Memorial to recall Kirkcaldy’s industrial past

The memorial is unveiled
The memorial is unveiled

A permanent memorial to a mostly forgotten part of Kirkcaldy’s industrial past was unveiled this week.

A bronze plaque has been erected at the Corner of Maltings Road and Junction Road, where the huge Melville-Brodie Engineering Company works stood for over 100 years.

The company which opened the foundry in 1869 finally closed its doors in 1981 and a group of former employees have been working hard to make sure that future generation of Langtonians are aware of Kirkcaldy’s rich industrial heritage.

Dougie Reid formed the Retired Melville-Brodie Club five years ago and said it had been a very emotional day.

He said: “I never thought when we started off that we would be able to achieve this.”

Among those present at the unveiling were John Greig, the last apprentice pattern maker to qualify, and Ronnie Fleming, the last apprentice moulder. Both had helped in the construction of the memorial.

Ronnie said: “I felt very proud to be here.

‘‘There was a great turn out - more than I think anyone expected.

‘‘It’s sad to think that industry has all gone in Fife.”

John added: “It is good to feel that this will help Melville-Brodie and the industry will be remembered.

‘‘I was a pattern maker - jobs like that are as rare as hen’s teeth nowadays.

“It’s very meaningful if you take into account how much of an impact the factory had on the town.”

Dougie paid tribute to Archie Smith, director at Fifab and local councillor Kay Carrington of Kirkcaldy East, for securing funding for the project.

“They were the ones who gave us the springboard financially to get us off the ground. Once we got up and running it’s grown and grown.

“I must give a lot of praise to Fife College. Thanks to their help we have some money left over which we will now put towards the book we’re planning.”

Dougie also revealed that Kirkcaldy Civic Society has agreed to include the memorial in its tours around town

He said: “In most books that area is rarely mentioned , but it was a huge industrial part of the town.

“The memorial fills a big gap which has been overlooked up until now.”

Cllr Kay Carrington added: “It’s important to keep the memory of places like Melville Brodie alive.”