Are white footprints a step too far?

Footprint on rock at Temple
Footprint on rock at Temple

JUST as the legendary Robinson Crusoe found a mysterious footprint in the sand, locals in Lower Largo and Lundin Links are scratching their heads over single white footprints which have been appearing in the strangest of places.

From a postbox to a road sign, the local bank to a rock on the beach, the unmistakable stencilled print has been proving an ongoing puzzle, with no one knowing who the mystery painter is or why they are leaving their distinctive ‘tag’ randomly throughout the villages.

It is also unknown when it started, although it is thought to be at least a year.

The writer Daniel Defoe based his 18th century novel ‘Robinson Crusoe’ on the adventures of Lower Largo sailor Alexander Selkirk, who was castaway for more than four years on a deserted island 400 miles west of Chile. Crusoe coming across a single naked footprint in the sand is one of the most symbolic parts of the novel. A famous statue of the fictional castaway can be found in Lower Largo Main Street and the story is a major part of Largo’s tourism appeal.

However, a call to the tourist office in Anstruther confirmed the footprints were not part of an official tourism initiative or marking any kind of Crusoe trail.

The footprints had been raised some time ago with Largo Area Community Council but none of the members were able to shed any light on the culprit.

Chairman Peter Aitken said that while it was funny at the beginning, some people had been less than amused when a footprint had appeared on their property.

“It could be a local wag doing it for fun and most are in places where it doesn’t really matter but some people have been annoyed,” Peter said.

However, he said that as the local area relied on visitors, the footprints could be seen as keeping the Robinson Crusoe legend going and helping promote tourism.

Do you know anything about the mystery Largo footprints? Drop an email to mailnews@fifetoday.co.uk or call editorial on 01333 423251.