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Issue 38 June 2015

posted 6 Jun 2015, 11:49 by Ian Holmes-Lewis   [ updated 10 Sep 2017, 12:05 ]

Dear Sir,

Welcome Home to Dunfermline 

Whatever your views on the repatriation of the Elgin Marbles, it is a fact that countless historical artefacts and manuscripts are located outside their countries of origin.
Acquired by either fair means or foul, very few find their way back home. Of recent years, however, there have been a number of instances when specific artefacts have been returned by British museums to Australian aboriginal and North America Indian tribes. This has been as a consequence of lobbying by the tribes, and based on the close association of the artefacts with the cultural history of the tribes concerned. I see nothing wrong in that process, particularly if the artefacts concerned are languishing in cupboards or drawers out of view of the public, and are not subject to serious academic research.

But what about repatriation in the other direction? There is a medieval manuscript that is of significant importance to Scotland generally and Dunfermline in particular. This manuscript, written at the Benedictine Abbey of Dunfermline during the reign of James III (1460–88), is housed in the Royal Library in Madrid and is designated "Madrid, Biblioteca Real, MS. II 2097".

The content of the manuscript itself received little attention until Professor Donald Watt from Aberdeen University re-examined it during his preparations for the new edition of Walter Bower’s Scotichronicon. It was obvious that Bower, the Abbot of Inchcolm Abbey, had access to this manuscript or its contents when he was writing his book on Scottish history in the fifteenth century.                                                                                            James III

Additionally, the first three sections of this manuscript have been studied in depth by Doctor Alice Taylor from King's College Cambridge. She makes an excellent case that the three sections of the manuscript were originally put together during the reign of Alexander III (1249–86), and together formed a compilation which should be viewed as the earliest extant history of twelfth and thirteenth-century Scotland.

Scottish manuscripts of this age and importance are thin on the ground to say the least, and it would be wonderful if some august body like Fife Council, Fife Cultural Trust, or the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust, could approach Madrid with a request that the manuscript be loaned to Dunfermline for a period covering the opening of the new Museum and Art Gallery.

John Crane 

A well attended and lively May meeting managed to cope with a big agenda and only slightly over-ran.


PC Kevin Chandler is one of our community officers and the good news is that he has been given the freedom to become more involved with local groups.

The police had 21 calls last month but only two are worthy of note; a theft of diesel and an incidence of threatening behaviour. He warned of rising levels of house breaking throughout the wider area.

An Oakley Road resident has complained about the breakdown truck that has appears to have taken root. This will be investigated. Complaints have also been received about a boy racer who disturbs sleep for Main Street and Bridge Street residents by his early morning and noisy speeding through the village. This too is being investigated

Oakley Road Housing Developments (Allanwater Site)

This issue took up most of the meeting albeit in a reasonably polite fashion. People have accepted that this development will take place but there are concerns that the proposals do not comply with the conditions attached to the outline consent and it was felt that an opportunity to achieve a quality development had been missed. Objectors pointed out that Fife Council had identified the 1.5 storey development at The Steadings as the basis for design but now proposed approval of a two storey development. The chair, David Chisholm, who is also a board member of Architectural Design Scotland, felt that roof pitches were particularly important and highlighted nearby examples. Residents also felt that a quality development would have greater value to the developers. 

By far the most controversy focussed on Planning’s handling of the application. Correspondence has neither been acknowledged nor responded to while a “commitment” to consulting residents on revised proposals had not been met. Cllr Kate Stewart advised that she had had similar complaints from other communities and Cllr Bobby Clelland indicated that he had asked Cllr Lesley Laird to investigate Planning processes.

Fife Plan

Planning officers have reported on comments on the proposed plan and, perhaps predictably, dismissed the Community Council’s and others’ objections to development of the West Road site. They consider that community concerns over the lack of facilities, access to health, poor bus service and environmental issues do not warrant a change. The Plan will be reported to Fife Council’s Executive Committee in June, following which it will be passed to the Scottish Government for approval. This should include an examination of the objections prior to a decision. Interestingly, many developers have complained about the requirements to contribute to things like schools, roads and community facilities.


Cllr Bobby Clelland is organising a meeting with Phil Clarke (Transportation) and residents to discuss the situation at Upper Steelend. Elsewhere, people continue to complain about speeding through Steelend and on Main Street and West Road. 


Cllr Kate Stewart praised community cafes in Torryburn and Blairhall but also identified the problems that the lack of affordable transport was causing. These initiatives could help more vulnerable people but are constrained by the cost of transport from places like Saline and Steelend. Cllr Bobby Clelland was unable to give opinions on the Allanwater application as this would constitute a conflict of interest with his chairing of the Planning Committee. He did acknowledge that other communities were unhappy with Planning processes and that he had asked Cllr Lesley Laird to investigate.

On a more satisfactory note, Bobby drew attention to the repairs to Oakley Road. Thanks to new machinery, these have been carried out to a high standard in a very short time with minimal disruption to motorists.

Bus Service

Cllr Kate Stewart indicated that she is still trying to set up a meeting with Stagecoach to discuss our service. Fife Council has organised a meeting for 6 June to discuss services in the wider West Fife Villages area

Saline Glen and Steelend Community Centre

Following a site meeting with the Scottish Land Fund (SLF), Saline and Steelend Community Development Trust (SSCDT) has concluded that acquisition of Steelend Community Centre is not viable. Subsequently, it has been established that several people have expressed interest although details of what is proposed are not yet available.

Saline Glen is a different proposition and, following an open discussion at the SSCDT meeting, it was agreed that an application be submitted to the Big Lottery Fund to commission an expert to examine the financial implications of acquisition. Saline Glen is a vital local amenity and SSCDT considers that it is essential that any study is progressed and controlled by the community. Consequently, if funding is secured, it will be looking to establish a group from the wider community to do this. Watch this space for further details.

Saline and Steelend Community Website

Many groups have now been contacted following last month’s report but it has also been noted that some groups have not yet signed up. As the point of the pages is to raise awareness of groups’ activities, they are being advised of the potential benefits. It is, however, acknowledged that some of us lack the confidence to add information and our friendly webmaster, Ian Holmes-Lewis, is willing to help if people contact him.

Several new residents have indicated that they have joined groups after reading the Community Bulletin or looking at the website. This is welcome and shows the value of up-to-date information

Future Community Council Meetings

Recent meetings have been well attended as there have been issues that important to people. The next year will have several big issues that will affect our community and it is vital that the Community Council best reflects the community’s wishes. Why not start attending and make your views known? Meetings are open and comments are welcomed, subject only to the requirement to show respect to others.

Meetings are held in Saline Community Centre at 7.30 pm on the last Tuesday of the month. The next meeting will be on 30 June. Please note that we do not hold meetings at the end of July or December.

The Editor reserves the right to refuse, edit or factually correct all items submitted for publication. All views expressed in this Bulletin are purely those of the author of the item concerned and are not necessarily those of the Editor or of the Communications Group as a whole. 


Restoration is progressing well and there will be an official opening ceremony and open day on Saturday 27 June 2015 at 11.00am at the old graveyard. The museum will be open that day and there will be tours of the graveyard at 11.30am, 12.30 and 1.30pm as well as a treasure hunt. At the Church Hall and grounds, from 11.30am until 3.00pm, there will be various local groups providing entertainment such as throwing the sponge, making bird and bat boxes, tile making, a cake stall etc, as well as teas and coffees. There will also be a small exhibition of photos showing the various stages of the restoration project in the Church Hall. Please come and support your local groups as all money raised will go towards their funds. And let's hope for a sunny day! 
This event has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. 


Christian Aid. The proceeds of the fund-raising event on 13 May, and a number of donations contributed later, amounted to over £1,400. Many thanks to all who supported this effort in any way.

Sunday Services continue as usual over the summer months at 10.30am. During the service on 21 June the children attending Sunday School will receive gifts to mark the end of the session. This will be followed by a family BBQ lunch to which all members of the congregation are invited. During the summer months provision will be made for the children during the morning service each Sunday.

The Sacrament of Holy Communion will be celebrated on Sunday 28 June.

During June, July and August the church will be open for visitors on Wednesday mornings from 10.00 until 12.00 noon. The Heritage Society museum will also be open on Wednesday mornings and the Coffee Morning continues in the Church Hall.

On Saturday 27 June the church hall and grounds will be open from 11.30am until 4.00pm for refreshments, stalls and entertainment as part of the Heritage Society celebration to mark the refurbishment of the old graveyard in Bridge Street.

All contributions for inclusion in the Bulletin are welcome and should be submitted to Jacquie Clapperton on  or by telephoning 852 367. 


On 23 May SEG organised a successful - and enjoyable - clean-up of litter in Saline Glen. Less litter was found than this time last year, and the lovely weather made it a pleasure to be down the Glen, which at this time of year is full of bluebells and wild garlic. Unfortunately the bench nearest to the Glen entrance was found to have been recently set alight and so will need replacing. We will be organising another clean-up in the autumn.

More forthcoming SEG activities will include:

    · Graveyard Open Day, 27 June – painting bird boxes to be sited around the village

    · Community Orchard – ongoing project, which will involve maintenance, pruning and, eventually, harvesting fruit

    · Monitoring/surveying of plant and insect species on Steelend Moss

    · Autumn bulb planting

    · Potential tree planting activities

Our AGM will be held on Monday 24 August at 7pm in the Community Centre (TBC). All welcome!

In the meantime, anyone interested in joining in with the group’s activities please come and see us at the Graveyard Open Day or contact Joe Crawford on 01383 852705, mob 078860575169, e-mail


The Beavers are looking forward to their annual 'Chip Shop' walk, where they walk to the local fish and chip shop and enjoy a bag of chips before returning to the hall. This year they will be joined by the Cubs for the walk and chips.

As I write this the Scouts, having completed their practice camps, are taking part in the annual District Camping Competition, and we wish them well.

The two Scouts have successfully completed their expedition of two days hiking on the Fife Coastal Path with an overnight camp at Fordell Firs campsite.

Later this month on Thursday 25 June the Group will be holding its AGM in Carnock Community Centre at 7.30pm followed by cheese and wine refreshments. The youth membership will hold its annual hot dogs and fun evening at the same time, This will be the Group's last meeting for this term and will re-start on Thurs/Fri 20/21 Aug 2015

Peter Philp, Group Scout Leader 


Last autumn local artist Marylla Ferguson was invited by Saline & Steelend Development Trust to start working on a design for a new village map, with heritage and access information and local points of interest, to be sited at the bus turning circles at Saline and Steelend. Fellow artist and Trust member Liz Harvey was also invited to work on the design. Preliminary ideas for the maps lead on to thinking about how the community could be involved in larger scale creative activities which would enhance the village – we decided to call this group of creative activities the Friends and Neighbours Project.

Overall aims of the Friends and Neighbours project:

    • To enhance the villages and make them more welcoming and friendly

    • To raise awareness of what Saline and Steelend have to offer

    • To give pupils at Saline Primary School and also members of the wider community a sense of ownership of their space.

    • To promote environmental awareness and creativity amongst village residents

The project is being funded by the Colton & Comrie Colliery Trusts, the Coalfields Communities Regeneration Trust and Fife Council, and will involve re-establishing and creating pathways through and around our villages, providing information and interpretation boards and seating. There will also be artworks and objects and points of interest and discovery created from natural and reclaimed materials to be sited throughout the community. It is intended that all stages of these projects will involve ideas and practical input by the people who live here all ages, no skill required! The first phase of the project consists of producing a large quantity of ceramic tiles, which will eventually be assembled into large mosaics, to be sited prominently in both Saline and Steelend.

During March Marylla and Liz worked with all classes at Saline Primary School, so that every pupil has had the chance to make and decorate tiles. The decoration has been based around the theme of ‘Friends and Neighbours’, to include local flora and fauna as well as humans! The tiles are being glazed and fired in the kilns at Queen Anne High School. The first batch of completed tiles were on display at the village art exhibition, where visitors were invited to join in and create their own small masterpieces. We now have around 280 tiles, but many more are needed and the project is now being extended out for everyone in the community to have the opportunity to be involved.

There will be opportunities to make and decorate tiles at the Graveyard Open Day on 27 June and at the Flower Show on 5/6 September, and also at various other events/club meetings over the next few months. Keep a lookout for us and please join in! It is intended that the mosaics will be finished and in place by the end of the year.


The tile project and plans for ongoing creative activities are all being lead by volunteers. If you would like to lend a hand please contact Liz on 01383 851493 or Marylla on 01383 851868.

In addition, we are looking for a co-organiser for the project - perhaps there is a student on an art or community related course looking for practical work experience? Help in carrying out this worthwhile community initiative could lead to a nice addition to your CV! Please contact Liz or Marylla if interested.

Don’t forget – if you have things you want to promote on the community website, contact Ian Holmes-Lewis on


The Exhibition of Art Photography and Craft was held in the Saline Community Centre on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 May. A wash-up meeting was held on 26 May and the following points were made:

The overall quality and quantity of the exhibits submitted was extremely good: ie 126 paintings, 103 photographs and 118 West Fife village pupils’ exhibits were on display. Additionally Gillian Ross provided a large number of prints. As normal, Dave Hatton provided a board of excellent photographs and a quantity of photographs of Saline by Campbell Brodie were much admired. Again, a quantity of very fine paintings were provided by the Dunfermline Art Club. These exhibits, organised by Austen Clark, always enhance the event. The Dunfermline Camera Club also made a valuable contribution with a number of interesting photographs of local areas. A good quality of craft entries included two tables of glass ornaments, one table of jewellery and one table of crochet work.

Five West Fife village primary schools submitted entries. A number of other schools wanted to enter but the prior school holiday and the general election were said to have not given some of the schools time to prepare work. Even so, the quality of the work that did arrive was generally of a high standard.

The tile production corner, organised and supervised by Marylla Ferguson and Liz Harvey, was a great success, being very popular with the visitors.

Although takings were down on previous years there was a reasonable profit over the two days .One disappointment was the low number of visitors compared with previous years with 62 visitors on the Saturday and 117 on the Sunday. This may have been due to loss of regular visitors with no exhibition last year and also a reduced amount of publicity this year with no display in the Carnegie Library and little in the papers. In the past, verge side boards had been located on roads in other West Fife villages but this year they were only placed around Saline and Steelend; consequently the visitors’ book only recorded twelve individuals or families coming from outside the Saline and Steelend area. Using funds to pay for future publicity is a possibility. Publicity within Saline and Steelend was more concentrated with flyers being delivered to most houses and articles being published in the Bulletin over a number of editions. It was disappointing that with a Community Council area population of close to 2,000 people only a small number were attracted to a local community event that took a great amount of effort to produce. With regard to the future of the event, the consensus of opinion was that the exhibition should be held next year.

The next meeting of the Art Committee will be held on 24 November, at 7.00pm in the Community Centre. 


The Dundee Courier, Wednesday 11 November 1953 

Mrs Kennedy beat her target hollow. 

Seven weeks ago 63-year-old Mrs D. Thomson Kennedy, Glenburn House, Saline, began a personal campaign in aid of the British Empire Cancer Research Fund. She fixed her target at £200. But yesterday at Dunfermline and West Fife Hospital Mrs Kennedy handed over a cheque for £700! A concert, whist drives, coffee mornings, &c., were supplemented by an " at home in her house. She roped in Women's Rural Institutes, and arranged for collections at West Fife collieries.. The miners showed they can rise to the needy occasion by slipping £l60 into collection boxes.

5.30 A.M. DUTY 

Mrs Kennedy's energy was boundless. One morning found her out collecting at Comrie Colliery—at 5.30! The £200 target was passed in two weeks. At yesterday's presentation ceremony Mr J. Murray Black, medical superintendent, Dunfermline and West Fife Hospital, accepted the cheque from Mrs Kennedy. Ex-Bailie Mrs A. McAlister, convener, Health and Welfare Committee of Glasgow Corporation, received the cheque from Mr Black on behalf of the British fund. She said: "In Mrs Kennedy I think you must have one of the most wonderful organisers in the whole of Scotland.'' Mr George Mullin, West Fife area manager of the N.C.8., described Mrs Kennedy as " an example to us all." Mrs Kennedy, widow of a former Dunfermline Provost, expressed thanks to the pits, W.R.I, and the many friends who had given donations.

Forthcoming Meetings & Events: 

Steelend Miners’ Club

Zumba: Mondays, 7.00pm-8.00pm
Zumba Toning: Wednesdays, 7.00pm-7.45pm

Hypnotist, Friday 19 June, in aid of Saline Gala 

Sambangra Drumming Group 
Tuesdays, 7.00pm-8.30pm, £2

Saline Golf Club

First Saturday of each month: Family Night, 5-7pm
Tuesdays: Bingo Night, 7.30pm
Thursdays: Quiz Night, 8.30pm, entry £1/person
Sky TV and free wi-fi. Associate membership £10 per annum, £4 concessions
Q’zine Catering: also available for all functions.

Every Thursday 5.00pm-6.00pm
Saline Church Hall

Every Thursday 6.00pm-7.30pm
Saline Church Hall

116th Fife Scout Group

Beaver Colony
Every Friday, 6.00pm-7.30pm

Cub Pack
Every Thursday, 6.30pm-8.00pm

Scout Troop
Every Thursday, 7.30pm-9.00pm

Explorer Unit
Every Thursday, 7.30pm-9.00pm

Carnock Community Centre, Camps Road, Carnock. Open to both boys & girls

Group AGM
Thursday 25 June, 7.30pm
Carnock Community Centre

Highland Dancing Classes
Tuesdays 4.00pm-5.00pm
Thursdays 6.30pm-8.00pm
Saline Church Session Room

Adult Badminton
Mondays 7.45pm
Wednesday 1.30pm and 7.30pm
Saline Community Centre

Saline Smilers (Toddler Group)
Tuesdays 9.30am-11.30am during school terms
Saline Community Centre

Craft and Chatter
Thursdays 10.00am-12.00noon
Last Friday of month 7.00pm-9.00pm
Shieldbank Coffee Shop

Sambangra Drumming Group
Tuesdays, 7.00pm-8.30pm, £2
Steelend Club

Line Dance Classes
Monday 10.00am - 11.00am
Friday 10.00am - 11.00am
Saline Community Centre

Saline & Blairingone Parish Church
21 June, after service, family BBQ lunch for congregation
28 June, The Sacrament of Holy Communion

Afternoon Craft Group
Every second Tuesday from 17 February
2pm-4pm, Saline Church Hall
Saline & District Heritage Society

Old Graveyard Official Opening:
27 June, 11.00am, Old Graveyard, Bridge Street
Tours at 11.30am, 1230pm and 1.30pm

Exhibition & Groups’ Fun Day:
27 June, 11.30am-3.00pm
Church Hall and grounds

Saline Environmental Group
Graveyard Open Day & Bird Box Painting:
27 June, Old Graveyard, Bridge Street
24 August, 7.00pm,
Saline Community Centre

Community Council Meeting
30 June, 7.30pm
Saline Community Centre

This Community Bulletin is produced by Saline and Steelend Communications Group