the cold new town
Not much to report today. Preparations for my Glasgow trip are complete, at least the essentials – flights, hotels. I’m going to attend the Stuart Adamson tribute concert at the Barrowlands hall, which is where Big Country had quite a few successful gigs. All that remains is for me to see what else is happening in the 3 days I’ll be there, although I may take a side trip to Edinburgh and Dunfermline.I was last in Dunfermline, my home town, about 8 years ago, when I visited Edinburgh to look around Edinburgh University. I had an offer to study Computer Science there, but was unable to take it up, since I could not afford to stop working. That was my first visit to Dunfermline since I was 6 years old, but I still remembered my way around, and even walked along the route I took to school. Not long at all, now, but when I was 6 it meant taking a bus, being a bit much for my wee legs.
One of Big Country’s famous songs, Chance, has the line “a cold new town”, and I know Stuart Adamson must have been referring to Dunfermline as it has been in the last century – a light industrial town with little character. It’s not quite the Milton Keynes of Scotland – that honour goes to East Kilbride – since Dunfermline played a pivotal role in Scots history. It was once the residence of Scots royalty, much as Windsor is to London, and Robert the Bruce was buried there. The wide Forth river between it and Edinburgh gave it some exclusivity and privacy.
Dunfermline is also famous as the home of Andrew Carnegie, who later moved to the USA and eventually controlled the first steel company in Pittsburgh. After he sold it to JP Morgan, becoming the richest man in the world, he then devoted his life and money to philanthropy. Whenever you hear the name Carnegie in the USA or Scotland, his money was behind it – for example, Carnegie Hall, Carnegie-Mellon University, etc. The Carnegie Corporation is still helping people today.
You can read a full book on Dunfermline here.