Falkland chimney set to fall

The demolition will mark the end of an era
The demolition will mark the end of an era

Crowds are expected to gather in Falkland on Wednesday morning to witness the end of an era with the demolition of the St Johns Works chimney.

The demolition was originally planned for February 27 but had to be called off for health and safety reasons.

The ground has now been reinforced to withstand the weight of the machinery needed to carry out the work, which will begin at 10am.

The demolition will be carried out by Falkirk-based Central Demolition.

The iconic 35-metre chimney is the last remaining part of the Well Brae factory, which sits on a site dating back more than 200 years.

Other parts of the complex, which had lain derelict since the departure of papermaking giant Smith Anderson in 2013, have already been demolished.

It was originally a cotton mill, then became a linoleum factory before Smith Anderson bought it in 1968.

Now the land on which the factory sits is zoned for housing and is expected to be offered for sale once the demolition is complete.

Wednesday’s operation is expected to be watched by a large gathering of people, although they won’t be allowed into the site itself.

However, they’re being warned that it could be noisy and dusty and are asked to avoid parking on East Loan or Well Brae, the streets around the factory, as this is where crowds are likely to gather.

Other streets in the village, many of which are very narrow, are likely to be congested.

Fife’s development plan has identified the site as being suitable for up to 100 houses, which has sparked some concern.

Although the community are not all against the idea of new houses, there are fears that the infrastructure of the village would not be able to cope.

A public meeting is planned for Sunday, April 9, at 2pm in Falkland Community Hall, hosted by the Falkland and Newton of Falkland Community Council to discuss concerns and ideas for the future of the site.

Stuart Pearson, secretary of Visit Falkland, said: “It is important to the community that the factory’s life is celebrated and that we share together this moment, seeing the end of an era in the village.

“With a very proactive community, there are a lot of ideas, concerns and suggestions around the site and we must work together to have a shared vision for the future.”