The view below of Gibson Place in St Andrews was taken from the Petheram Railway Bridge, built in 1887 and dismantled soon after the last train ran over it in 1969. The bridge was named after the St Andrews District Road Surveyor Henry Petheram. The bridge might be gone, but the name endures in the 'Petheram Bridge Car Park' in the town. Henry was born in Somerset in 1809 but was working in St Andrews as a road surveyor by the mid-1830s. There he met Janet Gibson and they married in 1837 at Foodie before setting up home at Drummochy House close to Largo Harbour. He would spend the next 50 years living in Largo and Lundin Links, the last of his children would still be there in the 1930s.
The job of Surveyor of Roads was a high-profile role which require much travel around the district (presumably much on horse-back). The newspaper archives are full of advertisements for works such as bridge building, hill flattening, quarrying and road building overseen by Petheram. In fact his movements can be tracked through these notices - see below how Petheram's whereabouts change from St Andrews, to Drummochy, to Lundin Mill and finally to Haworth (the house next to Homelands).
Henry and Janet Petheram had at least 10 children, the youngest of which was born when Henry was aged 50. Henry was in the 1860s the Chair of Largo Field Naturalists Society and was involved with Largo Horticulturists Society. He died on 9 June 1886 and was Head Road Surveyor at the time of his death (aged 77). At the meeting of the St Andrews Road Trustees some days later, when his death was reported, the trustees expressed their regret and their sense of value of his services, noting that he "was held in the highest esteem by all with whom he came in contact". Attention was to be given to filling the vacancy for his job at the next meeting - more on that in the next 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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