Plaque honours Kirkcaldy’s industrial heritage

Former staff members handed the plaque over to George Proudfoot of Kirkcaldy Civic Society.
Former staff members handed the plaque over to George Proudfoot of Kirkcaldy Civic Society.

A plaque which marks the spot of what was one of Kirkcaldy’s biggest and most influential employers has been handed over to Kirkcaldy Civic Society, after it was made by former apprentices who worked in the plant.

The Melville-Brodie Engineering Company once stood near Junction Road, opening in 1869 and eventually closing in 1981.

Around 200 people were employed at the plant, which specialised in mechanical engineering, making machinery used in paper mills, mining, and linolium manufacturing.

Now the plaque, which was laid to mark the spot, has been handed over to the heritage group.

Former worker Don Barclay said: “We’re handing over a commemorative plaque from the old apprentices of Melville-Brodie, where we all worked in different trades.

“It’s important to mark the spot because of the good training we had.

George Proudfoot, chairman of Kirkcaldy Civic Society, said: “This is a serious part of Kirkcaldy’s industrial heritage and we’re only too happy to adopt the plaque.

“We’ll add it to our plaque trail, as it’s a very important part of local history.

“What’s great is that all the employees thoroughly enjoyed their Melville Brodie days, and speak fondly of it as an employer, and they enjoyed an apprenticeship which was second to none.

“Of course in this so-called post-industrial world it’s great that we’re still able to applaud the work that was done.

“It would be great if Scotland was able to re-invigorate its engineering industry.”

A book entitled ‘They Taught Us Skills For Life – We Are The Engineers,’ tells the story of the firm, written in the words of the workers themselves.