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Fife Folk Museum News

Fife Folk Museum at the Corn Exchange

Fife Folk Museum 100 Club September Winners

Septembers 100 Club winners are;

1st Prize         R. Wilson

2nd Prize        W. Rennie

3rd Prize         J. Drummond

Congratulations to all.

The 100 CLUB raises valuable funds to help run the museum.  Entry costs are just £2 per month although you can have more than one entry if you wish and this will give you a chance to win in each one of our monthly draws. Draws take place monthly.  Half of the money raised from the 100 CLUB will support the museum, the other half is given out as First, Second and Third prizes each month. Download the pdf file to find out more.

Fife Folk Museum’s special visitor

Fife Folk Museum’ September Monday Talk

At the recent Fife Folk Museum’s September “Monday Night Talk” Brian Murray, Trustee of Cupar Museum and Heritage Centre, gave a most interesting and informative talk on the subject of “The disappearing Mansions of North East Fife”.

The audience of over fifty people were first warned by Brain to exercise great care when visiting old and abandoned houses , and that houses and gardens are lock-fast property under Scots Law and permission should be obtained before going on site. Secondly, some of them are still standing ruins and they are dangerous because stonework may fall off at any time.

The talk commenced with the history of why we need houses for protection, probably, from danger and weather starting with the Iron Age fort on East Lomond which was either settled on or used as a refuge from danger. As there is a lack of an adequate water supply, it would have been a refuge. Tarvit Tower was a progression from this followed by Lordscairnie Castle on the Moonzie Road. This was a substantial L-shaped four storey castle which had an enclosure around it, sheltering a small community. As horses were the only transport on land, there were stables and a smiddy/armoury. There would have been a water mill close at hand to grind the corn for flour and a bakehouse for bread etc. Lean-to buildings were used to accommodate most of the staff outside. There was usually a well inside the castle which was not necessarily used for drinking but supplying the brewhouse inside the enclosure. “Small beer” was brewed as the lack of adequate sewage provision made drinking stream or pond water life threatening. The beer was made from boiled water so it was safe to drink!

Brian went on to talk about Struthers Castletwo miles west of Ceres and several other important sites in and around the area.

After numerous questions from an attentive audience, the vote of thanks was given by Joint Chairperson Margaret Cruickshank.

The final talk of the season takes place on Monday October 7th at 7 pmwhen Jo Hambly will talk on Archaeology and Coastal erosion on the coast of Fife.

 

Fife Folk Museum’s special visitor

A special visitor to Fife Folk Museum Corn Dollies and Harvest exhibition

Volunteers at the Fife Folk Museum were delighted when Anne Watson, widow of the late Bill Watson, paid a visit. Bill Watson had made most of the Dollies that make up the summer exhibition.

Born at Johnston farm, Newburgh in the 1930s, Bill worked as a shepherd, breeding, showing and judging Border Leicester sheep at the highest levels in Scotland.

Bill learned the craft of Corn Dollies from an elderly cattleman on the farm where he lived.  Over the years he perfected the art and held classes to instruct younger generations in the dying art.

Included in the collection are pieces made to commemoratespecial events.  The Royal Coach and Horses and Coronation Crown on display were made to celebrate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.

Some of the pieces on display Bill donated several years ago, and following his death earlier this year, in accordance with his wishes, his family kindly added many more to the museum’s collection.

Fife Folk Museum at the Corn Exchange

Fife Folk Museum 100 Club August Winners

August’s 100 Club winners are;

1st Prize         T. Foote

2nd Prize        R. Colwell

3rd Prize         W. Harley

Congratulations to all.

The 100 CLUB raises valuable funds to help run the museum.  Entry costs are just £2 per month although you can have more than one entry if you wish and this will give you a chance to win in each one of our monthly draws. Draws take place monthly.  Half of the money raised from the 100 CLUB will support the museum, the other half is given out as First, Second and Third prizes each month. Download the pdf file to find out more.

Fife Folk Museum Monday Talks - change to September’s talk.

Note that there has been a change to the SeptemberTalk. This will now be a talk entitled “Disappearing Mansions in Fife”, given by Brain Murray.

Fife Folk Museum at the Corn Exchange

Fife Folk Museum July talk

Tom Davison, a Ceres Resident, was the Speaker at a well–attended meeting of Fife Folk Museum’s Talks Programme on Monday 1st July 2019.

His subject was the history of Sutherland House in Ceres which has performed several functions since its construction and opening in 1872. The original benefactor was Alexander Adamson an astute businessman with strong concerns for the health and welfare of local people. The first patients were admitted to the house in Ceres in 1872.   However, it proved to be an expensive  proposition costing £420 per year to run. Alexander Adamson died in 1876 and his will revealed bequests to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and hospitals in Dundee. Moneys from his estate eventually contributed to the establishing of the Cottage Hospital in Cupar which bears his name.

The hospital in Ceres became an isolation hospital during a smallpox outbreak in 1897.  After this time, it became a holiday Home for children from Leith run by an Edinburgh charitable enterprise.  Negotiations for the purchase were long and involved, and a great deal of money was required to re-fit and re-furbish it for the new arrangement. It accommodated 50 children at a time.   Again it was costly to run and eventually it was taken over by the Edinburgh Education Authority who expanded it to accommodate 140 children at a time.  Strangely, it was eventually deemed to be too popular and closed in 1931.

During World War I and World War II, the house was requisitioned as a military hospital and Convalescent Home for Servicemen. From 1915-1919, it had 40 beds staffed by VAD Nurses and governed by the Red Cross. The Matron, a Miss Douglas, later qualified as a doctor and became the first lady General Practitioner in St Sndrews.

In 1947, a local rail crash included a Mr Alwyn Frederick among the fatal casualities. He was involved with a charity which helped blind people to cope with their disability. Money from his estate purchased the house which was re-named Alwyn House in his memory.  It eventually closed in 1993 due to lack of funds and altered plans from the Royal National Institute for the Blind.

The house was up for sale again and this time was purchased by a developer who re-named it Sutherland House and converted it into five apartments as it is today.

The next Talk will be held on Monday 5th August 2019 and will be given by Ruth Boreham whose subject will nbe the Women’s Land Army.  Admission is free but donations ar encouraged.  Tea and coffee are served after the Talk. All welcome.

Fife Folk Museum at the Corn Exchange

Fife Folk Museum 100 Club July Winners

July’s 100 Club winners are;

1st Prize         D. Crawford

2nd Prize        R. Colwell

3rd Prize         A. MacGregor

Congratulations to all.

The 100 CLUB raises valuable funds to help run the museum.  Entry costs are just £2 per month although you can have more than one entry if you wish and this will give you a chance to win in each one of our monthly draws. Draws take place monthly.  Half of the money raised from the 100 CLUB will support the museum, the other half is given out as First, Second and Third prizes each month. Download the pdf file to find out more.

Fife Folk Museum at the Corn Exchange

Fife Folk Museum 100 Club June Winners

June’s 100 Club winners are;

1st Prize  A. MacGregor

2nd Prize  P. Martin

3rd Prize R. Colwell

Congratulations to all.

The 100 CLUB raises valuable funds to help run the museum.  Entry costs are just £2 per month although you can have more than one entry if you wish and this will give you a chance to win in each one of our monthly draws. Draws take place monthly.  Half of the money raised from the 100 CLUB will support the museum, the other half is given out as First, Second and Third prizes each month. Download the pdf file to find out more.

Fife Folk Museum at the Corn Exchange

Cupar Muir Sawmill Exhibition

New exhibition from 5th June called “Pit Props, Pallets and Tattie Boxes” coming to Fife FolkMuseum. This exhibition follows the story of R. M. Law’s Cupar Muir Sawmill.

Fife Folk Museum at the Corn Exchange

Fife Folk Museum 100 Club May Winners

May's 100 Club winners are;

1st Prize  T. Foote

2nd Prize  M. McSeveney

3rd Prize  S.Smith

Congratulations to all.

The 100 CLUB raises valuable funds to help run the museum.  Entry costs are just £2 per month although you can have more than one entry if you wish and this will give you a chance to win in each one of our monthly draws. Draws take place monthly.  Half of the money raised from the 100 CLUB will support the museum, the other half is given out as First, Second and Third prizes each month. Download the pdf file to find out more.

Fife Folk Museum Monday Talks

Fife Folk Museum Monday Talks; May Talk - Scotland’s Wealth of Languages and Cultures

Fife Folk Museum’s Programme of Talks began on Monday 6th May when Bob Scott spoke on “Scotland’s Wealth of Languages and Cultures”. This was a fascinating and wide-ranging survey of very early Scottish history when the country was populated by Gaels, Picts, Britons and Angles, all groups with their own languages and cultures. Bob commented on the present-day emphasis placed on the Gaelic language where present-day place names appear on road signs with Gaelic translations often in areas where Gaelic was never spoken. The Scottish Government have added the word ’Poileas’; to Police vehicles This word does not appear in modern Gaelic dictionaries so one must assume that it is a made-up word. Bob has himself a smattering of Gaelic assimilated as a child during long summer holidays on Iona where his grandmother rented a cottage. At that time the adult population of Iona were entirely Gaelic–speaking though that did not include the children.

He then described the Pictish people who were at one time to be found in the Northern Isles, Caithness, Grampian, Fife and Perthshire, the overlords under their King Brude, of the area which became known as Argyll today. This area was the site of the Kingdom of Dalriada established by Irish incomers. The most notable of them was Columba whose main base, a church, was established on Iona. Columba travelled extensively and is credited with converting the Pictish King to Christianity.

Besides the Gaels and the Picts, there were the Britons who arrived about 460AD from France and colonised Cumbria, the Border country and as far north as Strathclyde where they set up a kingdom at what is now Dumbarton. Their territory extended to the north end of Loch Lomond. Their language was akin to Welsh so that names in South Scotland such as Lanark are of Welsh derivation.

Records of the clans date from the 12th century. Clan Donald is among the oldest. Both the east and west coasts suffered attacks from the Norsemen. There was constant armed conflict between the Gaels and the Vikings. Many place names indicate their Viking heritage e.g. Stornoway, Wick, Dingwall and Eriskay.

Bob concluded his talk stating that in the 1700s only 27% of the population spoke Gaelic, today only 1% are speakers. Scotland’s languages derive from so many sources , he agrees that it is good to preserve Gaelic but not as a political tool.

The next talk will be held on 3rd June 2019 when Andrew Johnson will talk on “Stone Mason’s Marks” at 7pm in the Museum Visitor Centre. Tea, coffee and biscuits are served after the talk. All welcome .  No admission charge but donations are encouraged.

Fife Folk Museum at the Corn Exchange

Fife Folk Museum 100 Club April Winners

April’s  100 Club winners are;

1st Prize  D. Crawford

2nd Prize  J. Van den Berg

3rd Prize  T. Foote

Congratulations to all.

The 100 CLUB raises valuable funds to help run the museum.  Entry costs are just £2 per month although you can have more than one entry if you wish and this will give you a chance to win in each one of our monthly draws. Draws take place monthly.  Half of the money raised from the 100 CLUB will support the museum, the other half is given out as First, Second and Third prizes each month. Download the pdf file to find out more.

Fife Folk Museum Monday Talks

Fife Folk Museum Monday Talks coming soon

The popular monthly Monday talks will be back, starting on Monday 6th May with a talk by Robert Scott called “Scotland - a land of languages and culture”. Tea or coffee and biscuits are provided after the talks.  More information about this year’s talks coming soon. The talks are free to attend but a donation of £3 towards the upkeep of the museum is much appreciated.

Fife Folk Museum at the Corn Exchange

Fife Folk Museum 100 Club March Winners

The March FFM 100 Club winners are as follows:-

1st Prize   -   P. Lennox
2nd Prize  -   W. Rennie
3rd Prize   -   M. McSeveney
Congratulations to all.

The 100 CLUB raises valuable funds to help run the museum.  Entry costs are just £2 per month although you can have more than one entry if you wish and this will give you a chance to win in each one of our monthly draws. Draws take place monthly.  Half of the money raised from the 100 CLUB will support the museum, the other half is given out as First, Second and Third prizes each month. Download the pdf file to find out more.

Fife Folk Museum at the Corn Exchange

Fife Folk Museum opening soon for 2019 season

Not long to go now until the museum opens for the 2019 season on Wednesday 3rd April. There has been an incredible amount of effort and work behind the scenes from the Volunteers over the closed period to make sure everything is ready for the new season.

We’ve lots of exciting and interesting exhibitions and activities planned for this year. To kick off the season we are holding an exhibition to accompany the official launch of Wynne Harley's book on the "History of Fife Folk Museum 50th Anniversary 1968 - 2018”.

There is also a new exhibition “Victorian Life in Costume” which follows the life, in costume, of a Victorian child from girlhood to widowhood. The exhibition was curated by our University student as her project. 

 

Fife Folk Museum at the Corn Exchange

Fife Folk Museum 100 Club February Winners

The February FFM 100 Club Draw took place after the Volunteer Meeting on Monday 18th February, 2019. The winners are as follows:-

1st Prize   -   S.Smith
2nd Prize  -   S.Kelly
3rd Prize   -   D. Crawford
Congratulations to all.

The 100 CLUB raises valuable funds to help run the museum.  Entry costs are just £2 per month although you can have more than one entry if you wish and this will give you a chance to win in each one of our monthly draws. Draws take place monthly.  Half of the money raised from the 100 CLUB will support the museum, the other half is given out as First, Second and Third prizes each month. Download the pdf file to find out more.

Fife Folk Museum at the Corn Exchange

Cupar Rotary Club present cheque to Fife Folk Museum

David Swankie, a Trustee from Fife Folk Museum, was presented with cheque from Rotary Club of Cupar for £266.88 recently, being FFM’s share of proceeds from the Santa Sleigh Ceres collection.

A group of volunteers from the museum accompanied the Santa Sleigh in Ceres,  collecting in the village on the night of 11th December 2018.

Fife Folk Museum at the Corn Exchange

Fife Folk Museum 100 Club January Winners

The January FFM 100 Club Draw took place after the Volunteer Meeting on Thursday 17th January, 2019. The winners are as follows:-

1st Prize   -    D. Crawford
2nd Prize  -    P. Martin
3rd Prize   -    J. Drummond
Congratulations to all.

The 100 CLUB raises valuable funds to help run the museum.  Entry costs are just £2 per month although you can have more than one entry if you wish and this will give you a chance to win in each one of our monthly draws. Draws take place monthly.  Half of the money raised from the 100 CLUB will support the museum, the other half is given out as First, Second and Third prizes each month. Download the pdf file to find out more.

Fife Folk Museum at the Corn Exchange

Fife Folk Museum 100 Club Winners

The first FFM 100 Club Draw took place after the Trust Meeting on Wednesday 5th December, 2018. The winners are as follows:-

1st Prize   -    A. MacGregor
2nd Prize  -    R. Colwell
3rd Prize   -    R. Wilson
Congratulations to all.

The 100 CLUB raises valuable funds to help run the museum.  Entry costs are just £2 per month although you can have more than one entry if you wish and this will give you a chance to win in each one of our monthly draws. Draws take place monthly.  Half of the money raised from the 100 CLUB will support the museum, the other half is given out as First, Second and Third prizes each month. Download the pdf file to find out more.

Fife Folk Museum at the Corn Exchange

History of Fife Folk Museum book now published and available to buy

The end of the museum’s open season this year, on 31st October marked the Museum’s 50th season in existence.  Previous Chairman, Wynne Harley, has written a newly published Anniversary Book entitled  “History of Fife Folk Museum 50th Anniversary 1968 - 2018” which documents the events of the Museum’s history since 1968.

The book draws on the museum’s own archives and photographic collection to document the ups and downs of running a museum, the projects and improvements to the buildings housing the museum and the people involved in shaping the museum’s direction over the years.

The book is on sale in the Museum at £5.00.  Phone and email orders are welcomed .  01334 828180 or info@fifefolkmuseum.org

Fife Folk Museum at the Corn Exchange

Fife Folk Museum’s 2018 AGM

Fife Folk Museum held its Annual General Meeting on 14th November 2018.  Margaret McSeveney had completed 3 years as Chair-person and had indicated that she was not available for re-election.  Margaret Cruickshank and Sheila Kelly were re-elected as joint Vice-chairmen and agreed to carry out the duties of a Chaiman as there was no proposal for this office.  This was approved unanimously.  Margaret McSeveney was thanked for her very successful period in office and presented with a bouquet of flowers and a voucher.  The current nine Trustees were re-elected en bloc.  In her Report, Margaret McSeveney emphasised the need for more volunteers and Trustees to ensure the efficient running of the Museum.

31st October had been the end of the Museum’s 50th season in existence.  Margaret McSeveney then called on Wynne Harley to introduce her newly published Anniversary Book.  This documents the events of the Museum’s history since 1968.  The book is on sale in the Museum at £5.00.

Fife Folk Museum at Blebo Craigs

Fife Folk Museum at Blebo Craigs Craft Bazaar

On Saturday 17th November Blebo Craigs held their first ever Craft Bazaar. Twelve local crafters filled the small village hall and the response from the public was wonderful. There was a constant stream of visitors keen to buy original Christmas gifts.

Fife Folk Museum took a table at the Bazaar and had a very successful day, making £115.10p for Museum funds. Items not sold on the day, which include many Christmas themed gifts, are now available in the Museum shop.

Fife Folk Museum at the Corn Exchange

Fife Folk Museum’s Pottery Workshop

On Saturday October 6th, Fife Folk Museum held an all day pottery workshop in the Heritage Arts Hub with George Young from St Andrews Pottery. In the morning George demonstrated working on the pottery wheel, creating a teapot. He chose a teapot because of the many different elements involved in making it:

The main body, the lid, the spout and the handle, all of which require different techniques.

In the afternoon he invited the participants to have a go on the wheel. 14 very enthusiastic people, 12 adults & 2 children successfully made a small bowl each, which they were then able to take home with them.

The workshop was very well received by all who took part and they were very keen to come to another one. The Museum hopes to be able to do this, either over the winter or next season – this will be advertised on the museum website.

 

Fife Folk Museum at the Corn Exchange

Kirkcaldy Naturalists’ Society visit to Fife Folk Museum

A lovely write-up from Kirkcaldy Naturlists’ Society who recently visited the museum and Craighall Den.

”After enjoying some delicious home baking at the Weigh House Café and a brief visit to the Museum itself, the main group left for the walk in Craighall Den.  Others stayed to examine more closely the wonderful collections on display.  There are three rooms and the Weigh House itself.  The Seymour Room currently has WW1 exhibits contributed by local people.  Particularly moving are the possessions of a young local man killed at the Somme, William Henderson.  The Cottage Room next door showed the home of a weaver’s family of the 1850s, where they cooked and ate, sleeping in a box bed in the corner.  Weaving and spinning tools were displayed and the fireplace was surrounded by pots and pans of the time. Handiwork for everyday use included a colourful patchwork quilt and a rag rug. As a contrast, on the other side of this room were cases displaying ‘Affluent Victoriana’ such as beadwork purses and bags, dainty shoes and parasols. The theme of the Peterkin Room, named after the co-founder of the Museum, is the ‘Swinging Sixties’ with colourful displays in four glass cases entitled At Home, Hobbies and Holidays, Fashion and School Days.

On two levels the Weigh House next door dates from 1673. Its other important functions were as Court House and Prison.  On display upstairs are examples of every kind of scale and measure including those used for liquids, food, heavy goods and land.  Downstairs is a holding cell for minor offenders and a large collection of tools used in the building trade. Across the road from the main museum is the Annexe and here there is a fascinating exhibition focusing on the importance of the working horse to the farm and to the community. At the rear is the Heritage Arts Hub, a generous space used for crafts, workshops and family activities. A visit is highly recommended.”

Fife Folk Museum at the Corn Exchange

Fife Folk Museum Wins Funding for Signage

Recently Fife Council held a “Let’s Thrive in Cupar” event in the Corn Exchange,  inviting local community groups to present their ideas to improve areas such as  emotional and physical health, wellbeing and isolation, which affect young and older people in and around Cupar. 

All the proposed projects submitted by organisations in the community were invited to the Corn Exchange to set up a stall, speak with people, then speak to a bigger, seated audience about their projects.  The chair of Fife Folk Museum Trust, Margaret McSeveney, spoke about how the museum was within easy reach of Cupar by walking ( via the ancient Moor Road route), cycling, bus and car.  Margaret also talked about volunteering at the museum and how this helps meet the needs of many different people including health issues, combating social isolation, making friendships, learning new skills, giving support, and she emphasised that it is much more than just a little museum in Ceres.  There are currently no signs in Cupar to indicate the museum’s existence or directing people to visit.  Margaret asked for four indicator road signs on the main roads in Cupar.  The members of the public then had to use three coloured tokens to vote, with each colour being of a different value.  It was a bit like Dragons Den!

The museum was delighted to come second out of nine entries and be awarded the £800 required for the signage. Fife Folk Museum looks forward to welcoming new visitors and new volunteers who can enjoy everything that the museum has to offer. 

Fife Folk Museum rag dolls

Fife Folk Museum Rag Doll Kits now available

A recent addition to the museum shop is our Rag Doll Kit with all you need to make your very own unique rag doll. Inspired by our collection of older dolls, these kits enable you to make a traditional style rag doll and contain patterns for simple clothing for your doll. Instructions and stuffing included. 

Visitors in costume

Exhibition of toys and games

For July and August we have an exhibition in the Seymour Room of much-loved toys and games from the museum collection. 

More dressing-up choices

This year our dressing-up box has been added to and as you can see, some of our visitors have been making very good use of the new costume options! We’ve a large range of sizes and styles for both children and adults to try on and transport themselves back into the past. The members of FifeDFAS (Fife Decorative & Fine Arts Society) Needlework Group made us some lovely clothes including shawls, pinnies, hats and cardigans. There is something for just about everyone!  

Many thanks to our vistors for allowing us to use their photograph.

Fife Folk Museum presentation of Wemyssware cat

Fife Folk Museum Opening event 2018

Over seventy invited guests attended the offical opening night of the 2018 season at Fife Folk Museum including Willie Rennie, Stephen Gethins, Tony Miklinski  and Griselda Hill from Wemyss Pottery.  There  were also representatives from Museums Galleries Scotland, St.Andrews University and the Communications Museum in Burntisland.

The chairperson Margaret McSeveney welcomed everyone to the event and talked about the various events and exhibitions for this season. The visitor numbers to the museum were much improved last year, but unfortunately the donations income didn't match the income from the charged entry the previous year and was short of £500.  The museum will continue with free entry for this season and it is hoped that the visitor donations will be sufficient to keep the museum open. The number of Volunteers and Trustees has fallen this year and it is very much hoped that these positions can be filled to ensure the ongoing success of the museum. 

Griselda Hill and Wynne Harley presented a gift of 'Goldie' a Wemyss Cat for our 50th anniversary celebrations. There are fifty daffodils painted on the cat. Goldie will be displayed in the cabinet in the Tearoom. 

 Fife Folk Museum opening 2018

FiFe Folk Museum 100 Club

New for 2018!  Would you like the chance to win some money?  Then join our 100 CLUB. The 100 CLUB raises valuable funds to help run the museum.  Entry costs are just £2 per month although you can have more than one entry if you wish and this will give you a chance to win in each one of our monthly draws. Draws take place in the Museum between the Volunteer meeting and the Trust meeting, alternatively.  Half of the money raised from the 100 CLUB will support the museum, the other half is given out as a First, Second and Third prizes.

Prize-winners will be notified by email and payment will be made directly to your bank account.  Membership can be taken out at any time of the year. Download the pdf file to find out more.

Opening for the 2018 season soon!

Fife Folk Museum opens for its 50th anniversary season on Sunday 1st April, with new exhibitions; The Swinging 60s, Working Horses of Fife, and Boneshakers to Butterchurns - a celebration of the museum's very first artefacts.

There's also our 1850’s cottage room, heritage trails and activities for adults and children, and the option to imprison yourself, friends or family in the cell of our historic Weigh House.

Fife Folk Museum is open from April to October, Wednesday to Sunday from 10.30am to 4.30pm (last entry 3.45pm). Entry is free, but a donation to help maintain the museum is much appreciated. We hope to see you soon!

For news from previous seasons, go to the News Archive