Sunday, January 17, 2010

Beveridge Park

Happy New Year to all who follow our blogsite. And welcome to our new member in the photo above. No, not the one with the beard and the hoodie! We had 2 new walkers actually - Joe and Winnie and we hope they'll walk with us again. As the weather has been a bit unreliable we decided to stay close to home for our first walk of the year. Ten walkers started at the church and walked down Salisbury Street, stopping to see the progress of the new building at Dunnikier primary school and hearing from Mary that there has been a 1914 newspaper found in the old gym hall which is being demolished. That would be fascinating to read. Along Balsusney Road and passing Bennochy Cemetery, Lorraine explained that the first railings on the cemetery wall were removed during the war and used to make artillery. These new ones were painted by none other than her husband, the ubiquitous Brian Fairful who seems to have painted in every toon in Fife! We came down past the Museum and Library and through the memorial gardens which, even in winter look lovely and well-kept and our council gardeners got a bit of praise here. Moving along Abbotshall Road we kept in twos so there were 5 conversations going on at once! At Abbots Mill, Dianne reminded us of Bennochy Mills which used to stand there, built for N Lockhart Linen Works in 1865 and closed in 1985. At Beveridge Park gates we read the plaque which tells that it was the wife of Provost Michael Beveridge of Beechwood who donated the park to Kirkcaldy. Beechwood, now a nursing home for the elderly, stood to the north of Bennochy Cemetery. It was Irene who had this piece of local knowledge. Lorraine was equipped with Kirkcaldy civic society's books about Beveridge Park and filled in any gaps in our knowledge, and it was she who took us on the wee detour to see the Wizard in our photo. We all rather took a shine to him.
Dianne took us on another, unintentional, detour but it turned out to be a nice walk through the woods where we happened upon what we thought might be Datie Mill and the Spanish house? which most of us had never seen before. Moving on, we had to cross Boglily Road to reach Raith Lake, which you might just be able to see by the photo, had been completely iced over, but today as it is very pleasant has started to thaw. There were patches of ice throughout the woods however and we did have to take care. Up on dry land we wandered through the Raith housing estate and back onto Abbotshall Road again past the gates which used to be the entrance to Raith estate and the walled garden. We were all wrapped up prepared for a cold day but as usual we were blessed with beautiful weather and so we were all overheating by the time we reached Beveridge Park Hotel where we enjoyed our cups of coffee. Conversations there ran from keeping fit to kirk business and it was good to hear different points of view.
The Union of our church with St Andrew's is drawing ever closer and it was heartening to hear and feel the acceptance of change in our wee group. We decided that as we won't be called St John's Walkers in future we should propose new suggestions and take a vote on the best of these for our new name. Anyone from St John's or St Andrew's interested in our group, whether they walk or not, can make their proposal to Hilda over the next 4 -5 weeks.
Back at the church we said our blessing once more before going our separate ways and I'm sure we felt differently today, for the change is on everyone's mind. But as I write this an old gospel chorus comes to mind.
“Yesterday, today, forever,
Jesus is the same.
All may change, but Jesus never!
Glory to His Name!

Reassurance, as aye.