A long forgotten way of life

Robert Thomson with his horse-drawn fruit annd veg cart in Kirkcaldy
Robert Thomson with his horse-drawn fruit annd veg cart in Kirkcaldy

A KIRKCALDY man has been telling how he spent almost half a century delivering fruit and veg - from a horse and cart.

Bob Thomson and his brother Andrew ran a fruit business, ‘Andrew Thomson Fruit Merchant’ in Kirkcaldy for 50 years. Bob took over the running of the Invertiel-based business after Andrew died in 1976 and continued until his retirement in 2000.

Bob said: “Andrew started the business in 1950 after he came back from the Second World War. I joined him in 1953 after I’d completed my national service.”

Bob’s son Dave also worked for the company and has very fond memories.

“I used to help my Uncle Andrew on the weekends. would run with the produce to the customer’s house - all the old people loved this service.

‘‘We became a part of their families.

‘‘I used to regularly go over to St Cuthbert’s in Edinburgh. Uncle Andrew also showed Sean Connery how to drive a horse drawn vehicle.

“Rain, snow, whatever the weather my dad and uncle where out on their rounds, and all the fruit and veg was fresh, unlike today,”

Both Bob and Dave think the horse drawn cart gave them something unique and memorable. Bob, who was brought up in Kirkcaldy’s Leslie Street, said: “I had a van for the last four years because the horse became lame and getting a new one was impossible, but I much preferred the horse and cart. It got lots of attention and I became known as ‘the man with the horse!’

Dave said: “The most important thing for my uncle and dad was the love and care they gave to the horses.

‘‘That was of the upmost importance, it was only the best for the horse. It’s very sad that the old horse and cart and door to door delivery has died away,’’