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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

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.

1930s Houses, Cairneyhill

Cairneyhill is a village in the west of Fife, between Dunfermline and Kincardine

These flat-roofed houses have a touch of deco to them especialy the stepping on the roofline.

From main road:-

1930s Houses Cairneyhill

From access road:-

Cairneyhill 1930s Houses Frontage

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

Sunset Song

Hurricane Films, Iris Productions, SellOutPictures. Directed by Terence Davies.

We don’t go to the cinema much, life and children got in the way not to mention Kirkcaldy’s dedicated cinema closing down years ago now so we had only what passes for the local “Art House” Cinema to rely on unless we wanted a trek to Dunfermline.

However we couldn’t miss seeing the film of Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s classic book Sunset Song. So it was off to the Adam Smith Theatre again. (But that’s also a longer trip since our house move.)

It is difficult for a film to capture the essence of Gibbon’s masterpiece. I suppose this one made a valiant effort but I have huge reservations. The human story of Chris Guthrie’s life was well enough done but though references to it were made via voice-over (and in the odd bit of dialogue) and there were cutaways to sumptuous views of the countryside the importance of the land to the novel (and Gibbon’s intentions for it) did not come across with anything like enough force.

I noticed that the church used – at least for the exterior shots – was actually the one in Arbuthnott (the village with which Gibbon is most associated) where his memorial is situated. I can’t vouch for the interior as I’ve never been inside. I did feel that the soundtrack choir singing All in the April Evening in the lead-up to the church scene was ill-judged; too lush by far. We also had the minister wearing a surplice; not at all likely in a Presbyterian Kirk. And that pulpit looked disturbingly modern.

Peter Mullan as Chris’s father gave his usual Peter Mullan hardman performance and Agyness Dein’s acting as Chris was fine but really her accent was all over the place. At one point I thought she’d said, “they were burning the winds,” when it was whins. (The h in “wh” words is aspirated in Scots and Scottish English; the sound is more like hwins.) She also pronounced the g in “rang” and for her to be unable to say “loch” properly verges on the criminal for someone playing a Scotswoman. None of the accents struck me as being particularly of the Mearns though.

I also felt the prominence given to Chris’s husband Ewan’s fate towards the end of the film made it seem more of a lament for the fallen of the Great War in general rather than the more particular loss about which Gibbon was writing, for which Ewan stood as a metaphor.

Watch the film by all means – it says a lot about the harsh times and attitudes of the Scotland of a century ago – but for the full Gibbon experience the book is certainly to be preferred.

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.

Stark's Park, Kirkcaldy (i)

I’ve not done one of these for a while – and I’ve just realised I haven’t included East End Park, Dunfermline, in this series yet.

Stark’s Park, the home of Raith Rovers FC, is of course the Scottish Football Ground nearest to where I live. Since I started blogging though the Sons have only played there twice (and the last time, Oct 2012, I was between cameras.)

This is from the lower end of Pratt Street. From this angle you can’t see how unusual the older stand is.

Stark's Park, Kirkcaldy

This is from the upper end, nearer to my house. The McDermid Stand is nearest in this view. The bit further away, to the left, is the peculiar corner stand.

Stark's Park, Kirkcaldy, from Pratt Street

And this is the away stand, the McDermid Stand, from Pratt Street, showing how close the road is to the ground.

Stark' s Park, McDermid Stand

The Olympic Torch

The Olympic Torch passed through Fife yesterday and today.

Not through Kirkcaldy, though.

Even if it had I would not have gone out of my way to see it. I don’t see the Olympics bringing much benefit to this part of the world. I very much doubt that they will do so to London either.

However, a few roads in Dunfermline were closed today. As a result I had half a day off in the afternoon.

Some good came out of it then.

But where are all the voices moaning about how such disruption is damaging to the economy?

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