Coming Soon: A Book About Letham

Haystacking in the field with The Row in the background. (taken 1905)

This Autumn, Letham’s acclaimed author and historian Donald Dallas will publish a limited edition book on Letham. Only 50 copies are planned and demand is expected to be high. More information will appear on this website. heres a wee taster…

“Letham is a very ancient village dating back well over one thousand years. Although some 17th /18th century buildings remain, the Letham that we know today was all built in a relatively short period, 1800-1820 by the Earls Of Leven and Melville including
the West End, The Row, the pub, the village hall,the school and the church.

Until the 20″ century, Letham was a self-sufficient village with two farms, three schools, three pubs, five shops, a village hall, a post office, a bakery, a brewery, a saddlery, a blacksmith, joiners, Shoemakers, dressmakers, doctor and so on.

This book gives a detailed history of many of the houses and businesses as well as the lives of several of the inhabitants from the Baronet of Letham to The Monimail Hermit. There was nothing “sleepy” about the village of Letham, from resurrectionists at Monimail Cemetery in the 1820s to an infamous murder at Whinny Park in 1830, to being bombed twice during World War Two. The Crown Inn was in business for 130 years and the Letham Fair was a major cattle market. The brewery produced local “TB” beer and Storrar’s Emporium purveyed a panoply of provisions. The social life was full with the Free Gardeners Hall full to overflowing even though it had no toilets right up until its closure in 1955.

Letham even has its very own tree, the Deodar Cedar. The Hon. William Leslie-Melville from Melville House entered service with the East India Company and discovered this tree in the Himalayas in the 1820s. He brought back seeds to London and the nurseries at Melville with the result that the Deodar Cedar is an established tree in Great Britain.

Melville House played a very secret role in World War Two being the headquarters for the Auxiliary Units, soldiers trained in guerrilla warfare if the country was invaded. S.O.E. agents were also trained there. The men from the parish who gave their lives in both world wars have been researched in detail so “their names liveth for evermore”. This book has 115 photographs most of which have never been published before dating from the 1880s to the 1960s.”

Well that’s Christmas sorted!

“Melville Ming” Update

Our local MP, Stephen Gethins, has been pursuing the operators of the Landfill site for some explanation as to the foul odours emanating from Melville Landfill Site. The response he got was,

Service manager John Conaghan: “We are currently arranging for an additional 17 gas wells to be installed within Phase 4 (the most recently completed cell). The flanks of the cell are capped, and we should recommence with the capping of the crown cell once the spring weather is here and we receive more sub-soils to allow us to do this.

We did meet with SEPA recently, and discussed our programme of works with them, and I believe they are planning to liaise with the community.”

He went back to ask him to clarify as this sounded a bit like what he had said last February. Response below.

“The 17 proposed gas wells are in addition to what was installed previously. Normally, we’d wait until the full capping layer was in place before installing these, but have decided to install them earlier to assist with addressing any odour issues.

“The shaping of the waste mass has been completed, and some emplacement of sub-soils has taken place, but this latter aspect is not fully complete. We are dependent upon the availability of sub-soils, and discussions have taken place with our colleagues in Property Services re. any projects they are involved in that may generate the materials we require. It is looking promising that we’ll get some materials from the Madras school project later on this year, and we’ll be trying to source sub-soils from other parties in the interim.”

“I trust the above clarifies the situation, but should you have any further questions then do not hesitate to get back to me.

If you have any further queries you can contact Stephen through his constituency office at

38-40 Bonnygate, Cupar, Fife, KY15 4LD

Tel: 01334 657765

Animal Welfare Consultation

We have been asked to circulate details of a Government consultation on proposals to strengthen the enforcement of animal welfare legislation by;

  • increasing the maximum available penalties for certain animal cruelty offences (including offences involving attacks on service animals);
  • enabling secondary legislation to be made that will allow Fixed Penalty Notices to be used in relation to lesser animal welfare offences; and
  • making it easier for approved bodies to quickly make the best arrangements for animals after they have been taken into possession to protect their welfare.

to take part follow this link

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