Washboards, slates & an old school bell!

Jim Swan in front of one of the photographic displays
Jim Swan in front of one of the photographic displays

PEOPLE in Dysart are being invited to take a step back in time with the launch of a summer exhibition.

The display, based in the Town House, next to the Tolbooth, features a selection of items including washboards, clay pipes, a mincer and a carpet beater, as well as an array of photographs and artefacts from Dysart’s past.

The exhibition, organised by Dysart Trust, looks back at the burgh’s old school days, shops, businesses, pubs, harbour and industry from the 1800s .

It also includes paintings and drawings by P7 pupils from Dysart Primary who took part in a competition to find the best piece, with the winning drawing - of the Queen Victoria Victorian Lamp Post - being penned by Scott Sinclair.

Jim Swan, chairman and founder member of the Trust, has been showcasing old photographs and other items from Dysart’s history ever since the mid 1960s.

He said: “The trust started in 1964 and held its first exhibition in the summer of 1965 in Normand Hall.


‘‘The three local churches got together and put on a display about old Dysart to raise money for the Freedom of Hunger (Christian Aid in Africa). There were 500 tickets sold and 2000 people came to the exhibition over the weekend.

“It was such a success the display has been held ever since, and over the years we have built up a collection of old photographs, which have been handed in, as well as other artefacts.

“There is an appetite for nostalgia in Dysart and so my main aim is to collect as much as I can about its past and build up a big archive of photographs and written material.

‘‘There is so much to find out, I am still doing research and learning about its history.”

Mr Swan said the photographs of the ‘Wee School’ and Dysart Primary always prove popular - the display even features an original school bell and slate.

As well as old photographs, the exhibit also includes a timecapsule buried in 1884 from the Normand Hall.


It was recovered when the hall was demolished in 1995 and contained a copy of the Fife Free Press newspaper of the day along with a scroll, a half crown, florin, shilling, sixpence, three pence penny and half penny.

Mr Swan added: “We want to encourage people to come and see the exhibition to give locals a flavour of what Dysart used to be like to build community spirit here again.”

>> Anyone who has any old photographs of Dysart is invited to hand them in to the exhibition which will be open on Sundays until the end of September from 2.00-4.00 p.m.

>> On Doors Open Day on September 9 the display will be open from 1.00-5.00 p.m. Admission to the display is free.