Dougie’s appeal as he pens book on history of Kirkcaldy company

Unveiling of a memorial on the site of the Melville Brodie Engineering Works.
Unveiling of a memorial on the site of the Melville Brodie Engineering Works.

A former employee of the Kirkcaldy-based Melville-Brodie Engineering Company has made a plea for memorabilia as he puts the final touches to a book.

Dougie Reid (72), from Cluny, formed the Retired Melville-Brodie Club five years ago and has been working on the book for the past few years.

He was instrumental in having the permanent memorial to the works erected on its former site at the corner of Maltings Road and Junction Road back in May and is now nearing completion of the book, but hopes to make some last-minute additions.

He said: “I’ve been doing some research into the demolition of the building in 1981-82.

“I tried to find out who the contractor was and discovered it was Nicol’s of Dysart, However they no longer exist.

“But I was able to speak to Ronnie and Craig Muir who own a present-day demolition company and they put me in touch with Jim Page, who had worked for both firms.”

Dougie described his conversation with Jim as “fascinating” and he discovered something he had never expected.

He said: “Jim told me that when buildings such as the Melville-Brodie works are in the early stages of preparing for demolition, it’s not unusual for artistic people to come and take away some artefacts that they would use in their work.

“It’s known that this happened at Melville-Brodie and in fact Jack Vettriano was one of the names mentioned.

“We also now know that some of the artefacts taken used to be on display as pieces of art in the old Anthony’s Hotel, so there might still be some things out there.”

Dougie stressed that he was not asking for old artefacts to be donated, but would just like to photograph and log them for posterity.

“If people do want to donate then obviously that would be fantastic, but even just the knowledge that they still exist would be of enormous help.

“Some more artefacts, along with a picture of Mr Melville which is something else we don’t have, would really be the icing on the cake!”

If you can help Dougie with his book, which he has tentatively titled ‘The Story of Melville Brodie Engineering Works’, give him a call on 01592 722302.

Over 100 years of manufacturing


The Melville-Brodie Engineering Company played a huge part in Kirkcaldy’s rich industrial heritage.

The firm employed thousands of local workers in its 102-year existence, producing the tools that enabled Fife’s mining and manufacturing industries to operate.

They closed in 1971, the building was later badly damaged by fire.