Tuesday, 15 November 2011

BUCKHAVEN AND LEVEN

Originally settled by Norsemen, Buckhaven once had the second biggest fishing fleet in Scotland. Writing about the beach in his 1860 book "The Fife Coast from Queensferry to Fifeness", Henry Brougham Farnie noted that it was "a favourite resort of the inhabitants - the males to saunter about in nautical speculation combined with a pipe - the females to work at the nets and lines." He also observed that the women of Buckhaven were less gaudily dressed than their counterparts in Newhaven, wearing "an eminently practical arrangement of stout blue". The story of the town's fishing past is told in Buckhaven Museum. The town's theatre is housed in a converted church that was once located in St Andrews. The local fishermen bought the church in 1869, then dismantled it and brought it piece by piece to Buckhaven to be re-erected. Neighbouring Methil is home to a disused power station; its docks played an important role during World War II for moving coal and other resources.

Leven is a small resort but manages to pack in two golf courses, Leven Thistle Golf Club and Leven Links Golf Club. It has a broad sandy beach, and two lovely areas for walking, at Letham Glen with its woodland valley and at the Silverburn estate with a large formal walled garden surrounded by woodland. During the recent Halloween festivities, the local Sainsbury's petrol station in Leven caused quite a stir when it staged a fake murder scene, complete with an outline of the "body" on the floor and fake blood. People came flocking to the scene thinking that the murder was for real, and when the truth came out, a number of them complained about the joke being in bad taste.

Map of the area.

'Buckhaven Fife Coast3' photo (c) 2008, Jim Galt - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

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