Cowdenbeath in old picture postcards

Cowdenbeath in old picture postcards

:   Eric Simpson
:   Fife
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-5851-0
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Cowdenbeath in old picture postcards'

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59. For photographs of miners at work underground, we look further east to Bowhill Colliery, which was also owned by the Fife Coal Company. Having good workable seams, Bowhill once had the largest output of the company's collieries. Notice the wooden pit props and the absence of protective he ad ge ar . These miners are using the traditional piek and shovel. Artificial light has been provided for the photographer. Normally their own lamps would have been their only souree of illumination.


Vigging : 3'fa/)i!Jafion Coa! Seem, d3owhi/l (]ollisry

60. Playing quoits, kites in Fife parlance, was a favourite game in the mining communities. The kites, heavy metal rings, which were made by local blacksmiths, were thrown towards a heavy metal pin set in soft clay. The object was to get the quoit over, or as near. the pin as possible. Since the quoit pitches, of ten at pubs, ranged from 18 to 21 yards in length and the quoits could weigh up to 28lbs, it was a game for big, streng chaps - the kind we see here. Of ten big sums of money were at stake, both as prizes and in bets, and big matches drew many spectators.

61. The previous pictures emphasised the role of the men folk at work and at play. During the 1921 and other miners' strikes, the women backed their men in practical ways, as this 1921 photograph clearly shows. Miners and their families experienced much hardship during long-running strikes. This soup kitchen at Foulford School was one of several run by local strike committees with food supplies provided by the Store and other local shops.

62. Erskine Beveridge of Dunfermline opened a branch linen factory in Cowdenbeath in 1890. There were eventually five hundred looms in the works which produced fine-quality damask linen. As we see from the exodus of workers along Factory Road, the employees we re predominantly female. The local millinery shops obviously profited from the spending power generated by these happy-looking factory girls.

63. Shop work provided an alternative souree of employment for local girls, and there were a lot of smaIl shops in Cowdenbeath like Wildridge's in Perth Road. This newsagent, judging by the adverts, sold Oxydol and Sunlight soap, as weIl as newspapers and fags. The machine on the wall sold Wills' Woodbine cigarettes. The reference on a billboard dates this card to the time ofthe Spanish Civil War 1936-1939. Another billboard, the one on the left, reminds us of some of the Ie ss happyaspects of dom est ie life.

64. This is one of the large fleet of Store vans which delivered bread and other foodstuffs in Cowdenbeath and surrounding villages. Note the solid iron tyres. Later, horse-drawn vans had pneumatic tyres. The bakery stables in Natal Place (now a car park) held around eighteen horses. Alex Todd, seen here, was killed in 1941, when a motor van collided with his delivery lorry in the wartime blackout. Sad to relate, his fatal injuries were the result of his horse falling on hirn. Wartime blackout conditions caused many accidents.

65. The lorry here has been decorated for the Store children's gala - a great occasion for the local bairns. The picture was taken at the back of the Co-op in Natal Place. The solid tyres indicate th at th is is a 1920s lorry. Bluebell Margarine was certainly well-advertised. Was there a bonus given for high sales? The driver was Aitken Black, later transport manager for the Co-op.

66. From 1935 until 1950 the West Fife parliamentary constituency was represented by a Communist, the redoubtable Willie Gallacher. Here we see the M.P. preaching the gospel at a May Day rally at Aberdour around 1950. One wonders though whether the Labour Party bosses would have approved of the message on the banner. We can see the point of the loud speaker. But why, oh why, is there a naked-lady lamp-standard on the Store lorry? The galluses of the laddie on the right hold his breeks by a single button. Does this imply only half-hearted support?

67. The bowling green was opened in 1903 providing a popular form of recreation for the ol der generation. With one exception, the men are all wearing their bunnets. The jaickets are aff but the sark sleeves are still doon. Again no women are to be seen, but the fine line of washing in the background suggests one of the reasons. However, there are four young lassies on one of the seats. Good heavens! Are the menfolk for once doing the childminding?

68. These attractive wrought-iron gates at the Foulford Road entrance to the public park were, it is thought, removed to provide serap-iren for wartime needs. Recreational 'lungs' such as this we re a godsend for the many folk who stayed in tiny, overcrowded houses and/ or lacked gardens of their own. Information on forthcoming events and performances is displayed on the public notice-board on the left.

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