Kirkcaldy History

The old building in the photo above is situated at the east end of Kirkcaldy High Street. It must be one of the oldest buildings in the town and a few years ago it was buffed up and refurbished, as was the building adjoining it on the left hand side.

Unfortunately as you can just see the guttering on the left hand building is badly in need of repair as it’s obviously leaking into the traditional lime plaster and must be causing damage to the fabric of the building. It looks a lot worse on the far left but I’ve spared you that sight.

The plaque above is also in Kirkcaldy High Street, unfortunately Adam Smith’s family home was demolished many years ago. This is a depressing feature of Kirkcaldy life. Anything which would have been of interest to tourists has been pulled down, and they did have houses which people would have wanted to visit.

Within a stone’s throw of each other there was the Adam Smith house, Thomas Carlyle’s home and the school he taught in and Gladney House, which was the home of the famous Robert Adam and his brother John. Their father was also a famous architect, William Adam.

On a cheerier note the town is refurbishing an old cottage which is situated behind the High Street and I believe that the powers that be intend to turn it into an Adam Smith museum. I just wonder what they will fill it with as I think they only have a copy of his book Wealth of Nations on show at the moment.

Scottish words: Dreich

Dreich (dreech) has been popping up fairly regularly recently on the BBC weather reports and I’m sure by now it must be quite well understood by people in England. It means really grey, dull and dismal weather but I suppose you can use it to describe anything grey and depressing.

I’ve been quite impressed by the pronunciation of the forecasters, they are managing the ‘ch’ sound well, as in loch. It would be terrible if they said dreek.

Here are a couple of dreich photographs of the coast at Kirkcaldy. As it is like this and even worse most of the time, it is a mystery to me why anyone would want a sea view.

Kirkcaldy rollers

More Kirkcaldy dreich

There are always a few ships about but to me the most interesting thing is that this is the exact piece of the coast which the famous economist Adam Smith (1723-1790) looked out on from his home. Then the area was packed with sailing ships and it was the coming and going of the ships which set him thinking about economics, and led him to write The Wealth of Nations.