Witches, sausage slaughters and rabbit wars – just some of the stories from St Andrews’ past which feature in a brand new book.
St Andrews’ Untold Stories is the third book from local author and historian Leonard Low, and it was released last week after months of research and writing.
I like to pick out wee cheeky stories no-one has told before.Len Low
The book follows on from the success of his first two novels, The Weem Witch and Largo’s Untold Stories.
And given that his own family history can be traced to St Andrews as far back as the 17th century, it’s a topic he’s quite passionate about.
“I had to chose St Andrews as my family are all from there, going back 300-400 years.
“A St Andrews witch named Betty Mason is actually one of my ancestors, so it is really quite fascinating.”
Len explained that a great uncle of his used to sit him down as a child and tell him stories of the town’s past, things which he could never have read in other history books.
Among the book’s fascinating 16 chapters, there’s the story of Martin’s the Butchers, which, due to an unfortunate incident with some sausages and arsenic, put 300 people in the hospital and left two dead.
Or the famous Rabbit Wars at the old course, which left more than just 18 holes on the green.
Or even the tale of famous gangster Al Capone, who was all set to move to the home of golf to escape the cops in his home city of Chicago.
“St Andrews has some fascinating stories and I’ve tried to do something a wee bit different,” said Len, who still conducts tours of the famous Pittenweem clock tour. I like to pick out wee cheeky stories that no-one has told before.”
And fans of Len’s other books will be glad to know there’s some witch stories in there too.