Holidays at Cairneyhill Train Station Part 2

Dear blog reader

Following on from my first blog post on holidays at Cairneyhill train station which was published 5 weeks ago (and very well received by you all, thank you), below is a further post on such holidays.

I do hope you find this interesting.





British Railways in Scotland will experiment next month with the letting of camping coaches and camping apartments at the country stations, where this accommodation is available, for long weekends, ie Friday to Monday. This will allow those who wish it an opportunity to try out a camping holiday and see whether it might appeal for longer periods.

The charge for the weekend lets are £1 for a six berth camping coach, and for apartments £2 10/- (four berth) or £3 (six berth).

The accommodation is fully equipped with bedding, crockery, cutlery and kitchen utensils.

Camping coaches are located at Aberfeldy, Appin, Arisaig, Eddleston, Glenfinnan, Loch Awe. Morar, Portessie, Strathyre, Strome Ferry.

The camping apartments are at Aberlady, Banchory, Cairneyhill, Culross, Gullane, Kilmany, Lochearnhead, Macduff, Old Meldrum, Torryburn, Whitehouse.

Cairneyhill train station

Railway Happenings

Dear blog reader

This week’s blog post has a railway theme, 2 shorter reports combined, both with a railway connection.

I do hope you find them interesting.





On Saturday morning the man who was found dead in a railway carriage at Loch Leven Station on Thursday night was identified by his son as that of Alexander Mitchell, a retired seaman, who resided at Cairneyhill, near Dunfermline.

It seems deceased had joined the train at Inverkeithing, where he had been during the day, and had suddenly expired before reaching Dunfermline. The remains were conveyed to Cairneyhill on Saturday afternoon.




The London and North-Eastern Railway Company intimate that the passenger train services on the Dunfermline and Kincardine and Alloa and Kincardine branch lines will be withdrawn on and from 7th July next.

The stations affected are Cairneyhill, Torryburn, Culross, Clackmannan, and Kennet, Kilbagie and Kincardine. Parcels traffic will, however, continue to be dealt with at these stations, but the Company will not be able to deal with horse-box traffic at any of these stations.

Cairneyhill Temperance Society in 1837

Dear blog reader

Cairneyhill Temperance Society had an annual soirée which was reported in the local newspapers and below are the details of the 1837 annual soirée.

I hope you find this interesting.





We have much pleasure in recording other two soirées which took place in this neighbourhood last week – one at Kelty, and the other at Cairneyhill. Both were given by the Temperance Society belonging to each place, and had for their object the promotion of that cause.

At Kelty, addresses were delivered by Mr Duncan of Cleish, Mr Hay of Kinross, Mr Young of Dunfermline, and others; and the evening’s proceedings were enlivened by a band of music and songs. The company, nearly 200, were so highly gratified, that they determined to have another in the open air during the summer.

At the soirée at Cairneyhill, the chair was most ably filled by Mr Robert Kirk, a young man of the village, who, in a very forcible manner, set forth the virtue of temperance in his opening address, and whose tact in keeping up the spirit and harmony of the meeting we have rarely seen equalled. The principal part of the evening was occupied by several speeches, not from professionals, but from the young men of the village and neighbourhood, who delivered their sentiments on temperance and other subjects in a most eloquent manner – a manner most creditable to themselves and encouraging to others.

“Let those speak now who never spoke before, and those who always spoke now speak the more”.

The Rev Mr More, in a very happy speech delivered on the spur of the moment, reviewed the evening’s proceedings, expressing his satisfaction and pleasure at seeing so many cheerful faces beaming with such good-will, and voted thanks to the chairman, which was received with acclamation. He concluded the meeting by prayer. This soirée was almost wholly got up and managed by the young ladies of the village, and reflected every credit on their good taste and skill. There were nearly one hundred present.

Ladies’ Seminary In 1843

Dear blog reader

The ladies’ seminary in Cairneyhill was examined annually and the results reported in the newspapers.

Below are the findings from the 1843 inspection of the ladies’ seminary.

I do hope you find them interesting.





The annual examination of the seminary for young ladies, taught by Mrs More and her daughters, at Cairneyhill Manse, by Dunfermline, took place on the 2d instant [meaning the current month], in the presence of a number of the parents, and of the Rev Messrs Gilfillan, Stirling; Johnstone, Limekilns; Gilston, Carnock; and Young, Cuthbertson and McMichael, Dunfermline, who expressed much pleasure in bearing testimony to the efficient manner in which the establishment continues to be conducted, and their opinion that the several branches of secular education are skilfully and successfully taught, and it’s due prominence given to the all important department of moral and religious education.

The several classes of English reading, grammar, arithmetic, geography, botany, French, Italian, Church history, Scripture instruction etc, acquitted themselves in a manner which evinced at once the skill and assiduity of the teachers, and the diligence and proficiency of the pupils.

A number of well-written essays, on a variety of subjects, were read as specimens of composition. The walls of the school-room were tastefully covered with drawings in pencil, chalk, and water-colours, of a great variety of subjects, and many of them displaying a high degree of proficiency in the art. Several pieces of beautiful embroidery and needlework were also displayed. In the evening the young ladies gave a specimen of their proficiency in music, when a number of fine pieces were performed in a correct and tasteful manner, concluding with the national anthem.

The effect of the examination was to sustain and increase the high and well-earned reputation of the seminary.


The manse, where the seminary took place, is the building on the right in this picture:

Cairneyhill Church and Manse.

Cairneyhill Valuation Roll 1920

Dear blog reader,

Welcome to the seventh part in a series, a list of the people, with address and occupation where known, who were connected with Cairneyhill in 1920.

In 1920 there were 135 people listed, with 26 addresses specified, and with 14 occupations comprising 1 Church minister, 2 joiners, 1 market gardener, 1 slaughter house keeper, 6 shop keepers, 1 station master, 1 smith and 1 weaver.

This compares with 131 people listed in 1915 with 20 occupations comprising 10 shopkeepers, 2 publicans, 1 farmer, 1 Church minister, 1 smith, 2 slaughter house keepers, 1 market gardener, 1 joiner and 1 weaver, 110 people listed in 1905 with 10 occupations comprising 4 weavers, 1 publican, 1 esquire, 2 Church ministers, 1 smith and 1 shop owner, 106 people listed in 1895 with 9 occupations comprising 5 weavers, 1 Church minister, 1 blacksmith and 2 joiners,  98 people listed in 1885 with 17 occupations comprising 10 weavers, 2 Church ministers, 2 blacksmiths, 2 joiners and one farmer, with  75 people listed in 1875 with 22 occupations comprising 14 weavers, 2 Church ministers, 2 wrights, 3 farmers and one joiner, with 65 people listed in 1865 with 27 occupations comprising 22 weavers, one blacksmith, one joiner, 2 wrights and one Church minister and with 66 people listed in 1855 with 4 occupations comprising 3 weavers and one blacksmith.

Hopefully those of you with ancestors from Cairneyhill will find this list useful.


Peter Allan

Alexander Allan

John Anderson

Thomas Arnott

Mrs William Arnott, shop

Miss Angelina Bain, Erskine Cottage

Mrs Mary Bald

Mrs Banks

William Barnard

George S Black

David Blackwell, Main Street

Mrs Elizabeth Boyd

Miss Ann Bruce

John Chapman

George Cook

David Cook

Alexander Crombie

Richard Cummings

Peter Davidson

Charles Davidson, Cairneyhill Station

Alexander Deas

William Deas

Thomas Downie

David Drummond

John Drummond, Bellabank

Miss Margaret Drysdale

William Drysdale, Main Street

James Duffin

Mrs Hannah Duncanson

John Erskine, Myrend

John Erskine, Nether Pitdinnie

David Erskine, Nether Pitdinnie

Miss Christina Erskine, advertising stance

Grace Erskine, Bankview

John Erskine, glebe

W Fairley

James Fairley

Robert Finlayson

Alexander Flint

Reverend William Forbes, manse

Thomas Fotheringham

William Fotheringham

Miss Ann Fotheringham

Thomas Fotheringham, shop

James Fox

John Fraser

George Fyfe

Christina Gellatly

Alexander Gibb, Erskine Cottage

David Gilmour

Robert Gray

Frederick Gray

Charles Grierson

Alexander Hamilton, shop

Archibald Heggie

John Hodge

Miss Matilda Hodge, Main Street

Peter Hogg

Katharine Howieson

James Hunter, smithy

James Hunter, Main Street

William Hynd, shop

John Kane

Michael Kirk

John Lamont

Mrs Mary Lawson

William Lindsay

David Lloyd

Andrew Lumsden, slaughter house

John MacArthur, Burnside

Archibald MacBeath

James MacDonald

William MacDonald, Main Street

James MacDonald, Bankview

James MacKean

Duncan MacKenzie

David MacNab

William MacNair

William MacQuire

James Marshall

John Milne

James Mitchell

Mrs Charles Morrison

Anderson Munro

William Paterson

Miss Charlotte Paterson

Archibald Penman, Main Street

John W Philip, Main Street

John W Philp, Main Street

James Philp, Main Street

William Philp, Calderwood

Mrs Philp

Mrs Mary Ramsay, Nether Pitdinnie

Andrew Ramsay

Catherine Reid

Sebastian Rennie

John Robertson, Burnside

John Robertson, market garden

Moir Robertson, joiner

David S Robertson, shop

Isabella Robertson, shop

Charles Robertson

Miss Elizabeth Robertson

James Robertson

Edgar Rollands

Mrs Ross, Myrend

James Ross

William Russell, Main Street

Mrs Scott

William Sellars

Donald Sellars

Daniel Smith

Walter Stewart

Robert D Stobie, Main Street

William Templeman

John Thomson

David Thomson

Mrs Jane Thomson or Rennie

Mrs James Tinline, Main Street

William Torrance, Pitdinnie

William Torrance, Nether Pitdinnie

George Turnbull

Jane Turnbull, Main Street

Thomas Turnbull, Main Street

Robert Waddell, West Lodge

Mrs Christian Walker

William Watson, loomshop

Alexander Watt

Thomas Wilson

Andrew Wilson

Alexander Wright

James Wright

John Wright

William Young

Holiday at Cairneyhill Train Station



Survivors of a pre-war force of over 400, seventeen coaches of British Railways are parked in sidings near the holiday-spots of Southern England with nowhere to go but with a purpose in their immobility. They are “camping coaches”, rolling stock fitted with sleeping accommodation and cooking facilities (including cutlery and pots) which are still proving popular with holidaymakers in the summer months.

At the moment the fitting of further coaches as holiday accommodation is at a standstill – the manufacturers of rolling stock must meet sterner requirements. Gradually, the 439 coaches which were scattered all over Britain in 1938 have disappeared, and there is no likelihood of the present meagre allocation being improved.

Still proving popular, also, are the camping apartments – ten old stations, now disused, which have been converted into apartments for about six people. The old L.N.E.R. system started this scheme some five years before the war, and at the moment the regions which absorbed the system are the only ones to offer holidays at a railway station. Five stations are in Scotland – Aberlady and Gullane, in East Lothian, and Culross, Torryburn, and Cairneyhill, in Fifeshire.

Cairneyhill Station

Gun Accident in Cairneyhill



On Monday afternoon, an accident of a most serious and melancholy nature occurred to a child about four years of age, at Cairneyhill, a village about three miles west of Dunfermline.

The circumstances are these:- A boy named Young, about twelve years of age, took up a gun which was lying in an out-house at Cairneyhill, and presented it at a child named Erskine, grandson of the person to whom the gun belonged.

Unfortunately the gun was loaded and capped. The trigger was drawn; and although the gun was only loaded with powder and wadding, the contents told with dreadful effect, the muzzle of the gun having been held very close to the child. The wounded child was carried home to its parents nearly lifeless.

The occurrence created much alarm in the village, and messengers were immediately despatched for medical aid. Dr Morris, of Dunfermline, fortunately was near the village, and he was in attendance shortly after the occurrence. The doctor examined the child, and found a large lacerated wound on the right side of the head. A portion of flesh on the forehead was blown to atoms, and another large portion dessicated; but the most serious nature of the injuries was caused by the fracture of the skull, with depression of the bone. Dr Morris, with the assistance of Dr Duncanson, dressed the wounds, and succeeded in effecting a very difficult operation, but that the child is in a most precarious condition.

Cairneyhill Temperance Society in 1836

Dear blog reader

Cairneyhill Temperance Society held annual soirees which were often reported on in detail in the newspapers and below is the report of the Cairneyhill Temperance Society’s annual soiree in 1836.

I do hope you find this interesting.





In exercise of our correspondence, it is sometimes necessary to narrate doings which exhibit rather the dark side of human nature – points, which like the skilful painter, we would rather ‘cast discreetly into shade’ – but this week it is our pleasing task to present the bright side of the picture, while shortly noticing another soiree in this district, a species of entertainment which we are glad to see becoming more popular.

On the evening of Friday last the Cairneyhill Temperance Society held its annual soiree, and seldom have the echoes of that now thriving village rung with a more harmonious company.

The chair was most ably filled by Mr Noble, teacher in Cairneyhill, who addressed the meeting in an appropriate speech. During the evening the importance of temperance, and he value and propriety of acting on the society’s principles, were warmly advocated by several of the members especially Messrs Paterson, Blair, and Kirk, all of whom, despite of homely phrase and diction, spoke well and to the point.

Nor were songs, glees, and recitations, awanting to give zest and piquancy to the intellectual entertainment. The company did not break up till eleven o’clock, and even then were ‘sweer to part’ – feeling assured that ‘there would be nae sair heads the morn’ – having spent four hours together in the utmost harmony and good fellowship, a striking proof of the utter uselessness and worthlessness of ardent spirits in promoting mirth and cheerfulness.

Tea, coffee, and breads in abundance, and afterwards oranges and other fruits, constituted the entertainment, the whole being got up under the management of a committee of ladies belonging to the society, and to whose exertions and willingness to please, may be attributed much of the pleasantness of the evening. Admission was by tickets, and upwards of 50 attended – no mean number considering the population of the village and the cause.

Cairneyhill Ladies Seminary in 1842

Dear blog reader

The ladies seminary/school in Cairneyhill was examined on an annual basis by local people and this is the report of the annual inspection of the ladies seminary in 1842.

Hope you find it interesting.





The seminary for young ladies here, conducted by Mrs More and her daughters, was examined last week by the Rev. Messrs Duncan of Culross, Gilston of Carnock, Young, Cuthbertson, MacMichael and Gibson of Dunfermline, in presence of many parents and friends.

From first to last the appearance made by the pupils was very gratifying in all the branches on which they were examined. The examinators repeatedly expressed their satisfaction during the day. A concert of vocal and instrumental music was given in the evening by the young ladies, who performed several difficult pieces in brilliant style. The walls of the school were hung with drawings and embroidery, all evincing much artistic skill.

The whole proceedings well maintained that superior character which this long-established institution has deservedly earned.

Shearers’ Strike at Pitdinnie



Harvest is now quite general in our neighbourhood, and the crops are most luxuriant. The prospect of the farmer is most cheering, and the joy manifested by the groups of reapers as they repair in the morning to the scene of their toil is most animating. The drowsy head who denies himself the pleasure of seeing these groups, attired in their loose bedgowns clean striped petticoats, scouring the road or lea with a  bouyancy peculiar to the season, frequently to the music of their own voice, or exhilarated by the unrestrained laugh, loses a treat which cannot be compensated for by midnight revelry.  At such an hour we see no old women – for though through the dull year the gaiety of youth may have fled from many a furrowed cheek, and care may sit heavy on many a youthless brow – at such a season even age assumes the elasticity and gaiety of youth.

Farmers in this neighbourhood generally fee their shearers for the season early in the year. For many years past, the rate of wages has been 1s 6d per day. They do not commence work until 9 o’clock, and they receive no victuals except at 1 o’clock, when each reaper receives a large scone and a bottle of small beer. The time for which they are feed is usually twenty days; but ere the potatoes are dug and the harvest work is completed, the period is frequently thirty days. Thus women in the poorest circumstances receive upwards of £2 in hard cash – a sum which to them is indeed a great treasure.  Many a thrift housewife, who has to struggle hard to make both ends to meet, holds this payment sacred for the payment of the house-rent, and many a thrifty lass with provident care lodges it safely in the Savings’ Bank as part of her marriage tocher [meaning her dowry].

It is truly with feelings of regret that we anticipate amongst agricultural improvements the time when the sickle must give way to the scythe, and the song of the reaper must be exchanged for a continuation of the sighs and cares which so generally are the concomitants of female labour; but in the meantime we hope the behaviour of those employed at harvest-work will not be such as to hasten this consummation, and that they will take warning by the result of the strike of the shearers at Cairneyhill for an advance of wages.

Mr Watt of Pitdinnie has been long in the habit of feeing about forty or fifty shearers, all females, resident at Cairneyhill. Inspired with the spirit of the times, and more especially with the spirit of ‘strike’ from the neighbouring collieries, they resolved to strike, and a public meeting of Mr Watt’s shearers was held at Cairneyhill, in the school-room, a few days prior to the commencement of harvest-work, though they had been feed six months previous; Mrs C- in the chair.

The chairwoman, after stating the object of the meeting with a loquacious eloquence peculiar to the sex, in which no doubt she expatiated on the comforts of the farmer, the importance of woman’s labour, the value of a drop of female sweat, and the smallness of the beer allowed them to wash down their half-flour half-oatmeal scone – that while she was shearin’ Jock ran about like a diel – that Bob was a stupid idiot – that the Queen was gi’en mair to the German beggars than would pay a’ Mr Watt’s shearers.

The effect of her eloquence must have made made a great impression on the meeting had it not been interrupted by the voices of others anxious to show off their loquaciousness, and the rest of the speeches were altogether lost in the clamour which usually characterises a meeting of females.

But though we are unable to give anything like a correct report of this important meeting, we have quite correct information as to its results. It was unanimously agreed that no-one should shear to Mr Watt during the harvest under 1s 10d a day. It was also agreed that if anyone engaged herself to Mr Watt for the harvest at less than 1s 10d she should forfeit her harvest’s fee, which was to be equally divided among those who should attend to the spirit of the resolutions.

The result of this important meeting was, that Mr Watt never offered to fee any of those who put such a value on their services. He has made an engagement to have nearly one hundred acres cut down by the scythe, and also feed about half his usual number of shearers from Crossford, and by earnest solicitation he has, in that goodness of heart which marks all his transactions, engaged six or eight of his old shearers at the old price.

How little have the good wives and lasses made of their strike at Cairneyhill; and all strikes sooner or later must have similar results, if not so immediate, quite as certain, whether made by shearers, weavers, masons or colliers.