A Hogmanay Rhyme
The Largo Village Book, compiled by the Largo Woman's Rural Institute in 1932, contains a section about rhymes which were either about the area or were used in the area. One of these rhymes is about Hogmanay and was described as "still sung by the children who come for their cakes on Hogmanay". Here it is....
Largo and District Silver Band
Local newspaper articles of the 1920s and 1930s make regular reference to the Largo and District Silver Band. The band played an important role in village New Year celebrations at that time. Reports in the Courier in 1928 and again in 1930, for example, describe how the Silver Band paraded the streets of Lundin Links as well as Upper and Lower Largo playing a selection of tunes at several locations. The paper on both occasions said that this was "an old-time custom". However, it is unclear how long this tradition had been going on or indeed when it ceased. Do you know any more about the band?
The term 'silver band' is synonymous with 'brass band' and the vast majority of bands termed either 'brass' or 'silver' incorporate musicians playing both lacquered and silver-plated instruments. In the days when 'brass' instruments were not as costly as silver plated ones, the term 'silver band' implied a band that could afford the latter and thus were a more successful band. Now, however, the costs are similar and the distinction between brass and silver bands is generally not made.
The Largo Silver Band is mentioned in various newspaper reports throughout the inter-war years playing at various events, including the Montrave Garden Fete, Anstruther Gala Day and a 'Massed Bands Recital' to holidaymakers (alongside the bands of Leven, Buckhaven and Wellesley Colliery) in July 1934.
In October 1923, the band had toured the villages of Lundin Links, Upper Largo and Lower Largo - this time collecting in aid of the Redding Disaster Fund. This was one of Scotland's worst mining disasters in which 40 men perished at Redding near Falkirk. The 90th anniversary of this tragedy was recently marked with a ceremony.
The Courier of 3 January 1930 included coverage of various tournaments which took place in Lundin Links over Christmas and New Year. These included billiards and dominoes at the Men's Social Club and also a golf Christmas Medal.
According to the 'Largo Village Book' (see image), compiled by the Largo Woman's Rural Institute in 1932, the Men's Social Club had begun after the First World War and was very popular with the men of the parish.
The Clubroom was given by Mr Paxton of Homelands, Lundin Links and contained billiard tables, a small library, games, etc. A programme of lectures and discussions was organised each winter. As well as invited speakers, weekly meetings included such things as 'Hat Nights' where questions were drawn from a hat and discussed, musical evenings and community singing, a Burn's Night celebration, mock elections and discussions on newspaper clippings. Any mention of the club after 1939 I have not been able to find.
As Christmas is almost upon us, I thought a snowy image of Lundin Links was in order - even if a white Christmas is unlikely this year. This photograph of Crescent Road, looking up towards Leven Road (on the left in the distance) was taken around 1940. The thick fresh snow highlights details such as the railings (which were soon to go) and the old street lamp. The trees are quite dramatic and it seems that no one had been driving on the roads. If you recall a white Christmas in the village, or a memorable snowy spell, please comment.
Thank you for reading and Merry Christmas from Vintage Lundin Links!
The above advert for James Gulland the tailor dates to the very early 20th century. The shop was located in the middle of the main row of shops on Leven Road. Clearly, the shop also sold a range of other goods - including post cards.
An example of a Gulland's post card is also shown here (the picture on the other side was a circa 1930 view of the Leven Road shops and Lundin Links Hotel). By this time the business's description was 'Mrs Gulland, Lundin Links'.
James Gulland had died in 1914 at the age of 51 and his widow (Emma) continued the business - perhaps assisted by her daughters. The family lived in the house called 'Aldersyde' on Crescent Road. Mrs Gulland was an active member of village society (notably the Largo SWRI). She lived to the age of 90 - passing away in 1959.
In the past, any reasonable-sized place popular with visitors would need to have public toilet facilities. Lundin Links and Lower Largo were no exception.
The Fife County Council invitation to tender from 1936 for the building of a public convenience at Lower Largo (shown here) could refer to either the disused building pictured above or to the toilets at the Temple car park (still in use today). A similar tender notice was posted in 1933 for another unspecified site in Lower Largo.
The building shown above, on Harbour Wynd, has not been in use as public toilets for some time but had been referred to as a 'street sweepers bothy' until recently when the council sold the building/plot off at auction earlier this year. There also used to be public toilets on the lane leading down to the beach from the top of Drummochy Road. Of course, these days there are fewer and fewer public toilet facilities in general. If you know of others that existed in the past in Lower Largo and Lundin Links, or when these closed, please comment.
Old Photographs and Memories?
If you have memories of 'vintage' Lundin Links, old images or historical information about the village, you are welcome to get in touch and share it. If you click on the 'Contact' link on the right hand side panel (between 'Author' and 'Archives') and complete the form, we can reply to you. Any contribution can remain anonymous.
Perhaps you will have time to look through old photo albums over the festive period or will be reminiscing about old times with friends and family. If you dig up some local history 'treasure', please consider sharing it!
The purpose of this website is to build up a history of the Lundin Links and Largo area through sharing little nuggets of information as they are found. The more people that contribute, the richer the resource will become. Many thanks!
In 1872, local children attended a 'Christmas Treat' in the Lundin Mill School-room, according to the Fife Herald of 2 January 1873. Hosted by the Misses Rigg and Miss Haymes of Aithernie (now the Old Manor Hotel), this was an evening of 'splendid Christmas entertainment'. Built in the late 1850s, the old Lundin Mill School on Crescent Road (pictured below) is now the local library. However, back in 1872...
"The school-room was tastefully decorated for the occasion...a table...profusely laden with luxuries, in the centre of which stood a beautiful Christmas tree. All the young guests were entertained to tea, and received a most liberal supply of buns, cookies, oranges, etc. Suitable and interesting addresses were delivered to the children....The scholars, besides being supplied with so many eatables, received nice presents of books, purses, boxes, etc."
The festivities also involved singing and a 'magic lantern' show. A magic lantern was an early type of image projector, which used glass 'lantern slides' to project painted or photographic images. We can only guess at what this particular show consisted of - something educational, humorous or religious? Perhaps it included Christmas or winter scenes or maybe there were illustrations to accompany a story? The article certainly conjures up a lovely image of Christmas past and gives an insight into the use of this building almost a century and a half ago.
Lundin Sports Club
As the popularity of Lundin Links as a holiday resort declined, so the facilities once used heavily by the visitors had to adapt. It is to the credit of many dedicated locals over recent decades, that the tennis courts are still there and are thriving.
In the 1970s, the Lundin Sports Club was created and the present flat-roofed club house was opened. It contains squash courts, a gym, changing facilities and an upstairs bar/recreation area.
The coaching of tennis to children has always been a key part of the club's activities with programmes of lessons having been offered at weekends and school holidays for many years.
Hopefully the road pictured below, which runs up to the Sports Club from Victoria Road, will continue to see plenty of people of all ages come to play sports and enjoy their free time for many decades to come! If you have memories of time spent using the leisure facilities in this part of the village, please comment or contact us.
Tennis Courts Heyday
As covered in yesterday's post, the tennis courts in Lundin Links were opened in 1905, after a few years of discussion and planning. The above image shows that there were four main courts plus two further courts closer to Leven Road allocated to children. The bowling green adjoins both sets of courts. The back garden entrances of the Ravenswood and Elmwood boarding houses (in the foreground of the above picture) show how convenient the sports facilities must have been for many visitors.
Later, a putting green was added on the other side of the children's courts (see postcard below). Today neither the children's courts nor the putting green exists. In their place is the bowling green car park and some open grass. However, a play park has for many decades been situated to the south side of the former putting green. The football pitch also remains today, so this area is still very much a leisure hub for the village. If you have memories of using these facilities, please add a comment to share it. There is an 'Add Comment' button beneath each post.
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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