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Dunfermline’s Art Deco Heritage 7: Giacomo’s

Giacomo’s is a café/baker’s shop in Cross Wynd. As the street name suggests it is rather a narrow thoroughfare. That made it very difficult to get a photograph. In addition these were taken in the depths of winter as light was fading. It’s the rounded bay and the windows which are the most deco features but the glazing is not original.

From the lower part of Cross Wynd:-

Giacomo's, Dunfermline

From the upper part of Cross Wynd:-

Giacomo's, Dunfermline from North

Dunfermline’s Art Deco Heritage 6: The Bed Cabin

This building is at the junction of St Margaret Street and Buchanan Street. Its roofline and decoration around and above the door mark its deco influences.

The first photo is from May 2010:-

The Bed Cabin, Dunfermline

Sadly the shop is now empty and forlorn looking. This is from a week or so ago:-

Art Deco Style Shop, Dunfermline

Dunfermline Abbey Church

Dunfermline Abbey Church contains the tomb of King Robert 1 of Scotland (the Bruce.)

From North. The section on the left is relatively modern (1821.) That on the right is ancient.

Dunfermline Abbey Church from North

From Southeast. Ancient part to the left here, modern to the right:-

Dunfermline Abbey Church from South East

The square tower has “King Robert The Bruce” picked out in stone on the balustrade:-

Dunfermline Abbey Church, King Robert

Dunfermline Abbey Church, The Bruce

The Abbey Church contains some beautiful stained glass.

North Window:-

South Window:-

East Window:-

The interior decoration is splendid too. Archways and borders. Coats of arms on borders, sculpted faces on arch intersections:-

Dunfermline Abbey Church Interior Archways

Part-vaulted ceiling under Square Tower:-

Dunfermline Abbey Church, Part-vaulted Ceiling under Square Tower

Robert Bruce’s Tomb, Dunfermline Abbey Church

I visited Dunfermline Abbey and Palace back in January. At that time the Abbey Church was closed for the winter and consequently I couldn’t photograph the tomb of Robert the Bruce, King of Scots, hero of Bannockburn and he of the spider. In mid April I was able to rectify that omission. The tomb is situated below the Abbey Church’s pulpit.

The pulpit surmounting the tomb of Robert I (as he was known) is rather ornate.

A rather macabre exhibit in Dunfermline Abbey Church contains a cast of Bruce’s skull.

East End Park, Dunfermline

Dumbarton are due to play at East End Park, home of Dunfermline Athletic Football Club, on the 23rd, a week today. We last played there on Jan 5th when I took these photos.

The Pars, as they are known, are in financial trouble; so take a good look at these as they may become historical curios.

East End Park, Dunfermline, From North

Yes, there’s a cemetery over the wall from the ground. This is a stitch of two photos to get the whole ground in.

East End Park from Halbeath Road
From Halbeath Road.

East Stand, East End Park, Dunfermline.

East Stand. Not used, except for big matches. (Celtic and Rangers, then, or when the Pars play a decider against Raith Rovers. So not often.)

West (Norrie McCathie) Stand, East End Park, Dunfermline
Norrie McCathie Stand (West Stand; at far end.) Named for a former player. Home support.

North Stand, East End Park, Dunfermline
North Stand. Home support here too. (The cemetery is behind it.)

Main Stand, East End Park, Dunfermline, from away section
Main Stand. Away support in foreground, home support in bulk of stand.

Midnight In Paris

At the local “Art Cinema”, the Adam Smith Theatre. Whoopee! No round trip to Dunfermline just to see a film. (Still on tonight, 14/2/12, if anyone wants to go.)

This is a Woody Allen film and many of his tropes are present. The lead character, Gil, is typically Allenish with his verbal mannerisms, we have the fascination with the past (Zelig; Broadway Danny Rose) and an intrusion of the fantastic (Play It Again, Sam; Broadway Danny Rose.)

Gil is a writer on a trip to Paris with his fiancee and her awful parents; a moneyed couple, snobbish and intolerant, with no redeeming features. But none of these four are really sympathetic. There is a fine cameo by Michael Sheen as a friend of the fiancee, with just the right degree of irritating know-allness.

To escape this lot, Gil walks through Paris and gets lost. At midnight he is invited into an old car cruising the streets. He is taken to a party where he encounters Cole Porter, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. On subsequent nights he meets Gertrude Stein (Alice B Toklas has a small name check,) Pablo Picasso and his mistress, Salvador Dali, Louis Buňuel and Man Ray. Gil is delighted as he is fascinated by the 1920s, his perfect time. He is also much taken with Picasso’s mistress who thinks the Belle Époque was the best era to be alive.

If at times this all seemed a bit too overloaded it is the sort of stuff with which Allen can have a bit of fun, as when Gil suggests a film scenario to Buňuel.

Stein agrees to read Gil’s novel manuscript. At one point she describes it as Science Fiction (it is set in her future.) I was dubious at this usage and checked; the term apparently wasn’t in common use until 1929.

Gil is drawn more and more into the 1920s milieu and strolling with Picasso’s mistress one night they are invited into a horse-drawn cab and end up in the Belle Époque. Cue Toulouse Lautrec, Degas and Gauguin. Here Gil realises that no-one likes their own time and the past isn’t necessarily a better place.

But he determines to stay in (present day) Paris and chucks his girlfriend.

It was the fantastic element that I found most satisfying, the going into the past aspect is the sort of thing that makes Altered History (or Alternative/Alternate History if you must) so intriguing, but the present day characters were just so crass; apart from Carla Bruni as a tour guide and a female seller of old records Gil bumps into on a shopping trip.

This was minor Allen but entertaining enough, with quite a few laughs. I enjoyed it.

Friday On My Mind 35: My White Bicycle

More psychedelia. Why not?

Tomorrow‘s singer was Keith West, perhaps better known for the hit Excerpt From A Teenage Opera in turn better known as – €œGrocer Jack -€ as those two words repeated formed the beginning of the chorus. Guitarist Steve Howe later achieved greater fame with Yes.

Dunfermline band Nazareth -€“ one of whose members lived round the corner from Son Of The Rock Towers for a while – had a hit with a rocked up version of My White Bicycle in 1975.

Tomorrow: My White Bicycle

Tamara Drewe

We don’t go to the flicks much, especially since the last local outlet dedicated to cinema was closed and it required a trip to Dunfermline to ogle the silver screen but the good lady fancied seeing this so we hied ourselves off to the local part time not-flea pit otherwise known as the Adam Smith Theatre.

Tamara Drewe started out as a serialised graphic novel written by Posy Simmonds which appeared weekly in the Guardian a good few years back now. As far as I can remember that original, the film closely follows its plot.

The story concerns the disruption to the lives of the succesful author Nicholas Hardiment and his much more competent and business-like wife, who together run a writers’ retreat in Devon, plus their handyman Andy when successful journalist and former village resident Tamara Drewe returns – complete with nose job – to her earlier home in the farm next door.

The goings on are witnessed and affected by a pair of local schoolgirls who hang about the local bus shelter – the buses have long since been withdrawn – and moon over pop stars’ pictures in magazines.

Their boredom is transformed when Tamara takes up with – and brings to live in the village – the very drummer whom one of them finds so attractive.

There were excellent performances all round, with occasional cartoon moments from Dominic Cooper as the drummer, but especially good ones from the two youngsters and from Tamsin Greig as the much put upon wife of Hardiment.

The film starts off comedically – there are plenty laugh out loud moments – but becomes darker as the plot unfolds. The conventions of fiction are followed to the extent that the “baddy” gets his come-uppance.

The film has a 15 certificate and that obviously means you can include people swearing and even show them having sex; as long as there’s no full frontal nudity.

The film isn’t profound, not saying much that hasn’t been said before, but it is entertaining.

Dunfermline War Memorials

Dunfermline’s First World War Memorial is just over the road from Dunfermline Abbey, or more accurately from the ruins of Dunfermline Palace. Being 1920s in origin there is a touch of Deco about it.

The Second World War memorial is in a smaller garden location adjacent to the Abbey grounds.

This is the Palace ruin. The WW1 memorial is behind to the left here.

Dunfermline was once Scotland’s capital, hence the lines from the poem/ballad Sir Patrick Spens,

“The king sits in Dunfermline toun,
Drinking the blude red wyne.”

Here’s my photo of the Abbey, which lies to the right and above the Palace. You can see its pointed turret in the Palace picture above.

The tower’s rim has King Robert The Bruce carved out in stone on its four sides.

Dunfermline’s Art Deco Heritage 5. East Port

I’ve been out and about in Dunfermline with the camera again.

This is an Art Deco building in commercial use fronting onto the street known as the East Port.

East Port front
A lawyer’s at the moment. Lots of horizontals and verticals.

East Port side
The side of the building is almost as characterful. You can just see the metal balustrade on the roof towards the rear.

East Port back
From the side. The extractor fans and fire escape spoil the appearance a bit. The metal balustrade on the roof is more obvious from here. I like the overlaps of the roof edges.

East Port rear
The sticky-out bit at the back. Pity about the fire escape gubbins. Typical rectangular chimney.

The picture below is of the building directly across the East Port. It is the former cinema known in its heyday as the Orient Express. It’s a stitch of two photos. I couldn’t get far enough back to get the whole thing in one shot.

The cinema was built in 1913, before the Deco era, but has some styling to the frontage so I thought I’d post it here. It was converted to a night club in 2004 but that has since closed.

Orient Express (former cinema,) East Port, Dunfermline.

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