Kirkcaldy, Ma Hame Toun
(My Home Town)
Today's Kirkcaldy is a surprising place. There are many fine buildings in the centre, and parts of the main street now form an attractive pedestrianised shopping area. Meanwhile, although the charms of a traditional harbour are no longer on show, Kirkcaldy's broad Esplanade is a reminder that this is a seaside town. It is also the location of the Links Market, Europe's longest street fair, held here every Easter.
Kirkcaldy the name is an oddity. Beginning with "Kirk" you'd normally expect it to be named after the presence of a church and one theory is that it refers to a church of the Culdee sect of early Christians. More likely, however, is that it comes from caer-caled-din meaning "fort on the rocky hill".
Two unique photographs of the village of Chapel, where the Tavern was the focal point.
Here you can see Ian pointing out the name Norval still visible after all this time to Al Norval from Canada a few weeks ago. If you are coming to Scotland for a holiday contact Ian for a tour of Chapel Brae.
Ian and Al having a dram.
Frans and Dorothy Forster with Frans sister Poppie Swart.
Ian and the present day owner Jimmy Stirling
Ian attends the Scottish Caseta at Fuengirola showing his famous whisky to the world.
Sensible Scotch Whisky
Facts are chields that winna ding,
Norval's Whisky is the thing,
A wee drap tane in bus, or train,
Will neither hurt the heart or brain.
This truth found both the wife and me,
As we visited Chapel, to have a look see,
We dropped into Norval's half up the brae,
We had a few drinks and a chat as we'd lots to say,
He brought up names of a long past year,
As he served the best whisky and real good beer,
And along with it all, his real Scots cheer,
And here's hoping we'll again meet in a couple more year.
Norval's tavern half up the brae,
Is a very good place to make a stay,
No matter what part ye may be frae,
He'll entertain ye while ye have your stay.
Tha whisky he sells it's the very best,
His beers and ales, will stand the test,
And you can drink, while you do rest,
As happy as any bird in it's nest.
In Chapel village near Kirkcaldy in Fife,
Where my wife spent most of her girlhood life,
In one of Norval's houses she did dwell,
And lots of stories she did tell.
After 40 years absent far over the sea,
We took a trip home in Chapel to be,
We saw the smithy, the school, and the pub,
And met Mr Norval, who as host is no sub.
Tha whisky he sells it's the very best,
And running doon the burn, which is still the same,
But though changed, Chapel looks the same,
To remind her of her childhood hame.
We visited him in 1949,
And all my life never had a better time,
We talked of everything along the the line,
And had another for Auld Lang Syne..
We enjoyed our visit did we two,
And not a thing had we rue,
We had to say good-bye the noo,
But we'll be back again in 1952.
Patterns of Life
We met; we married - a long time ago,
We worked long hours when wages were low;
No TV, no wireless, no bath - times were hard,
Just a cold water tap and a walk down the yard.
No holiday’s abroad, no posh carpet on the floor,
But we had coal on the fire and we didn't need to lock the door;
Our children arrived, no pills in those days,
And we brought them up without State Aid.
They were quite safe to go and play in the park,
And the old folk could go for a walk in the dark;
No Valium, no drugs no LSD,
We cured most of our ills with a nice cup of tea.
But if you were sick you were treated at once,
Not fill out the form and come back in six months;
No vandals, no mugging, there was nothing to rob,
And we were quite rich on a couple of bob.
People were happy in those far off days,
Kinder and caring in so many ways;
Milkmen and paper boys used to whistle and sing,
A night at the pictures was our mad thing.
We all got our share of trouble and strife,
And we just had to face it - the patterns of life;
But now I’m alone and look back through the years,
I don't think of bad times- the troubles and tears.
I remember the blessings our home and our love,
And that we could share them together,
And thank God above.