This particular butcher shop predates the building of the Leven Road shops.
The proprietor pictured (with a tool of the trade in hand) was Andrew Robertson. He was born in Leven in 1849 and that is where the story begins. Below is an extract from the 1862 Westwood's Parochial Directory for the counties of Fife and Kinross, showing the bakers in Scoonie. At 4 Forth Street is master baker Andrew Robertson. He and his wife Ann Scott were the parents of the Andrew Robertson pictured above. Another baker in Leven at the time was Andrew Thomson - a man who would, soon after the Westwood's listing was published, relocate his business to Lundin Mill.
The Thomsons and Robertsons were close and when Andrew Thomson moved his bakery to Emsdorf Street around 1865, the eldest son of Andrew Robertson the Forth Street baker (Robert Robertson) took over Thomson's vacated premises on Leven High Street. Robert Robertson's remained a thriving business there for decades and is pictured below circa 1908. So the with eldest son of Andrew Robertson senior following in his father's footsteps, the younger sons followed different career paths. One became a joiner, while Andrew junior trained as a flesher.
Andrew junior started out in the butcher business in Inverkeithing where he was based for several years. In 1870 Andrew Robertson married Elizabeth Douglas of Lundin Mill, daughter of linen weaver James Douglas and his wife Isabella Peebles. They were married in Lundin Mill by Largo minister William Davidson. There seems a strong possibility that they met through Andrew Thomson the baker now located in Lundin Mill, a community predominantly of hand loom weavers.
By the census of 1881, Andrew and Isabella had moved from Inverkeithing to Dunfermline and had four children. Ten years later they were still running a butcher in Dunfermline and their family had grown. By 1901, their son Andrew had joined the butcher trade and they remained running the business in Dunfermline. Meanwhile in Lundin Mill the butcher was David Simpson. He had a house, shop and slaughterhouse on Hillhead Street. However, in 1895 he fell to his death from the railway viaduct at Lower Largo, aged 49. His wife Janet continued the business until 1907, when she retired. The notice below from the 18 September 1907 Leven Advertiser shows both her message of thanks to the inhabitants of the district for their support and Andrew Robertson's announcement that he would be taking over the butcher from 24th September. Furthermore, Mrs Simpson auctioned off some of the contents of her home (Croft House, Hillhead Street) including a talking parrot.
So, the photograph at the very top of this post was taken on the west side of HIllhead Street at Croft House (number 5). The photograph dates to very soon after Andrew Robertson had taken over from Mrs Simpson. He ran the business for a number of years before retiring. Once retired he still owned the business but let it to Thomas Henderson, butcher. On 18 May 1916, Andrew Robertson died aged 65. This prompted the demise of the Hillhead Street butcher business and Thomas Henderson sold off the plant, fittings and other belongings of the shop (see foot of this post). Thereafter the village was served by G.W. Douglas the butcher on Leven Road (who also had a branch on Leven's Forth Street, which is where this story began).
To clarify the location of Robert Anderson's Butcher Shop, see 1893 O.S. map below. It was adjacent to the slaughterhouse on Hillhead Street. This street was once (surprisingly) considered the main area for shopping: