Eighty three years ago today, the snippets above appeared in the Fife Free Press in the local news update for Largo. Both short stories relate to fresh beginnings - the first to the completion of new housing and the second to a the new impending holiday season. While the replacement of buildings happens rarely, the annual preparation for the influx of holidaymakers was part of the rhythm of life at the time.
The "old-fashioned corner" of the village referred to in the top news item was a small section of Lower Largo's Main Street known then as 'Butters Buildings'. James Butters was a weaver/net maker/boatman who had died late in 1934. He (and his parents James Butters and Margaret Gilchrist before him) had owned a few dwellings and a loomshop for many decades, while living opposite at 'Cliff House'. James senior was a fisherman. He and Margaret had ten children but only James (1860-1934) survived into adulthood.
The replacement buildings were built by Walter Horne, who was married to a cousin of James Butters (Agnes Guthrie). Part of the new construction later housed the Cockleshell Cafe. interestingly, the "old red tiles on the roofs" were reused on the new building. Red roof tiles remain there to this day (see photograph below with the buildings in question to the right behind the tree).
The second news item above contains descriptions of the house-letters' and fishermen's preparations that reflect the largely lost world of "chimney sweeping" and "reddin' up". Summer visitors came in their droves at the time and had done for decades. Lists of summer visitors were sometimes published in the newspapers - see example below from some years earlier. The list of summer lets in Upper Largo and Lower Largo alone is very long. A similar length list existed for Lundin Links. A significant proportion of the summer visitors came from Edinburgh or Glasgow. Some would return year after year to their preferred Largo house.