I embarked on another journey into the past the other day when I boarded the 2 coach train to Lochgelly for a family reunion. Most of the people present were quite distant relatives but we are all descended from a coal miner who lived in Dunfermline in the 17th century – the latest on him is that he or his ancestors, originated in Applecross, in Wester Ross, and he was probably a cattle drover who stayed on after bringing his cattle down to the Lowlands. Our previous meeting was held 2 years ago in Carnegie Hall (the Dunfermline one).
Even the journey from Edinburgh to Lochgelly took me into the past, as my ancestors lived at various times at many of the places along the route, my great-grandfather helped to build the Forth Rail Bridge, and we used to pass through, or change trains at, some of the other stations on our way to visit my grandmother in Dunfermline.
Annoyingly, the ticket machines at Haymarket only seem to allow you to go to ‘popular’ destinations, of which Lochgelly is not one – I can’t imagine why. When we used to travel through the area in the 1950s en route to and from Dunfermline, everything was smoky and dark for miles around, with evidence of coal mining and steam trains everywhere. Now Lochgelly’s quite a pleasant small town with a massive community centre, which I know from previous experience incorporates a proper theatre with a large scene dock.
Lochgelly station has a steep flight of steps leading down to the road at the side where trains from Edinburgh arrive, but to make up for that there is a very convenient bus service going up the hill into the centre of the little town, only two or three stops away. The Lochgelly Centre is near the junction of Station Road and Auchterderran Road.
On the way back I took a picture of North Queensferry from the Forth Bridge.
Please get in touch if you think you can talk me out of buying a ticket for a steam train trip on the Fife Circle line! I am fighting the temptation just now.