Nostalgia: When the pylons disappeared from the Kirkcaldy skyline in 2001

The pylon outside Victoria Hospital after it was pulled down
The pylon outside Victoria Hospital after it was pulled down

Electricity pylons which blighted the Kirkcaldy skyline and ran through some of the town’s busiest housing estates were finally pulled down in 2001.

Generations of children had grown up in the shadow of the metal monsters which ran through Templehall, Hayfield and Smeaton.

The pylon begins to topple

The pylon begins to topple

Their removal was part of work undertaken to update the electricity network across in Fife.

The power line through the northern part of Kirkcaldy was part of the original Scottish grid system, and the steel pylons were between 50 and 60 years old, pre-dating most of the houses they overshadowed.

Work was due to start in March to replace the entire section of line between the Glenniston substation, to the west of Kirkcaldy, and Redhouse substation to the north.

The replacement would bypass the town, keeping to the north of the East Fife Regional Road, and the steel pylons would be replaced with wooden poles, the new overheads not even visible from Kirkcaldy.

A workman begins to bring the pylon down in September 2001

A workman begins to bring the pylon down in September 2001

In total, 72 pylons were being removed, 16 of them from Kirkcaldy itself, and the news was welcomed by then Councillor George Leslie, whose ward covered Smeaton.

”This is something people have been asking about for a long time,” he said. ”It’s good to be able to say at last that it is happening and that it’s not just rumour.

”There have been various concerns over the years about the effect on people’s health of living near high-voltage electricity lines, so I think everyone will welcome this, whether it is putting fears to rest simply because it makes the area look nicer.”

Scottish Power told the Press in February that people on the three estates could look forward to a clear view by the end of the summer, however it took a little bit longer than that.

In the end, the last of the eyesores came down in September with the removal of the pylons at Hayfield and Broom Road, marking the end of an era in Kirkcaldy.

The pylon at the entrance to Victoria Hospital was taken down with inquisitive locals looking on, the process taking only a few minutes.

It was toppled rather than dismantled to cause minimum disruption to services and, after the metal legs were burnt through, a winch was used to pull the frame over before it was dismantled and taken away.

Langtonians told the Press of their relief at the pylons’ removal – 32 of them had been removed from in and around the town in the four weeks prior to the Hayfield dismantling.

Dollar Crescent resident Margaret Duncan, said: “I’m delighted that they are going.

”I am just standing here watching a crane taking down the pylon behind our back garden at the moment,” she said on Tuesday, September 18.

“It looks really strange, because it has been there as long as I can remember but I will have a much better view from my window now.

”We used to get really worried watching the youngsters using it as a climbing frame and there were also the health fears about living near to electricity pylons.”

Colin Crawford, project manager for Scottish Power, said the work had gone very well, adding it was the biggest job of pylon removal the company had ever carried out in an urban area

”There is now only one tower, off Broom Road, to come down and that will be done on Wednesday when we will have to close off the access road,“ he said.

”Everything has gone well and the contractor has done a good job.”