Lundin Links has always supported a decent amount of shops and services for a village its size. Even today there is a good range of services compared to many similar sized places. The row of businesses on Leven Road shown above was and is the main commercial area. However, back in the era shown above, there would have been many more shops and businesses scattered around other parts of Lundin Links - notably along Emsdorf Street. Over the years these have been converted into homes. More on this theme tomorrow...
I spent today on a beach on the opposite side of the Forth from Lundin Links. The sky and the light this afternoon were very similar to the above picture taken in July on the stretch of beach close to Lundin Golf Clubhouse. It makes me think about all the folk over many years who have enjoyed the simple pleasures of dipping their feet in the water, collecting shells and investigating rock pools - many of them captured in postcard images over the years, see below.
Constructed in 1899, Ravenswood (left) and Elmwood (right) would be joined by several other Boarding Houses close by within a decade. The summer influx of tourists must have brought the village to life. In June 1903, the Evening Telegraph reported that "Largo and Lundin Links are now filling up, and both villages are already busy." It noted that many of the visitors came from Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee and also that many people "come here year after year". If you have memories of summers spent in Lundin Links - maybe in one of the Boarding Houses - please leave a comment.
Many of the large boarding houses in Lundin Links were built within easy reach of the train station and positioned to enjoy sea views. This postcard image (posted in 1914) shows Ravenswood/Elmwood on the left and Manderlea second from right (just to left of the lamp post). The building next to Manderlea is Westhall. The white-coloured gable end in the distance is what was to become Peacehaven. Back then it too was a boarding house, named Roseneath. Today most of the old boarding houses are flats.
Railway links, golf courses, sea-bathing and beautiful scenery brought about a tourist boom in Lundin Links which lasted many decades. Several large boarding houses were built and elaborate descriptions of the area were often to be found in newspapers, books and advertisements. For example, this part of Largo Bay was described as the "Scottish Riviera", compared to the Bay of Naples and, in the article which accompanied the above drawing, described as "...unparalleled perhaps in the Lowland scenery of Scotland".
Running parallel to the section of the Fife Coastal Path between the Lundin Golf Club and Drummochy, this view offers a clear view of the old railway track bed. This is a beautiful area for walking and the stretch of beach here is a nice mix of sand, pebbles and rocks. For regular nature observations and photos from this area (and elsewhere) see the Largo Baywatch blog at:
While most of the railway from Leven, through Lundin Links to Largo, and beyond passed over flat "benty" links alongside the seashore, a little more
engineering was required in order to navigate through the villages.
The black and white postcard above shows the intersection between the rail line at Masseney Braes and the road junction of Emsdorf Road and Drummochy Road.
You can still see remains of this bridge today, as the photo to the right (taken this Summer) shows.
Visit YouTube for a nostalgic video of this section of the railway. This bridge features at 0.58 seconds into the film.
In 1857 the East of Fife Railway saw the existing line (which had ended at Leven) extended through Lundin Links and Largo to Kilconquhar. The most difficult and costly element of this extension was the construction of the 4 arch viaduct over the Keil Burn. The day of the running of the first passenger train over the line was an occasion of "high spirits" and "general rejoicing" according to newspaper reports. The engine and coaches had been decorated with evergreens and banners were displayed at the stations - one of which read "Wha wad hae thocht it?". Perhaps for some folk the first ever time they had seen a locomotive.
Back in the Summer of 1982, the Queen and Prince Philip passed through Lundin Links having been in Anstruther to open an extension to the Scottish Fisheries Museum. They had also dined at the Craw's Nest Hotel. All the pupils from Lundin Mill Primary School came down to line the main road and wave flags. The photo shows the car just passing the junction of Leven Road and Crescent Road. It was a fleeting visit but one that sticks in the mind. If anyone recalls this day or knows of any other Royal Visits to the village, please comment or contact us.
1900s view towards Lundin Links from Leven. The coastal path between the two settlements was probably a well-worn one in these days out of necessity rather than for leisure purposes. Nevertheless, on this particular day it looks like an inviting stroll alongside a calm sea and quiet links. I intend to magnify the buildings in the distance and see how many can be identified...when I get the time.
This blog is about the history of the villages of Lundin Links, Lower Largo and Upper Largo in Fife, Scotland. Comments and contributions from readers are very welcome!
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