Celebrating the beautiful game in the Wemyss Villages

Wemyss Hearts, Team of the Week in the East Fife Mail in 1974
Wemyss Hearts, Team of the Week in the East Fife Mail in 1974

It’s something in the attic or on the mantlepiece of many a Fifer – a family member, resplendent in shorts, arms crossed, next to their teammates.

Yes, the many towns and villages of the Kingdom have played host to football teams throughout the decades, some still around, but many long gone, only to be celebrated in the team photographs.

(left) Lawrence Ritchie who played for Wemyss Wanderers U18, Wellsgreen U21 and Wemyss Weavers U21 with Brian Peebles who played for Wemyss Hearts, Wemyss United and Coaltown of Wemyss United Services Club.

(left) Lawrence Ritchie who played for Wemyss Wanderers U18, Wellsgreen U21 and Wemyss Weavers U21 with Brian Peebles who played for Wemyss Hearts, Wemyss United and Coaltown of Wemyss United Services Club.

And now a new group, set up by members of the Save the Wemyss Ancient Caves (SWACS) organisation, is looking to preserve and promote the history of clubs from the Wemyss villages.

As well as offering tours of the ancient caves, SWACS also runs a museum dedicated to the history of the villages in the basement of East Wemyss Primary School.

But when it comes to sporting history, the members are keen to boost their collection.

Mike McFarlane, chairman of the group, explained: “We have collections of artefacts, articles and memorabilia in our museum, but what we don’t have is a history of the football teams that played in the Wemyss villages.

“Some of these teams were very successful.

“Through the late 19th century to the end of the 20th century the Wemyss villages were thriving mainly due to employment in coal mining and textiles.

“As we know football was an enjoyable pastime for players and spectators throughout these years and the football teams from the Wemyss villages have left a great legacy.”

Now Mike and the team are hoping to gather in as many football related artefacts as they can from locals willing to donate a little piece of their own history.

They have even started a Facebook group, ‘Wemyss Re-United’ to reach people in the local area, as well as further afield.

Photographs from over 30 years ago have already been shared, and they are hoping for many more over the coming weeks.

Mike said: “It would be a loss if we did not take this opportunity to record this period of history in the Wemyss Villages, as time passes gaining information from people who played some part becomes more difficult.

“We have visitors to our museum, many travelling long distances to see our collections and the addition of the football articles,stats and photographs would make their visit all the more enjoyable.

“We are hoping to achieve a portfolio for all of the teams with an aim to provide an entertaining resource for our visitors, community and future generations.”

The group will be holding a meeting, to which everyone is welcome, at the Central Hotel, Main Street, East Wemyss next mont (Thursday, March 10) at 7.30pm.

For more information and to share your photographs, visit the Facebook page by searching ‘Wemyss Re-United’.