The town’s queer like smell that led to a lifetime in lino for Fifers

Making up parquet type linoleum in Michael Nairn & Co's linoleum factory in Kirkcaldy
Making up parquet type linoleum in Michael Nairn & Co's linoleum factory in Kirkcaldy

Kirkcaldy’s famous connection with the linoleum industry is to be the subject of a new BBC documentary.

And the makers of the film are looking for locals to get involved.

The documentary currently has the working title called ‘Linoleum: The Sweet Smell of Success’ and will be a social history of Kirkcaldy and its relationship to the linoleum industry.

The makers, Glasgow-based TVI Vision, have already been in town carrying out research and plan to begin filming at the end of October and are hoping to hear stories from locals with a connection to the lino industry.

Executive producer Maurice Smith says that TVI have a good record of making films about Scottish social history.

“We recently made a couple of films; one about the Forth Road Bridge called ‘The Bridge: Fifty Years Across The Forth’ and another called ‘The Town That Thread Built’ about the thread industry in Paisley.

“All of them have done well. They were commissioned by BBC Scotland then were shown nationwide by BBC Four.

“I think people have an appetite for stories that tell a human story about places that are maybe not really well known.

“This one will be a bit different because lino is still being made in Kirkcaldy by Fobo-Nairn, but it’s fairly significant in the public’s mind that lino is associated with Kirkcaldy, so we want to look at that.

“We’ll be asking how and when did it begin? And why did Kirkcaldy become the lino capital of the world?

“It just fascinates me so we came to Kirkcaldy a few months ago and did some research and I think it’s a story worth telling and that lots of people will have their own stories to tell.”

Maurice is hopeful that Fifers will play their part in the documentary.

“I’m sure that almost everybody in the town will know someone who worked in the linoleum trade, maybe even elsewhere in Fife, so we would really like then to get in touch.

“We’d also love to see pictures or any film that anyone has too.”

The documentary is scheduled for completion early next year.

If you would like to get in touch you can call TVI on 0141 573 0552 or email