St Andrews in old picture postcards

St Andrews in old picture postcards

:   Eric Simpson
:   Fife
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-6668-3
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'St Andrews in old picture postcards'

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39 When the Busy Bees opened their season at the new pavilion on 23 june 1928, they were welcomed, the Citizen tells us, by senior councillor, Dean of Guild WT. Linskill. Everything connected with this talented company was new, this self-confessed pierrot buff enthused: new songs, new musie, new dances and new dresses. We can see that these entertainers had discarded the traditional down-style hats and had adopted the more fashionable close-fitting skull caps. Among the Busy Bees there were singers and dancers, a comedian and a comédienne who doubled as a male imper-

sonator. There was also a Scottish character entertainer and a dancer who specialized in the nowadays strictly incorrect 'coon studies.' Since it was St Andrews, comedians

would have toned down the more risky elements in their routine.

40 The latter-day pierrot pavilion with its stepped seating can be seen in this circa 1950Valentine's aerial view. After World War II tastes had changed, however. The kind of entertainment provided by pierrot troupes na langer appealed. Alternative forms of entertainment such as ballroom dancing and radio contributed to their decline. In 1949 the Town Council rejected a proposal to demolish the Beach Pavilion and erect in its place a sun lounge. It survived with change of use to takeaway and tearoom. Variety shows held in the Town Hall provided a measure of continuity.

Visible on the left of the photograph is the New Picture House, which provided a more sophisticated farm of entertainment and thus also helped to acceler-

ate the demise of the al fresco performer.

41 The City Brass Band (in later years it was Silver) had for many years entertained residents and visitors alike with their Saturday evening open-air concerts on the Links and in return received some financial assistance from the Town Cauncil. Simultaneausly, cancerts and dramatic entertainments (these conducted by the irrepressible WT. Linskill) were held to raise funds to pay for a roofed-ever band kiosk. Eventually in 1904 theTawn Council, after considerable argument as to the most suitable location, decided to erect a bands tand on the Baw

Butts and this was duly achieved in the fallawing year. The Sabbatarian majarity on the Tawn Cauncil at that time, however, insisred that there would be na Sunday cancerts.

Bow Bun' .

[J. Faine,ta tll~r.

42 The Byre Theatre, founded in 1933 bya group of young men and wamen inspired by A.B. Paterson, provided dramatic performances that were

aften of a high standard. Despite its tiny stage and a mere 74-seater auditorium and inadequate facilities, amateur and, from 1940, professional actars and ac-

tresses put on a full programme of plays a year. With a season extending from April until the end of December, the Byre also catered for summer visit-

ars. The company also put on summer repertory plays in the Town Hall. The aId BYTe closed in 1969 and the buildings were demolished.

43 Last century cows were of ten seen, being led out of the farmer Abbey Street Dairy and then driven through the streets to reach nearby pastures. In this photograph the dairy farm crigins of the Old Byre are clearly evident. The entrance was on the right. Access to the dressing rooms located in the pantile-roofed loft, left, was by an old ship's ladder, salvaged from a West Fife shipbreaking yard. The theatre sign acknowledges, in small print wording, the cernpany's origins as the

St Andrews Play Club. The building on the extreme

right was the workshop area. The New Byre (1970) continued the traditions of the old, but that building toa became outrnoded and was closed in 1996. With its two auditoria, bars and

restaurant, the late st theatre, which opened in Iune 2001, is a much more sophisticated edifice.


44 Entertainment for summer visitors, organized by the St Andrews Publicity and Information Service, was also provided by the tewn's school children and youth organizations. This particular event in the Castle court yard taak pl ace on 12 Iune 1954. According to the Citizen, an exceptionally large crowd enjoyed displays of drill and folk dancing, induding the Highland Fling, by children from the Burgh School. Observe the maypole in the centre which had been used by the Primary In dass for 'an interesting and Intricate' maypole dance. The Boys' Brigade Pipe

Band was another popular item on the programme. (Photograph: Cowie Collection courtesy of St Andrews Universi ty Library.)

45 At St Andrews Bowling Club visitors were heartily welcomed and matches were arranged for them, according to a 1930s Official Guide. The

members of this private club, founded in 1887, were noted for their spirit of camaraderie. Today's pavilion is aesthetically less pleasing than the 1903

original, as illustrated in this postcard of circa

1910. Near here, twelve people were killed in August 1942 as the result of a German air raid. The Pub-

lic Bowling Green in Kinburn Park was not laid out till1949.

46 Any resort with pretensions had to offer tennis and St Andrews eould offer this facility; bath outdoors and indoors, sinee Vietorian days. St Andrews Town Council, whieh had purehased Kinburn House

and garden in 192 0, extended the provision available by laying out courts there. The publicity-conscious Town Council also helped to bring the Scottish Hard Courts Championship to Kinburn, an

event that attraeted sizeable numbers of speera tors. This tournament was held there every year, except for the war years, from 1923 until 1981. In this Dennis & Sans posteard, we see part of the

bus station in the background. As the bus station was opened in 1954, this gives us an approximate date for the photograph.

47 The Lammas Market held in August is a long erlived holiday attraction, and is one of Fife's three genuine historie street markets. (The others are the Larnmas Fair at Inverkeithing and Kirkcaldy's Links Market.) This J. Patrick postcard gives us a flavour of an Edwardian fair day At that time, and until the First World War, it was a significant event in the rural calendar, as the fair, as well as being as a carnival, served as alocal feeing market where farmers hired their labourers. Notice the showmeri's caravans parked behind the stalls. The showmen and

stallholders bid for their favoured stances at a preliminary auction.

4-8 Another Edwardian postcard gives us a closeup of a typical decorated iee-eteam barrow of the period with a carousel in the background. The bairns, standing nearby, would have had some Market pennies to spend. We glimpse on the Market Street-Church corner part of the window display of the Glasgow Drapery Warehouse. In the early 1900s, once the Market was over, the shows were flitred down to the Bruce Embankment. As usual, this brought a petition from the Scores residents for a ban on 'roundabouts and similar nuisances.' Generally, though, StAn-

drews folk had to make the best of their few days of brash and clamorous exciternent, since the local elite made sure that there would be na mini-Golden Mile in their town.

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