The road annotated on the aerial photo above is Durham Wynd, which runs down from the A915 close to Largo House to Lower Largo's Main Street near the Orry. Some folks will still know this road as 'Donaldson's Wynd', as that was how this road was referred to for around a century. Until recent decades there were almost no buildings on either side of this road - it was bounded by fields on both sides. As such, references to it in historical records are scarce. Below is a rare early reference to Donaldson's Wynd from the 4 April 1878 Fife Herald.
Occasional references to Donaldson's Wynd continue to appear in the newspaper archives from then up until the late 1950s. The alternative name of 'Durham Wynd' eventually began to appear in parallel, especially from around 1929, when some houses were build adjacent to it (see example further below from the 16 March 1929 St Andrews Citizen).
In fact, as far back as 1892 the dual name of the road was acknowledged - see below from the 17 September 1892 St Andrews Citizen. This piece calls the road "Donaldson's or the Durham School Wynd". Of course, it makes sense for the road to be referred to as 'Durham School Wynd' as the new Durham School was built on it circa 1860 (more on that in a future post). But where might the original name of 'Donaldson' have come from?
A likely origin of the name Donaldson's Wynd would be that it was named after David Donaldson (or one of his forebears). Like many of the inhabitants of early 19th century Lower Largo he was a hand loom weaver but crucially he was one of the few inhabitants to actually live on this road. The only houses located on it then were those found at the foot of the wynd close to the Orry. David Donaldson lived in one of these. David also held an official position of importance within the community. His name appeared on advertisements for teaching staff at the original Durham School (located at the Temple car park). Applicants were to apply directly to him, suggesting that he was perhaps clerk to the school board or equivalent body. Notices below from 14 March 1839 Fifeshire Journal and 27 May 1841 Fife Herald respectively provide examples.
The wynd is quite steep at its lower end and many of the mentions of it in the newspaper archives relate to accidents that have taken place there. A few examples of these are given below...
Anyway, over the last century, the road has become increasingly built up on both sides as the aerial view at the start of this post shows. Successive housing developments over several decades have seen it transform into something that would be quite unrecognisable to David Donaldson. In spite of the change to 'Durham Wynd' over time, the Donaldson name lives on both in the memories of many and in the name of the small housing development at the top end of the road - Donaldson's Court.