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Carnegie’s Birthplace

19th century industrialist and steel magnate Andrew Carnegie was born in Dunfermline, Fife.

His birthplace is now a museum:-

Andrew Carnegie's Birthplace, Dunfermline

Plaque on Andrew Carnegie's Birthplace, Dunfermline

As the plaque on the cottage indicates, Carnegie became a noted philanthropist, endowing Dunfermline with a swinmming pool and over 3,000 towns worldwide with libraries. One of these was Dunfermline Library whose later extension I posted about yesterday.

In the museum I came across a drawing of another of these, Coldside Library in Dundee, and recognised it immediately:-

Drawing of Coldside Library, Dundee

I have previously mentioned this fine building but at the time did not know it had anything to do with Carnegie, nor indeed its name.

Dunfermline’s Art Deco Heritage 9: Carnegie Library Extension

The library is at the moment being refurbished. Its entrance is on Maygate but this view is of the St Margaret Street aspect:-

Dunfermline Carnegie Library Extension

Detail:-

Dunfermline, Carnegie Library Detail

From south:-

Dunfermline, Carnegie Library from South

Forth Bridges from Distance

All three bridges as seen from Dunfermline:-

Forth Bridges from Dunfermline

From grounds of Dunfermline Abbey, bridges in distance on middle left, Dunfermline Great War Memorial to right:-

Forth Bridges and Dunfermline War Memorial

Zoom on Forth bridges from Dunfermline Abbey:-

Forth Bridges from Dunfermline Abbey

Dunfermline’s Art Deco Heritage 8: Bruce Street

This is in the upper part of Bruce Street. The deco is mainly the “marble” cladding but there’s a kind of “rule of three” in the detailing lines:-

Art Deco Shop Front, Bruce Street, Dunfermline

In the lower part of Bruce Street opposite Dunfermline Abbey lies Life. Both photos taken from the Abbey grounds:-

Art Deco in Dunfermline, Life, Bruce Street

Art Deco, Bruce Street, Dunfermline

The cartouche says 1907 but that curved window wall and the glass bricks are deco features.

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.

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