Old photos of Burntisland Co-op staff, horses and wagons
(courtesy of Alex Ferguson, Somerset)

     Alex says that Photo 8 is of Co-op staff at the Porte Restaurant, but he doesn't have details of the others. We'd be delighted to hear from anyone who can provide more information on the photos - names, dates, what the events are, etc. Please contact Iain Sommerville if you can help.
Update (May 2013)
- Dave Barrand has provided some names, which are included with the individual photos.
    Alex has also supplied notes on Burntisland Co-op and some of its competitors in the late 1940s and 1950s - please see below (under the thumbnails).

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Notes on Burntisland Co-op and some of its competitors in the late 1940s and 1950s, by Alex Ferguson

     "When the Co-op ran their own transport fleet the stables were in East Leven Street opposite the old Pipe Band Hall, on the same side as the former Police Station. At one time a blacksmith from Cardenden came down to shoe the horses. In Somerville Street just up from the Public House on the corner were the Bakery and Despatch where the vans used to load up. The bakery made most of the goods on sale in the shops. A regular feature of Burntisland’s summer were 'trips' to the Links and Beach from away and the Co-op did a roaring trade in supplying picnic bags and refreshments. On a Saturday there could be a number of trips to be catered for throughout the afternoon. At one time, in the 50’s?, there was a fruit and vegetable shop next to the Bread Shop. Most areas of the town had a very early morning delivery of milk, morning rolls or bran scones. You could access the rear of the grocers shop from the High Street and orders were put up for delivery in cardboard boxes, towards the end of the week, throughout the town. The Snab (shoe repairer) had his workshop here.
    Although the Co-op was the main retailer in the town they did not have it all their own way.
     The Butchers shop faced competition from three others, Cameron, Graham and Brown, and it is good to see that Cameron is still going.
     There were two bakers in the middle of town, Miller and Wilson/Stuart plus a little shop further along by The Star Public House.
     The Clothing Department faced competition from The Menswear shop in the middle of the High street which sold excellent quality clothes. Owned by a Mr Philip who was an Elder at St. Andrews Church
     Möller’s Grocers, on the left hand side, although small, was the place to shop for something a bit special and carried items not found in the Co-op. A little way along the High Street on the right hand side early on was the Buttercup Dairy with its cool tiled walls.
     There were also a variety of little shops in the centre of the town selling general items. One was on the corner of Links Place and Somerville Street which is now a fish and chip shop. Mrs. Ramsay was kind to little ones with a Saturday penny to spend and not many coupons to go with them. Round the corner in Somerville Street up from Caira’s fish and chip shop and nearly opposite the Plummer lemonade company yard was a little shop in what was the front room of the shopkeeper’s house I presume. Further down Somerville Street on the corner with Kirkgate was the first Murdoch’s General Store a veritable 'Open All Hours' stocked establishment, now Hanselled Books. Off Harbour Place was a lodging house with a shop for the residents, but non-residents were able to buy there.
     There were numerous shops selling sweets. The one round the corner from the Porte Bar in Rose Street seemed to carry a stock of different sweets, now a hairdresser. On the way up Cromwell Road on the way to the primary school, on the left before Broomhill Avenue, was the smallest sweet shop you could imagine but well placed for passing school trade. A house is now there. No recollections of sweet shops would be complete with a mention of Mr. Dandi Macari’s Café by the Porte Bar, now Food for Thought. His award winning vertical freezer Ice Cream was to die for and the Knickerbocker Glories were a delight.
     One highlight of the Burntisland year was the arrival of the shows for the summer season. The 'Doyenne' of the fair was Mrs. Lovett who had the most impressive Caravan and Prize Bingo Stall close to the entrance to the fair. The lady had a copious supply of (old) pennies to reward youngsters who ran errands, topped up water carriers, etc.

  The Links and the Beach were facilities for residents and visitors alike and well used by local youngsters for football and cricket. Rowing boats and pleasure cruises were available from the beach and Mr.Vallance who operated the boats was affectionately known as 'Shilling in the Pound' as he told anyone who would listen that that was what the cost the old swimming pool was putting on the rates. The putting green in the corner was an appreciated facility for locals and residents and the summer competitions were keenly contested. Mr Dandi Macari was a keen competitor."

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