Kirkcaldy (Cathair Chaladain) is a town and former Royal burgh in Fife, on the east coast of Scotland. It lies on a shallow bay on the northern shore of the Firth of Forth and is the largest settlement between the cities of Dundee and Edinburgh.
The town began as a burgh under the control of Dunfermline Abbey. A harbour built around the east burn gradually led to the growth of the town surrounding the harbour itself, main street and Tiel burn following the demand of trade with the Baltic. Early industries which soon prospered included the production of textiles, nailmaking and salt panning. The industrial revolution of the 19th and 20th centuries proved to be the most famous period for the town which saw the introduction of linoleum. Originally developed in the town as floorcloth, this was quickly dominated by the Nairn's but did not become popular across a worldwide scale until the beginning of the 20th century.
According to the recent population estimate (2006), the town is believed to be around 48,108 making this not only the largest town in Fife but also in terms of population. The town also falls under the wider Kirkcaldy and Mid-Fife Local Plan area which has an overall total population of around 180, 220.
Today Kirkcaldy is a centre for the surrounding areas, with a public art gallery, two public parks, shopping facilities and the annual Links Market, Europe's longest street fair. The town is twinned with Ingolstadt in Germany.
The earliest written form of the name, from the Charters of David I in 1128, is as the shire of Kircalethyn, with subsequent forms including Kircaldin, Kirkaladinit, Kerkalethin and the earliest close approximation to the current name, as Kircaldy, appearing in 1250.
Kirkcaldy has long been nicknamed the "Lang Toun" (Scots for "long town") in reference to the (later a ) main street of the early town, depicted so on maps as early as the 16th and 17th centuries.
A reference to Kirkcaldy as a "villa" in 1182 is the only indication that century that it was by then thought of as a town. In 1304 the abbot of Dunfermline requested of King Edward I of England (Scotland being under occupation in this period) permission to hold a weekly market and annual fair (the latter the basis of the modern Links Market) in this "most ancient of burghs". In granting this right a year later the king though termed Kirkcaldy simply a "manor". Burgh of barony status was granted by Robert I between 1315 and 1328, under the control of the abbey.
Kirkcaldy harbour was acknowledged for having "a sheltered cove round the East Burn", thus giving easy accessibility for boats. By the early 16th century the vessels of the harbour had begun to engage in trade with the Baltic, later dealing with the import of grain in 1618 and continental beer in 1625. A shipbuilding trade also existed on the site until this was phased out temporarily in 1645. The success led to the growth of the burgh, surrounding the harbour, Main Street and Tiel (West) burn, commented on by Thomas Carlyle. During his stay he described the town as being "a mile of the smoothest sand, with one long wave coming on gently, steadily, and breaking into a gradual explosion beautifully sounding, and advancing, ran from the South to the North, from the West Burn to Kirkcaldy Harbour, a favourite scene beautiful to me still in the faraway".
Royal burgh status was problematic with the loss of the original charter, which had been noted in the conventions of royal burghs in 1582. However, it is noteworthy that Charles II granted Kirkcaldy royal burgh status in 1644, leaving nine acres of land to the town suitable "for dying and bleaching of linen, drying of clothes, recreation and perpetuity".
Although difficult times ahead threatened to beset the development of the town, local support for the Covenanting War (1644–65) led to the death of over 250 men. The burgh was also deeply affected by the Highland Jacobite rebellion invading the town on two occasions during the 18th century on 1715 and again in 1745–46.
As Kirkcaldy bowed into the 19th century, the arrival of the railway saw the town develop into an industrial powerhouse—reviving the use of Kirkcaldy port, which had a severe setback during the mid–17th century. The harbour was catering for the growing trade of imports of flax, timber and hemp and exports of coal, salt and linen cloth, when a decision was made to build a new wet dock and pier from 1843–46. The subsequent demands for linoleum and coal led to a further extension from 1906–08 in the form of an inner dock.
Kirkcaldy became a centre for both iron founding and linen manufacturing—specialising in coarser material (i.e sail cloth). Linoleum was first introduced by the Scottish Linoleum Company (later Barry, Ostlere and Shepherd), thanks to the expired patent of Frederick Walton in 1877. Although Nairn's have since became the famous name of the cloth as well as world producers. Other industries such as coal, pottery, flour, malt, printing, light electrical engineering and even furniture manufacturing flourished. Carpets whose production concided with linoleum were also made here in the town for a brief time by the firm Victoria Carpets until they moved their production to Kidderminster in 1901. The Nairn's were later philanthropists bequeathing land for public and commercial use, over the course of several decades, as a good deed to the citizens of Kirkcaldy with examples such as two public parks (Beveridge and Ravenscraig) and a museum, art gallery and library complex.
During the time of the industrial revolution, the burghs of Pathhead, Linktown, Gallatown and Sinclairtown officially merged into the royal burgh of Kirkcaldy in 1876. The population of the town now stood at 20,000. By the time of the census in 1891, the population grew to nearly 30,000, making this now the largest place in Fife, in terms of population. Another population increase by 1950 saw the town up to nearly 50,000—which included the merge of Dysart following a private act of parliament in 1930.
After the Second World War, many new housing estates both residential and private (Raith, Muttonhall, Templehall and Sauchenbush) were built in the town to conceive the housing crisis being felt. The population for a while looked to maybe increase to between 55,000 and 60,000 by 1970—however this never materialised considering the town's once proud industries were starting to decline during the 1960s. This particularly included the shock closure of Barry, Ostlere and Shepherd as linoleum was starting to die out in favour of carpets. The population of the town did indeed fall to 46,000 by the 1981 census. The loss of employment also slowly led to the permanent closure of Kirkcaldy harbour in 1992. Despite many efforts to bring new jobs to the town and employment being allowed to dwindle at the few remaining firms, the town has long had high unemployment. Kirkcaldy continues to function as a busy town with many bus and road routes, modernised secondary schools; with two campuses of the Adam Smith College and prime shopping facilities in the town centre and Sinclairtown. The long running tradition of the links market—commonly known as "Europe's longest street fair" remains as popular as ever loved by young and old. The town is also increasingly becoming a site for more housing anticipated over the 20 years particularly in locations to the east and south-east of the town.
During the early 15th century, the interests of Kirkcaldy became monitored by a chosen group of burgesses until the passing of an act by the Scottish Parliament encouraging this system to be scrapped in 1469. The town of Kirkcaldy was awarded royal burgh status in 1644 but the position of lord provost was not in place until 1658 (although the duties were completed by bailies, councillors and magistrates for the time being). The seal of the coat of arms was later introduced by 1673 which bore the town's motto Vilgilando Munio (I guard by watching) used to represent the royal burgh of Kirkcaldy until the passing of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 and County Planning (Scotland) Act 1972 put an end to the royal burgh status in 1975. Although there was a desire to spilt Fife into two, this was replaced by the three-tier authority with Kirkcaldy District Council under Fife Regional Council to serve the surrounding areas. The town is now under a single tier authority—Fife Council, based in neighbouring Glenrothes.
The intial role of Kirkcaldy's Town House was the home of the district council before being reduced to the administrative headquarters for the central region of Fife Council in 1996 which it still functions as today.
Kirkcaldy is one of 32 unity authority areas of Scotland. Since the May 2007 elections, the Kirkcaldy area has been divided into three multi-member wards with eleven councillors who sit on the Fife Council committee.
Kirkcaldy is within the Kirkcaldy Scottish Parliament constituency, the Mid Scotland and Fife electoral region of the Scottish Parliament (at Holyrood) and the Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath United Kingdom Parliament constituency (at Westminster).
The Kirkcaldy Scottish Parliament (or Holyrood) constituency created in 1999 is one of nine within the Mid Scotland and Fife electoral region. Each constituency elects one Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) by the first past the post system of election, and the region elects seven additional members to produce a form of proportional representation. The seat is currently held by Marilyn Livingstone for Labour.
The Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath United Kingdom Parliament (or Westminster) constituency created in 2005 when the previous seat, Kirkcaldy was abolished elects a Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom by the first past the post system. The seat is currently held by Gordon Brown (the PM for the UK) for Labour.
Kirkcaldy is located on a bay facing southeast onto the Firth of Forth, along a sandy cove. The town is located in the Midland Valley of Scotland between the major cities of Edinburgh and Dundee away. The town is triangular in shape with relatively low-lying ground being a feature to the south-west near Invertiel and to the east of Boreland. Agricultural land in the vicinity of Kirkcaldy supports cereals, grass, potatoes, field beans, other vegetables and roots. The soil derives from Carboniferous limestone and Old Red Sandstone gravels and raised beach sands. The town's national grid reference is NT275915.
Areas in and around the town centre at 50 feet above sea level contain clay, sand and gravel while the majority of Pathhead, Ravenscraig Park and older parts of Dysart at 100 feet contained sandy gravel and shaley soil. The highest piece of ground in the vicinity of the town, west of the Raith Estate at 500 feet, contains hard volcanic ash while to the north of the estate (Sauchenbush and south-east Chapel) are dolerite rock outcrops. An area to the south-west of the town, south of the Raith Estate and Invertiel, is practically impossible to build houses upon because of the thin drift and being full of basalt fragments. A 25-foot raised beach to the west of the High Street (a result of sea level changes 5 to 10 000 years ago) is likely to have heavily influenced Kirkcaldy's mediaeval form and development.
Kirkcaldy developed as a linear settlement stretching along the sandy cove between the Tiel Burn in the south and the East Burn to the north. More recently as the town has developed north the settlement shape is more triangular in form.
Following the Second World War, the first development plan approved in the mid-1950s was to support a proposed increase in population of between 55,000 and 70,000 by 1970. Areas in the town such as Gallatown, Sinclairtown, Pathhead and Linktown would also be susbquently re-developed. This saw new housing developments in the north and west sides of the town built by the private sector, the SSHA (Scottish Special Housing Association) and the then Fife County Council. Much of this land was suitable since it contained no man-made or natural barriers. This partnership played a pivotal role in the distribution of ownership ratios to the west of the town and in the owner occupied Dunnikier Estate. The town was to maintain a reputation for having a good mix of both private and public housing and having more smaller scale residential developments including land that applies to availability returns. The construction of the first multi-storey flats in the town began in the late 50s with the completition of Viewforth followed by Ravenscraig during the mid-60s.
The features of housing styles of imported English bricks, tiles and horizontal picture windows can be seen in the Templehall, Longbraes and Dunnikier parts of the town when this was cheaper in the current state of the economy at the time. Later, housing styles in Redcraigs, Blackcraigs and other parts of Templehall as well as ones to the west of Oriel Road built during the 1970s were of Scottish origin showing dark roof tiles, lightly coloured rendered walls and windows.
A local plan replaced the first development plan in the early 80s, under the Town and Country Planning (Act) Scotland 1972 and Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 when they put an emphasis on district councils to do so. This new plan dealt with highlighting areas for local authorities, private organisations and individuals while looking at the availability and best use of greenfield sites around the town, although brownfield land within Kirkcaldy was also considered.
New housing developments were focused towards the south-west (Southerton, Raith) and north-west (Capshard) of the town. The 1980's Local Plan also promoted the upgrading of many roads within and surrounding the town including the completion of the Thornton-by-pass (Kirkcaldy-Glenrothes Road) in 1980 and East Fife Regional Road (A92) in 1990—which the latter saw the town finally connect to the motorway system bringing viable growth and new development.
Another local plan developed in the early 90s aimed to regenerate Kirkcady by creating new employment opportunities in the north of the town and facilitating the creation of a variety of housing types and conditions. A major objective was to improve the state of residential areas by promoting suitable development land within the town. The majority of new housing was development by private developers in the south-east (Seafield) and north-west (Chapel Farm site) of the town. The new local plan also allowed the towns first out-of-town shopping facilities to be developed, conveniently located adjacent to the new A92 junction at Chapel.
|Over 75 years old||8.57%||7.46%||7.09%|
According to the 2001 census, Kirkcaldy has had a total population of 46,912. A recent population estimate of Kirkcaldy has been recorded at 48,108 in 2006. The town also falls under the wider Kirkcaldy and Mid-Fife Local Plan area which includes Glenrothes, Levenmouth, Cowdenbeath and Lochgelly has an overall total population of 180,220.
The demographic make-up of the population is much in line with the rest of Scotland. The age group from 30 to 44 forms the largest portion of the population (22%). The median age of males and females living in Kirkcaldy was 37 and 41 years respectively, compared to 37 and 39 years for those in the whole of Scotland.
The place of birth of the town's residents was 96.52% United Kingdom (including 87.15% from Scotland), 0.28% Republic of Ireland, 1.18% from other European Union countries, and 1.86% from elsewhere in the world. The economic activity of residents aged 16–74 was 40.13% in full-time employment, 12.17% in part-time employment, 4.79% self-employed, 5.68% unemployed, 2.57% students with jobs, 3.06% students without jobs, 15.70% retired, 5.51% looking after home or family, 6.68% permanently sick or disabled, and 3.71% economically inactive for other reasons. The number of children living in low income families is 46% within the constituency of Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath. Compared with the average demography of Scotland, Kirkcaldy has low proportions of people born outside the United Kingdom but has higher proportions for people over 75 years old. The most deprived areas of the town are Templehall and Valley regarded as the 7th in the SIMD indicators for Fife.
A local plan which looks forward to 2026 says that the Kirkcaldy and Mid-Fife area will need at least 6,730 more houses to keep the population stable. There is expected though to be a 0% growth in population issued by the Housing Market Area (HMA). The urgent need for more housing alongside the SEA (Strategic Environment Assessment) was the result of the Environment Assessment of Plans and Programmes (Scotland) regulations in 2004. The main areas of growth will be seen to the east and south-west of the town coinciding with the 20-year plan by SLA (Scottish Land Allocations).
Many people in the town are employed in the service sector, particularly MGT (call centre), which has been hailed as a market leader in customer management and is now the largest private sector employer in the town. Other employers include: Forbo Nairn (floorcloth coverings), Adam Smith College, ESA McIntosh (school furniture manufacturers), Victoria Hospital and Kingdom Bakeries (food and drink) . There are nearly 21,500 people employed in the town, representing 16% of employment in Fife. Unemployment in Kirkcaldy is above the national average at 4.9%.
Kirkcaldy has, however, been recognised as one of Fife’s strategic development areas. This is aimed at addressing the chronic shortage of jobs in Kirkcaldy and the high levels of unemployment in the town. The long anticipated extension to the John Smith Business Park, due to open in early 2009, is hoped to improve the economy of the town and Central Fife. There is also a proposal for a new business park, situated to the east of Kirkcaldy near the Kingslaw development, although this has not officially started yet.
Kirkcaldy's town centre has always been focused on the High Street, which runs parallel with the coast, stretching from the historic harbour in the north-east to Nicol Street in the south-west. The centre which is labelled a conservation area contains many vibrant buildings for both civic and commerical purposes. These include a town house; a sheriff court; a railway station; two college campuses and a museum, art gallery and public library complex.
Historically the town had a wealth of family owned businesses which attracted people from across Fife and outside the county to visit the town. The town still has the main shopping area in Fife and currently the largest provision of all of the council area's town centres. The central portion of Kirkcaldy's High Street was pedestrianised in 1991 between Whytescauseway and Kirk Wynd. A number of major retailers have outlets here with The Mercat Shopping Centre and The Postings Shopping Centre both in the vicinity. A Kirkcaldy development plan, under proposals laid out by Kirkcaldy Renaissance, has been promoted for town centre regeneration. This should include an extension to the town's Mercat Centre, a hotel and a multiplex cinema.
The Kirkcaldy Art Gallery and Museum, donated in 1925 (by Nairn's benefactor, John Nairn the grandson of Michael Nairn), contains a notable collection of paintings by the Scottish Colourists and a permanent display of the town's industrial heritage. The Adam Smith Theatre (initially known as the Adam Smith and Beveridge Halls) was opened in 1899 by Andrew Carnegie as part of a memorial fund left in the will of Michael Beveridge to preserve the legacy of Adam Smith on the 100th anniversary of his death. The theatre is currently the base for musical companies and organisations such as KADS (Kirkcaldy Amateur Dramatic Society), KAOS (Kirkcaldy Amateur Operatic Society), the local Gilbert and Sullivan group and of course, the annual Fife Festival of Music which gives an opportunity for Fife's best musicians and choirs to highlight their talent. The famous Links Market sited on the Promenade every year, widely claimed to be "Europe's longest street fair" began as a farmer's market in 1304 before moving to Sands Road (later to be known as the Promenade) in 1903. It's 700th anniversary was celebrated in 2004.
Notable literary and artistic people associated with or hailing from the town include Adam Smith, Robert Adam, Sir Sandford Fleming, John Buchan, O. Douglas and in recent years Ian Rankin, Val McDermid, Jack Vettriano, Prime Minister Gordon Brown (himself a writer), Professor Duncan Glen, Professor Tom Hubbard, Professor William Walker, Christopher Smout and Maureen Sangster.
Historical landmarks in the town include three main former big houses being Path (initially known as Dunnikier) House (dating from 1692), Raith House (dating from 1694) and Dunnikier House (dating from 1790). Other main features include the A-listed Flemish influenced Sailor's Walk largely reconstructed by the National Trust of Scotland between 1954 and 1956; Hunter House—initially St Brycedale—built by George Heggie in 1786 from a possible design by Robert Adam and 339/343 High Street—now known as the Merchant's House—built by the Law Family around 1590 considered by many to one of Scotland's finest buildings. Although now referred to as a ruin, Ravenscraig Castle remains a dominant feature to the east of the town best known as one, if not the first in Scotland for artillery defence to withold cannon fire. The castle began around 1460 for the memory of James II—when he ironically died in a tragic accident with a loaded cannon, near Floors Castle—by his wife, Mary of Guelders as a dower house. After the death of his widow in 1463 the castle was acquired by James III in 1470 who quickly sold it to Lord Earl of Caitness in an exchange deal. As the new owners, the Sinclair family held onto the castle until 1896—even during an invasion by Oliver Cromwell in 1451. The present owners, Historic Scotland have allowed free public admission into the castle since 1971.
Kirkcaldy is home to professional league teams in football, rugby and ice hockey. The senior football team are Raith Rovers, who play their matches at Stark's Park. The club was established in 1883 and currently play in the Scottish Football League Second Division. In 1902, Raith became the first notable Fife team to be elected to the Scottish Football League. They had some glory in the 1990s, particularly when they won theScottish League Cup in 1994 by defeating Celtic on penalties in a Final played at Ibrox Stadium. This cup win meant that the club qualified for the UEFA Cup, where they reached the second round before eventually losing to Bayern Munich. During 2008 the club is celebrating its 125th anniversary with a new sponsor and shirt as preparation for the new season. Kirkcaldy YM are the town's only junior football team, who have just resumed their place in the East Region, Central League after pulling out in the season of 2007/08 due to a lack of players. Rugby Union is dominated by Kirkcaldy RFC who have been established since 1873 and were known for playing at a ground near the top of Nicol Street, before a permanent move was made to Beveridge Park in 1991. Fife Flyers are famously known as the oldest existing Ice Hockey club in both Scotland and the UK—with a tradition of recruiting Canadian players since the Second World War—where their home is still at the Fife Ice Arena (initially Kirkcaldy Ice Rink) in Gallatown.Bowling is also present with many private and municipal clubs, but the most famous is Kirkcaldy Bowling Club established in 1858 on the former grounds of Osbourne House.
Motor racing was once a popular event, with the annual Scottish road races—Kirkcaldy being a pioneer in this field as the first place in Scotland to stage this—taking place in the Beveridge Park from 1948 until 1988 where they have since moved to Knockhill racing circuit in Dunfermline following health and safety concerns. A local club known as the KDMC (Kirkcaldy and District Motor Club) dedicated to preserve the legacy of the town's sport are still going strong. Kirkcaldy also had their very own cricket team, founded in 1856 but have since disbanded.
The town's leisure facilities include a variety of public parks most notably Ravenscraig and Beveridge, an ice rink and two golf courses—Kirkcaldy (private) and Dunnikier (municipal). The latter being built in 1963 as a response to the loss of Dysart golf course. There has also been pressure to replace the town's aging swimming pool, which has been met with controversy. The local sports council believes that funding should be directed towards building a new multi-sports centre instead, in order to improve the disrepaired state of the town's leisure facilities.
The town's local newspaper The Fife Free Press operated by the Fife Free Press group (who are based in the town and also own the Glenrothes Gazette and East Fife Mail) is published every Thursday.
The Courier and advertiser, a daily newspaper operated by D. C. Thomson & Co. Ltd, also serves the Kirkcaldy area in their Fife edition.
The three local radio stations that serve the town are Kingdom FM, Forth one and Forth two. Kingdom FM operates on 95.2 and 96.1 MHz. This station broadcasts from the former Haig factory in the village of Markinch located immediately east of Glenrothes and operates as a local radio network. Forth One broadcasts from Edinburgh and covers the south Fife area, including Kirkcaldy. It operates on a wave length of 97.3 MHz(FM). Forth 2 sister station to Forth One operates on a wave length of 1548 kHz (Medium Wave).
The first grammar school established in 1582 was known as Kirkcaldy Burgh School, relying on help of the minister, Dr David Spens. The school initially struggled to find premises with pupils being taught in the minister's house to start with. The school managed to occupy premises on Hill Street before being replaced by a new grammar School on St Brycedale Avenue in 1843, later upgraded as a "higher class school conspicious by its history and excellent results" by 1872. Notable students of the burgh school include both Adam Smith and Robert Adam. Kirkcaldy High School has since relocated to a new building on the former land of the Oswald's of Dunnikier in 1958.
Many other educational facilities operated in the town until the late 19th century included: girls schools; subscription schools; apprentice schools and Philp Schools (from 1830). The latter being known to educate as many as 400 children and to provide all necessities such as books and clothes coming from a trust deed started by Robert Philp—a local linen manufacturer. The school system, however was revolutionised with the passing of the Education (Scotland) Act of 1852, which would now enforce all children to receive a school-based education from the ages of 5 to 13.
Kirkcaldy now has four secondary schools and eleven primary schools, along with a private school and a school for children with learning difficulties. Balwearie—since acquiring high school status in 1972—has become the most populated school, serving 1750 pupils to the west of the town, including Burntisland and Kinghorn and has recently been acknowledged as one of Scotland's best performing Schools. Viewforth—which acquired high school status in 1980—has the smallest intake of the four with only 375 pupils in the east of town including Dysart. While, St Andrews is the Roman Catholic High School for the eastern half of the county. Adam Smith College, formed from the merger of Fife College and Glenrothes College have two campuses in the town, St Brycedale and Priory. The University of Dundee also has a presence in the town with a nursing and midwifery campus.
Kirkcaldy is served by the A92 which connects the town to Glenrothes A911 and Dundee to the north and Dunfermline A907 to the west—which the latter coincides with the M90 motorway leading to the Forth Road Bridge and Edinburgh. Other main roads such as the A915 (Standing Stane Road) from St Andrews; A955 from Leven and East Wemyss and the A921 from Kinghorn/Burntisland/Aberdour all meet in the town.
The main bus terminus is Kirkcaldy Bus Station which operates twelve stances; seating area and a hairdressers unit with these services dealt by Stagecoach Fife. A railway station can also be found to the north-west of the town centre which is on the route for Fife Circle Line and National Express East Coast. The station has half-hour services to both Dundee and Edinburgh Waverley. Other services run from locations such as Perth, Aberdeen and Inverness to the north and Newcastle Central, York, London King's Cross south of the border. Nearby stations such as Burntisland and Kinghorn exist to the west of the town.
The nearest major international airport is located at Edinburgh airport, 26 miles to the south of the town, only taking a good 35 minute drive. The nearest ferry sea port is much closer located at Rosyth, 17 miles to the south-east of the town, only taking a good 20 minute drive.
Some famous sons of Kirkcaldy are: "the father of modern economics" Adam Smith (1723–90); "Demarcator of Standard Time" Sandford Fleming (1827–1915); one of Scotland's most famous architects, Robert Adam (1728–92); linen manufacturer and philanthropist, Baillie Robert Philip (1751–1828); missionary to South Africa, Dr John Philip (1775–1851) and first European explorer of Australia, John McDouall Stuart (1815–66). These names have all been acknowledged in Kirkcaldy's Town House, all for the exception of Robert Philip. Although, in the last decade, two further names have been added: poet, diarist and author, Marjorie "Pet Majorie" Fleming (1803–11) and floorcloth later linoleum manufacturer, Michael Nairn (1804–58).
Other notable people from Kirkcaldy include Governor-General of Australia, Ronald Munro-Ferguson; David Steel, the former leader of the Liberal Party; Dr Lewis Moonie, MP for Kirkcaldy 1987–2005; twice World darts champion Jocky Wilson; co-founder of the Scotsman newspaper, John Ritchie Findlay; the father of the Adam Brothers and architect, William Adam (1689–1748); John Thomson (1909–1931) and professional footballer and Scottish international Colin Cameron. The journalist and author Val McDermid as well as the Coldplay bassist, Guy Berryman and the first female judge of the Supreme Court of Canada and the Court of Appeal for Ontario, Bertha Wilson (1923–2007) also come from the town. Other people who were brought up in the town include the current Prime Minister, Gordon Brown; owner of Fife pottery, Karel Nekola; minister of Bethelfield (now Linktown) church Reverend Robert Shirra and author John Buchan.