THE photographs in this week’s trip down West Fife’s Memory Lane look at the Baldridgeburn area of Dunfermline, situated to the west of the town.

The first image is a painting of Baldridgeburn by Dunfermline artist Adam Westwood.

The origin of the name given to this area is explained in this extract from the book, ‘Viagraphy Dunfermlynensis’: "Locally pronounced Bautherickburn, it consists of a long row of weavers' houses generally of one storey. Near the east end there is a footway, which leads up to Golfdrum. This footway, by means of a small bridge of one arch, crosses a rivulet which takes its rise in the north-west part of the parish and because of its entering the vicinity of Dunfermline by passing through the ancient lands and grounds of Baldridge, it here received the name of Baldrigeburn. Baldridgeburn forms a kind of north-western suburb to Dunfermline and is united to it on the south-east by a long, straggling road thinly built upon which proceeds along by the dam to the top of Bruce Street from which it is distant about 600 yards."

Our next photograph shows Baldridgeburn around 1926.

The Annals of Dunfermline recorded the sale of the Baldridge estate: "Baldridge Estate, near Dunfermline, was this year, 1700, purchased by Henry Wellwood Esq, of Garvock. Before the year 1720, he is reported to have cleared £30,000 from the coal alone on the estate."

Such wealth that the estate generated didn’t percolate downwards to the miners employed to work the coal mines, as this report on housing conditions on the Scottish Mining Website shows: ‘"A trench has been formed behind the Rows, which keep the interior a trifle drier than it would otherwise be, and ashes laid in the front, terminating in a tile drain, make the doors tidier than one might expect to find them. The interior of some of the houses, however, is enough to make the boldest hold his breath for a time. Baldridge Row, to state the case frankly, is one of many similar places which should be improved off the face of the earth. In the first house, we are introduced to an old woman of fourscore, living in a single apartment, which is low in the damp-stained ceiling, badly lighted, and altogether miserable. In her young days, she worked in the pits, and is now permitted to sit rent-free. Similar places further along the Row bring a rent, of 8d a week, and two apartments 4s 6d a month. In the second house, the rain finds its way through the roof above one of the beds, and on a recent wet Saturday, the tenant removed her bedding, the sheets being wet. Outside the houses, there are no conveniences of any kind. The Dunfermline water supply is available at Baldridge Row."

The next old colourised photograph shows houses in Jigburn, near where Trenchard Place is today.

Our final colourised photograph shows a row of shops, with the one on the right having the sign ‘Baldridgeburn Post Office’ above it.

More photographs like these can be seen in Dunfermline Carnegie Library and Galleries and ‘Old Dunfermline’ DVDs featuring old images and archive footage of Dunfermline are available at