Old Photographs
(with brief notes on the history of Burntisland's schools)

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Broadly, 'Old Photos' (this page) are pre-1985, and 'Recent Photos' are 1985 on.

The photos are grouped in the following categories -

School Photos     People     Streets & Buildings

Beach, Links & Views     Docks, Harbour & Ships     Miscellaneous

To view a photograph below, click on the link and the picture will load. We have tried to strike a balance between fast loading and picture quality, and most of them should load fairly quickly. When you've viewed a picture, please use your 'Back' button to return to this page. There are also a large number of old photographs on other pages of this web site.

Many thanks to everyone who sent or gave us copies of their old photos and postcards. They are identified below by their full names or initials, and they are Stuart Alexander (SA); the late Bob Angles (BA); John Angles (JA); Melvin Barnes (MB); David Barrand (DB); Robert Bett (RB); Allan Brown (AB); collection of the late Annie Christie, courtesy of Clark Christie and Chic Hepburn (CC/CH); Chris Claydon (CCl); Lynne Copping (LC); George Coull (GC); David Robertson Collin (DRC); Brian Dewar (BD); Margaret Douglas (MD1); Murray Duncan (MD2); the late James Ewan (JE); Neil Ewan (NE); Michael & Jennifer Griffiths Edwards (MJGE); Ray Fagan (RF); Alex Ferguson (AF); Beryl Guthrie (BG); Janet Henderson (JH); Steve Hodgson (SH); Susan Jarvis (SJ); George Johnston (GJ); Jim Joyce (JJ); Terry Kay (TK); Charles Kilgour (CK); Faye Lane (née Brand) (FL); Keddie Law (KL); Dave Lawson (DL); Helen MacDonald (HM); Gillian Macgregor (GM); Theresa McDougall (TM); Irene Miller (IM); Ian Mollison (IM2); Anita Perna (AP); Tom Plummer (TP); Isabelle Procter (IP); Tom Reid (TR); Denise Richmond (DR); Pablo Romero (PR); Eric Scotland (ES); Alan Smart (AS); Iain Sommerville (IS); Scott Speedie (SS); Grant Staines (GS); Jim Storrar (JS2); Jimmy Stuart (JS); Brenda Tait (BT); David Tod (DT); Gordon Wallace (GW); Duncan Wardle (DW); Nigel Wedge (NW); Les White (LW); Brian Whitelaw (BW); Hamish Williamson (HW); Eric Wolske (EW); Maureen Woods (MW); and David Young (DY). Thanks also to John Burnett for helpful information.

March 2016 (Keddie Law). Keddie Law of Montrose died on 1 March 2016, aged 70. He was born and brought up in Burntisland, graduated MA Hons (Geography) at Edinburgh and until his retirement taught Geography and Geology in Angus. His support of this website over many years was unrivalled, and I'd like to formally acknowledge his contribution. Many of the old photos and the impressive and definitive paper on Burntisland's geology came from Keddie. I.S.

School Photos
Burntisland Heritage Trust also has a good collection of old school photos (available to view during exhibition opening hours).

With the school photos, we have used the descriptions as supplied by the people who were kind enough to send us the photos, but these can be a little confusing to those without personal knowledge of the schools. We are therefore providing the following brief historical notes.

Burntisland School Board, established in 1873, erected the first building on the Ferguson Place site. It opened in 1876. A second building was added in 1901, to house the new Burntisland Higher Grade School (a basic secondary school). A third building was added at the rear of the site in 1928. The 1901 building (which is the eastern building facing Ferguson Place) and the 1928 building still exist in their original form.

A janitor's house was built in about 1900.  It is now a privately owned dwellinghouse.

(Please click here for the story of James Lothian Mitchell, headmaster from 1892 to 1906.)

According to former teacher and school historian Margaret Brown, the 1876 building was reconstructed in 1912. The changes included an expansion of the eastern section from one to two storeys and the incorporation of a gymnasium.

Disaster followed shortly after. In March 1913, the 1876/1912 building was largely destroyed by fire. It was speedily rebuilt, and according to Margaret Brown this was "on much the same design, using as much material as could be salvaged from the remains".

From 1954 to the 1970s, the Infants' Department was housed in a Medway Hut in Dollar Road.

The classes occupying the various buildings have chopped and changed over the years, causing some confusion in the interpretation of the names applied to the buildings. For example, both the 1876 and the 1901 buildings have been described as the "Elementary School", but such a description at a point in time defines the occupants, not the building itself.

In due course the two schools on the campus became the primary and secondary departments of Burntisland Junior Secondary School. Attendance at the secondary department was decided on the basis of performance at the Qualifying Examination (equivalent to the Eleven Plus) in Primary 7. Those who passed went on to Kirkcaldy High School, while those who were unsuccessful remained at Burntisland Junior Secondary School, moving from the primary to the secondary department.

The opening of the new Balwearie Junior Secondary School in Kirkcaldy in 1964 led to the closure of the secondary department of Burntisland Junior Secondary School in that year. The primary department of Burntisland Junior Secondary School then became Burntisland Primary School. From 1964, those secondary pupils who would in the past have attended Burntisland Junior Secondary School went to Balwearie Junior Secondary School, with the others continuing to go to Kirkcaldy High School. In 1972, Balwearie High School opened as a fully comprehensive secondary school, and from that date it took almost all Burntisland secondary pupils (but not those who were already attending Kirkcaldy High School). St Marie's RC Primary School and St Andrew's RC High School, both in Kirkcaldy, were (and continue to be) options for Roman Catholic pupils.

The 1876/1912/1913, 1901 and 1928 buildings continued in use by Burntisland Primary School until 2014, when a new primary school building was completed on part of the Toll Park. On 25 June 2014 the teachers and children left the old school buildings for the last time and from August 2014 they have been using the new building. Please click here to see two aerial photos of the last day of the old school, showing both the old and new campuses and with links to Fife Free Press coverage.

At the time of writing (early August 2014), Fife Council are working with a firm of architects to develop a feasibility study for the conversion of the listed buildings at Burntisland Primary School into affordable housing. They currently anticipate the delivery of approximately 32 new homes, varying from one-bedroom apartments through to four-bedroom houses, all predominantly within the existing buildings. Included would be a mix of two- and three-bedroom wheelchair accessible houses. The anticipated timetable is: a consultation exercise beginning in mid-August 2014, submission of a planning application in September 2014, and the start of construction in August 2015. Update (December 2014): The planning application for the new housing on the site has now been submitted and can be viewed by clicking here (opens in a new tab or window).

There was also a separate Episcopal School in Burntisland, latterly housed in the former Burgh School building at Mount Pleasant. It was a primary school, with the pupils' subsequent secondary education being as described above. As the Episcopal School building latterly had spare capacity, it was sometimes used to house overflow classes from the main school campus. The Episcopal School closed in 1962, with the pupils transferring to the school at Ferguson Place. The building at Mount Pleasant was demolished around 1971.

Burntisland also had a number of small private schools at various times.

Burntisland Junior Secondary School
(Primary Department pupils, about 1949)

From Irene Miller, with names. IM.

Burntisland Junior Secondary School
(Primary Department pupils, 1951-52)

From Irene Miller, with names. IM.

Burntisland Primary School 1947
From Maureen Woods, with notes. MW.
Burntisland Junior Secondary School
(Primary Department pupils, 1951-52)

From Lynne Copping. LC.
Episcopal School 1952
From Melvin Barnes, with names and notes. MB.
Unidentified 1
From George Coull. Please email webmaster if you can provide details.
Unidentified 2
From George Coull. Please email webmaster if you can provide details.
Unidentified 3
From George Coull. Please email webmaster if you can provide details.
Unidentified 4
From George Coull. Please email webmaster if you can provide details.
Burntisland Primary School

From Nigel Wedge, with names

Infant School pupils, Dollar Road

From Brian Whitelaw, who is middle row, second from the right. BW.

Burntisland Primary School pupils
(early to mid 1930s)

From Duncan Wardle, with notes.

Burntisland Junior Secondary School
(Primary Department pupils, about 1949)

From Allan Brown. AB.

Burntisland Primary 1a pupils

From George Johnston and Keddie Law, with names.

Burntisland Primary 1b pupils

From George Johnston and Keddie Law, with names.

Burntisland Primary 7a pupils

From Alan Smart and Keddie Law; with names.

Burntisland Primary 7b pupils

From George Johnston and Keddie Law, with names.

Burntisland Junior Secondary School
(1951-52) 1

From Grant Staines, who is back row, extreme right.
Burntisland Junior Secondary School

From Jim Joyce; with names.
Burntisland Junior Secondary School
(1951-52) 2

From Eric Scotland; with names.

Burntisland Secondary School pupils
(about 1924-25)

Original from Isabelle Procter with notes; edited version by Keddie Law.

Burntisland Episcopal School pupils
(about 1955) 1

From Gillian Macgregor.

Burntisland Secondary School pupils

From Jimmy Stuart, Oshawa, Canada; with names.

Burntisland Episcopal School pupils
(about 1955) 2

From Susan Jarvis (née Webster).

Burntisland Primary School pupils
(about 1964-66)

From Murray Duncan; his brother David is front row, extreme left.

Burntisland Primary School pupils
(about 1944-45)

From Hamish Williamson, who is front row, extreme left.

Burntisland Primary School pupils

From Brenda Tait; taken 9 June 1972; with names.

Burntisland Primary School pupils

From Brenda Tait; taken 8 June 1970; with names.

Burntisland Secondary School
(about 1947)

From Neil and James Ewan.

Dollar Road school building
A rare photo of the old infant and primary school building in Dollar Road. TM.

Burntisland Primary School pupils
(about 1953-54)


Dollar Road pupils

From Robert Bett,

Burntisland Primary School pupils
(about 1966)

From Charles Kilgour; with names.

Burntisland Primary School girls
(about 1949), plus two snapshots

With Margot Morrison, her school class, and friends. EW.



Burntisland School c1896
Headmaster James L Mitchell and staff. IS.

Burntisland School c1900
Headmaster James L Mitchell and Janitor. IS.

Burntisland School c1905 1
Headmaster James L Mitchell and Pupil Teachers. IS.

Burntisland School c1905 2
Headmaster James L Mitchell and pupils in the new Higher Grade School science lab. IS.

Burntisland School c1901
First Assistant Teacher Nellie Campbell with her class. IS.




18 old photos from Gordon Wallace
Includes Music Hall shows, Home Guard, Town Council, OAPs. GW.



Robert Ewan in his Dean of Guild Robes

Burntisland Silver Band 1925
From Beryl Guthrie. BG.

Burntisland Golf Club, first winners of the Nairn Trophy (1901)
From Jim Storrar. JS2.

Burntisland Brass Band c1906

The Storrar family c1923
With notes by Jim Storrar. JS2.

Crowning of the Summer Queen
c1954-55 1

From Scott Speedie. SS.

British Aluminium 30 Year Club dinner in 1982
From Keddie Law. With names.

Crowning of the Summer Queen
c1954-55 2

From Scott Speedie. With some names. SS.

Burntisland Cubs c1946
Three photos of Burntisland Wolf Cubs, c1946, from Stuart Alexander. SA.
Four railway workers c1920s
Taken at the old Lammerlaws level crossing, which was roughly where the skate park is now. Courtesy of Terry Kay, York. TK. With notes by Richard Hollingworth.
Burntisland Co-op staff, horses and wagons
A collection of eight old photos with notes by Alex Ferguson. AF.
Staff of Robertson's Kirkton Stores

With notes by Les White and comments by Stuart Alexander and George Page White. LW.
George Barrand with the Co-op Bakery horse and van
Probably early 1950s. From George's son, David, who lives in Australia. DB.
The cast of "Jan of Windmill Land"
Probably outside the Music Hall. 1929. JH. With notes by Wendy Hurley.

Motor cycling with the Binn House in the background (1923)
The Aitken family, who owned a confectionery shop in the High Street. KL.

Burntisland Pipe Band 1
The Pipe Band in Rossend Terrace; date unknown. DL.

The summer fair
Here featuring Buffalo Bill Kayes. Photo by Andrew Young. IS.

Burntisland Pipe Band 2
The Pipe Band in Rossend Terrace; date unknown. DL.

The Robertsons on the promenade (c1904)

Burntisland Pipe Band 3

Crowning of the Summer Queen (about 1957)

Burntisland Pipe Band 4
Marching along Kinghorn Road. KL.

Street parade (early 1950s) 1
Isa Duncan's Dancing Troupe. FL.

Burntisland Pipe Band 5
Photographed in Cowdenbeath. KL.

Street parade (early 1950s) 2
Cadets' float. FL.

A public proclamation by the Provost
Provost Ferguson and the Town Councillors of c1904. IS.

Street parade (early 1950s) 3
Float. FL.

Dick Crescent & Rossend Avenue
post war celebrations

BA and JA.

Street parade (early 1950s) 4
Tom Brand, Fishmonger. FL.

Dick Crescent & Rossend Avenue
post war celebrations

With notes by Stuart Alexander. SA.

Inside the aluminium works
Burntisland Cricket Club in 1909
British Aluminium Company workers

G. Mitchell, notable Burntisland cricketer
With notes by Keddie Law. KL.

Burntisland laundry ladies and van
The King's visit to Burntisland (c1950-51)
With notes by Allan Brown. AB.
Crowning of the Summer Queen, early 1960s
12 snapshots. CCl.

Streets and Buildings

High Street
Date unknown. IM2.

High Street west
Early 20th centiury. CCl.

East Leven Street
From an old postcard, with a recent photo by Keddie Law for comparison. KL.

Porte Buildings
Date unknown. KL.

The Port (circa 1906)
Good detail of the Porte Buildings and those opposite. KL.

The Co-op buildings in the High Street
Probably mid to late 1960s. With notes by Keddie Law. KL.

Burntisland High Street (probably 1960s)
Four snapshots from Tom Plummer's collection.

Craigholm Crescent and Links
Posted in 1905 to Mrs Decker, Paarl, Cape Colony. IP.

The High Street and Harbour Place

Craigholm Crescent
Posted in 1908. The Crescent is now part of Kinghorn Road. HM.

Harbour Place 1
A good view of the buildings and adjacent railway sidings. KL.

Buccleuch Place and Craigholm Crescent
Now part of Kinghorn Road. KL.

Harbour Place 2
Harbour Place with the west end of the High Street in the background. IS.

Cromwell Road c1913

The west end of the High Street

Bentfield c1915
Now part of Kinghorn Road. KL.

The High Street and public library
Posted in May 1907, 4 months before the library opening. HM.

The East Porte 1
Taken c1960. MD1.

The High Street

The East Porte 2
The war memorial can be seen to the left of the lamp standard. IS.

The old swimming pool 1
Missed by many, but now replaced by the Beacon Centre. KL.

The East Porte 3
Posted in 1936. Taken from just inside the entrance to the Links. HM.

The old swimming pool 2

Robertson's boot and shoe shop
Now the dry cleaning shop in the High Street. DRC.

The old swimming pool 3
Taken in 1985. With comments by Tom Reid. TR.

The Binn Hill and Binn House
The Binn House was demolished in the early 1970s. DT.

The old swimming pool 4
With notes by Keddie Law. KL.

The Sea Mill
The old mill was operated by tidal waters. KL.

Rossend Castle entrance

The Porte junction and Cromwell Road

Rossend Castle 1

Cowdenbeath Road and surroundings c1964
With notes by Keddie Law. KL.

Rossend Castle 2

A cottage at Newbigging Farm
Probably early 20th century. DY.

Rossend Castle 3

Ferguson Place

The Parish Church

Dick Terrace
Early 20th century. Now part of Aberdour Road. MJGE.

James Park
With notes by Keddie Law. KL.

High Street, west end
Probably late 19th century. SH.

The Beach, Links, and Other Views

Burntisland from the east
Date unknown. RF.


Aerial view of Burntisland
Perhaps about 1930. IM2.

View of the Kirkton
Posted in 1910 to Miss Maggie Paterson, 16 Parliament Square, Newhaven. IP.

Kirkton and Grange


View from the Binn 1
Taken in 1968. With notes by Keddie Law. KL.

Burntisland beach 2

View from the Binn 2
Taken in 1968. KL.

Burntisland beach 3
Plenty of rowing boats to choose from! IS.

The Links 1
MD1, with notes by KL.

Burntisland beach 4

The Links 2
Posted in 1907. IP.

The beach tearoom and baths
The tearoom is now a private house. DT.

The Links 3
Taken in 1964. KL.

The Lammerlaws

The Links 4
Probably early 20th century. KL.

The Putting Green 1
Postmarked 1958. KL.

The Links and East Porte
Taken c1975 (see note under main photo). KL.

The Putting Green 2
Also showing Kinghorn Road, Craigkennochie Terrace, and the Erskine Church. KL.

Burntisland from the golf course
Posted in 1957. KL.

The beach and pleasure boats c1961
With notes by Keddie Law. KL.

The Binn and the Beach
Taken in 1985. With comments by Tom Reid. TR.

Golfers on the Links and Craigkennochie Terrace
With notes on golf by Keddie Law. KL.

Burntisland from the Lammerlaws

Fishing village near Lammerlaws
With notes by Keddie Law. KL.

Docks, Harbour and Ships

The 'Tommy' at Burntisland harbour

  The 'William Muir' leaving Burntisland

The S.S. William Muir
Burntisland/Granton passenger ferry. With notes by Keddie Law. KL.

Burntisland docks in 1929

The M.V. Sincerity in the East Dock
One of the bauxite ships, taken by First Officer Pablo Romero in 1965. PR.

Burntisland docks 1

The West Dock 1

Burntisland docks 2
Taken c1984. With notes by Derek Veale. KL.

The West Dock 2

Burntisland docks 3 (with other features)
An aerial view (probably c1984) with notes by Keddie Law. KL.

The West Dock 3
The West Dock, c1910. KL.

The P.S. Fair Maid
Excursion steamer which served Burntisland from 1927. DR.


The Verrecchia family of the Imperial Café
A collection of 19 family and local photos from the 1930s and 1940s. AP.


Bowling Green and Tennis Court
Posted in 1911 to Miss Maggie Paterson, 16 Parliament Square, Newhaven. IP.



Doyle's Holiday Camp at Kingswood
Later known as Linwell Chalets. Five photos from the Doyle era (1950s/1960s). TM.

The old cricket ground
The Binn House is also in the picture. MD1.

The British Aluminium Works, circa 1938
With notes on the aluminium works by Keddie Law. KL.
A steam hauled train on the embankment
Probably dating from the 1950s. IS.
A British Aluminium Company locomotive
With Willie Wishart, Micheal McDonagh and Willie Law. KL.
An old postcard with 5 views
High Street, Castle gateway, beach, West Haugh, docks. KL.
The British Aluminium factory and a freight train
Probably dating from the 1960s. IS.

The approach to the old station

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