Dunfermline Mills

Today I went in search of old silk mills in Dunfermline.
But all I found was a pile of rubble.

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At its peak in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, linen production in Fife employed over 11,000 workers and 34 of the 188 Scottish mills were situated in Fife. The decline set in after WW1 and continued with the development of cheaper man-made fabrics. In the 1930s mills began to close and by the of the 1930s, for eg, only three out of the original ten mills remained in Dunfermline.
In the 1930s some of the linen mills changed to silk production and during WW2 made parachute silk. The last linen/silk mill in Dunfermline closed in 1989. One mill was bought by Dunlop Rubber Co to produce cotton tyre cord but that ceased production in 2005.

Today, the mills are mainly being converted into flats or being demolished and rebuilt as … flats.

Units of the Polish Army were in the Dunfermline region throughout WW2. Some soldiers were billeted in or near one of the silk mills but I’m not absolutely sure which one, Winterthur or Castleblair, I think.  And as usual the story goes they were much admired by the local women who found their clicking of heels and kissing of hands all rather charming!

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~ by marysia on 15 April 2011.

One Response to “Dunfermline Mills”

  1. You may wish to know that it was Dunfermline silk that was used to make Her Majesty the Queen’s wedding dress in 1947, and that the Swiss consululate in Scotland was based in Dunfermline for many years (since the Winterthur company owned the silk mills – the greatest interest Switzerland had in Britain at the time). The wedding dress was restored as part of the diamond jubilee celebrations and can be seen in the Palace.

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