Community effort to mark mining history

Artist Duncan Gillfillan with Tom Moffat, of the heritage centre , and the painting of the Michael Pit. Picture by fife photo agency
Artist Duncan Gillfillan with Tom Moffat, of the heritage centre , and the painting of the Michael Pit. Picture by fife photo agency
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West Wemyss Heritage Centre has a brand new painting to show off to its visitors, after locals grouped together to purchase the artwork.

Entitled ‘Spectre’ it is the work of Kirkcaldy artist Duncan Gillfillan, and shows ghostly miners walking away from the Michael Pit.

I’m very pleased the painting will now be on show at the centre

Duncan Gillfillan

‘I have been painting since I retired and have had my work included in a few exhbitions and won a couple of awards,” said Duncan.

“It’s a hobby but something I’m quite passionate about.”

Duncan actually has a background in mining, having worked in the pits in the west of Fife until 1963, before joining Thomas Menzies Builders, staying with the company until his retirement.

“I have done a few mining pieces before, but what I do is fairly eclectic.

“I’m very pleased the painting will now be on show at the centre, it’s not the sort of thing everyone wants unless they have a connection to that life.”

Tom Moffat, who runs the centre at the back of the West Wemyss Community Cafe and is open Friday, Saturday & Sunday, is delighted with the new addition to the collection.

“I saw the painting last year and told Duncan not to sell it as I would like it for the centre.

“We raised the money at the pub and the cafe through raffles and the like - its great that local people support it, as a lot of men in the village actually worked in the pit.”

Tom has placed the painting on the wall next to a plaque from the former Denbeath Miners Club which is dedicated to the men lost in the Michael disaster in 1967 .

Tom has asked that anyone with any mining memorabillia or photographs of Fife pits think about donating them to the centre get in touch.