Historic Fife pier brought back to life

The pier buildings in the 60s.
The pier buildings in the 60s.

The Victorian pier buildings in Newport were once a hub of activity, as passengers prepared to take the ferry across the Tay.

The area around the ferry terminal was the unofficial high street at the time – the buildings were home to fishmongers, bakers and butchers.

But in 1966 the Tay Road Bridge opened, providing a quicker route across the river, and bringing that era to an end.

The pier buildings were soon sold and passed from one owner to the next, becoming more derelict over time, while the shops moved up to the High Street.

That was until 2007, when Liz and Davie Anderson, owners of David Anderson Marine, purchased the buildings.

The couple found a “shell” of a building, but were intent on restoring the properties to their former glory.

And, yesterday evening (Thursday) the Newport community was given its first glimpse of the refurbished inside of the pier buildings, marking the culmination of years of hard work.

“The response from the community has been amazing,” said Liz. “Everyone has been so supportive and got behind it.”

While the work has not quite finished yet, the building has been transformed.

The biggest change has been the addition of a second floor. For this to be done, the roof had to be lifted and a new steel structure installed inside to hold it up.

To mark the opening, the Newport History Group is holding a mini-exhibition inside the restored buildings, covering the history of the pier buildings, the Tay ferries, and the pier area.

Mairi Shiels, chair of the organisation, said the older residents in the village are nostalgic about the pier.

“They remember going to the shops and catching the boat,” she explained. “People are delighted about this. I expect it’s going to be really busy.”

As part of the exhibit, the group will be showing off their ‘Tay-eux’ tapestry, which covers the history of the village.

The tapestry, made up of 27 panels, was debuted at the Newport Festival earlier this year.

The exhibition opened yesterday, and will be open today (Friday) between 10am-6pm, and tomorrow (Saturday) between 10am-4pm.