FP100: No. 44

Kirkcaldy sea wall
Kirkcaldy sea wall
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Kirkcaldy sea wall

A plaque to the many men who helped to build Kirkcaldy’s original sea wall in 1922-23 was erected and recently replaced when the sea wall underwent a £9 million refurbishment programme.

The sea wall, built along the complete stretch of seafront from Invertiel to the bottom of the Path, was funded by the Unemployment Grants Commission and local unemployed residents were taken on to help build the mammoth structure.

Despite stories that the sea wall was built as a project to relieve the serious unemployment of the time, which was over 14 per cent, reports in the Fife Free Press of the time said that the contractors behind the project were not keen to employ unskilled labour on such a major scheme.

Funding for the build was supposed to come from central government to recompense the town for the £83,000 costs, but this turned into a long-running and very bitter scandal as Westminster produced one excuse after another to avoid paying up.

When it was eventually completed in 1923, the sea wall gave the town a properly defined sea front for the first time in its history.