SoftCover: 78 Pages
Publisher: European Library
Publication date: 2002
Author: Carol McNeill
Book Dimensions: 21.4 x 15.2 x 2.2 cm
Each page has one good image with a good descriptive paragraph underneath.
The original name of the burgh, formed in 1891, was the Burgh of Buckhaven, Methil and Innerleve, when the three neighbouring villages on the shores of the Forth were amalgamated under the one administrative council. The name Innerleven later disappeared leaving Buckhaven and Methil as one unified Burgh. Residents of each area, as well as in Denbeath, Aberhill and Muiredge, still have a strong feeling of their own individual community.
The Burgh Arms show a steamship under sail, with a fishing net and a fish. The motto Carbone Carbusoque (by Coal and Sail) was suggested by James Ross, Headmaster of Buckhaven Secondary School, and adopted by the town council in 1893.
The name Buckhaven is said to mean ‘the roaring harbour’, and indeed it’s thought that the people of Buckhaven are descended from Norwegian settlers. The harbour played a huge part in the town’s history for centuries, with fishing and its ancillaries being the staple industry.
A hundred years ago it would have been unthinkable that the harbour might disappear. The affects of the decline in fishing, the constant dumping of waste from the pit which covered the protective rocks at the pier, and a great storm, combined to bring about the destruction of the harbour.
Coal was seen as the way forward for Buckhaven, as in many other towns and villages throughout Fife. It was indeed a great source of employment, and as pits expanded, so did the docks as neighbouring Methil, providing work for hundreds of local people. Methil too had mines in operation from the 17th century or earlier, and in 1664 its early wooden pier was replaced with stone built harbour to export coal and the product of its other main industry, salt panning. And yet as early as the 20th century, the working of coal began its steady eroding of the natural landscape. The Links Village to the east of Buckhaven was the first casuality when an agreement was reached betweent he colliery owner and the Town Council that waste from the pit could be dumped on top of it to the point of extinction. The picturesque clusters of houses on the shore started to fall into disrepair and in the sixties were victims of the national plan of demolition on a huge scale.