With their imposing facades fronting onto Victoria Road, the symmetrical pair of double villas shown above were from left to right originally named St Margaret's, Mount Vernon, Aird Bank and St Catherine's. The former pair are dated 1897 and the latter 1896. All were built under the instruction of enterprising local joiner and contractor Walter Horne. The newspaper piece from 1 July 1897 Leven Advertiser below details the stage of the development at that time, noting that:
"Coming from the station, the eye is at once arrested by the appearance of the double villas which have been erected by Mr W. Horne. The building on the right is sold, the other is hardly complete; they are of uniform design, rounded off with turrets at each end. Behind this, Mr Archibald M. White has almost finished a handsome self-contained villa, set off with oriels on each side of the entrance."
The 'self-contained villa' mentioned as being behind the main development is Lindisfarne (obscured and unseen in the above photo). Mount Vernon (left of centre, with the turret, now 10 Links Road) was run as a boarding house from newly built. Its entrance was on Station Road (now Links Road) - as seen in the image further below.
At the time of the 1901 census, David and Mary Simpson were living in St Margaret's with their two infant daughters, while Mary's 73-year-old mother Jane was next door at Mount Vernon. Jane ran the boarding house with two of her other daughters, Isabella and Lucy and a couple of her grand-daughters. When Jane died in 1902 aged 74, another of her daughters, Jeannie Hodge Forrester, took over the running of Mount Vernon.
Jeannie (who died in 1940 aged 81) continued to be in charge there until the early 1920s, when Mrs Agnes Watters became proprietrix. It is Mrs Watters' name that appears on the advert below. By 1930 Mrs Watters owned both Mount Vernon and Victoria Boarding House but Mount Vernon was rented to her brother James Peebles Greig, who ran it until 1939. I imagine that one or both properties would have had some use during the Second World War as billets for soldiers.
After the war came change when George Cooper Tulloch married Elizabeth Bruce Sloan in 1946 and settled at Mount Vernon. The couple ran the place as a private hotel, known as 'Mount Vernon Hotel', remaining there for at least a couple of decades. A series of adverts dating to the Tullochs time in charge are shown below.