ROBERT THE BRUCE made a dramatic appearance during walking tours of the heritage quarter of Dunfermline last Saturday, arranged as part of a series of events to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Andrew Carnegie’s uncle, founder George Lauder.

Actors from local history and heritage group Forth Pilgrim took three separate groups who had gathered at the Carnegie Birthplace Museum, around places associated with Carnegie and Lauder. The tours highlighted many aspects of the life of the man who founded Lauder College, now Fife College.

Roger Pickering, of Forth Pilgrim, who took the part of George Lauder himself, said: “Most people have heard about Andrew Carnegie but not so many know about the man who played such a significant role in his upbringing. Carnegie used to visit his uncle’s shop in the town’s High Street where he learned about the rich history of Scotland through stirring tales of Burns, Wallace and Bruce. This love of history and Dunfermline stayed with him for the rest of his life.

“Fittingly, we had an appearance by Bruce himself during the tour! George Lauder campaigned for and founded the college which bore his name and is now Fife College, as well as successfully championing a scheme to bring fresh water into Dunfermline from the Ochil Hills at a time when most people had to draw water from wells in the town, including Andrew Carnegie himself.

“We had two young actors taking the part of George Lauder’s son and his young cousin, Andrew Carnegie, and people enjoyed hearing the story told by them. Some Spanish visitors struggled with the Dunfermline accents but said they enjoyed the experience just as much as the locals who took part!”

Other groups involved in marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of George Lauder, which has been funded by the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust, are Dynamic Dunfermline, Discover Dunfermline and also Dunfermline Heritage Community Projects.

In addition to the guided walks, a digital book on the life of George Lauder will be made available online, his overgrown grave and final resting place in Dunfermline will be renovated, a commemorative brochure produced and a dinner/lecture at Fife College will take place in October at Fife College.

It will be attended by the descendants of George Lauder from America.