The Foundry

A Memory of Auchtermuchty

The smell that came from the foundry... I used to go see my dad and the cold damp stench used to burn your eyes and fill your lungs. The building was cold and damp and yet the heat from the ladles of molten iron would burn your lungs if you got too close. The cherry red metal gave no mercy and it would scare me into thinking this place was hell on earth. I would have dreams where I saw the gates of hell open and there it was that huge ladle full of cherry red molten death.
Yhe very place that aided in the ill health of all who worked there is now the sight of the health centre, how ironic, or is it sarcastic, that the centre of ill health is the same today.
I remember the months my father was off ill with bad lungs, coughing up black silica sand. This is the most profound memory of Auchtermuchty I have. I remember all the foundry lads, Dad included, out at lunch time playing football on the park and coughing their lungs out as they played, they would stop for a smoke to cough some more, then go back to hell. How those men stuck it out I will never know. The hooter would sound and the men would go to the showers to wash off that black muck, having to go up the road to get their wives to clear off the 'stoor' with the appeal and appearence of coal dust from the parts of their bodies they could not reach. Friday was the day Dad would bring home his work clothes to get washed almost as though he was trying to wash it all away for the weekend.
Fife iron works, rest in peace.

A memory shared by Kathleen Litts Dean , on Feb 20th, 2010.

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