On 28 February 1867 the notice below in the Fife Herald announced that there was a plan to build a net factory at Lower Largo. This enterprise was master minded by 24-year-old Largo-born David Gillies. He had began his career as an apprentice in the office of the firm Messrs Boswell & Co of Leven, spinners and net manufacturers (which later evolved into the Boase Spinning Company). Having left school at 13, Gillies would have had several years experience in the business by 1867. He selected a site next to his former school (located on what is now the Temple car park), known as 'Cardy Common', which had previously been vacant and had been known as a gathering place for tinkers. The ancient name 'Cardy' is thought to come from a name for a blacksmith or tin-worker.
David designed the factory building and was supported in the project by his brothers. Constructed of red brick, with a chimney at each end, the works had a three-pitched grey slate roof with many skylights. A large open area would be filled with netting looms and around two sides of the building were store rooms, offices and a workshop and smithy. Gillies had obtained a net making machine from his former employer in Leven and, using that as a template, he made around a further 30 machines in his own workshop. Below is an advert for the business from Worrall's directory of 1877. In the next post, further details of the works and a sense of what it might have been like to work there.
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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