 1939 and my mother was born in Lochgelly -
Barbara Ann Hutton.
She married Henry McNeil and they owned the shop on High Street
and also the newsagents on Bank Street opposite the Cinema owned by a good friend Joe Timmons.
I remember the Happland well for I delivered papers there from 1951 to
1956. My dad also was on the Town Council. I am now living in British Columbia in Canada. Thanks for a good site. Jim McNeil
Helen O'Neill, Plymouth
Hi Ian. I have just found your site and found all the photographs fascinating.
I was born in Grainger Street in the cottages opposite the police station and remember as children my brother and I used to
go and play with the police family.
My name was Helen Baird but my father was killed in an accident in 1949 and
my mum later re-married and I was always known as Helen O'Neill.
My mum Nan used to work for Peter Macari in his chip shop in Church Street. I still
have family in Lochgelly which I still call home even although I have lived in Plymouth for the past 34 years!
I attended St Patrick's Primary School between 1954 and 1960 and I would love
to hear from anyone who remembers me. Helen O'Neill.
if anyone can help. We have been trying to trace the history of my husbands great granddad, Thomas McGowan.
know he joined the Black Watch from Lochgelly in 1914 and was killed in action in France in January 1915. He lived in Lochgelly
- we think with a family called Posslethwaites.
would like to try and get a photograph or something just to find out some more about him ... anything really. Lorraine
Dear Ian, Good to see your site. I wanted to ask a question of anyone who can help. My mum was born and raised in Lochgelly, from a large
family called Reid (her father was called William Reid).
I have vague memories of my her singing a song at New Year. It
'Ma wee man's a jigger
a jigger man was he
I met him by Lochgelly clock...'.
The chorus, as I recall, went 'Strike me now/and there'll be a bliddy
row...'. Does this mean anything thing at all, or did I dream this? Tom Normand.
David Smith, Lochgelly
Hi Ian, I just have to say what a great web site, I've visited a few
times but this is the first time I've came across the e-mails from around the world.
I am 44 years old and have stayed in Lochgelly for the past 39. Its a bit
of a shame they way the town has gone with all the shutters and graffiti, the old place really looks run down, but its great
to read all the e-mails from around the world of the happy times some poeple had during their time in Lochgelly,
People like Bryan Archibald from England, John Muir from Australia, (any
relation to the Muirs we still have?), Ross Gibb from Canada, (I have relations in Abbotsford, Canada), Michael Kirk, Erica
Deben but to mention a few.
It is so wonderful to read the stories. My father (James Smith, his pal
Pottsie, Happyland kids) were born and bred Lochgelly.
To all these people around the world from a Lochgelly man, (you included
aunt Pat and unk Bill in Australia, and family) I wish you all the best of health and a great future, but remember one
thing, whair you came from, LOCHGELLY. Davie Smith.
Hi Ian. I have just been trawling through the News section - your
website goes from strength to strength.
I was in Lochgelly last week, and was glad to see signs of regeneration
everywhere - new school, trees being planted and more imaginative housing.
The beautiful building that is the Institute is still in a sorry state,
but I have hopes that it will still be saved for the community.
The Opera House has long been a landmark in my early memories... after
all, I was born in a single end on the second floor, and distinctly remember it. So much so, that it constantly
features in my paintings. For that reason, and because this is the Lochgelly website, I am forwarding one of my
paintings with the Opera House in full glory. Helen Lomas
Jim Eyles, Alaska
Hi, I am James Gerald Eyles presently living in Alaska but
I was born in Lochgelly on July 4, 1947. My mom's maiden name was Marjorie Campbell, her mum Janet Mowat Kenny and
my dad's was Dereck Eyles, a Brit from Barton, Yorkshire.
I have lost my birth certificate and am trying to do the genealogy thing.
All I can remember about Lochgelly (I was wee then) was I believe we lived near the coal mine in a Quonset hut, but for the
life of me, I cannot remember the address.
I don't know if anyone can help me in this endeavor but if they
can it will be greatly appreciated. Jim Eyles
Rene Ponce K, Chile
Hi Ian, I am from
Chile and I lived in Lochgelly for about seven years when I was a kid with my dad, mum and brother who was born
We lived in Lochgelly from 1974 until 1981 and I have very
good memories of living there. I studied in St. Patricks and lived in 15 Minto St., then went to St. Andrews High School.
I was looking at all the photos and trying to remember that time, a nice
Congratulations for this site. I´m sure one day I will be back there
to visit Lochgelly. Regards, Rene Ponce K. (Valparaiso, Chile)
Bryan Archibald, England
Hello Ian! My connection with Lochgelly is directly due to my father
Peter Guthrie Archibald and my mother Joyce. We lived originally at 77, then 79 Station Road in a block
called Jubilee Terrace from 1950 onwards.
My father's sister Margaret Archibald also lived in the same block. My father was
a church elder at St Andrews Church, Scoutmaster of the 100th Fife Scouts and a close friend of Mr Dickson, Cubmaster.
He was also a choir member when the Reverend Musk was the minister.
I can remember as a lad going up into Lochgelly to Morrison's,(Mollison's?)
Grocers, about 4 doors up from the Cinema and opposite the Lochgelly Times newspaper offices. I always had to have a
note for the messages as my Birmingham accent could not be understood!
I went to the West School, then the old Beath High and finally Lochgelly
East School where I won a scholarship to Tech College Cowdenbeath. Left there as a Pre-apprenticed engineer only to go into
the Army in 1964.
Now living in the sunny south of England, Dorset, I am happily married
- 13th wedding anniversary coming up next month! - and living with our two Samoyed dogs.
I have memories of disappearing for days "doon the braes" with a tent
and a rucksack! At the end of Launcherhead Road was a shortcut (the auld geig) up to the bottom of Cartmore Road, a route
often taken by me to get home quick from the West School! Less effort than Station Road when you went back!
I can remember the Bakery horse being put down when it fell on the ice
outside Turners shop on the corner of Launcherhead Road and Station road when I could only have 8 or 9! (I'm 58
Names I can remember? Alan Tandy, lived on Main Street just behind West
School, Bill Stuart lived in the flats opposite. Bill Rattray lived up opposite the pub at the top of Church Street,
Robert Wilson lived 69? Station Road, His mother owned/ran the Queens Hotel in Main Street and his father worked in the
Co-op Joinery at the bottom of Cartmore Road, (They were my godparents!) William Walkingshaw, who lived down about
83/85 Station Road!
I can remember the Halfpenny family from Jubilee Terrace, and the
Marshall family who went to Australia. Any more that comes to light I shall be in touch. God bless. Bryan Archibald.
John Muir, Australia
Hi Ian, I have just found your website, top marks for a great project.
Looking at the old photos and reading the emails stirred lots of memories.
I was born in the Happyland (11 Melville St.) then moved to Kennard Street,
staying there until the family went to Australia in 1949. I went to South School then Beath High from 1945 to 1948. Wilma
Fraser was in my class at South School - any relation?
Jack Fergus' email brought back a lot of names and memories. My parents
were Jock Muir and Annie (nee Anderson ). Dad was a miner and Mum was a "pithead worker" at the Jenny Gray when she was a
I was last in Lochgelly in 2001 for a few days and was saddened at the
condition of The Store. I worked in the drapers as a junior for a short time and managed a few trips up behind the clock with
the maintenance man.
I also posted a letter from your P.O. across the road. I delivered
a few telegrams from the old P.O. equipped with the pouch and big heavy red bike. Mr. Seaton was the postmaster then, his
son Chris also went to Beath.
Thanks again for a very interesting website, I will be a regular visitor.
Rose Gibb, Canada
Hi Ian, Just wanted to say what a great site this is. I came across
it by accident, but what a happy accident it was.
My grandparents lived in the Happyland until they moved to Forrester
Court in the early 60's. I used to go to the post office to buy my savings stamps - Princess Anne and Prince Charles
were on them, but I can't remember the denomination of them.
I was back in Scotland last year and had a drive around Lochgelly
and I was heart sore when I saw what a state Forrester Court was in.
Does the town clock still chap the quarter hour? I used to lie
in bed in the recess in the living room in my grandparents house in the Happyland listening to the clock chap and the light
from the fire casting shadows around the room. Thinking about it now makes me smile as I found it really comforting.
memory was going to the miner's treat and walking down Station Brae in the pouring rain only to be told that it had been cancelled
and we all had to walk back home again. I can't remember where we were supposed to go but another time we went to Burntisland
and we went by bus that time. On the way home I sat next to this old man who pointed out the mare's tail clouds and
predicted rain - he was right but we didn't care as we had had our treat.
When I was about two my grandmother took
me to the Miner's Christmas party in Cowdenbeath as my grandfather worked in Kirkford pit. I got a Cinderella and Prince
Charming dancing doll and to this day I still have it and it still works. My parents put the key on a piece of string
and I still have that and it sits around Cinderella's neck. I was rarely allowed to play with it and it has made many
moves with me. I never let my children play with it, but in the days of computers and video games how tame is a dancing
Keep up the good work with your web-site. Rose Gibb
Hi Ian, What a fantastic site. I have family roots in Lochgelly as my
Dey was born there in 1914. His name was Robert Gourdie Kirk he was part of a large family and they all lived in South Street,
Number 35 to be more precise.
His father and mother where Archie and Helen Kirk nee Gourdie. Also my
mothers Uncle and Auntie used to run the bone yard down the bottom end of Auchterderran Road. Their names were Alan and
Grace Steele. Michael Kirk
Erica Deben (nee Campbell), Holland
Dear Ian, first of all let me congratulate you on your wonderful initiative.
It warms my heart to know someone is doing something positive for Lochgelly.
I was born in 1956 at "Honeylea" 105 Lumphinnans Road and we moved to
Cooper Ha' Avenue in 1958. It's lovely to see that our old house is prominent on the photograph on your website.
My parents were both from the Isle of Lewis and had 6 children. I went to the South School and was a keen ballroom dancer.
My first partner was Kenneth Baxter.
I remember playing on the swings up in Hall Lane and going down the Braes
during the summer holidays. Who could forget the aroma of freshly-baked rolls from Neilsons. My Dad used to go
up there Friday nights and buy warm rolls.
There was also Dickie's sweet shop at the corner of Auchterderran Road
and Reid Street and we used to go there on our way back to school and buy a penny caramel or parma violets.
My first teacher in school was Miss Gair and I have fond memories of
her. When I first started primary school there was no Lollipop man and I remember being terrified at having to cross Auchterderran
Road on my own.
I was frightened of a number of things back then especially "Flannel
Feet" who was a popular bogey man and the store horse (milkman). I too remember Pete Tosh and Larry the Darky (not very
pc nowadays but that was how he was known locally).
I married my husband in 1978 and went to live here in the Netherlands
(his country). We have 3 children, 2 boys and 1 girl, 23, 20 and 19 years old. I try to get over a couple of times
a year to see my Mum and although I've lived longer here than in Lochgelly, Lochgelly is still home.
I look forward to visiting your website in the future and hope more people
let you have old photographs to add to your site. I've been in touch with my old neighbour Joe Canavan (he lived at
49, we lived at 43 Cooper Ha' Avenue). I have very fond memories of our childhood play with them.
Keep up the good work, and once more thank you for doing this for my
hometown. Best wishes. Erica Deben (nee Campbell).
Hi Ian, I just found your site a few days ago and it is
fascinating. I recognise all of the things that the writers of most of the emails describe.
My name is Annette
Stenhouse (nee Beveridge). I lived at 97 High Street and I have a brother Alastair and a sister Sheila. I used
to work in the Burgh Chamberlain's office in the Town House where you had to have all your qualifications and certificates
before you got on the short leet for an interview.
I started when I was 17 and was allowed to work for a year
after I got married because at that time you had to remain single to work there. When I tell my children this they laugh
but it was true.
I remember well David Campbell the provost and have a letter
of recommendation signed by him when I left to live in Kirkcaldy. I now live in East Kilbride and have been over
here for 40 years.
I remember Mary Steele she worked in the Surveyors office and
Harry Patterson was the Foreman of the men in the yard. The Burgh Chamberlain was Alex Laing and then Alex
McKenzie. Isobel Reid and May Beveridge, Mrs Turner, Mr Thomson all worked in the same office.
Ann Wilson and myself were chums and she worked in the Surveyors
along with Ian Forrester and Tom McPartlin. Anne's mum and brother owned Wilson's the joiners and undertakers.
I had to walk down to the Clydesdale Bank through the stables
and used to give the horses bits of bread as I walked through. I used to have to take all the banking down to
the bank on my own in a big leather bag that was obviously a bank bag. You wouldn't dare do that nowadays.
My mother's cousin was married to Bella Dick of Dick's the sadlers
- he was called Agnew Walkingshaw. My mother was Jessie Walkingshaw. My grandfather was in the Fife Constabulary
and then the Durham Constabulary and later became a Contractor in the Glencraig Colliery.
My auntie Meg was the first manageress in the Glencraig Canteen
and I have cuttings from the Lochgelly Times of the people who attended her going away party.
Doctor Foote was a friend of my mother's family and Dr Steven
nearly lived at my grandparents home in Bain Street when he was studying to become a doctor. My grandparents lived in
Jenny Lee's house in Bain Street then exchanged with the Lees and moved into 14 Bain Street.
Jenny Lee also went to university and later married Aneurin Bevan
who started the National Health Service.
One of the girls in my class at the West School was Joyce Wilson
and I used to go down to her farm to play. It was near the meedies and we had great fun collecting tadpoles and small
fish to take to school for the class to observe. I remember cattle getting out of the slaughterhouse and stampeding
through the streets.
Thanks for the site it has helped me get in touch with lost friends.
Hi Ian, once again I have been viewing
your great site, especially the photograph looking
down Cooper Ha' Avenue towards Hill Street. I lived at No 49 Cooper Ha' Avenue, the last house in the avenue, with my family
from 1961 to 1965 when we moved south to Coventry.
Our neebs the Cooks lived in the first house in Hill Street.
Both houses were opposite what we called as kids the diamond and which is still present today although it looks more
like a square.
Keep up the good work and I hope you and yours are both enjoying
your retirement. Joe Canavan.
Betty Wilson (nee Bremner), Canada
Hi Ian. It caught
my eye that you had worked at the "Lochgelly Times", I did too from 1953 to 1957, then I left for Canada.
Jack Dougary was reporter and old Alex Westwater and his son Jack
Westwater still ran things. Jimmy Mitchell, and Harry Goodall as well as Jimmy McIntosh and Jenny McKinlay were all
there at the Bank Street site.
Anyway I enjoyed your web site, but some of the pictures I must confess
I don't seem to recognise. Things have changed even since my last visit in 1996.
I first started out at 9 Gardiners Lane, then after the war we were moved
to the prefabs at 9 McGregor Avenue, I left for Canada when I was 19 from there, but my parents George and Annie Bremner then
moved to 108 Cartmore Road just across from the Golf Course.
I'm glad you have this site, its good to revisit. Anyway I am all thats
left of my own little family, Mum, Dad and sister Anne have all passed on, but I have an Aunt (my Mothers sister) in Canada (the
one I came out to visit for just a year or two) who will be 100 years old this September.
Her maiden name was Mary Hutton, and her mother was a Moyes, Uncle
Wullie Moyes did indeed have horses stabled next to St. Andrews Church as someone mentioned.
Anyway I've bookmarked this spot and will visit often. Betty Bremner Wilson
Anne Wright (nee Stuart)
Although I am not from Lochgelly I did spend many happy times
there and saw some of my friends in your school photographs.
I was born in the Milton in Crosshill, moved to the prefabs then to Ballingry.
I went to Crosshill School with Moira Allan, Barbara Honeyford, Jean Kerr, Irene Kent, Moss-side School with Margaret Barclay,
Barbara Patterson, Jean Graham and Annette Beveridge all from Lochgelly.
I trained as a nurse at Bridge of Earn Hosptal with Mary Rafferty (Ballingry)and
Georgina Walkingshaw and Ellen and Jimmy Legge (all Lochgelly) while Miss Foote from Lochgelly was my first school teacher.
My father Andrew Stuart worked and was killed in Glencraig Pit and ran
Crosshill Hearts football team for many years. Anne Wright (nee Stuart)
Marie Simpson, Australia
Hi Ian, I am tracing
my husband Ian's family and found your great site. The photos are really good to see.
My husband's father Douglas Simpson was born at 85 Auchterderran Road
on the 18 November 1917. He was one of 13 children born to David and Mary Ann (nee Lees). He migrated to Australia
in 1928 along with his brother James Walker Lees Simpson, sister Isabella and mother Mary Ann. The other members of the
family had already come out or came out later.
He attended Lochgelly East School until 1928. His father David
was a miner in the Lochgelly mines along with his older brothers. I would love to know if any of your readers would have any
photos from around that time of the school he attended or any other photos from around that area. Also if anyone
knows of the family could they please let me know.
We hope to visit Lochgelly towards the end of next year and see the places
that my husband's family grew up in. Marie Simpson, Wollongong, NSW.
Mark Dean Ellen, Kent
Hi Ian, I was
brought up near Kelty in the 50's/60's My father Robert Main Ellen was head forester Blairadam forest.
To cut a long story short. I learned to play drums in Kelty and Blairadam
Pipe Band. Later I played with a short lived Glencraig Juvenile Band. We used to practice in Lochgelly Miners Welfare. It
is a sorry site now.
I went down to London 1968 eventually joining Vanity Fare who were riding
the charts at the time www.vanityfare.co.uk I am still with the Band and I now live on the Isle of Sheppey Kent.
Vanity Fare are looking at putting a Scottish tour together this year
and Lochgelly Centre is a possible venue.
Enjoyed visiting your site. The place sure has changed I remember Lochore
Ball where I played with the Falcons in the mid 60's, That was a wild gig! Mark Dean Ellen www.geocities.com/markdeanellen/My_page
Nick Fox, Australia
Hi Ian, I came across your website while doing research into
the mines around Lochore (where I was born) and would be grateful if anyone was able to point me to possible sources
of information (photographic and written) on the Lochgelly-Ballingry area for the period 1890-1970.
Since the mines are now all gone it also appears that so too
has much of the collected memories of the people and I fear that there is also a danger that the little that does remain will
eventually be lost if it's not preserved.
What I'm trying to do, in my humble way is preserve old photographs
that I can put onto CD that I can lodge with one or more of the libraries in Fife for public access. The trouble, as
always, is finding the right material.
When I left Ballingry school in 1961 I worked for a short time at Munro's the
butchers in Lochgelly near the Cinema de Luxe and I came to Australia after leaving the army in 1970 and after 9
years study graduated as an architect from NSW University.
Your site certainly brings back a heap of memories and my
wife was fascinated by the scenes you have of Lochgelly then and now - personally I think I prefer the town as it was then
but that might just be because I remember a lot of the town as it was. Anyway, I'd be eternally grateful for any assistance
you can give me in my seemingly impossible endeavor. Nick Fox
Will Mellon, New York
Hello Ian. I've
been enjoying your site and reliving old memories of my childhood. I was born and raised in Crosshill on Castle Avenue and
left with my family for the U.S. in 1965. My father, Tam Mellon, was raised on Park Street and my mother (Nell
Hunter) in Scotlandwell. My dye (Wull Hunter) was a gaffer in the Mary pit and my dad worked in the Nellie, Glencraig
and Benarty mine.
The Auld Castle by the Burn, the Meedies and the fields and paths
around Glencraig were where I spent my childhood. I learned to play the pipes in The Glencraig Colliery Juvenile Pipe Band
and was instructed by Jackie Taylor who emigrated to Australia. We practised at the Masonic Lodge on the road tae Lo'gelly.
Later I played with Lochore and District under Pipe Major Shug MacPherson.
I switched buses and took the train in Lochgelly many times and
remember flying doon the brae on my bike going hame from there after I had pushed it up. In those days much of what you can
see in todays pictures was obscured by the bings where we used to play and scrounge for bits of coal when times were hard.
Our local tinkie was called Black Jock and he lived in an auld caravan
that had once been horsedrawn behind Park Street by the Burn. My Grannie Mellon would knit socks for him while she sat and
watched movies in the Star Theatre and make us take things over to him. We'd leave them by the door and run awa' as fast as
I grew up with families called Crawford, Rafferty, Gangley, Blyth,
Doherty, Webster, Peattie, Rowan and mair. We all made many a run doon Piggery Lane with our noses held.
Tattie howkin' and berry picking in Kinnesswood and the surrounding farms
was how we made money and my brothers John and Tam worked the coal lorries and the Open Cast.
I remember the auld steam engines and the smell of the ash and cinders
as they pulled out of Lochgelly station and the signs on the road tae Glencraig which said "Roadway subject to collapse without
warning." I always got a kick out of that one.
We swam in Loch Leven, rafted on the Meedies and hiked Benarty and Bishop
hills collecting birds eggs and skippin' stanes. I mind the miners blethering and smoking as they crouched endlessly on their
haunches, backs against the wall by the Shank in Crosshill. They all had blue scars from the coal dust and I carry some in
my knees to this day from when I fell off my bike on the old Park Street.
My uncle Bill Hunter was a fair runner in his day and did well at the
local games. He now resides in Canada with his wife Christine who is from Kelty.
They say that one of Scotland's biggest exports is it's people and that
is certainly true in the case of my family as we now cover a fair portion of the globe.
But I canna' walk doon the brae tae ma Grannies hoose ony mair.
Thanks for the memories. William Kilgour Hunter Mellon,
Janet Bodenmann, Switzerland
Hello and congratulations on your super web site! I
live in Switzerland but still have family and friends in Lochgelly and district. I used to be in Lochgelly Musical and when
I heard that Donna Hazelton was going to be in the Musicality finals programme I managed to get tickets for myself and Wilma
Finnie(ex president of Lochgelly Musical).
We were so proud to see her in 'CHICAGO', she really did
so well. Wilma got the train from Kirkcaldy and I got the plane from Geneva and we had a lovely time catching up and seeing
Donna! Janet Bodenmann (née Wilson)
Hi Ian, I spent the morning just reading all the information about Lochgelly. My family were living and working in
that area in the 1800's. The name was Mathewson. The spelling can be different. Robert Mathewson married Catherine Cairns
in 1836 and they had a nine big family.
I have traced Christina Wishart Reid Mathewson Penman born in
1855 to USA. She died in USA in 1936. Her husband was Richard Penman. I would love to know if there are any connections to
the family still living in the area. The father Robert was born in Dysart in 1816. Shirley Jackman
Jim Steele, California
Hi, your site was just passed along to me and I really
enjoyed some memories of Lochgelly. I was born in Crosshill, went to school in Ballingry and worked at the Nellie Pit
to 1960 when I left for Canada and have never been back to Scotland.
I have contact with a few people from Fife but have never made
contact with anyone from or hear much about Crosshill. If anyone has any news of Crosshill then please get in touch. I
will return to your site often. Jim Steele
Hello Ian. I came across your site while browsing and the mention of the Opera House
brought back many happy memories for me.
I worked for Joe Timmons first as a projectionist and then as a maager in the bingo clubs
at the Cinema de Lux in Lochgelly as well as the Cowdenbeath Picture
House, Kelty Regal and the Rex in Cardenden.
I have happy memories of runnng the talent
contests for kids in the eaarly
70’s with the Muir brothers being one of the top acts. The final was always held in the Cinema where Joe’s expertise
as a showman always prevailed. However what I learned from his wily wit and knowledge carried me through a very successful
business and an entertaining life.
I was born in Mungall Street, a miners
row in Lumphinnans, and we lived in an upstairs room and an attic. Thanks for
a very entertaining web site that has rekindled many hapy memories. Jimmy
Hi there! Great
site which I can't wait to show my mum when she next visits! Mum was born in Lochgelly, Julia Williamson, daughter to Tim and Janet Williamson of Small Street. Her sisters
were Cathy, Maureen, Etta, Wilma and Betty and her brother George.
Grandad Tim was
a professional footballer both in Scotland and for West Ham and Newcastle United. I think he or his family originally
came from Belfast, but Nana was definitely local from the Beveridge family. Greeat-grandma Beveridge lived up in Park View, near the Loch until about 1950.
Is there anything
else anyone can tell me about them or point me in the right direction as mum is not very specific when I ask questions!
She just says she has very happy memories of her childhood. Many thanks. Freda
John Chalmers, Texas
Hi Ian, I have enjoyed looking over your site although
I never lived in Lochgelly but my mother, her mother and her mother before her were all born in Lochgelly.
My own memories of the place were of visiting my great-grandmother Mary Donaldson in Lumphinans
Road. She was born Mary White at Little Raith Colliery in 1880 and was the 10th of 11 children to her parents and one of my proudest possessions is her original birth
died at the age of 89 in 1970, when I was 17 years old, so I remember her well and she is buried in the cemetery in Lochgelly.
She told me stories of working at the pit-head, leading pit-ponies, and her marriage
record says she was a pit-head worker. She was a founding member of the Eastern Star, and she used to speak of going
through to Edinburgh, where she met 'someroyalty' (I can't remember who) and bringing papers back to Lochgelly so the Star
could get started.
I never knew my great-grandfather. He was James Donaldson, born in 1876 in Ballingry.
He married my great-gran in Lochgelly in 1898. He was a great mason and was RWM for the Minto Lodge in 1919-1920.
I have a cup presented to him for his years tenure He died suddenly in 1940 on the bowling green in Lochgelly.
My grandmother was Agnes Donaldson, born in 1901(2 1/2 Brewery Court). My mother was
born in Lochgelly (68 Lumphinans Road) in 1927, but her family moved to Kelty shortly afterwards, where her father started
a coal merchants business behind 'Braehead Cottage' - which used to be at the top of the hill in Kelty, beside the police
I was wondering if anyone can
provide me with any connections to 'Minto Lodge' or the Eastern Star in Lochgelly? I would like to contact them to see
if they can provide information about my Donaldson family. I found out by
chance that George and Rita Donaldson were caretakers of the Town Hall, Bank Street, Lochgelly! That was their address
in 1951 (when my parents got married).
I was born and educated in Scotland, but now live in Houston, Texas. I have a 'genealogy
site' at: http://www.dgnscrn.demon.co.uk showing what I know of
my family. Kind regards, John Chalmers
Hello, my name is Andy Davidson and I was born and brought up in Paul Street in 1952.
My father "Bunt" Davidson and my mum Effie were well known in the town but sadly have passed away. I really enjoyed your site and will keep looking in as it is good to reminisce every now and again. Andy
Hello Ian, I am trying to find out about my grandparents William and Helen Flockhart who stayed in Glencraig. My father George was a miner as was his father. If anyone could give
me any information on what school or pit my late father attended I would be delighted. I really enjoyed the photos on your
site. I hope someone can help me. Thank you . Elizabeth Stephen
Anne Moringello, New York
Hi, my daughter Sally-Anne found your site on the internet, so
she gave me your e-mail address. My mother, Anne Thompson, was a Lo'gelly lassie from a Gardiner Street family,
and used to keep me in stitches about her childhood. The other relatives were from Cowdenbeath, 'Toonhull' (Townhill)
and Dunfermline. My mother and her sister and cousins went from Scotland to Australia between the wars and I was
brought up by these wonderful women, who all seemed to lose their husbands in WW2, and I couldn't wait to be old enough to
visit Lochgelly for myself.
My mother sent me to see "Lumphinnans Pier", which gave the
Scots side of the family a good laugh. That was in 1956 but I have never made it back to Fife although I would love to revisit
with Sally-Anne. I stayed with my mother's cousin, Annie MacDonald in Couston Street, Dunfermline, and worked at Greens
the Hairdressers on the High Street. Now I am a senior citizen in New York City, and my only daughter is in Washington
DC. I am just so happy she found your website. Keep up the good work. Anne Moringello
Jim Fergus, Fife
Hi Ian, I was born and brought up in the Happyland and lived at 3a Hunter
St from 1946 until 1958. The house was right against the railway between the Jenny Gray Pit (where my dad Bob worked)
and the Nellie Pit. We moved to Cartmore Rd into the new flats, now demolished, then down to McGregor Ave. My dad died
in 1991 and my mother in 2002.
My memories of Lochgelly include the following:
* Playing on the Jenny Gray bing (the Tipper), the red bing where we
made bows and arrows, walking through the canes at the loch to the black woods. Sunday walks with my parents to the fingerpost (junction of Kirkcaldy/ Auchtertool roads). Walking down the strips
(tree avenues) leading to the loch.
* The store in Minto Street where there was a butchers, bakers and grocery.
They had marble floors with sawdust scattered on them daily. The laden coal wagons breaking away as they were slowly lowered
down the Nellie Pit brae to the main railway line.
* Playing down the braes looking for newts. Magnificient bonfires due
to the proximity of the Jenny Gray scrap wood yard and Frasers Garage (old tyres) in Auchterderran Rd. Pete Macari's
horse drawn two-wheeled ice cream cart. Jackie Whytes' horse-drawn cart selling the Sunday newspapers. Horse-drawn bakers
van and milk vans from the store. The stables were off Union Street.
* The Co-op stores cash transfer pulley system where the lady
would take the cash and receipt place them in a cylindrical container attached it to the pulley system and it would make it's
way to the main cashier. Any change would be returned the same way.
* My father and Davie Campbell, the Provost, running the boxing and football
sections of the Miners Boys Club in the Institute. My grandfather was John Guild the first lollipop man in Lochgelly
and he lived until he was 99yrs old.
* The cinema, the Opera House, the cafes - Mazzonis, Macaris, Faccendas and
Capaldis. I remember JR and his 'big tackity pit bits' at the cross
stopping the buses from running into each other. Aundry Pawton (Andrew Paton) walking juggling the bottles as he went
up the road. Pete Tosh the local tramp and McCulloch's bone lorries coming through the town. Please do not think I am ridiculing
any of these people as I have very fond memeories of them and that time. I
lived in Lochgelly until I was 27 yrs old, moved to Cardenden for three yeers and have now lived in Glenrothes for 28 years.
* I remember the pig-sty at the top of the Avenue. It belonged
to my uncle Willie Walker and his business partner Willie Baptie. They had distributed metal containers to many households
in the town, asking the residents to put their discarded vegetables or peelings for the 'brock' collection. They started with
a horse-drawn cart, the horse's name was 'Jock' and he was later sold to Wull Moyes who had a contracting business in the
lane between St Andrews Church and the Minto Hotel. I think the Coop
had a garage along there at one time before moving to David St.
* There were quite
a few plots up in the area. Further over was a shaft that had opened up down to one of the Jenny Gray pit roads and the miners
used to exit here at 'piece time'. The Avenue was closed due to the subsidence of underground workings, with barriers
at both ends.
* When going to the South School from the Happyland I went up through
the bottom half of the public park, past Neilson's bake house at the end of Plantation St. I'll never forget that smell of
the fresh baked rolls, cakes and bread.
* In Hunter St just diagonally below our house lived Mrs Seath. She operated
a small shop from her kitchen selling penny sherbert, lemonade and some household goods. On Sundays she would bake dough rings
to sell to anyone who came to her door. There was also a house in Russell St which was converted to a general shop
by a Mr Reid.
Congratulations on your site which is fantastic. Please
keep the memories alive. Regards. Jim Fergus
Ian Guild, Netherlands
Hi Ian, I have lots of happy memories of Lochgelly. I was born to
Harry and Barbara Guild. My father was the only son of John and Jenny, néé Bennet. There were two sisters, Christine,
later married to Murdoch Stuart, a miner, and Isa, who later married Bob Fergus, who left the mines and became a driver
for the Co-op.
Many people may remember my grandad John as a lollipop man at the
est School in the 1960 while my father Harry was active in the Scouts. During the Second World War he served with
the Argylls and later worked in the SCWS factory on Halbeath Road and later as manager in Dumfries. He saw the writing on
the wall for the Coop in the early 1960s and we moved South to England and unfortunately lost contact with most of the family.
Grandad remained active until he died at the age of 99. Dad died some
14 years ago and I have just retired after 35 years as an Air Traffic Controller in the Netherlands. Regards, Ian Guild.
Peter Strauss, Australia
Hi Ian & Anne. I
have been researching my Scottish ancestors for only about six months but have accumulated a considerable amount already including
finding two ladies in "Freuchie Cupar" in Fife.
My g/g/grandmother came from Fife and my new contacts tell me that the
family were for many generations in Dalgety, Dunfermline, Crossgates, Auchterderran and Lochgelly.
Her name was Agnes Wildridge and I have been told that there is a Wildridge Way in Lochgelly named after a Wildridge who became rich in Australia and
sent money home to aid the sick and infirm. I would like to find out who this Wildridge was and perhaps you could let
me know where I may contact the municipal or other authority who may be able to help me here.
I would be interested in contacting any individual or any local family
history group who may be interested in exchanging information. Peter Strauss.
Alex Ferguson, Montrose
Hi Ian, I only found this site by chance when I was thinking
of my mate Rab Cairns with whom I worked for over 25 yrs. He was always so proud of Lochgelly and spoke constantly
of the town where he learned golf and darts. He also spoke of friends from there, but I can only remember one name
Anyway I am just letting you all know that Rab passed away on 6th august
2004 and I for one am very happy to have met someone from Lochgelly who I can only describe as one of the nicest guys Ihave
ever met in my life. He will be sadly missed by many. Alex Ferguson
Dear Ian, I was delighted
to find your web page. I have not travelled far as I live in Longniddry and at the moment I am working as a storyteller
and freelance writer for a project funded by the Scottish Art Council and East Lothian Library service.
This project is working with
the elderly, reading and reminiscing, and I am a member of The Scottish Storytelling Forum. Through another project 'Storytelling
Unplugged' I am going to be working in Fife and could you tell me the name of the residential home for the elderly in Lochgelly
where the Happyland was?
I have great memories of Lochgelly as I was born in Birnie
St and my parents had a drapers shop in Main Street along from the Cross. There was Mitchell's the ironmongers, Duffy's
the drapers, Bremner's drapers (my mum and dad) and Newlands the jewellers. There was also a hat shop run by two
of mums friends and Dick's the saddlers.
On the opposite side there was the shop I took
my aunt's accumulator to be recharged. There was also a sweetie shop, Wilson's the joiners and undertakers on the corner abd
there was also an Italian ice-cream shop. Ann Anderson
James Abbot, Australia
Dear Ian, I came across your web site during a fruitless search
for the Lochgelly Times web site. You probably think that I am a wee bit behind the times (no pun intended) and you would
I lived in Glencraig until 1961 when I moved to Australia at the tender
age of 14. Australia has been very good for me and I would not live anywhere else. One thing that is missing in my life is
knowledge of what happened to all my old friends and school mates.
The reason I was trying to contact the Times was to see if they would
publish a photo from Glencraig primary school (it's all I have left from Glencraig) taken around 1958 so that I might be able
to meet up with as many as possible of the faces when I visit Fife during September/October this year.
I was fascinated by your web site, it brought back so many memories
and even had a tear in my eye at some of the changes. I would just like to acknowledge my thanks for your efforts and confirm
what I'm sure you already realise, that sites such as yours are revered by people like me. James Abbot
Helen Lomas (nee Graham)
Hello Ian Fraser. I just found your website by chance,and was amazed
to realize I knew you from schooldays. We were in the same class at the West up until the 11plus, along with
Sheila Muir, Ellen Legge, Margaret Lorimer, Tom Muir, Margaret Dewar and May Wilson amongst others.
There's been a lot of water under the bridge since those days and I haven't
lived in Lochgelly for decades but I have never lost contact as my mother still lives there in North Street.
I have been attending Dundee University doing a fine art course
and this year I plan to return to do my honours. I have given a lot of thought to my dissertation
and even before I knew of this site, the idea of involving Lochgelly was in my head .. and in fact I have been painting nostalgic
paintings of Lochgelly as it once was - a rose tinted memory, no doubt.
But I visited the loch several times recently and was depressed to see
what had once seemed like a vast body of water, reduced to little more than a puddle in a field ... no more rhododendrons,
no Black forest ... no Rosie pond ... a motorway slicing across the mairs ... and opencast coal mining in the distance.
I was gratified to see the miners institute on your site, as it once
was. I desparately wish I could see it brought back to life and used in the community. Its a gorgeous old
Ideas can change, but initially I am thinking of telling the
miners story, set in a context of Lochgelly ... it would be many peoples story, and its still raw and undeveloped in my head,
but your site encourages me as there are images out there, and people who can remember details I need. Helen
Annette McDill (nee Quinn)
It was wonderful to come across your website. I was brought up in Lochgelly
at 43 Gordon Street. I was looking for information for my children and was delighted to show them my school (St Patricks)
and of course where I got married. It was wonderful to see Timmons Park where I used to play and I remember when the slaughter
house was there. A bull got loose and frightened the life out of me.
The Braes were wonderful and safe although we used to get chased by Andy
the tinker????? My pocket money job was at the bingo on Bank Street where Joe Timmons was in charge.
My parents Mary (teacher special school Lochgelly) and Michael Quinn (miner
Bogside pit) died when I was 28 about 15 years ago. I think the house is now owned by a girl I grew up with, Janice Taylor.
Our neighbours were Mr and Mrs Grierson (Tam and Mary). I have two sisters Margaret and Mary who are a bit older than
me. I left Lochgelly to go to nursing college and have since travelled worldwide living in Africa and America, came back for
a short time in Edinburgh and then moved to London. I have now settled with my family in Thirsk North Yorkshire.
I am certain with your lengthy connection with Lochgelly you will have
come across some part of my family. I still have my Aunty Isa Bain who lives in Timmons Park.
Thank you for your wonder effort with the website. If you find yourself
down here please get in touch. We still keep the home fires burning! Annette
Anne Horne (nee Farmer)
Ian, I find your web site very interesting. I too lived on Stewart Crescent.
I lived at number three, I believe from when I was born in 1952, until 1962, when we were relocated to a new house on
Gordon Street. In 1963, we emigrated to Toronto and this is where I now call home. I am very interested in
communicating with people from Lochgelly, as my mother and father are both deceased, and I do not come from a large family. My
maiden name is Farmer, my father was Dave Farmer, whose parents
were Jim and Annie and lived at 24 Inchgall Avenue, Crosshill. My mothers name, was May Stuart, whose parents were Dave and
Vi Stuart, who lived at 117 Small Street, Lochgelly. I remember our neighbours on Stewart Cres, they were Mick and May
Quinn, Burdens and I believe Johnson. I would appreciate if you could give my e-mail to other folks, as I would
love to hear from them. Thank you very much for the picture of the prefabs. Are they still standing? Once
again, thankyou. Anne Horne.
Hi! My name is Les Grierson Just looked at your photos of
old Lochgelly and they brought back happy memorys I was sent to stay in Lochgelly during WW2 when
the bombing started in Liverpool . I stayed at 24a Hunters Street with the Wilson family,went to the junior school for
about 8 months when I had to return home. I had some great times while I lived in Lochgelly, so much so that I
returned in1946 and got a job at the pit head in the Minto colliery in Brighills for six months. The photos
made me decide I must make a return journey to see how the town has changed. Once again congratulations on your
great web site Cheers Les Grierson.
Margaret Parker (nee Dickson)
THANK you both for a wonderful trip down memory lane this afternoon.
I left Lochgelly 30 years ago to live in Nairn and although I still have contact with friends and relatives in the town it
was great to see it on the computer. I worked in the Co-op office prior to my marriage and later in the Co-op garage in David
Street. My father was the Manager of the Opera House and we lived above it for a few years. Mrs Leslie, the oldest citizen,
was my next door neighbour for 10 years before we moved from Ballingry Street to here. I have stored your site among
my Favourites and will be going back to it often. Again, many thanks. Margaret Parker .
Mary Granville-White (nee Quinn)
Ian, joys and sorrows but great stuff. I have contacted Anne Farmer in Toronto, great news about Mr Mrs Grierson's golden wedding and about Mrs Jackson's
service being given recognition. Great photos. Gala days are back - that has to be good and my old school had its 100 years
- wow! I am getting on. Reading about Bill Shaws death, I suddenly realised I was reading about Billy Shaw who was a classmate
and I felt really sad. We are all so busy and all over the place its difficult to keep in touch. I stayed at 1 Stewart Cres and 43 Gordon Street and of course 14A Hunter Street in the Happy
Now living in Norfolk at the Cromer Seaside and Cruising the Broads - Thank
goodness for the teaching and tawse - it ensured an education and adequate financial rewards. Would love to hear any news
of Alan Hunter, Catherine Allen, Veronica McLauchlan, Ann Izatt or
Catherine and David Reid. Take care. Mary Granville-White.
I am trying to find out about a family called Marlow who lived in Lochgelly
from about 1900 to 1925, in particular a lady called Margaret Fair Harley Marlow.She is my wifes grandmother and she is trying
to compile a family tree and this is proving quite difficult.We would appreciate any help at all no matter how insignificant
the info might seem to be. We believe that she had a brother but we do not know his name just that he was younger than her.
I would appreciate your help be it a long shot. I enjoyed looking at your web site it is very interesting. Jeff and
Steve Duff, Canada
Hello Ian, I am the son of a man named William
Duff (husband of Jane Robb) and I am trying to find any information about David and John Birrell who are my dad's half-brothers.
I forget the name of my gran but she
may still be alive although I know she was in a facility for the elderly. I am simply trying to pass on Information to
David and John to let them know my Dad has passed away at the age of 70. Any help would be appreciated. Steve
Bill Robertson, Australia
Dear Ian, May I first of all congratulate you on such a wonderful
site. It brought back many happy memories for me to see the old Happyland. The pictures are a real treasure and I have
already copied them. I was born in Melville Street and attended the South School then the East School.While looking through
your site I was sorry to read about the passing of George Aitken, the international football player. His mother lived in Hunter
Street and used to serve our school meals at the South School..
Just to correct something on your site, regarding
Jimmy Bryce. As much as we would all love to claim Jimmy as being from Lochgelly, I'm afraid it is just not the case. Jimmy
came from Alva and was of a mature age when he came to Lochgelly. Jimmy has been a great ambassador for professional
running and an inspiration to all the young local athletes that he has trained . He deserves all the praise that has
been bestowed upon him and he is a marvel, still competing in his seventies
Each time I come home, it seems to start off
a debate about Lochgelly athletes and what they have achieved. I am sure not too many people realize just how many really
good athletes were born in Lochgelly and the major races won by them .When I started running in 1952 at the age of 15, J.Usher
(Lochgelly) was considered to be one of the best milers in the country. Other notable athletes competing at this time were
D.McKinnon (Sprinter) and J.McIntosh (half-miler). The following is a list of Lochgelly-born pro athletes
and some of their major races results.
Jimmy Kirk.- British professional half-mile champion and New
Year Sprint winner.
William Robertson - British professional half-mile champion in 1967,
New Year half-mile winner in 1961, Jedburgh Sprint winner in 1964.
Mike Starrs - New Year half-mile winner, Jedburgh
Jimmy McCleland - Jedburgh half-mile winner
The above Lochgelly squad were all trained by Willie Young
from Thornton and he considered that this was his best ever squad and probably the best in the country.
Other notable Lochgelly runners include - B. McGurk - Jedburgh Sprint winner;
H. Mclelland - New Year half-mile runner-up and D. Campbell - winner of many sprint
I have been living in Australia for over 20 years now, but
I am sure the winning tradition has continued with Lochgelly born athletes. My apologies to anyone who has been left out but I
hope this information settles a few arguments in " The Old Ship Inn". Best Wishes. W Robertson
George Black, USA
I came across your web site completely by accident ! I moved from Lochgelly to Seattle, USA, about seven
years ago and have lost contact with most of my Lochgelly friends (Ernie McPherson, Mick Stevens, Jimmy Gilruth)
I enjoyed reading your update page! It was sad to see that Doctor Wright had passed away, but I was happy to see that Lochgelly
Albert were doing well. I miss Lochgelly very much, especially all of my friends from the Masonic lodge.
Thank you for
such a nice web site, it made my day reviewing all of the old photographs. George Black
Just had a look at your website on Lochgelly, Full Marks. At one time I stayed in Montrose Cottages, now Montrose
Crescent, Lochore. I was moved to East Kilbride in 1960, regrettably. I have always wished to be able to return home to Fife
but been unable to do so. I have my own site, www.geocities.com/robert2fife it is mainly family history but, so far, I also have two pages on Fife. Let
me know what you think and any suggestions for improvements to the site would be welcome. Warmest regards. Robert
Marion Martin (nee Faulds)
I really enjoyed the photos of Lochgelly as they brought back
a lot of memories. I have been away for so long, 43 years to be exact, but there's
no place like home. Keep up the good work Marion Martin
Bill Ramsay, New Zealand
Hi there, thought I would take a dabble on the web to find out what
I could about Lochgelly. My mother and her two brothers were born there, they lived with my grandparents,
Tom and Liz Kean, at 20 Sunnyside place. These houses were started prior to WW2, but were not finished
until after the war.
I spent all my summers in Lochgelly from about 1960 through to 1971 and these days are always
played back in my mind like old 16mm kodachrome movies. My uncle, Tom Kean Jr, was a councillor in Lochgelly,
he died at a very young age, 39 in about '68. I always remember walking up the old railway line (long since pulled up) to Auchteertool to
pick wild rasperberries and making jam with them. Ah, halcyon days. I tell my sons about those times but
they mean nothing to them but mean heaps to me. I live in Auckland, NZ now, but my mind always drifts back
to simpler times, with far simpler pleasures. Kind regards Bill Ramsay
Scott MacAinsh, Canada
My 12 year old daughter is doing some school work related to the history of our name, and there is very little info
out there, as ours (at least here) is a very unusual surname. We get lots of pages about an Australian rock star, but that's
about it..I can count the MacAinsh people on my fingers here in Canada. I remember fiinding a Macainsh Church site previously
but no more. Can you help?
Ian, my entire family is delighted by your kind, detailed response! Please enjoy some warm, personal gratification in
the way that you have amazed our 4 kids to see such wonderful, detailed info come back, from a blind request
for some help to the "other side" of the world! This truly is the spirit of the "global community" that they are growing
up in - something that you and I could never have imagined at their age. Thanks for the incredible investment of time
to get those photos, and all of the background facts on the Church. It was a search for "MacAinsh Church" on Google that brought
me to your page, as it included a sentence about you growing up next door to it. Adieu. and Very Sincere Thanks!!
Scott, Jan, Carissa, Justin, Brooke, Shelby Mac Ainsh
Hi Ian. I was born at 52 Stewart Crescent in Lochgelly in 1949.
My mum worked in the dentists in Main Street around 1959. Our
family name is Muir. It was nice to see the loch again .
Hi Ian, I
saw your posting on my website about Fife Ancestors and had a look at your website. I aim hoping you will allow me to put a link to your website on my Community.Please have a look and let me know if its
ok.as it would be nice to let everyone know of your pictures .All my ancestors came from Lochgelly. I also have Frasers in
my line though not my main line. They were John Fraser and Emily Shirret.
Their daughter Janet married into my Cook Line. Angela Brass, PS My site is http://uk.msnusers/FifeAncestors
Hallo Ian. I have just looked at the old town on
internet. Excellent viewing and a big compliment to you. I used to live in 3 Well Road and left nearly 30 years ago.
Many thanks. Alex Mackay
Jan Wilson, Canada
Dear Ian, I just returned to Canada after a great trip to Lochgelly.
I was born in The Happyland, in what was known as " Pug Row" and many a great time we had. I was delighted to see the regenaration
of the Co-op building where I worked in my youth but was disappointed to see the nice post office building still sitting
empty. I hope they will soon put it to use.
I lived in Wildrige Way flats before coming to Canada in 1970 and it
was sad to see them coming down but they really were slums.
Lochgelly is beginning to come back to life and I was really impressed
with what I saw and heard of what was still to come. Now if we could just do something about the weather!! Cheers,
Sharon Inkster, Canada
Hi Ian, I like
your site. My husband and I were in Scotland in 1999 and seeing your site made me wish I could go back! We only
spent a few days in Lochgely, visiting a cousin of mine and her family (not much time for sightseeing).
My grandfather was born in Lochgelly, and all of my (Stewart)
ancestors on my grandfathers side, were from the Fife area back to 1821 (Ballingry, Lochgelly, Auchtertool, Abbotshall, Auchterderran
Doriana Friedrichs (nee Capaldi)
Dear Ian and Anne, I
just wanted to say thank you for the lovely memories you gave me looking at your great web site. My name is Doriana Friedrichs, my maiden name is Capaldi, and I was born in Lochgelly.
My family used
to have the fish & chip shop in Auchterderran Road and we lived for many years at 7 Grainger Street till we emigrated
to Germany. I want to thank you so much for the wonderful pictures
of Auchterderran Road.
To tell you the truth I had a good cry as I was looking at them
and it made me so happy. First the pic of the house in Auchterderran Road with the window of the room I was born in. I
cant wait to show my mum and my brother the pictures.
I would like to hear news of Sandy Davidson or Derek White or in
fact anyone who knows me in Lochgelly. Doriana
Derry Hay, Canada
I came across you web site the other day and it made me fair homesick.
My name is Derry Hay and I used to live at 2 Station Road or 1 Auchterderran Road depending on what door we used.
We had a sweetie shop and a cafe there and all the kids from East school
used to run over on a hot day for a penny vantas.
It was called Jeanies and my mum still lives in Lochgelly on South St.
It was great seeing all the old pictures of Lochgelly where I used
to roam as a boy. Thank you for the trip down memory lane. I thoroughly
enjoyed it. Derry Hay
Thanks for the happy trip back to the town of my childhood! I left the
West school in 1949 and Lochgelly itself in the same year - not that I wanted to go I assure you!
Edinburgh has been my home for most of the time since - give or take a
few years here and there - but I have had a trip back to the old town from time to time and been sad to see it decline
in prosperity over the years.
Tom Timmons (mentioned by you once or twice) married one of the teachers
at the West school (Miss Isobel Walker) and they used to play bridge with my parents. My father was in Public Health
- doctor but not GP. My mother had big ideas about herself and if I wanted to have anyone back to the house to "play" I had
to ask them if they could "speak posh". If they could then they were allowed in otherwise access was denied! I'm still
We lived in a house in Bank St which was joined to the Police house.
The house has now been flatted I see. Best wishes. Hugh Somerville
Have you any information you could please give me regarding the Rev Finlay
Stewart who, according to the proceedings of the Church of Scotland died on Feb 5th. 2002 late of Lochgelly.
He was a padre in India and served in my unit for several months
in 1945. Attempts years ago to contact him were unsuccessful. This time alas too late. Very impressed by your website. Alan Kendall
I'm tracing my ancestry and starting with my Lochgelly connection. My father Andrew Foote McKinlay was born in Lochgelly in 1924 along with the rest
of the family. His cousin Bob McKinlay was born in 1932 and recently died after a very distinguished career with Nottingham
Its stated that Bob's father was a semi-pro with Cowdenbeath but I can't
find any info on past players at any of the websites. If you have any
information on the Mckinlay's past and present I would be most grateful. Ian McKinlay
Reply from David Allan -- Bob
McKinlay first made a footballing impact in the Cowdenbeath Schools XI and among his teammates were Alex Herd who
later was a star with Manchester City (his son was David Herd who played alongside Best, Law and Charlton for Manchester United)
and Alex King who scored a last minute
winner for Scotland v England at Wembley in a Schoolboys International. Bob
Cowdenbeath in 1927 after some time in the juniors with Thornton Rangers. His appearances in the Cowden
1st team were restricted by tough competition and he soon moved on to Dunfermline Athletic. Later, he played
with Hearts of Beath and Lochgelly Amateurs. Bob played for the Amateurs v Hearts and Kilmarnock in the Scottish Cup.
whole McKinlay family based in Lochgelly was steeped in football. Bob's brother, Billy McKinlay, made 357 appearances
for Nottingham Forest before becoming a scout for Forest and signed Bob's son, Bob McKinlay jnr, from Bowhill Rovers,
and he went on to make a record 614 League appearances for his team
Derek Stuart, New Zealand
I have really enjoyed the trip down memory lane. Originally I'm from
Crosshill, but have spent most of my life living in New Zealand (I emigrated at the tender age of 7, I'm now 33). My grandparents
- Murdoch and Christine Stuart lived in Dryburgh Place, and my great grandfather - John Guild - lived in Francis Street many
years ago. Anyway, love the website, and keep up the good work. Derek Stuart.
George Courts, Canada
Hi Ian, Congratulations
on a fantastic site. I emigrated to Canada from Glorious Lochgelly
(where I spend many happy times !!!!). No doubt you will know my family
who have resided in Lochgelly for many years, My Gran & Di hailed from the " Happy Land " ( Jock & Elizabeth
Courts), to which I have heard many a story of the fun and the friendship the made the area. Anyway it was great to find your site on the internet and I will be a regular visitor to keep up
to date with the Auld place. Thanks .....George Courts
Lynn Campbell, Canada
Hello Ian, I was
asking on the Fife List if anyone knew of a John Harrower who was a professional footbal player and who apparently, with his
wife Isobel Sneddon, moved to England to further his career. This would be in the 1930s as far s I can gather.
Isobel was from Cowdenbeath and I have no idea where John Harrower was from.
Can anyone offer any assistance - either from personal knowledge or by
perhaps providing a possible source that I could check out for myself. (I'm not a footbal fan and. anyway, I live in
Canada, so the only thing I know about football is that my grandfather used to do the "pools" each week) By the by, I enjoyed your Lochgelly site. My second cousin's wife was born in Lochgelly
and I have sent them the site name so thay can look at it for themselves. Lynn Campbell.