Folk with fond memories of Lochgelly have decided to
share some of their thoughts. Feel free to e-mail me at Lochgelly@btinternet.com
Hello both. My name is Bill Beckett and I was born in the
Happyland in 1937 at 38A Hunter St and I have just discovered
your site with the help of my half sister in London.
I found two photographs of great interest. Firstly the Scouting group in Pics (6) in which I am included along with my cousin Bill Alexander
among others. I suspect it was taken during a weeks camping holiday at Comrie circa 1950.
I then followed your link to Alan Graham's old and new pics of Lochgelly site and came across a Happyland photo which featured 38A Hunter
Street in the background with my mother at the top of the stairs! Came
as quite a shock.
I thank you for all your hard work and, out of interest, our house-name
is 'The Jenny Gray.' Bill Beckett
Hi Ian. What a fascinating
site. I have struggled to retrace my Great-grandfathers roots. He was born in Durham c1880 and his army record shows that he enlisted in the 6th Dragoon Guards from Lochgelly and was deployed as a shoeing smith.
He was killed in the Great War in Flanders in 1918.
Aged 16 in the
1901 Durham census, he was a pony driver in the mines in Durham, so I am guessing that he came up to Lochgelly to work in
the mines around 1904 until the outbreak of war.
He was christened Henry Pattinson but he was also known as Harry Pattison.
Any help in establishing his location in Lochgelly would be greatly
Ann Thomson, New Zealand
Hi Ian. I'm very pleased to find your site. It is so interesting. My
father was born Andrew Aitchison in Dundee in 1925 but changed his name to William Thomson in 1948. He lived in
Lochgelly at 13 Kennard Street.
My siblings and I know little about his life and would be interested to
hear from anyone who can fill in some gaps. We are now having our own children and want to be able to tell them about
What we do know is that he was the son of William Thomson and Mary Shepherd Aitchison. We think
they had three children including Andrew and Barbara. William and Mary divorced and William went on to marry Nellie
Mathieson. They had two children, Sonny Mathieson and Jim Thomson. We think they live in Cowdenbeath. Mary remarried a William Allan.
The William Thomson above was the child of William
Thomson and Barbara Edgar who married in 1890. We think that this William Thomson may have been a sexton at the
My father emigrated to New Zealand in 1969 with my mother, a New Zealander. He died in 1982.
I would be happy to hear from anyone who remembers our family. Ann Thomson
Alison (Fraser) Wright, South Africa
Dear Ian, My name is Alison Wright (nee Fraser), and I live in South Africa. My father, his mother,
his grandparents were all born in Lochgelly.
My father was John Hamilton Fraser, son of Anne Fraser (nee Fraser – but not related to her husband) and James
Ann Fraser’s mother was also Ann (nee Wilson);
she died in 1945/46 aged 97. Ann Fraser (nee Wilson) and her husband John had several children, one of whom was my granny
Ann. The names of the other children included Pete, John, Aggie, Chrissie, Lily, and Jim (he emigrated to America in
Pete, John, Aggie and Ann came to live in South Africa. Pete married Jessie McKay. Ann and her husband James Fraser
(my grandparents) emigrated in about 1920, and a few years later Ann and her two boys went back to Lochgelly where they subsequently
went to school for a while. They were James Fraser born 1913 and John (my dad) born 1916, in Lochgelly.
One of my gran’s sisters was married
to Alec Blair. One of the other sisters was married to a Penman, I think it was Lily.
My granny Ann was married in 1913 to James Fraser
who came from Perth. His mother was Mary Fraser (nee Mcleod) and I believe she was born in Lima, Peru. Mary was married to
James Fraser, who was a gamekeeper, and I would be very interested to hear from anyone who knew this branch of the Frasers.
James Fraser’s siblings were Sandy, George
(nick-named Dod), Jack and Fanny who emigrated to San Francisco. Jack Fraser also came to live in South Africa. Sandy remained
in Scotland, and George died during WW1.
I have several photos if anyone is interested. One
in particular might be of interest regarding the Masons. It is a picture of my grandfather James Fraser wearing his Masonic
regalia with the words “Minto 386” written on it.
My great-grandmother, Ann Fraser, worked as a domestic
at Lord Minto’s estate, I seem to recall.
Your site is wonderful, and I hope to have some response
to this email. Kind regards. Alison Wright
Karen Murphy, London
Hi Ian. My name is Karen Murphy and I now live in London after having
lived for a number of years in Canada.
My father was born in Glencraig in 1921 and his mother owned the two ajoining colliery shops in Glencraig.
He has told me plenty of stories about when he was a boy in Glencraig, how some of the men who were out of work used to stand
up at the brig and gamble by flipping pennies and about how in the cinema there was often variety acts that used to come on
before the film.
Of course there were also some very personal anecdotes like the time his father told him he had to drown the dog by throwing
it in the burn in a coal bag because they couldn't afford to keep it. My father told me how traumatised he was by this. (luckily
the dog escaped and he was allowed to keep it)
Anyway I'm not sure when the Scout photo on Pics (6) was taken but the young boy with the bare chest and shorts
in the front row looks like my dad when he was a young boy.
He would have been about 10 or 11 years old then. His name was Daniel Murphy the youngest son of James and Anne Murphy
of Glencraig. Anne's maiden name was Brady.
Some of the relatives of this family now live in Ballingry and Glenrothes but if this is in fact a photo of my dad,
I would love to have a copy and if anyone can give me any more history about the family I would be most grateful. Kind
regards. Karen Murphy
Ella (Laing) Blair, Canada
Hello Ian and Anne, I
have just read all the messages, one said she was still in contact with a friend from Primary 1. Well, I have a friend,
Mina (Gray) Bowie, whom I have know since we were five years old. That's 69 years!
We went through the West and East schools together, and we were
great pals. Then I got married and left Lochgelly, and started my family in Perthshire. When she got married and had
her first boy, she came to see me. I was the mother of four by then. Since then we have kept in touch, I see her
every two years when I go back to Scotland.
We send cards and now e-mail, growing with the times. I am Ella (Laing) Blair, living in Toronto, Canada. I am one of 12 siblings, eight of whom
came here before me. I am the youngest of the 12, and have lost one sister
and four brothers.
I was born at 26 Main Street and moved to Sunnyside Place when I was
five years old. I came here in 1982 as a nanny. I enjoy my life here, but still have a soft spot for Lochgelly as my
parents and sister are buried in the local cemetry.
My friend drives me round all the streets where we used to live
and play. I have loads of photographs of these places and it's great looking back at them. I have lots of
cousins still in the area whom I visit often.
If any past friends or neighours of the Laing family read this, please
get in touch. My parents were David & Elizabeth (Lizzie) Laing. You
have great website, keep up the good work. Ella Blair
John Allan, Canada
Hi Ian. Thank you for putting up this site. My mother, Cath Allan, was from
Lochgelly and was a member of the Lochgelly Ladies pipe band that won the championship.
Unfortunately she passed away in 2004 but it was very nice to see
her picture. I have been to Lochgelly about eight times and it is nice to see the pictures you have posted.
Many of my relatives still live in Lochgelly and it is always a great trip to visit them.
Thank you again. John
Frank Gray, Australia.
Hi there, I found your site by accident when I was tying to find my fathers (Robert Gray) family. All I know is that
some of his family came from Lochgelly.
During the war I often came up to Lochgelly from Ollerton in England
and stayed with a aunt but I don't remember much being only 5 or 6.
I know that my father worked in one of the coal mines there but which
one I have no idea. One thing I do know is that he signed up in Lockgelly
for WW1 on the 09/11/1914.
I hope someone may be
able to help. your site is realy great and once again, thank
you. Frank Gray
Isabel Stiven, America
I'd like to tell Andrew that I went to school with Greta McKinley, and I would love to hear from her. She
and I used to run in all the races at the store Gala and at the West School.
I did see her a couple of times when I came home to see my Mum and Dad when they were alive, but that was many years
ago, I think we bumped into her in the butchers one morning. Thanks. Isabel Stiven.
Leonie Sinclair, Australia
Dear Ian, My husband’s Grandmother is turning 99. She is Isabella Sinclair (nee Lindsay) who was born in Lochgelly and lived at 47 South Street with her parents
William and Elizabeth (Watson) Lindsay.
Isabella emigrated to Australia in 1922 (with her
mother, three sisters and brother) and is living at Yagoona in New South Wales.
I have done some interviews with Isabella as her
memory is so fantastic. I can send these to you or transcribe them if you prefer. She can recall her family home being burnt
down. She said the family was very poor and few photos were taken of them.
Her mother fought with the local housing authorities
to provide a “suitable” house for the family, rejecting with firmness some of the earlier offers (due to the extremely
poor condition of the homes) eventually did receive a house to live in – Isabella was unable to remember the address.
Hoowever, she recalls a drowning of a young boy in the Loch.
She went to the local primary school although I am
unable to work out which of the two school this might have been. She finished in grade 6. She received no schooling after
leaving Lochgelly, but says that one of the teachers taught her to learn a word each day, learn how to spell it and use it
in a sentence – she followed this advice when she reached Australia.
She was an avid reader until her eyesight failed
a few years ago, but listens to books on tape now.
Thanks for putting together such a great website.
Andrew Robert McKinlay
Hello Ian. I have been trying to find some relatives
in Lochgelly and I have read with interest all the comments and articles on the
I am not too sure where my relatives all
used to live in Lochgelly but it could have been Station Road as I remember it was not too far from a railway line
because we used to stand in my aunts garden and count the trucks being pulled by the trains.
My father was Alexander William Black McKinlay and
he was born in 1943 on March 25 in Lochgelly, he joined the RAF and served for 22 years.
He had a sister called Greta (who as far as I know still
lives in Lochgelly) and I also have an uncle Dave who lives in Glenrothes. Greta
had three daughters and for the life of me I cannot remember their names but I think two of them were Wendy and Claire.
Dave, I think had two sons.
My dad also always spoke of an uncle Bob of ours
that played for Nottingham Forest FC for many years.
I hope my information can help to put me in
touch with my Lochgelly family. Andrew
David Shaw, Australia
Hi Ian. My name
is David Shaw, I was born in The Happyland, Melville Street in 1934, My wife, Nan Currie, of Kinglassie and I now
live in retirement in Byron Bay, NSW, Australia.
Your web site has stirred up many happy memories of my time in Lochgelly
which we left in 1960 to work in Northern Rhodesia. My mother Jean was also on the town council and has a street named
after her, Shaw Crescent.
I have spent many happy hours going through the posts and photos on your
site. It has stimulated my memory and I am starting to recall places and names I thought long forgotten.
I am glad you remember my mother, she was quite a lady, an ardent socialist
and a great mother, she will live forever in the street named for her. My dad, who died too young at 50 was also a great
socialist and trade unionist before he fell ill and suffered for many years with the dreaded miner's disease pneumoconiosis.
Through your site I have been able to make contact with Pete Doherty
in USA, we used to race together in Auchterderran Wheelers and both lived in Small Street.
So many memories, so many years ago, your web site is giving so much
pleasure to so many people spread around the globe and I thank you for that.
In my retirement I am a sculptor and I have written a number of
poems about my memories of Lochgelly, I hope I will be able to share some of these with you and your correspondents. Kindest regards. David Shaw
One was named ‘Mary', the other 'Jenny Gray',
most ungainly ladies as seen by light of day.
Their skirts were coal black buildings, bodice all dark steel,
each head large, incongruous, a massive winding wheel.
They were very noisy ladies, all hiss and clanging bells,
their perfume came from deep, deep down, it could have come
It came from slowly burning slag, on silent smoking mounds,
which surrounded these dark ladies, with their cacophony of
I often wonder at the names, 'Mary', 'Jenny Gray',
and think of all the miners who descended them each day.
Perhaps a salve to conscience, the names the owners gave,
to a place which, in disaster, would surely be a grave.
They are but a memory now, ‘Mary’ and ‘Jenny
yet a name miners gave them is so apt, still used today.
Always pragmatic they had a name that truly fits,
two dark ladies, just deep and dangerous pits.
DICK THE SADDLER
Tell me, Dick the saddler,
purveyor of pain,
what was your reason,
what was your gain?
Was it the money,
or a secret delight,
at the thought of the children
who stood there in fright,
awaiting the pain
your piece of leather delivered?
who stood there and shivered,
at the thought that Authority,
at times without cause,
delivered its justice
with your Lochgelly tawse
Hi Ian, I
put a posting on your web site early in 2008 asking for help finding my Auntie Yvonne Miller (nee Ford). I have since found
her and wondered if you could remove that posting as I am getting too many emails. Many
Mary Lou McCoy DeFilippo, Long Island, New York
Hello, I am the grandaughter of Patrick Smith and Mary Connolly Smith
who immigrated from Lochgelly after Patrick succumbed to Black Lung Disease around 1927 and so I never met him.
Most of the family immigrated to America. One aunt and my great
grandmother stayed. My Aunt's maiden name is Mary McKelvie and
she had two children, Patsy and Andrew. Patsy had a son and two daughters. I keep in contact with one, Teresa
who lives in Aberdeen.
In 2005 I travelled with one of my cousins and her friends to Ireland
and Scotland. We were especially thrilled to take a photo at the Lochgelly City sign. Both our Moms had passed
the year before.
Don't know if anyone there has any connection, but thought I would
reach out! Sincerely, Mary Lou.
PS We cannot direct
the wind .... but we can adjust the sails.
My Mum and my Auntie were in the Lochgelly Ladies pipe band in the early 50’s.
Mum was Isabella Lamond and then she married Jimmy Durham and my Auntie was Cathy Swan and
she married Bill Durham.
If anyone has
any information or photos I would love to see them. Dad and Uncle Bill played
in Bowhill Colliery Pipe Band along with Bert Wyse. Thanks
for the help. Cheers. Gloria Smyth
Hi, I am desperately
looking for further information regarding my mum`s aunt and possible family.
Her name was Jane Smith, born 1905 and died 1987, and worked and
- I think - lived at Sauchope Farm. She married a John Crighton Murray, who was living at 49 Waverly Street, Lochore, at the
time of their marriage. He was a coal miner.
Johns parents were John Murray and Christina Milne. Any information would be gladly accepted. Evelyn
Sally-Anne Moringello, Washington DC
Hello Ian. I've just returned
from my trip to the UK and, specifically, Lochgelly and I just wanted to thank you again for the help and advice.
My friend and I took the train from Edinburgh to Lochgelly, walked
around, found Gardiners Street where my grandmother Anne Thompson used to live at No. 18, shopped at the Co-op, took
lots of photos, and got the train back.
You were so right about taking the full Fife circle to see more. We took
trains all over Britain on this trip and nowhere did we see anything so scenic and enjoyable as the Fife circle route.
Below is a photo of me at my grandmother's old street. Sally-Anne Moringello.
I will be accompanying my mother, Barbara Fotheringham Provan, to
revisit Lochgelly and the area where she grew up with her parents and 12 brothers and sisters.
Now 88 years old, she is the only remaining member of her family and
I would love to make her short visit as memorable as possible for her.
She grew up in Eliza House between Lochgelly and Auchterderran.
Could anyone tell me if there is anyone around who may remember the family or the house or any school connections?
We plan to visit between September 22-29 and will be staying
at a hotel in Burntisland. I would be grateful for any contacts. Thank you, Valerie Nazir-Ali
Hello there Ian. A short
e-mail, simply because I have to collect my thoughts after going through your FANTASTIC web site.
I was born in St. Andrews
but was fostered at aged three and later adopted by a Mr & Mrs Mockett. My sister Patricia and I (then aged three and
five) lived at 12 Station Road, next door to the Faccendas cafe, and across the road from Mrs Timmons, with
them and their two boys, Robin and Anthony, from 1961 - 1969.
My adoptive father, Donald
Mockett, was a director of the National Coal Board, also an elder at St. Andrews Church, and later became the leader of the
100th Scout group.
My adoptive mother was Marjory
Mockett and was involved in the Womans Guild at St Andrews Church. She taught the remedial class at Lochore Primary school
for many years.
I went to Lochgelly
West primary school and my first teacher was Mrs Timmons. My best friends were Jennifer Dunn, Anne Matthews, Christine
Wright (her father was our doctor). Janet Tennant whose father became the minister at St. Andrews Church, and Margaret
Jennifer Dunn and I were
re-united six years ago through Friends Re-united. We keep in touch through Yahoo messenger daily and on
our 50th birthdays this year met up again after 30 years! It was amazing as we still have our cheekiness and sense of
fun together. We share a very special friendship, who can say that they still
have their Primary One pal?
Lorna Black lived round the
corner from us and I was always round at her house, I think her Di lived there with them. She had a brother Roger who was
in the scout troupe along with Brian Johnstone, Dougie Thompson, Bill Dunn and Davy Dunn,
Thank you for a fantastic
site. I am going to e-mail the link now to my Dad. He will be so happy to read its contents and look at the pictures, especially
the ones with our house in them. Kind regards. Jannette Dunn (no relation to the afore-mentioned Dunn family but my husband
is called Billy too!)
Linda Dawn Hammond, Canada
My grandmother, Bridget ("Betty") Murray Gorman, was born in December,
1898, at 28 South Street, Lochgelly, daughter of Edward Gorman and Bridget Gorman nee Reilly. Does anyone remember
her? She worked in a bakery in Canada and could possibly have done the same in Scotland.
She moved to Winnipeg, Canada in her 20s, where she married and
raised a family, and died age 90 in Toronto. Her younger sister "Peg' (Elizabeth) moved to the Bronx, NYC, and we have unfortunately
since lost track of her remaining family.
I wonder if any family remains in Lochgelly? Her father, Edward Gorman,
remarried in 1921 to Catherine Short and had children. My great-grandmother had two sisters, Mary Reilly (b. 1876)
and Catherine (b. 1880), who may also have family in the region.
I have some photos of my grandmother, Bridget Gorman,
and her family on a site I created for my father after he died, if anyone's interested.
Keith Halfpenny, St Andrews
Hi Ian. I live in St Andrews but my family roots are firmly in West Fife
and in particular Lochgelly. Both sets of my grandparents lived in Lochgelly for as long as I can remember and possibly for
sometime before that.
My main memories of Lochgelly are spending every sunday afternoon travelling
from Anstruther to spend the rest of the day with them. My paternal grandparents were William and Jessie Halfpenny who lived
at 115 South Street before moving to Auchterderran Road about 1969 when the new houses were built.
On my mothers side (Janet Whyte or Kelly) my grandparents (James and
Lilias Kelly) lived in Stephen Place before moving across the road to a street whose name I cannot recall. You will realise
that these moves put my grandparents almost back door to back door.
I had a lot of fun looking through your website and was particularly
pleased to see a mention of my family name from one of your other readers although they remember the Halfpennys living
in Jubilee Terrace which is a street I am unfamiliar with.
I was wondering if you or any of your readers could shed some light on the authorship of a poem called 'The Birnie
Braes' as I have a copy of this which is typewritten and initialled JH.
I was also wondering if anyone is able to shed any light on the Halfpenny connection with Lochgelly. I only know
that both of my grandas were employed within the coal industry. I think my Granda Kelly worked at the Jennie Gray in
some capacity while my granda Halfpenny was perhaps more involved in the administration side of the industry.
Any information would be very helpful as I intend to try and compile some kind of family tree. Thank you. Keith
Betty (Devlin) Elliott, England
Hi Ian. Just found your wonderful web site. We came from Crosshill and our
parents were Eunice and Tommy Devlin. I am now Betty Elliott and my sister Janet Gilmore is here with me and
we have enjoyed your site.
Our brothers are Thomas who died in 1957, Robert who is married to Lottie,
John married to Lynne and Gordon married to Madeline.
I worked in the Co-op furniture store in the High Street. My sister Janet
worked for the Co-op too, in the central office. They were some of the happiest day of my life.
Irene Kent, one of the faces I recognised, worked with me in the furniture
shop. I worked there from1952 till 1955 when I got married. My brother Thomas worked as a projectionist in the cinema in Lochgelly and
some years later my brother Robert worked there too. They both eventually went into the RAF as did brother John.
I live in Lancashire and Janet lives in Yorkshire. We recognise
a few faces in the pics - Isobel Houston, May Brady, Frances Rafferty, Elizabeth Nardone, Betty Chalmers and Fay
Gildea. We look forward to hearing from anyone who remembers any of our family. Betty Elliott.
Walter Rolland, Canada
My father,Walter Rolland, was one of five sons born to Walter Rolland
sen and his wife Lillian Russell. His siblings were William, John, David andAndrew and their home was on Station
My grandfather worked as a contractor in one of the coal mines. My father
came to Canada in 1924. William came to the US about that time but returned to Lochgelly when he retired in the early
1960s when he and my Aunt Jen bought a home on Melgund Place. John and David lived their lives in Lochgelly. Andrew lived
in Brantford Ontario.
I would be pleased to receive information from anyone who has any information
about the Rolland family. Walter Rolland.
Andrew Arnold, UK
I am researching my family tree which has links to Lochgelly and I would like to ask if anyone has any further information
My great great grandfather Peter MacDuff was born
in Little Dunkeld in 1858 but the 1891 census shows that he was married to Mary S Brown and lived at West School House, Lochgelly.
Elsewhere I have seen the address given as The Schoolhouse and 9 Main Street and his occupation is given as Master Teacher.
Peter and Mary had 5 children, Donald, Elizabeth S, Margaret Robertson (my
great grandmother), Mary S and William Brown. The 1891 census also shows a general servant living at the property whose name
was Elizabeth Woodcock, age 25.
William Brown MacDuff worked in the Commercial Bank
in Lochgelly before emigrating to Canada in 1912. He was there when war broke out and joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force.
He was killed in 1917 and is commemorated on the Lochgelly War memorial.
William’s brother Donald also served in the war and returned home safely. At some point after the war,
Peter and Mary (I’m not sure about the rest of the family) moved to Lundin Links.
That is all the information I have at the moment so would love to hear from anyone who could add
anything. Kind Regards, Andrew Arnold.
Jim Lynock, Southampton
Ian. We buried my mother in Birmingham
recently - she was born into a Scots mining family named Boyle from Hamilton befoore
she moved to Birmingham during
had a right royal Scots send-off, pipers, singing, wake, the lot. But I was surprised when my daughters produced the service
cards that it showed her place of birth as Berry Street in Lochgelly as we always believed she was born in Hamilton.
we are eager to find out what we can about the place especially any pics of Berry
Street about the time she was born, 1931. Any help or direction from anyone in the town would be
greatly appreciated. Regards. Jim Lynock.
Alexander Stevenson, New Zealand
Hello there. My
name is Alexander Stevenson and was very interested to find your site on Lochgelly where my early family lived.
I have been researching my Family Trees and found that Hugh and
Jane (nee Buchanan) Wotherspoon and three daughters lived in Whyte Street Lochgelly in 1905.
Also Alexander and Helen (nee Ritchie) Stevenson had six daughters
and three sons and in 1892 lived in Rosewell Colliery Rows, Milton, Crosshill.
If anyone has information on either of these families I would be very
grateful. Alexander Stevenson.
Patricia Diaz Fernandez, Chile
Hi. My name is Patricia Diaz and a very good friend told me about your
site. I was born in Kirkcaldy in 1975 but spent my first 12 years in my dear Lochgelly.
I went to the Sunflower Nursery and then studied at the South School
where I made lots of good friends and best pals but left them when I came to Chile.
I really cant leave without saying thanks to Lochgelly for receiving
my parents in 1975 and thanks for giving me the best memories of my life.
See you all someday and big hugs to everyone who knew me and I would love to hear from anyone in Lochgelly. I
miss you all. Patricia Diaz Fernandez
Mary (Currie) McLaren, Lochgelly
Hi There. My name
is Mary McLaren (nee Currie) and I presently live in Lochgelly. I can
help with one more person in the Lochgelly Ladies Pipe Band photo on your Other Pics (1) page.
My Grandmother Jean Currie (nee Rafferty) was a member and
is in the picture, sitting next to Cath Devlin in the front of the photo. She used to tell me about her days in the Pipe Band and on occasion would play the chanter that she still owned. Sadly, she passed away in 2003.
I have been trying to find the Pipe Band photograph for a few years now,
someone even stopped in the co-op yesterday to as if i had a copy of it. Unfortunately I don't but I was
extremely pleased to find it on your site about Lochgelly today.
Does anyone have any more pictures of the Pipe Band? Mary McLaren
Elizabeth (Steedman) Kirby, Canada
Hi Ian! Re my search for Jean Allan this is just to let you know
that I now have her address, telephone number and email address and I would like to thank you personally for your help. Liz
Jacqueline (Blamey) Delchau, Australia
Hi Ian, I have a letter posted on your site and have had some lovely responses and I even found a cousin I didn't know
I had. We are travelling Australia now and have a
laptop with us with a new email address. Any chance you can list the new one which is firstname.lastname@example.org . Kind
regards, Jacqueline Delchau.
Bill Lister, Glenrothes (new email address)
Hi Ian, My name is Bill Lister. My family moved from David Street, Lochgelly, to Leslie in 1954 when I was ten months
parents were Jimmy and Annie who had a fruit shop, opposite the Institute in Main Street.
have an older brother, David, and two older sisters, Betty and Margaret.
have been researching my family tree and wondered if there was any descendants out there of James and Charlotte Lister
who were my great-grandparents and stayed in David St.
up to 1912. They had eight children - John, James, Elizabeth, my grandfather David, William, Thomas, Catherine and Alexander.
Elizabeth Kirby, Canada
I wonder if you could possibly assist me in tracing Jean Allan (Allen) who
came from Lochgelly. Jean and I emigrated to Canada in 1963. We returned a year later, Jean stayed in Scotland and
I returned to Canada.
I am coming home to Scotland for several weeks this summer and would
dearly love to be able to contact her. Unfortunately, I do not have a lot of details to provide to you but am hoping
that someone can help me.
Jean will be around 65 years old now and lived in Derran Drive, Cardenden,
and Reid Street, Lochgelly, with her mother, father, older sister and younger brother. Her father was the manager
of a local pit.
I am guessing that she would have married around 1965-1970. She married
a guy who either came from, or worked, in Ayrshire and they moved there after their marriage.
Any help anyone can provide me with in tracing Jean or even telling
me her married name would be truly appreciated. Thank you for your time. Elizabeth Kirby (nee Steedman), Oakville, Ontario.
Hi Ian, I have just been pointed in the direction of your site. I wondered if you mind posting that my mum, Mona Campbell, passed away
on 1st April, 2008.
Her husband was David Campbell of Ballingry although he left years
ago to join the Air Force. I haven't been in contact with any of my Scottish relatives for years but wanted to let them
know. If anyone wants to contact me they can email me at email@example.com Lynne Paris
Hi. I just found your site and its really, really good. I used
to go out with a Lumphinnans lad in the 1960's and my Granny/Grandad had most of their kids in Lochgelly and Lumphinnans.
I was wondering if anyone had any pics of Beveridge Place or any
info from the early 1920's etc as my uncles and aunts were all born in that area. Stephens was the name - Alexander Stephens and my Granny was a Mary Innes.
I believe she has Innes family still out in the Lochgelly and Cowdenbeath
areas yet. Any info would be deeply appreciated. Phyllis Morris
Mary Aitchison, Preston
Hi Ian, Thanks for replying so quickly to my email. As you can imagine
I have many memories to share and which may amuse readers. However, it is interesting that you also worked for the Lochgelly
Times. It was so good to learn that Jimmy McIntosh is still around. I wonder if he remembers having a 'crush'
on me! Please give him my warmest regards.
These days were so full of fun, comradeship but hard work. How the printing
world has changed. Before I retired I published, edited and produced newspapers for the Health Service;
produced and edited the magazine for Altrusa International and I am still writing having turned author.
The small beginnings in Lochgelly served me well. I was the first
newspaper woman in Fife, much to the amusement of the men but when I began to produce more news items than they did
I won their respect.
I had such a network of locals helping me, even JR who swept the streets.
When he saw me he would call out " Haw, haw the Lochgelly Times" and go into a merry jigging movement. He would stand
at the cross (a blind spot) and wave on the oncoming traffic from both directions and then put his hands in his ears
waiting for the crash.
It is good to recall the good times, but growing up in Lochgelly during
the late twenties and thirties had also its tales of extreme poverty. When our house was hit by thunderbolt
during a severe storm, it was so badly damaged we had to find an alternative place.
As my brother, Matthew, was ill with measles. it was a matter of urgency
and we were housed in the only available place in Melville Street, next to the shop run by Mrs Reid. My mother was very protective of her family and we were prevented from going out alone.
She was very concerned at the poverty around and we would often return from school to find a group of children seated
around the kitchen fire.
Mum would be giving them something to eat and finding clothes and footwear
for them. My father was a mining contractor and always came out on strike in support of the men. He and an uncle,
Alec Clark (trainer for Dunfermline FC) would go out shooting for game and rabbits to fill stew pots to give out to families.
My mother told us that when the General Strike finished she had broken
into her last ten pound note. But even in better times of employment there was dire poverty. In winter you could
see toddlers with only a vest for warmth and newspapers for nappies. I can still feel the heartbreak of my friends
and school who were outstanding at their studies but because of their poverty were destined to work in the mines; the
women on the pithead. or leaving home to work as a
If a child lost the father there was no help for the widow. As a young
reporter I was brought face to face with so much tragedy. Tuberculosis was the cause of many deaths. Witnessing the tragedy around left its mark with me and I have travelled in India, Thailand,
China, Hong Kong and Burma taling aid and comfort to the street children, slum dwellers, indigenous people and refugees.
Although I am 87 yeears old, I am still in touch with helpers in Burma and on my last visit I entered via the rivers
and mountains without my passort and visa to seek out the displaced people. Such tragedy that is so overlooked!
warmest good wishes for your enterprising and excellent work at keeping Lochgelly "Times" alive. Mary
Alexander Mcrobbie Munro, Rosneath
Hello Ian. Firstly, you have a great site and I have
just phoned my father Alex Munro, who used to live in Hunter St - anyone remember him?
My mothers name is Euphemia (Effie) nee Richardson. Myself
I think I am more a Richardson but my father calls me Pete Tosh. Reading your
site I see he was the local tramp who my father says used to live down Auchterderran Road in
a shed down by the old boneyard.
I have memories of sunny days at the loch
catching perch which would be record breakers in todays fishing competitions.
I am an ex-miner and I now live in Rosneath near
Helensburgh. The link below will take you and anyone else through to my own site. Regards.
Mary (Mackinnon) Aitchison, Preston
Hi Ian. Due to my son's enthusiasm for his parents' life and experiences
he has introduced me to your site. Congratulations!
I was a junior reporter serving the Lochgelly Times, Cowdenbeath
Advertiser and Kinross-shire Advertiser. Jack Dougary was junior to me!
In 1942 I was conscripted into the ATS and served in the Intelligence
Corps. After the war I lived with my husband in Surrey; then Cornwall and later Gloucestershire. At
present I live near my son in the suburbs of Preston.
As I am now
87 years old, I have many memories to share with some of your contributors and have sent an email to Tom Gourdie, as
I was a very close friend of his grandparents.
My name, before marriage, was Mary Mackinnon, now Aitchison
I still write and am an author. My father, Matthew Mckinnon, was a professional footballer and played for Dundee United,
Raith Rovers before coming to Lochgelly and playing for Lochgelly United when the team was in the First Division. He
was also a cricketer and mining contractor and a member of the Masonic Lodge. We knew Provost Wilson, Jack Westwater
and Alex Westwater, my editors.
You have stirred up many memories for which I thank you. Best
wishes, Mary Aitchison.
Maureen Campbell, Australia
Hi. I am uncertain about who to contact. I have found
out that my maternal great grandmother, Anne McMahon, died in February 1950, five years after I was born. I knew and loved
her daughter, Annie Ferguson.
I do not know if there was any
contact between them after Nana, my Annie, emigrated to Australia, sometime before 1915. I understand that my great grandfather,
William McMahon, died in Sydney in 1942. I also understand that one of her sisters, Cecilia McMahon, came to Australia in
Nana did not tell me anything about her life
or family in Scotland although she loved all things Scottish. By the time that I was interested in where she came from, she
In the death registration extract for Anne
McMahon, my great grandmother, her granddaughter’s address is given as 49a Melville Street, Lochgelly. Her granddaughter’s
name was possibly Anne Lynch but I could not really read the signature on Anne’s death registration record which I obtained
from Scotlands People.
If any McMahon family members or anyone
who may be able to help me trace other family members please email me. With thanks from Maureen Campbell.
John (wee Jock) Stephen, Cowdenbeath
Hi there. A great site and although I never have lived in Lochgelly
I am a frequent visitor and occasionally visit the Minto Club or Shardy's for a 'refresh'(most of my 'refreshing' is
done in DJ's Bar, High St., Cowdeneath (previously Penman's, Claymore or Martin's Bar).
I spent my childhood/schooldays in the old Clune Terrace in Glencraig
and the Lochore and Ballingry areas, but I do have family who reside in Lochgelly at present, and although I am only 45 years
young have noticed many changes in Lochgelly through the years.
My sister Mig Rendell (formerly Farrell nee Stephen), my nephew Danny
Farrell and nieces Donna and Stacey Dempster all reside in Lochgelly at present. Other sisters Janet McCallum and Aggie Connelly
live in Ballingry!
I also worked at the 'Bone Yard' in Auchterderran Rd. for a couple of years
and 'lunched' at the Jube. I directed my step-dad, George Nardone (born
1939, brought up Park St., Crosshill), to your site and he was amazed and happy and can now be found browsing here at least
two or three times a week and knows a lot of folk mentioned.
I have a friend who stays in Kelty and often walk o'er Kirk O' Beath
backroad to visit him. (He is Gerry Boyle, born 1947), in case anyone knows him they can contact him through me.) I also walk
to Lochgelly a bit, so it would not be a problem to stick a 'camra in poakit' and take some snaps of present sites in these
areas if anybody at home or abroad is interested. Just let me know and I'll try my best. Wee Jock.
Hi Ian and Anne. I
have been trying to trace family and have just today received information regarding a gentleman, Mr W Roberts, formerly of
8 Golf View, Cardenden, who would be my second cousin.
His grandfather Alexander Taylor and my grandfather George were
brothers both born in Cullen, and the family moved to Glasgow about 1890 and my grandfather left Scotland to attend the Salvation
Army training college in 1906. He only travelled back to Scotland on a couple of occasions.
I wondered if anyone you knew of Mr Roberts and whether
he still lives in the area. I have had a look through your memories and could find no mention of a family called
Roberts. However this gentleman's parents, Samuel and Elizabeth Roberts I believe, stayed in Glasgow so I think
that he may have moved into the Lochgelly area perhaps when he retired? I am assuming he is at least
60 years of age as his mother was born 1917. Can anyone help me on this matter?
By the way the website is great to look at - I love the school photos
and think the whole idea is fantastic for people to be able to share their thoughts and memories but also keep up to date with what is happening now. Karen Kivlehan (nee Taylor).
Hi, I'd just like to say it's great having this site although I am
only 17. My family originate from Fife, especially Lochgelly.
My Grandad was Jack Dougary, married to Sheila, but sadly they have both
passed away. My father still lives in Lochgelly and I visit him sometimes.
I also found a picture on your site of my uncle Ian Dougary in Primary
School, which made me giggle.
This site is great, I think its amazing how people are able to help other people and tell
them about family history! Adele Dougary.
Moira (Allan) Foster
Hello Ian and Anne. I
came across the site yesterday and it was fascinating to read all the comments and see the pictures of the Lochgelly of old.
While reading through the letters I was very sad to see that a relative
of mine had died in Canada. His son Steve Duff, who I never met, was trying to locate his father's half brothers who
had lived in Lochgelly many years ago.
Their mother and grandmother had lived in Auchterderran Road at one time.
I tried to e-mail him but the mail was undelivered. I realise it could have been sent some time ago but it
would be good if he could get in touch with me.
I've also e-mailed my brother Jas, who has lived in Germany
for the last 35 years, so he can have a look at your site. Moira Foster
John Plunkett, England
Hello Ian. I am trying to contact a cousin of mine. his name is Willie Wilson, who lived in South Glencraig in 1945. He
would be about 83 years old now (his nickname was Bunny).
There were in the family - Margaret the eldest then Bella, who was married to Budge Livingston,
then Chrissy and another younger sister. Their mother's maiden name was Bell Innes. and dad was Dave Wilson. They
had Wilson connections in Lumphinnans where my grandad's brother's family grew up and one of that side of the family was
named Tam, about my age 83 and worked in the aitken,
I lost touch with the family when I left Lochgelly in 1945
and would dearly like to get in touch with any one of the family or their siblings. John Plunkett
Dear Ian and Anne. I really enjoy your website. I have posted before
but with this message I send a photo of my great-grandparents, Archie and Helen Kirk (nee Gourdie).
Tthey lived in South Street in a row of cottages know locally as Spionkop.
Kind regards. Michael Kirk.
Hello Ian, My name is John Plunkett, was born in lochgelly
some 82 years ago and now live in Lyndhurst in the New Forest National Park.
A very distant and far away relative of mine in Australia is researching
her Lochgelly roots. I am trying to help her build an old picture of
There is one part called Grainger Square, next to the Nellie Pit where
most or her and my ancient family were born.
I can remember being in one of those very small cottages but unfotunately
do not have a picture of them. Also I would like to know the names
of some of the people who lived in those "cottages" in the SQUARE.
My father told me when I was a lad that he remembered being in his grandmothers
house when he was young and the poultry and "livestock" ran freely in the house and the odd leg of ham hung from the rafters.
It must have been tough those days and it would be nice to capture
the time with photos. If anyone can help, please e-mail me at
Thank you, John
Isabel Stiven, USA
I can't wait to see that DVD, because if my memory
is right, that was the year I won the fancy dress. I was dressed up as Britannia, and I still have the picture of me
squinting in the sun. It will be so much fun to see all those days on a DVD.
Thanks for making all of these things possible for all of the wanderers
who still love Lochgelly. Isabel Stiven
George Anderson, USA
Hello Ian. I just found your web site and it got me thinking
about my roots.
Here is a link to some wee hand planes I made and named them after my old town.
Aw the best. George Anderson.
Trisha Clegg, Manchester
Hello, I hope you don't mind me contacting you. I have tried everywhere
to get some information about my family but to no avail. I started doing some research over a year ago but my
computer broke and then I was ill for a while so here I am again.
I'm trying to find out about my father John Muir, who lived in Cowdenbeath,
and its a very complicated story but since his death I have found out that his real father was a Samuel Taylor from Lochgelly.
He had the newsagents - I think it was on Main St. My grandmother Mary
was married to a Thomas Muir who was killed on the railway line and I managed to get the newspaper cutting from
the Dunfermline library.
I live in Manchester and I'm trying to do a family tree. Has anyone any
idea as to how I can find out anything about Samuel Taylor or any of the Muirs. I know there was William, jean and others
but I am hitting a brick wall.
My sister started doing research and a lovely lady was helping her from
Scotland but my sister has gone to live in Spain so I am carrying on. I have enjoyed reading all the memories on your site
and it sounded as if Lochgelly was a lovely place to live. Thank you so much, kind regards. Trisha Clegg.
Stewart Forrest, Scunthorpe
Hi, my great-grandfather, John Wilson, lived in Sunnyside Cottage,
Station Road, Lochgelly in the 1930’s, 40's,
50’s. During this time he served as Provost of Lochgelly and was also responsible for opening the post office in Bank
He had two grand-daughters, one a school teacher (Sybil)
the other a doctor (Elizabeth). They both lived in the Lochgelly area and are both now sadly deceased.
I believe one of his daughters married George Logie, a joiner
I would be interested in hearing from anyone who remembers any
of the above family members or has any photographs. Regards. Stewart Forrest.
Annette (Muir) Goodwin
Dear Ian and Ann, I
thought I would let you know that I have been in touch with Mr Tom Gourdie, who is on your Lochgelly site, with an interest
in his fathers paintings.
After a few communications back and forth, I purchased some of the paintings
and am very pleased with them. Tom seems very professional in his dealings and I look forward to choosing a few more for my
For anyone thinking of purchasing any of the paintings which
can be seen further down this page, Tom will only be too happy to help, and I thank him for the service he provided. Best wishes. Annette Goodwin
My mother and father are planning a trip to Scotland next year and would
appreciate any information that anyone may have with regard to the following:
Mum's maiden name is Valma Fraser, daughter of Charles Fraser who
was born in Fife in 1911. We understand that he lived in Lochgelly
with his parents Daniel and Mary and siblings Jock, Bill, Christopher, Meg, Nell and Jim.
The family emigrated to Australia in the 1920's but the oldest sibling
stayed behind. However, we don't know the name of this oldest brother.
The family moved to Adelaide - Daniel and Mary are buried here,
as are those who have passed away since.
Mum's father (Charles Fraser) was killed in action at El Alamein in 1942
so if any of this information is familiar or prompts any memories we would be extremely grateful. Kind regards. Andrea Redman.
Susan Fox, Canada
Can anyone help me get back in touch with some of my relatives? I
married my late husband, Jim McDonald from Lumphinnans, in 1956 but I have lost touch with his side of the
I would love to hear from Joe Sneddon, originally from Glencraig,
and sister Marie. I have three children who would love to keep in touch with their cousins.
Marie still lives in Lochgelly but I don't know her married name.
I would be grateful for anything your excellent site could turn up. Susan Fox (formerly Campbell and McDonald).
My dad is a huge fan of Billy Liddell and I was wondering if anyone has
a copy of the club badge of Lochgelly Violet football team, or if there is any way that a replica kit (very long shot I know
- but many Liverpool fans would buy one!) Janet Hodge
|Artist Tom Gourdie's portrayal of the Nellie Pit in 1947
Tom Gourdie, England
Dear Mr and Mrs Fraser. My father, Tom Gourdie, came originally from Cowdenbeath and married my mother Lilias Taylor in April 1942. Lilias
Taylor lived with her mother (also Lilias) and sister Mary at "Cromwood", 69 Station Road, Lochgelly.
My grandfather, William, was headmaster at West School but died at the
comparatively early age of 45 in 1923. My aunt Mary married George Wilson during the war and they remained at 69 Station
Road until Mary died in 1994 and George passed away in 1998. Mary had a position at the Queen's Hotel and George
worked for the Co-operative as a joiner and was also involved in the undertaking side of the business. Their son (my
cousin) Robert still lives in the area
After the war my mother and father spent some time in Banff and a short
period in Lochgelly in 1947 before moving to Kirkcaldy where they were both teachers (he was an art teacher, and she
taught commercial subjects such as typing and shorthand).
The artworks attached were done in 1947 and concentrate mostly on
mining scenes. My father, who was perhaps better known as a calligrapher, died
in 2005 at the age of 91 and my mother, aged 88, in 2001.
I notice a lot of people using the Memories part of your site often refer
to connections with some of the mines so I hope that they might find these paintings interesting.
If anybody is interested further in these paintings and others of Fife
- all done in the 1940s and 1950s (mostly of Kirkcaldy) - then I hope they can feel free to contact me.
I am currently working on a website for prints of these paintings but
until that is ready I will answer any queries in writing or by e-mail. My address is 206 The Mallards, Leominster, Herefordshire,
HR6 8UN and e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally I find your site very informative and enjoyable. Regards. Tom Gourdie
|Another Lochgelly pit, the Wee Mary, brilliantly captured in 1947
|Glencraig Colliery seen from Lochgelly in 1947
I received details about your very informative site from my sister
Joan, who now lives in Kirkcaldy. I was born in 1935
and lived in Lumphinnans Road before moving to Small Street with my parents, Sam and Lizzie Wilson (nee Thom ), who have unfortunately
now passed away.
I attended the West School from 1940-1947 then the East School
from 1947-1951, before starting my apprenticeship at the Minto Colliery (Brighills), leaving there in 1957 to join the BISN
Co Ltd (Merchant Navy).
Leaving them in 1963 I moved to London for three years before
settling down in Sutton Coldfield, the very year that England won the World Cup, however they have never won it again so I
had better stay put.
It would be nice to speak to someone from the Good Old Days.
Lang May Yer Lum Reek, Bill (Wullie) Wilson.
Hi Ian. I just
stumbled across your site and wondered if anyone has any local knowledge of the name Szlapikas.
I came across the name of a William Szlapikas for Lochgelly High School
for 1975, but no further information.
To give you a bit of background, my partner William Paterson (Szlapikas)
and I are trying with great difficulty to trace his family roots. The Szlapikas family were originally Polish or Lithuanian.
William's grandfather was born after they arrived in England. His dad
Frank always insisted that some of his family went to Fife to live, we think they were miners.
William is extremely keen to find out his roots. The Glasgow branches
of the family changed their names in the 50's. We do know some of the family names and dates etc, but we would dearly love
to track down any family members and hopefully find out for definite if they were Polish or Lithuanian.
Any help or insight anyoone could give would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks for taking the time to read this. Lesley Frame.
Hi, my name is
Sally Marshall. I have never been to Lochgelly but my parents were married there and my father's family lived there. I have
been trying to find out about his family and have hit several brick walls.
My father was Henry McKinnon Marshall. He was born on 14 June 1932 in
Juniper Green, Edinburgh. By 1952 when he married my mother Gertrude Jessop at Churchmount Church, Lochgelly his family was
living at 91 Main Street, Lochgelly.
At that time his father Thomas Roberts Marshall was working as a
boilerman at the gasworks. His mothers name was Margaret Brownlie Marshall nee Johnstone. He had a younger brother but I do
not know his name.
My father was in the Scot's Guards at the time of his marriage and I
think remained in the army for some years after that. My parents were only married for a couple of years and there was no
If anyone has any further information I would be really grateful to hear
from them. Sally Marshall.
John Kirton Bernard
Dear Ian. Thank you very much for your reply and I am pleased to say that my trip home was successful. I visited my cousin and we spoke of old times.
I was given some of the old Central Fife Times and Times
Gone By and now I am hooked on attempting to locate if possible some old photographs of a Gala Day in Lochgelly.
This will be an easy one as the person I am looking for is my
father, Arthur W Kirton, who was a miner
at the Jenny Gray from approximately 1958 to 1965.
He was set on a float between those dates and was pictured with
my sister Carnetta and myself. Its a very
unusual picture because it was two families and the men were shaking hands and the caption was Hands Across The Seas or World.
For Lochgelly at that time it was a rarity as my Father is black
from Barbados and the other coal miner was white. It
would be great to see if a trace could be made and I could get a copy. Can anyone help? Many thanks. John
Annette (Muir) Goodwin
Hello Ian and Anne. I would just like you to know that I have been looking for my old neighbour and friend, Bill Mitchell, for 45 years and HE found ME thanks to your web site.
I was elated to get an email from him and we are now in contact, I can't
thank you enough, I have also had some other feedback from my little input to your site, so I am thrilled to bits. Your grateful fan. Annette
John Kirton Bernard
It's been a very, very long time since I was home and that
is how I see Lochgelly, I am coming home and staying in Edinburgh with some friends that are arriving down from St Andrews
over the festive season. I shall be visiting Lochgelly only briefly
to see my cousin Helen and Peter.
The first fondest memories of Lochgelly were of my mother Mary
Harron who used to wave at my sister and I all the way down Minto Street to the end where we would pass around the corner
and make our way up the hill to School.
At that time my father Arthur worked at the Jennie Gray pit and
he was seen as a bit different, so much so at the 1965 gala it was "Hands Across The Sea" a great float that my sister Carnetaa
and I were lucky to have been on with the other family.
Its been a very very long time with a lot of travelling under
the bridge and I am looking forward to seeing my cousins soon across "The Firth of Forth" Regards. John Kirton Bernard
Dave Miller, Australia
Hi Ian and Anne, my name is Dave Miller, I have just stumbled across
your site and what a pleasure it has been for me to read through the letters and browse through the photographs, what a lot
of happy memories they have brought back to me.
I lived in Minto street from 1931 to 1943. My Mum used to sell clothes
and other things from the house and I had to go round the doors selling clothes pegs, I sold most of them in the Happyland.
I can remember the store as we called it being built and climbing on
to the roof by the drain pipes at the back. I attended the South and East schools before moving to Cowdenbeath where I went
to Beath High,
When I left school I served my apprenticeship as a joiner with John Reid
and Sons in Crossgates then moved on to bigger and better things, ending up as a site agent with George Wimpey before going
into the caravan business, owning M & M Caravans at Hill of Beath and Cowdenbeath.
Then I sold out and came to Australia in 1981. If anyone that reads this
knows me, drop me a line at email@example.com Once again Ian, thanks for the memories, your site is first
class, keep up the good work. Dave Miller.
Annette (Muir) Goodwin
Hello Ian, I found your excellent site on Lochgelly and I was off on
a wonderful journey of childhood memories.
I was born at 44 Main Street in 1946, which was the site of the Co-op,
and when the houses were demolished, mum and dad, Cath and Pete Muir, were then given a prefab at 52 Stewart Crescent,
which we loved.
My name is Annette Goodwin, nee Muir, and I have two sisters Helen and
Irene and we all went to the West school at Lochgelly.
I then went on to the East school where I was very happy and made some
unforgettable friends, Midge Parker, Anne Farley, Shona Hartog, Moira Melville, Agnes Pettigrew and my best friend and
neighbour, Rita Torrance.
My gran lived in Shaw Crescent and Auntie Jessie lived round the corner
in Gardener Street. Mum was dental nurse at Gaghree's dentist in the Main Street until we moved to Leuchars as my dad rejoined the RAF as the pits were closing.
The good old Mary pit and the Jenny Gray - our hearts used to stop when
the sirens used to go off as we knew that meant a problem at the pit. One time
dad came home with a broken leg, unwashed and crying with pain until
we could get him to the hospital the next day. My heroes - MINERS.
I could go on and on about my life in Lochgelly, a big chunk of my heart
still lies there and always will, it is a bit sad to see it struggling at present but if I know the wonderful people that
live there it won't be for long. Annette Goodwin
Myra (Donaldson) Millar
for a great site. I enjoyed reading all the comments and looking at the photographs brought many happy memories for
I went to the West School from 1943 until 1949/50 when I moved to Mossside
Secondary in Cowdenbeath. I started work in the Co-op in Crosshill then moved to Stewarts down Auchterderran Road and from
there to the Liverpool Victoria in Cowdenbeath. I left Lochgelly in 1962 when I got married and moved to Glenrothes.
Mum was originally from Dundee and met Dad on a bus going to Lochgelly.
They were Rita and George Donaldson, married in 1937, and set up home in a little flat above Garmory's shoe repair shop in
Main Street across from the church.
They then moved to 68 Lumphinnans Road where they shared a house with
my gran, Mary Donaldson. Our next-door neighbours had two boys called James and John Gillies. Our near neighbours were Ruth
and David Guy and Mr & Mrs John Sinclair (think he had a bakery shop).
I have many happy memories of my time at Lumphinnans Road, our garden
backed on to the local football pitch and I remember Dad sitting me on the wall to watch the matches. I also remember
going with Dad to the slaughterhouse in Cartmore Road for blood for his roses!
My Dad, George, worked as a miner in the Jenny Gray Colliery until rheumatoid
arthritis took its toll and he spent long periods in hospital at Bridge of Earn and Princess Margaret Rose Hospital in Edinburgh
where he eventually had his leg amputated.
Mum and Dad then became caretakers of the Town Hall and we lived
above it. I remember acting as cloakroom attendant at the dances and enjoyed free access to the many concerts held in
Our house was a busy one and there was always a cup of tea on the go,
we used to get the local bobbies popping in during their break for a cuppa and game of cards.
Mum and Dad then moved to Glenrothes where they had a house in Scott Road but unfortunately they both died several
years ago. I now live in Star and the only time I go back to Lochgelly is when I go to the Centre to watch one of my grand-daughters
dancing at the school festival.
Thanks again for bringing back so many happy memories. Myra Millar
|Rita and George Donaldson third and fourth from left in middle row at a masonic function
Hi. Your wonderful site has led to ask if anybody would have
any information about a William Pryde Brown, known as Pete, who was born in Glencraig.
He was raised by his Aunt Jenny and some
of his family emigrated to Canada. Not a lot of information to go on but anything would be a start. Many thanks, His grandson, Peter Hixon.
Hi Ian. The picture below shows
folk following the Lochgelly gala parade, headed by Jean Bratchie and John Brockie with my parents-in-law, Mr and Mrs
Murray on the left. However, the school photo underneath it is a complete mystery but perhaps one of your readers can
help identify it. David Graham.
Marie Simpson, Australia
The photo below was taken around 1920/21. Isabella Simpson
is second from left in the second row and I would appreciate any help in identifying anyone in the photo.
The Simpson family moved to Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia in
the late 1920's. Thank you. Marie Simpson
Sherry Freisinger, California
Hello. My grandfather's family lived in Lohcgelly. I'm
not sure if they originated from there as my grandfather didn't speak about his past much.
He came over from Scotland in 1924 and I recently came across a letter
written from his mother where the address was listed as Lochgelly. Is there anyway I can find out more about his family?
I know my grandfather had a couple of sisters and several brothers, one
was in the Scots Guards. The family name was "Nicol," and my grandfather's name was James Mathieson Patterson Nicol.
in advance for any assistance anyone can provide. Sherry (Nicol) Freisinger.
Ian Guild, Holland
Hi. My late father, Harry Guild, is fourth from the left in the back
row in this photo of a group of Scouts taken at the Birks of Aberfeldy in 1932. Perhaps someone will recognise some
of the others. Ian Guild.
Dear Ian, My Grandpa
was born in Glencraig on 15th August 1906. His name was Jimmy Sneddon. His cousins were the Allans from Lochgelly.
Willie Allan who played the arcodovox accordian at Lumphinians Miners
Club and my grandpa's uncle, John Allan, who was a lollipop man at one of the schools. There was also a daughter of John
Allan called Cissie.
My Grandpa's mother was Julia Allan who was born in Penicuik in 1887. She
married a Joseph Sneddon from Bannockburn in St. Finnians Church in Lochgelly on 30th March 1906. Bert Allan, the comedian, stayed upstairs in Steelend village from Julia Allan after she moved
from Kilsyth back to Fife. Derek Sneddon
Hi. I have been for 20 years researching my family in Fife. I would be interested in sharing information with regard to the SEATH
family in the area.
My great great grandfather lived and died in Bowhill, but a number of branches of the family settled in the
Lochgelly area. My late mother Dessa Farries was a nursery school teacher in Crosshill in the late 40’s, early
If anyone would like to visit my site for the Seath family it can be found at www.seathfamily.co.uk
All the best for your site and well done. Craig Seath
Hiya Ian and Anne, What
a fabulous web site you have created and encouraged. I am just gobsmacked at the responses you have had. Once I have collected
my thoughts and spoken to my brother Peter who has a far better memory for date,s places, faces and names I will get back
My name is John Nisbet. I was born in 1943 and lived in Lochgelly until
around 1962 when I moved to Edinburgh. We stayed at 53 Gardiner Street and moved to 14 Birnie Street about 1953.
My granddad Peter Heigh Ritchie had a general store on the corner
of Well Road and Gardiner Street. He worked in the Jenny Gray Pit. and was also responsible for looking after retired
pit ponies in the plantation beyond the top of Well Road. I was only a wee boy at the time but remember they were all
blind due to working underground for so many years.
I remember names, contributors to your site have mentioned. We stayed next
door to Mary Steele of Town Hall fame in Birnie Street and nearby was John Potts senior, a very kind and patient man
who would do anything to help a "neebour."
There were also the Herds, Sutties, Blacks, Robertsons, Kents,
Kippens, Mitchell (the ironmongers) and Johnny Malcolm whose house was next to the phone box in Birnie Street. I'm fairly
certain Johnny got into the latter stages of a Eurovision song contest.
I also remember George and Mary (Taylor) Wilson and son Robert
who stayed at the foot of Station Road. Mary was a good friend of my mum Margaret (Ritchie) Nisbet. Mary was the Manager
of the Queens Arms where our wedding reception was held. When that pair got together for a blether no one could get a word
It's sad to see the demise of the co-operative and other shops in the
town and even The Opera House has gone too. Still things may improve and lets hope they do.
Not only did "The Store" have many shops but they had garages, workshops
and stables. In fact another name has sprung to mind - Geordie Page who used to come round with the horse-drawn butchers van.
A real jovial character. He was married to Jenny and their children were Alex, John and Janice. I think Janice became a Dentist.
They stayed at the top of High Street.
My dad, John H Nisbet, worked at Crombie Armament Depot. My
grandfather with exactly the same name had a business in Glencraig on the right hand side of the road coming from Lochgelly.
He seemed to cater for the miners by providing tools, lamps, work wear,
braces, footwear and had a cobbler who repaired boots and shoes. They also seemed to deal in all other clothing items
and could make suits etc. His business folded following the general strike.
Glencraig nowadays bears no resemblance to it's former configuration
and it would be fantastic if any old photographs or prints showing his premises which were called "Excelsior or
Nisbet Buildings" still exist.
If anyone can help then please get in touch. John Nisbet.
Hi Ian and Anne. I
came across your site some time ago and have thoroughly enjoyed reading the "memories" section and looking at the old photos.
Thanks especially for the 1932 aerial one of the town. It is the only
one I have seen showing where I was born in Graingers Square next to the Nellie pit. I was born in 1934 at 32 "the
square" as it was known.
We moved from there the next year in August 1935 to Timmons Park. Strange
to see the aerial shot with North St houses stopping at the bowling green; no Henderson St, no Timmons Pk etc built and
also no sign of Lochgelly United's pitch Recreation Park on which our houses were built.
As Anne was so involved with the Post Office I thought she might be interested
in my time there and a wee bit about the earlier postal side of the business.
I started in the Post Office as a telegram boy when I left the East school
in 1949. At that time there were only five posties - one of whom had a bike - no vans in those days and two telegram
boys with those big heavy red bikes!
There were also seven clerks (Postal and telegraph officers to give them
their proper title) and of course Duncan Seaton with spatts and all as the Postmaster.
Soon after I started the four postmen based at Glencraig moved up to
the Lochgelly sorting office and we got our first and only mail van. Bob Bryson from Glencraig office was promoted to Postman
higher grade and he took over the early morning sorting office duties previously done by a clerk, normally Hugh Taylor.
Prior to these changes we had to hire a taxi to take the afternoon mail
bags down to the station as there were too many for the bike. Early in 1950 we, the telegram boys, were supplied with 125cc
motor bikes. We could not believe our luck!
When I became a postman a few years later my first round was the Happyland.
It was no doubt a happy land in many respects but not to a postman with all those stairs and a heavy bag, was I fit!!
In 1960 I transferred to Dunfermline still as a postman to get married
and set up home there. However in 1962 I was successful in the P&TO exam and found myself back in Lochgelly. In my
new role I worked in the Lochgelly office till 1965 when I again transferred back to Dunfermline Head Post Office still as
I was often back in Lochgelly and district frightening the live out of
the TV licence doggers with the TV detector van!
Alas all that fun came to an end in 1971 when I again passed exams
and was promoted over to Post Office Telephones in Glasgow Telephone Area office. Dave Johnstone.
Hi Ian, Can I just start by congratulating you on a very good web
I would like to know if any of your readers can give me any information
on dance bands that played in or around Lochgelly in the late 40's early 50's.
My grandfather played in a band back then and I am trying to find
out more information about him. His name was Robert Skinner and he possibly stayed in Minto Street. Thank you and keep
up the good work. Bill Skinner
Bill Robertson, Australia
Dear Ian and Anne, Once
again it has been a pleasure to visit your wonderful site and see so many familiar names from the past. I can remember being
at John Muir's farewell, in Kennard Street, when he left to move to Australia.
I believe he was related to my uncle and aunt, Andrew & Meg Reid, who
lived in Prestwick (originally from Lochgelly and Lochore). We lived in the Happyland, at 26, Melville Street and my mothers
maiden name was Reid.
Roy Whiteheads photo of the 1946 South School primary 7 class made me look
real hard trying to remember as many names as I could and I have managed to add quite a few (see School pics).
One horrible thought is that all of us on that photo will be 70 years of
age this year - I just wonder how many of the former South School class are still with us.
I will be coming home at the end of May for my usual annual visit and this
will be my 24th visit home in 26 years so I suppose it could be said that I have never really left Lochgelly. - or is it that
Lochgelly has never left me? Probably the latter. Just like the many people who write to you, Lochgelly will always be considered
Where I live on the Gold Coast is a great place to live, with a wonderful
sunny climate and miles of pristine beaches, but each year I just can't wait to get home to Lochgelly. I suppose I miss family
and friends and sadly I will miss visiting my sister Joey Cairns, Union Street, who passed away in January this
My sister Chrissie Rae still lives in North Street and my other sister
May lives in Blairgowrie. I also miss the Highland and Border Games circuit, which was such a big part of my life during
my running career.
This year I am going to donate a silver cup (The Alvan Milne Trophy) to
the Lochgelly Centre. I won this cup outright for being the top athlete three years in a row at Old Meldrum Sports.
I had also intended to donate my Powderhall Gold Medal to the Lochgelly
Centre but my youngest daughter Dawn has it and she just will not part with it.
Keep up the good work with your site for it brings so much pleasure
to the Lochgelly exiles scattered all over the world -- even Alaska. Best Wishes, Bill Robertson
D Elliot, Fife
I wonder if any one has any pictures of my Grandpa, William
Michie, who lived in the cottages in Station Road next to the railway station in Lochgelly.
He was the grocery manager of the Co-ops in both Dundonald and
Minto Street, Lochgelly, from 1950 onwards. Sadly
he passed away in 1999.
I would really appreciate it if anyone who has any memories or
pictures of him could get in touch. Many thanks. D Elliot
Sheila Marshall, Fife
Hi there. I have just dicovered your site and as a native of
Lochgelly I was really pleased to find it. My name is Sheila Marshall (Clark ) and I was born in Richmond
Place then was brought up in Parkview Place and eventually moved to Benarty Avenue.
I was drum major in Kinglassie Pipe Band from 1955 to 1961 although
I was the only girl in the band.
I now live in Dunfermline and I am married to Jack
Marshall who played for many years in the Palais Cowdenbeath with the Pat Watson Band and he also
played in the ballroom
in Dunfermline with Demarco's Band.
I will be letting my sister June know about your site.
the big drummer for Lochgelly Ladies Pipe Band in 1954 and now lives in the USA. Sheila Marshall.
Jean Dunsire, New Zealand
Hi! Ian and Anne, Just spent the whole morning going through your great
web site. Long past memories for me!
I was born in North Street, Lochgelly - my Dad had the business
of Peters & Ellis, Electricians. I had three brothers (Alex, Bill and Jack) but only Jack is alive still
and lives in Bury St. Edmunds.
I left in 1952 to go to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) to marry Dave Dunsire
(also of Lochgelly). We were there until 1975 when we were transferred to South Africa. Sadly Dave died in 1999 and
I left to be with my eldest daughter Helen in Auckland, New Zealand (who has since been transferred by her company to
Sydney, Australia!). My youngest daughter Debbie is in Boston. Dave's brothers are still in Scotland - Andy in Kirkcaldy and Alex in Wishaw.
I worked for the Fife Coal Company in Cowdenbeath through Nationalisation
period and was also a keen member of the Lochgelly Musical Association (in the days before TV and with performances in the
Cinema) - now it's so professional!
Dave and I did manage quite a few holidays back in Scotland and
have seen great changes in Lochgelly - at first declining but now, happily being restored.
Ella Russell from Grainger Street, who married Chick McGregor, also Lochgelly,
still lives in Invercargill, New Zealand.
I'd be very pleased to hear from anyone who remembers Dave or me. Cheers! Jean Dunsire.
|An aerial pic of Lochgelly in 1932 provided by Jean - and there is an even better one in Other Pics
Bill McIntyre, Kirkcaldy
taught music in Lochgelly Secondary School in 1957 and for a few years after. I have found that there was a man who
used the name John Pindar wrote poetry for the Lochgelly Times. He wrote rwo books of autobiography.
He was in the army in India. I would very much like to have these books. Can anyone help me? Bill McIntyre
John Plunkett, Hampshire
Dear Ian. I visited
your excellent web site and noted a lady was enquiring about the
Keichers in Glencraig, Charlie Keicher was in my class at St Patricks School. We were both 10 years old then in
1936. When I went to St Columba's we lost touch but I think the war had something to do with that.
I lost touch with Lochgelly at 17 years, as I was in the Merchant
Navy for about 12 years and during that period got interested in the molecules, but could not afford to do a degree course
as I was married.
However, I got a job as a lab. technician at Esso Refinery and
stayed with them for 35 years or so and during that period Esso promoted me to chemist in charge of one of their Laboratories,
so my studying was not wasted.
I used to cycle a lot in my teens and was friends with Jackie Armour, Eddie
Starr, Alex and John Drummond, Mick McDonald. and David Webster (Auchterderran Road) - that's a long time
ago but I would like to think they are still all with us. Good
luck with your site. John Plunkett.
Jean Denzey, Hampshire
Hi Ian I came across your site looking for some information on
the tawse, which I believe my grandfather made in the 1920s/30s. I would be grateful if you or anyone visiting the site
knows anthing about my grandfather.
Its all a long time ago and I've been unable to pinpoint my Grandfathers
place of birth. I
understand from family stories that he owned a Ironmongers/Saddlers shop in Lochgelly. I know
he was living at 23 North st in 1908 when my father also
called James Heggie was born and he died in the early 1950s.
By calculation I think he was born in 1877, but I did not realise how
popular the name James Heggie was in Scotland! Good luck with your site. Jeanie Dalglish Denzey (nee Heggie)
Hi, my name is Terri Izatt, daughter of Steven Izatt and Fiona Mair.
I am 15 and i just wondered if you would post a message for me to see if anyone knew any of my family.
My great/grandmothers name was Izabella Holmes and she stayed in
Lochgelly all of her life as far as I know. I just wanted to know if anyone knew her or the family to get in
contact. Even a pic of her as she sadly passed away 2 years ago. Thank you so much. Terri Izatt
Jim McKenzie, Australia
Hi Ian. I was born in Fife but
moved to Australia when I was nine but my parents, Ian and Margret (Fergus) McKenzie lived there most
of their lives. The photos below are some my mother
asked me to send to see if anybody can recognise them. I would appreciate
any info on them. Jim McKenzie.
Bill Reid, California
I discovered your wonderful sight a few days ago. Thank you for an enchanting scroll down the memory-lanes available on your
site. Scrolls I plan to do often.
I was born in Gardiner Street in January 1930. My father, William
Reid was a coalface worker who worked at several of the local pits. His brother John Reid was also a miner, so too was their
father, William. Over the years, we lived in Dundonald, then moved back to Lochgelly, at Brucefield Terrace, White Street
(#21 I believe), then in the Happyland, at 13 Hunter Street, until the summer of 1947 when dad moved us to Lancashire.
I left the
East School to start as an apprentice fitter at the Nellie Colliery on January 18, 1944. I moved to Lancashire and continued
my apprenticeship at the Wheatsheaf Colliery in Pendlebury, Lancashire, then moved into the NCB North Western Division Engineering
Offices in Walkden. Eight years at one day and four nights at week at Bolton Technical College held me in good stead when
I moved to California in 1956.
a wonderful surprise when scrolling down ‘Other pics.’ I found a 1939 photo of me and my sister Jessie, taken
when we lived in White Street. I am the boy kneeling in the front row, hands steepled between my legs at the left of
the photo. Jessie is just right of centre, the girl closest to the camera.
I noticed many contributers to your site were looking for photos and information
to help them do memoirs and so on. I have three books that can indeed help them, and have listed them below:
OLD LOCHGELLY, by Rhona Wilson ISBN 1 84033 022 8 Copyright
Stenlake Publishing 1998 Published by: Stenlake Publishing, Ochiltree
Sawmill, The Lade, Ochiltree, Ayrshire KA18 2NX Telephone/fax:
This great book is what many
of the seekers on the Lochgelly.net website are looking for as it has 50 pages of photographs with annotations.
ALEX WESTWATER’S LOCHGELLY ISBN 0 9524723 0 9 First published November 1994 by Alexander Westwater Memorial Trust. Mr. Westwater was a journalist, editor and publisher of the Lochgelly Times
and the Cowdenbeath Advertiser. He died in 1960. The book has 336 glossy pages, some with photographs, including one of the Jenny Gray in 1954. There is a fold-out map
dated 1854, and it is from 1854 that Mr. Westwater provides a detailed history of Lochgelly and many of the factors that affected
the town and its people.
THIS IS MY KINGDOM [Fife] Short Stories about Miners at Work and at Play by Charles Brister, Copyright 1972
and Edited by Ron Thompson) No ISBN number. "e
of the richest, funniest, most human and deeply-moving collections of short stories published for a long time.” Scottish Daily Record Published by: David Winter & Son Ltd. 15 Shore Terrace Dundee
I retired in 1991, and have done most
of the things I wanted to do in retirement. I am presently involved in a writing group run by a retired professor; I am writing
a novel and am doing what I call Biographic Snippets of the more memorable happenings in my life––several in the
Happyland and at the Nellie.
I will probably contact some of the
Happylander’s and Nellie workers I found on your great website. Thank you Ian. Bill Reid, (aka William, Willie, Wull & Wullie.)
Ronnie McEwan, Glenrothes
Hi there. I was
raised in Viewfield Terrace (almost in Lochgelly) near to the 'English Church'. Many of my young days were spent
in Lochgelly and my extended family stayed there.
I cherish the memories of Macari's West End Cafe; Mazzoni's, and, of
course, 'The Cyclist's Rest' at the bottom of Auchterderran Road - run by Pete Capaldi.
I shouldn't, and will never, forget the matinees at the 'Opera House'
every Saturday and the evening pictures at 'The Cinema' in Bank Street. Also the chip shop in Whyte Street when, as a
young boy, I was sent to pick up the fish suppers - and it seemed a million miles away at the time.
I also enjoyed seeing the picture of 'McEwan's' shop at Motion Street
because many a time I went there for the 'rations' after the war and into the late-fifties. (The shop owner -
although the same surname as me- was not related, although I remember him well)
I stayed there until I was sixteen - and like so many, my first love
(GK) came from Lochgelly - and I cherish her memory. I now stay in Glenrothes but work in Dunfermline.
However, I still have friends in Lochgelly and I am there frequently. I would have missed seeing the place if
I ever had moved away from Fife.
What a great website this is and I look at it often with great affection.
Ian Fraser, Lochgelly
I have received several emails asking for details
of Lochgelly Albert's famous game against Bo'nesss and I am glad to say
that football historian DAVID ALLAN has provided the following details:
"Lochgelly Albert, formed as an amateur club in
1926, turned junior in 1933. They had local junior rivals in Lochgelly Violet
during the period 1935 to 1949.
The most memorable Scottish Junior Cup tie at Lochgelly took
place in season 1947/48. Bo’ness United, the previous season’s runners-up,
were drawn to visit Gardiner’s Park in the sixth round.
Bo’ness were well known in Fife having put out Dundonald Bluebell in the 1947 competition and having
beaten Lochore Welfare 6-2 earlier in the 1947/48 ties.
The Daily Express confused matters with a story saying
the match at Lochgelly would be all ticket with a limit of 6,000 fans.
Albert had just purchased Gardiner’s Park from
the Earl of Minto for £600 and had added a converted air raid shelter as stripping accommodation for visiting teams plus central
heating in their clubroom.
There were rumours the match would be moved
to Cowdenbeath. Lochgelly Burgh magistrates wished the game to be all ticket
and it would have been the first-ever all-ticket junior tie in Scotland. However, the SJFA vetoed this plan as it was
open to ‘forgery and black market dealings and there was a lack of legitimate turnstiles for proper checks’.
Bo’ness indeed protested re the ground but Albert
secretary Alex Keddie told the SJFA it had been good enough for recent visitors such as Morton Juniors. Shawfield and Irvine
Meadow – the SJFA agreed and Gardiner’s Park got the nod.
3,000 Bo’ness fans came by bus and train. An all time Fife junior record crowd of 11,645 assembled at Gardiner’s Park. The crowd was entertained by the Lochgelly Ladies Pipe Band and the Lochgelly Public Brass Band. A match programme was also on sale. It was like a public holiday
with Lochgelly en fete and rosettes adorning many a lapel.
Senior scouts were out in force checking out
Albert’s Tommy Paterson and United’s Paddy Buckley. Buckley set
the match in motion and he soon had Bo’ness ahead. A 25 yard rocket by
Paterson though tied matters before Bo’ness again took the lead with a penalty from Walls. Lochgelly then had a chance to equalise when they too were awarded a penalty but Arthur Barnes struck
the post with his kick.
In the second half, Bo’ness turned the
screw and went on to win by 4-2. 56,000 later saw United win the cup that year
with future Scotland centre Paddy Buckley scoring again in the final."
Mark Bradshaw, Australia
Hi Ian. I live
in Murgon, Queensland, and I am researching my ancestors from Fife with the surnames Sinclair, Logan and Penman.
I enclose an old photo of a class from a Lochgelly school,
I was wondering if anyone could tell me if they know any names of the children in the class photo, or what year and which
school this photo was taken.
Hi Ian, Please could you ask anyone you know in Lochgelly if they could
identify these individuals.
The photo was taken around the 1940's I think, on the back
of the photo it says 'George wedding with Tom Dick.'
This is of most importance to me if anyone can help, as I
believe that George could well be my relative. Thanks. Rab Sinclair.
Hi. Does anyone remember or know of the Keicher family from Glencraig
as my mum Maureen was brought up with them as part of their family.
There was Tommy, Margaret, Theresa and I think Jean. Any information
would be appreciated. Karen Falcus.
Hello there. Thanks for putting up your site. Does anyone know how Cartmore
got its name? Deborah Cartmer
I hope that somebody in Lochgelly remembers a George McFarlane,
last known address was 6 Gardiner Stret, Lochgelly approximately 60 years ago. Joined the army, approximate age
today 82. Any information however small would be very much appreciated. Thanks. Dave.
Mike Turner, England
Hi Ian. Just finished watching "Who do you think you are" and decided
on the off chance to see if there was any information on my mother's birthplace - Lochgelly. And there you are.
I would love to hear from anyone who has any information about my mother's
side of the family. I am afraid that I know very little. A few years before she died, my wife and I took mum back
to Lochgelly to see her birthplace but unfortunately it had been replaced with new housing.
The family was called McNeil. My grandfather worked in the mines
where he lost a leg. I am afraid that I don't remember his or my grandmother's name. I have a marvellous photo
of him and two friends taken by Crawford in Lochgelly.
There were two daughters. My mother with the huge name of Annie
Mackie Dingle Stewart McNeil and my aunt Sadie. My mother was born on Christmas Day 1912 and my aunt was born on 22/23
At some stage the family left Lochgelly to move to Yorkshire. When
and why, I am afraid I have no idea but I think it was in the early 30s. I only say that because I have some photos
dated as 1930 and they were taken in Yorkshire.
I believe that my grandmother's side of the family may have been called
Stewart. I have a wonderful postcard showing a photo of Bank Street (1955 I believe) in my collection from "Auntie Kate"
and I know that my mother had a cousin also living in Yorkshire called Annie Stewart.
I am sure that this is a long shot, but you never know.
In the meantime, it was really nice to look at the site and see the place
where my mum was brought up. Amazing how farflung families of Lochgelly folk are.
Best wishes. Mike
Duncan Farmer, England
Hi Ian, just been reading your web site and found it very interesting.
I was born in Lochgelly in 1951, went to Ballingry Primary School and
then to the West school when that closed and then Beath High.
My family (Jock and Barbara Farmer, 189 Station Road ) had
the shop on the corner opposite the Nellie pit. When the pit closed we moved to Blackpool to run a boarding house. I am still
living in Blackpool.
Does anybody remember me or any of my family? Both my uncles, Davie and
Harry Farmer, lived in Lochgelly for many years until their death. Any news would be of interest. Duncan Farmer
Hello Ian. Just a quick note to let you
know that the event at the Lochgelly Centre
on Sunday, August 6 - the McLean Gathering - was a success.
Bill McLean from New Jersey USA was thrilled that around 20 people
turned up including the son of the present HEAD OF THE
HIGHLAND CLAN MacLEAN, Niall
Livingstone, Younger of Bachuil.
It was worth coming along to listen to him alone
without all the other stories we heard from folk, one unfortunate thing was that no local McLeans from Lochgelly appeared
(maybe we should have had more publicity) but still, Bill is hoping to be back in two years and he hopes to have another one
Bill and I would like to thank you for putting the
article on your website, thank you. Tommy Manson
Alex Mclean, New Zealand
Hi Ian. My
name is Alex Mclean, born and bred in the Happyland at 51a Melville St on 26th Dec, 1934, one of five sons to Grace and Archie.
I did my schooling in the 1940s at the South and East School before leaving
in 1950. I started working with the Co-op as an apprentice plumber
with the Building Dept based in Minto St and worked there for several
I have now lived in New Zealand since 1965 and have visited my old haunts
several times with my wife Jane, who hails from Lochore. Like most
couples our age we met at the local town hall and danced several nights
I have seen many familiar names on your great web site and they recall the same memories as I do - The Loch, the Jenny Gray wid yaird great
for playing in,
Pete & Maggie Tosh, JR directing traffic at the Cross.
I often visit your site to try and keep up with what is happening in my old town with a great deal of pleasure. My grateful thanks to you
for your wonderful site. Alex Mclean.
Lesley Sutherland, Lochgelly
Hi Ian. I have
just read your website in awe. How incredible to have had such response from so far afield.
My interest is slightly different, my father and I are trying to find
out about a man named John Wilson. He played football for Lochgelly United in 1895 when they won the Consolation Cup.
I believe he went on to play a game for Wolves first team after
this and played in the first game ever to trial floodlighting!
I am afraid that is all we have but wondered if you could post this on
your website in the hope that it may ring a bell somewhere. Lesley
Nicole Fraser, Scotland
I am very interested in myths and legends, especially anything 'spooky'. Can anyone give
me information on the legendary 'White Horse of Lochgelly?' Nicole Fraser.
Jacqueline Delchau (nee Blamey) Australia
I cannot believe this site - it's fantastic, well done! I was just thinking
about my dad who passed away 13 years ago so I googled and came
across your site.
My dad's name was William Blamey and his family worked down the mines.
He lost his brother John down there.
He married my mum Doris White and they lived in Lochgelly for some
time where my sister Margaret was born. Tthey then went to live in Manchester where me and my sister Anne were born.
My mum used to take my sister Anne and me on the train back to Lochgelly
for a week in the summer school holidays. We stayed in a house that was in a huge row opposite a railway line (the Happyland?)
They had heaps of steps up to the front door and a fantastic bed in the wall with a curtain across in the kitchen!
I don't know who we stayed with, my dads sister maybe? Sadly both my
parents have passed away, but I have lovely memories - albeit faint ones - of summers in Lochgelly.
Does anyone remember us or anything about the Blamey family? Kindest
regards. Jacqueline Delchau
Peter Johnston, Australia
Hi Ian, I've just been reading some of the articles on this page and
it certainly brings back memories.
I lived in Auchterderran Road. My grandparents had a fish and chip shop
there in the fifties. I went to the South School from about 1956 till 1960 when we moved to Anstruther for a few years
and we came to Australia in 1964.
Just reading articles about the Happyland where my mothers relatives
lived, the south park, the Avenue and other exciting places around Lochgelly (when I was young) brings back a lot
of great memories of walking the area with my grandfather, Tam Alexander.
I still have some cousins living in Lochgelly, Jackie Clough, Ron Clough
and Brenda Petrie. I came back for a holiday in 2002 but I think I
would rather live in Australia. Peter Johnston.
Isobel Stiven, North Carolina
Hi Ian. I found the original clipping of this poem from
the Lochgelly Times that my Mum sent to me at least 30 years ago, tucked away in an old wallet. I read it again,
and my eyes filled with tears as I remembered my childhood and all the wonderful evenings we spent walking "doon the braes"
THE BIRNIE BRAES
Let ithers sing o’ foreign lands
their scenery praise;
Tae me there’s no a spot on earth
Like oor ain Birnie Braes.
‘Twas close by
them my mither lived,
When first I saw the licht.
And their I lisped my little prayer,
Beside her knee at nicht.
‘Twas there she took me when a bairn,
On the lang, lang simmer days.
And pu’d the blaeberries
Upon the Birnie Braes.
And often when my Grannie walked,
She’d tak’ me by the haun’
And wander ower the Birnie Braes,
And on a hillock staun’
Then lookin’ northwards she wid say,
While tears bedimmed her e’e
“O’ laddie that’s a abonnie sicht ---
A bonnier canna be”
I’ve read aboot Loch Lomonds banks,
And Ben Lomond towering high
The beauty of Killarney’s lakes
And Italy’s cloudless sky.
They may be graund, I dinna ken,
Bit I think it’s jist a craze;
me they ne’er could look as weel
As oor ain Birnie Braes.
It’s maybe no the braes alane
landscape roond aboot,
And youthfu’ recollections
That can ne’er be ruited oot;
Twas there I first
met Nellie Broon
The lass that wis my wife,
and mair than forty years we lived.
Free frae domestic strife.
mind before she gaed awa’
‘Twas ‘mong her hinmost days
She taen my haun’ and said to me,
like tae see the Braes”
I thocht my hert wid brak in twa,
I stood like ane struck dumb,
I cudna speak, it
dawned on me,
Her time had nearly come.
That wish o’ hers tae see the Braes
I never hae forgot
seems tae cast a halo
Roond the auld familiar spot.
But we a’ wull hae tae leave them
For we canna aye bide
We aye miss some weel kent faces
At the close o’ ilka year.
And the lesson that it gie’s
As we journey on life’s road
Is tae nobly dae oor duty
And aye pit oor trust in God.
we’ll a’ forgaither,
If we walk in virtue’s ways
And meet dear ‘anes gane before us
had run aboot the Braes.