The above postcard image is entitled High Street Lundin Mill. It predates the development of Leven Road, further to the west. This street (Emsdorf Street), along with Hillhead Street, was where the majority of village shops could be found. The date of the photograph can be narrowed down to between 1895 and 1899. It was captured after the 1895 completion of Bellville, the railings of which can be seen on the far right foreground, yet before the 1900 completion of the Lundin Links Hotel.
The construction of the hotel involved the demolition of the two cottages in the left hand foreground (also shown in more detail below) to make way for gated access to the hotel grounds. The photograph further below, entitled Emsdorf St Lundin Links, was captured a few years later. Note the absence of the old cottages on the left but also the fact that the street lamp holder that was once attached to the demolished cottages has moved to the opposite side of the road. The old dwellings date to the establishment of the village of Emsdorf from 1802.
The cottages looked neglected in the photo, having been unoccupied since before the 1891 census. The three-storey house beyond them belonged to William Dick the coachbuilder. His property incorporated a pend for carriages to go through and a workshop at the bottom of the garden. Local resident Esther Menzies recalled:
"It was a fascinating place to be sent to. There were wheels all over and upended gigs and such like with the shafts up in the air. He also sharpened lawn mowers and knives. Next to this were two cottages or maybe one and a byre. There wasn't much difference. Two old women stayed there. Maggie Drummond sold sweets which were displayed in her window on a table....when you were in the shop or room and looked along the passage you could see the cows flicking their tails. The Seaway is there now."
Indeed beyond Dick's property was another tumbledown cottage, occupied by sisters Isabella and Margaret Drummond. It was demolished and replaced with La Scala cinema. Looking a decade further back, at the 1881 census, it appears that the residents of these run-down properties were largely linen handloom weavers, bobbin winders for the net factory and paupers. Their simple dwellings were cleared away to be replaced with a hotel of unimaginable modern luxury. The transformation of old Lundin Mill into Lundin Links was dramatic for those that lived through it, such as nonagenarian Mrs Wallace.
There are several details worth highlighting in the circa 1897 image at the top of this post. Looking at the zoomed in version below, note the water tap to the left, next to the people peering into the baker's shop window. On the opposite side of the street, it looks like a coal delivery has been deposited onto the road and a hand barrow is being used to transfer this through the cottage to be stored round the back. In the distance, to the left of centre, is David Lindsay's grocer shop. Careful inspection shows the letters Y'S PROVISIONS visible behind the row of houses. David Lindsay was the original proprietor of this shop, built not long before the photograph was taken. Esther Menzies recalled this shop saying:
"Mr Lindsay sold everything nearly - bran, parings, oatmeal, dried big cod, doormats, salt herring from a barrel in front of the counter and of course the ordinary groceries not packaged as they are today."
Later owners would include James Turbayne and Robert Leishman. To the right of centre is the wall surrounding Pump Green. As Esther Menzies wrote in her memoires, the green was...
"surrounded by a high stone wall following the line of the posts and chain there at present but protruding in an arc for several yards at the south end. There was a gap of about four yards with an iron pump with a turning knob....The washing was laid out to bleach in the curved end and we did not play on the green if the washing was there. At other times it was a playground. The grass patch beyond was near oblong. It was crossed by paths - one leading round by the curved wall to Emsdorf Place Houses, another at the east edge in front of their doors and another from Woodlands Road cutting through to meet the one passing alongside the Pump Green wall and leading up to the Hillhead."
The annotated map (dating to 1893) below points out the main features mentioned above. Note that there are four water taps (marked W.T.) within this small area.
1. Site of new Lundin Links Hotel
2. Site of Bellville
3. Old Cottages (demolished)
4. William Dick's Coachworks
5. Drummond sisters' cottage
6. Baker's Shop
7. Site of Lindsay's Grocer
8. Pump Green