The above scene from the late 1980s was chosen to represent Upper Largo within the guide entitled "All About Lundin Links, Lower Largo, Upper Largo and Surrounding Villages". Included in the description of the village was some information about the Kirk, some facts about Sir Andrew Wood and the fact that the village "nestles at the foot of Largo Law, an extinct volcano up which there is an annual race held in August. The race is quite popular and attracts competitors from all over Scotland." In 1988 (the year that the guide was published) the Largo Law Hill Race took place on 6th August at 3pm.
The adverts below are for Upper Largo businesses of the time: Waverley Antiques, The Salon and Wilson the grocer and newsagent. The antique shop, which was at 13 Main Street, had originally been a grocer's shop and for a spell was home to the Post Office. No doubt paintings, furniture and other antiques from the shop still grace local homes. Shown in the photograph further below (when it was known as J&A White), the building that housed Waverley Antiques was first planned in 1898 by Robert Nicoll, grocer and postmaster. The short piece from the Leven Advertiser of 7 July 1898 below, announces his decision to build new premises on the north side of the street. Robert Gilchrist (who had built the Simpson Institute several years before) was the builder. More about Robert Nicoll to follow at a future date...
R. Wilson at 25 Main Street, pictured below in the 1970s was in a building that had been used for a range of purposes in the preceding years. In the late nineteenth century, Robert Melville's business as a tinsmith and plumber was here. It was later a chemist, with Charles Thomson, and then Peter Cowie, running it. When Peter Cowie died in 1917, James Bowie took over the chemist and later relocated it to the opposite side of Main Street (which George Mackie took over in 1935). Robert Melville's daughter Catherine owned the buildings until the early 1930s when it was purchased by Robert Wilson.
The Salon is pictured below in the mid-1970s. This building at 12 Main Street has been George Swan Rodger's draper shop and George Mackie's chemist earlier in its history. Like so many former shops in the village, it has long since been converted into a residential dwelling.
Other adverts that appeared for Upper Largo businesses were those below for Central Garage and J. Purves Service Station. Central Garage was started around 1921 by James Harris (see photo below). It was situated on the south side of Main Street opposite Wilson's and was run by Jim Harley at the time of advertising in the tourist guide. The other car-related advert was for J. Purves, a garage on the north side and west end of Main Street, on the site of the former United Free Church. Jimmy Purves took over the garage around 1960. David Ramage had converted the former church into a bus garage back in 1933-34.
Finally, there was an advert for the 'Largo Hotel', now known as the Upper Largo Hotel. A hotel with a long history that has been known as the Commercial Hotel, Duff's Inn and Lee's Inn during its long history. The next post will conclude the review of the 1988 tourist guide - with the spotlight falling on Lower Largo.