One of the biggest attractions in Dunfermline is Pittencrieff Park, or simply ‘the Glen’ as most people call it.
One of the popular features is the hothouses and this photograph shows the ones that were constructed before the present ones replaced them in the early 1970’s, as recalled by Betty McCaig: “That’s how I remember them. The new ones were never the same. I remember being taken to see bananas growing there in WW1. Had never seen one before-I believe they were given to a hospital or a home for sick children.”
Sue Osborne was taken there by her parents: “I used to go there with my mum and dad when we had a picnic. I had my fun at the paddling pool etc, so afterwards we took time for mum to look round, as her passion for plants always kept a lovely garden.”. The area was once known as the ‘Lairds Garden’ and provided fresh fruit and vegetables for the nearby Pittencrieff House that was built in the early 17th century.
The next photograph shows some men playing draughts on a giant board watched over by a young girl against the backdrop of the hothouses.
The next photograph is of Dunfermline Gala in 1914. An annual event, it evokes powerful memories, as Frank Gibson recalls of one that took place almost half a century after this picture was taken: “Ah! Happy days! I was 7 about to turn 8 in the early summer of 1962 and was at that gala day. I and my brother and sister were at Blacklaw Primary, and the tradition was that after the parade and the picnic provided by Stephens in our class group we would have the races etc.
My mum would be hovering towards the end of the festivities and we would soon be joined by my dad (who was a baker for Stephens) and spend the rest of the afternoon in our family group. That summer day was beautiful and we all walked home to our house in Abbeyview, happy and contented. Our father passed in 1964, way too young. I absolutely loved Gala Day”.
The final photograph is of the staff in the Glen Pavilion posing for the camera on the steps outside. Jim Millar remembers the venue: “ One of my greatest memories was Big Country’s first night when they played the Glen Pavilion back in 1982 for live recordings when the whole place and Toon were bouncin’!!”.
Andrew Carnegie himself, who gifted the park to the people in Dunfermline, called it “the most soul-satisfying public gift I ever made”.
Until next time
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