Archives » Fife

Fife’s Art Deco Heritage 16: Kinghorn Moderne House

This is situated on Pettycur Road almost at the bottom, near the harbour wall and opposite the car park. Lots of horizontals and verticals here. Rule of three in windows. Flat roofs.

Art Deco/Moderne House, Kinghorn, Fife

Kinghorn Art Deco/Moderne House

Fife Pilgrim Way

A project to resurrect the mediæval Fife Pilgrim Way is now well in hand.

There were two main routes across the county (or kingdom as the locals still refer to it at times,) starting at Culross and North Queensferry and ending up at St Andrews.

The ancient route went through the nearest small town to Son of the Rock Acres, Markinch, the ancient capital of Fife.

There are some hopes the restored route(s) will bring modern day pilgrims (and other tourists) to the town.

A year or so ago there was an information day about the Pilgrim Way at St Drostan’s church. On display were several representations of monastic and pilgrim life, rendered in knitwear.

Trees and pilgrims:-

Knitted Trees and Pilgrims

Church:-

Knitted Church

Monks:-

Knitted  Monks

Monks’ garden:-

Knitted Garden

Monastery vegetable patch:-

Knitted Vegetable Patch

HMS Queen Elizabeth and Isle of May

HMS Queen Elizabeth is the Royal Navy’s latest aircraft carrier. (That’s the one there’s not enough money to fit out with any aircraft.)

She sailed out from her fitting out at Rosyth in the Firth of Forth for her sea trials in June 2017. We happened to be in Cellardyke, Fife that day and caught a glimpse of her near the Isle of May.

HMS Queen Elizabeth (yacht in front) and the Isle of May from Cellardyke Harbour:-

HMS Queen Elizabeth and the Isle of May

HMS Queen Elizabeth and Isle of May closer view:-

HMS Elizabeth and Isle of May

HMS Queen Elizabeth closer view:-

HMS Queen Elizabeth

Isle of May:-

Isle of May, Firth of Forth

HMS Queen Elizabeth and another ship:-

HMS Queen Elizabeth on Sea Trials

St Athernase Church, Leuchars, Fife

Parts of St Athernase date back to the twelfth century. It was undergoing renovation when we visited and it looked like a long project. It seems to have reopened in March this year.

Church from the gateway:-

St Athernase

That apse is a very distinctive feature.

From path:-

St Athernase

Close to:-

St Athernase Church, Leuchars, Fife

While we were looking round its grounds the incumbent Minister, a former RAF chaplain, came up to talk to us and invited us inside.

Ancient archway. Note large crack:-

Interior St Athernase Church, Leuchars

Within the apse there are several carved heads which give the place a Viking feel:-

Carved Head, St Athernase Church, Leuchars, Fife

Second Carved Head, St Athernase Church, Leuchars, Fife

A lot of the stonework had apparently been hidden behind wooden panelling for a long time.

Stonework Detailing::-

Stonework Detailing, St Athernase Church, Leuchars

Pictorial stonework:-

Pictorial Stonework, St Athernase, Leuchars

Figural stonework:-

More Pictorial Stonewrok St Athernase, Leuchars

Carved panel:-

Carved Panel, St Athernase, Leuchars

Art Deco in Pittenweem?

Pittenweem is a fishing village in the East Neuk of Fife.

It has an annual Art Festival which we usually attend. While there last year I came upon this Art Deco/Moderne building, acting as one of the venues. Whatever it’s certainly 1930s.

Art Deco/Moderne, Pittenweem

Art Deco/Moderne Building, Pittenweem

View from behind. A garage is to the left here:-

Side View, Art Deco/Moderne, Pittenweem

The garage:-

Art Deco Style Garage, Pittenweem

Pittenweem Primary School is not quite Art Deco, being erected in 1912, but has some prefigurative elements:-

Not Quite Art Deco, Pittenweem Primary School

Left-side entrance to Pittenweem Primary School:-

Entrance, Pittenweem Primary School

The Distant Echo by Val McDermid

Harper, 2010, 569 p. First published in 2003.

 The Distant Echo cover

I probably wouldn’t have read this – I wasn’t particularly taken by the author’s The Wire in the Blood – but the good lady had just finished it and mentioned it was set partly in my old stamping ground of Kirkcaldy and partly in St Andrews (which I know well.) So I thought I’d give it a go. The locations in the book aren’t restricted to Fife, it does stray to Edinburgh, Stirling, Glasgow, and even Seattle but the main events take place in what the locals like to call “the Kingdom.”

The prologue lets us know of a Fife Police press announcement of a cold case review and a shadowy figure haunting a cemetery before Part One plunges us into the 1978 discovery of the dying body of Rosie Duff by four students at St Andrews University (schoolfriends calling themselves the Lads Fi’ Kirkcaldy) taking a short cut back to their flat after a party. One of them is a medical student and tries to save her life but fails. As discoverers of the body and covered in blood they naturally become suspects. The investigation cannot summon up evidence even to charge them and the case is unresolved but they are still subjected to suspicion, threats and violence – especially by the dead girl’s brothers. McDermid makes a lot of this finger of suspicion and the effect it has on the four and their relationship(s). Part Two sees the resurrection of the case and its reintrusion into the four’s lives. But in the intervening twenty-five years the main evidence from the victim’s clothing has been lost and there seems little hope of progress. But the review has stirred the old suspicions and someone has the four firmly in the frame.

McDermid’s prose is certainly efficient but rarely rises above the workmanlike. The book’s structure, too, made it slightly odd. Part One was more or less scene setting, involved a lot of information dumping and therefore dragged somewhat. McDermid makes passing reference to the fascistic fringe and government encroachments on citizens’ rights in the late 1970s. (That sort of thing has become even worse of late with intolerance having been adopted into the political mainstream and governments eager to seize any excuse to restrict citizens’ rights.)

I would have said that it was cleverly executed except that the resolution was disappointing. It has more holes in it than Stoke City’s defence and depends too much on the prior withholding of information from the reader. In the last (tie-up) chapter it is revealed that one of the four Lads had a piece of information that would potentially have pointed to the murderer but never told the other three – nor the Police – during all those twenty-five years of suspicion. We can only suppose this was to create an artificial sense of suspense and it kind of obviates the point of the book (no matter what reason he might have had for his reticence.) Moreover the murderer seems to have been able to carry the body up a hill to where the Lads stumbled upon it without seemingly getting any blood on himself, even though the victim had a gaping wound.

McDermid has a wide readership. I assume they don’t like taxing their brains overmuch.

Pedant’s corner:- the main drag (St Andrews has a main drag?) Roger Waters’ (Waters’s. And I know he wrote Shine On You Crazy Diamond but did he sing on it? Wasn’t that David Gilmour?) “[Kirkcaldy’s] Town House looked like one of those less alluring products of Soviet architecture” (is more than a bit harsh. It’s a fine buiding.) Raith Rovers’ (Raith Rovers’s,) Brahms’ (Brahms’s,) “had strode” (stridden,) “‘Gonnae no dae that’” (is referred to as if it were a catchphrase from the early to mid 1970s. It wasn’t. Chewin’ the Fat, where it originated, was first aired in 1999.) “‘We lay low’” (we lie low – but it was in dialogue and the character had lived in the US for years and they can’t seem to get the lay/lie thing correct over there,) Soanes’ (Soanes’s.) “The sky was clear, a gibbous moon hanging low in the sky between the bridges.” (sky….sky,.) Sainsburys (Sainsbury’s.) Plus several instances of “time interval later”.

Ceres Scenes

The village green, called the Bow Butts, taken from the site of the Bannockburn Monument:-

Bow Butts, Ceres

Ceres old bridge, from the car park:-

Ceres Old Bridge 1

Ceres Old Bridge 2

Ceres Old Bridge 3

Ceres Burn from the old bridge:-

Ceres Burn

A folly (to the left of the bridge, above):-

Ceres Folly

Bannockburn Monument, Ceres, Fife

Ceres is a village in central Fife.

The monument was erected on the six-hundredth anniversary of Scotland’s most famous victory in battle, at Bannockburn in 1314, to commemorate the men of Ceres who fought in it. It’s situated by the side of the “Bow Butts” as Ceres’s village green is called.

Ceres holds a Highland Games every year. It is said to have hosted a games every year since 1314 after Robert the Bruce granted permission in commemoration of the village men’s contribution to his victory.

Bannockburn Monument, Ceres:-

Bannockburn Monument, Ceres, Fife

Inscription:-

Bannockburn Monument, Ceres, Inscription

Rainbow Over Dysart Harbour

Stitch of two photos to get the whole rainbow in. It’s actually a double rainbow.

Rainbow Over Dysart Harbour

Fife’s Art Deco Heritage 15 (i): Rosyth

We got fairly well acquainted with Rosyth, a Fife town on the Firth of Forth west of but very close to the Forth Bridges, when we were house-hunting. We opted for elsewhere in the end.

Rosyth is most famous for its Naval Dockyard but is home to some deco.

The Clydesdale Bank building, on Queensferry Road, has an Art Deco frontage, at least in its older aspect, built 1932:-

Clydesdale Bank Building, Rosyth

This modern addition (to the left of photo above) isn’t though:-

Clydesdale Bank, Rosyth, Modern Addition

The former Palace Cinema, also on Queensferry Road, from left.

Former Cinema, Rosyth

Palace Cinema from right:-

Former Palace Cinema, Rosyth

Shop with slightly edged flat roof on Admiralty Road. Windows replaced.

Art Deco Style Shop, Rosyth

free hit counter script