Few bits of work being carried out during the restoration project caused as much of a stir as the disappearance of the well-loved locomotive and the announcement that the park was set to welcome more peacocks!
Pittencrieff Park’s popular locomotive train made a welcome return after being absent from the park for two years in October 2013 and now has pride of place in a prominent park position!
As part of the park’s Heritage Lottery Funded restoration project the locomotive was refurbished by volunteers from Shed 47 Railway Restoration Group, at the Scottish Vintage Bus Museum, Lathalmond. Railings and steps will now be installed for it to open again soon.
Coal mining in the park dates back to the 13th century when monks were known to mine coal in the areas around the glen. Some of the past owners of Pittencrieff House also had links with the coal industry. The Coal Road which runs along the western side of the park was the main link for coal from the mines to the north of Dunfermline down to Limekilns and the Forth Estuary.
The first decorative train to represent these links was donated by the National Coal Board to Pittencrieff Park in 1968. In 1988 the original train was removed from the park to be upgraded and brought back into use at Summerlee – the Museum of Scottish Industrial Life in Coatbridge.
It was replaced by the current ‘Pug’ from Bilston Glen Colliery where it sat at the north east side of the Glen Pavilion for many years, becoming a popular feature of the park for parents and children to visit and play.
The ‘Pug’ was built by Andrew Barclay Sons & Co Ltd at Caledonia Works in Kilmarnock in 1934. It initially operated as No.9 with Edinburgh Collieries Ltd before moving around considerably to other Collieries in Central Scotland during which time it was renumbered to No. 29.
By 1973 the locomotive was out of use and rusting at Bilston Glen having been replaced by modern diesel shunters. It arrived in Pittencrieff Park for preservation in 1988.
Historically Dunfermline’s peacocks have been allowed to roam freely throughout the town and it is our aim that the peafowl will always have food and shelter back at their sanctuary in the park. The sanctuary was upgraded in 2014 to allow more peafowl to join the infamous Clive!
Clive, our longest serving peacock, was joined by another peacock and some peahens.
In 2014 his first new friend arrived and she was named Louise, after Louise Carnegie, the wife of Andrew Carnegie.
Local school children were asked to name new peafowl that joined us more recently and the names chosen were:
Malcolm, for the Indian Blue peacock, named for Malcolm III, King of Scotland from 1058 to 1093 (also known as Malcolm Canmore)
Sapphire, for the Indian Blue peahen, named for the brilliant blue gemstone.
The peafowl are very good foragers and will eat many natural foods such as insects, worms, sees, fruit and plants and sometimes other eggs and small birds! They are provided with food and water but they do not rely on it as there is such as plentiful food supply in the Glen.
***We are sad to report that Clive passed away in July 2017. Unfortunately Clive had ongoing health problems which he was being treated for however in July 2017 he was taken to the vet who diagnosed an infection which was too severe for Clive to survive.***