Leslie, A Busy Town - a Memory of Leslie.
I have lived in Leslie since 1948, was born in St Andrews where we spent the war years. After father was demobbed he returned to working in the gas industry and through hard work he was appointed gas manager in Leslie, hence my Leslie connection.
1950 was the year I started work as an apprentice draughtsman with the De La Rue Co at Strathendry Mill. I was 15 years old. At that time there were plenty of jobs in Leslie with three large mills providing work not only for Leslie but for the surrounding area as far afield as Lochgelly and Leven. This period was probably the best time in Leslie with plenty of shops catering for all the necessities in life. At that time there was a tennis club, cricket club, bowling club, curling club and of course the golf club which was established in 1898, I joined the golf club in 1954 and have enjoyed every minute. We also had a YMCA which catered for the youth, there were five billiard tables in Leslie. There was a very good bus service to Kirkcaldy which we apprentices made use of to go to night school at Kirkcaldy Technical College, we would normally go three evenings a week and for that we always bought a five day return for 2/6d which is 12 1/2pence in todays money, wow how things have changed.
The change from Leslie Burgh Council to Fife Council has in my opinion done any favours for Leslie, in the 50's there were faces to names, now all we have are faceless people sitting in mission control at Glenrothes.
I feel Leslie has a long way to go to get the community spirit that I notice in some other towns in the area, although our town hall has been re furbished, it is a wee bit away for some people to travel, people do not travel so well today as they used to, people would think nothing of walking the length of the town.
We have a proud history in Leslie with our connection to Leslie House which once was the second most grand residence in Scotland after Hollyrood Palace, it is now a shell and looks like it will never be restored to a habitable building any time soon.
We also had a few benefactors, one in particular was Charles Anderson who was responsible for the establishing of the golf club, the town would also benefit in many ways from Charles and not just the fact that he provided employment for many families in Leslie.
A memory shared by on Jul 18th, 2012.
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