Thursday, July 05, 2007

Newburgh North Fife

Newburgh was once a royal burgh of Fife, but somehow this registration fell away, the Community Council preferring instead to be purely Scottish in allegiance. The British Conservative Government under Maggie Thatcher was too much to bear for some.

Pop. (1901) 1904. The population today is only a little greater, at 2040 (est 2004). Being a small town, most residents are aware of each other and their occupations and activities. There are still many public houses but their number is dwindling, they are patronised by about 10% of the population who do the rounds.

It is situated on the Firth of Tay, 7 m. N.W. of Ladybank Junction by First Scotrail. Newburgh railway station closed in 1951 (pre-Beeching), and has never reopened, despite frequent local campaigns to re-establish some sort of rail link, as trains run through Newburgh on a regular basis.
For some time, its industries chiefly consisted of the making of linen and floorcloth, malting and quarrying, and there were fisheries, especially of salmon. The harbour was used for the transhipment of the cargoes of Perth-bound vessels of over 200 tons. But most of these industries have now gone. A linoleum factory, owned by Courtaulds, which had been the town's principal employer, closed in May 1980 after a large fire destroyed much of the building. After many years of lying derelict, the factory has since been completely demolished and cleared and its site is now a recreational waterfront. Local services and a few shops provide limited employment, but most residents now commute to larger towns. However, one quarry, for many years owned by Bell Brothers, is still operational, and is now owned by Ennstone Thistle. T Robertson & Sons, of Whinpark Quarry, still run a road contractors' business, although the quarry itself is no longer in operation.

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