Friday, 6 November 2015

A Dunfermline divorce and pithead mischief

In the Dunfermline Journal and Advertiser for West Fife 100 years ago this weekend (to be specific the 13 November 1915 issue)

Unfortunately the issue dated 6 November 1915 has not survived so instead I will explore the 13 November 1915 issue over 2 weeks.
A Dunfermline Divorce Case
On Saturday an action for divorce by Mrs Jack, 34 Rolland Street, Dunfermline came before Lord Anderson who granted her decree against her husband with the custody of the child in marriage.  The parties were married in June 1903.  They took up house at Wishaw and afterwards at Dunfermline.  Her husband was in a good position at Dunfermline and before the birth of the child his behaviour was all that could be desired.  Afterwards, however, he remained out at night and when the child was three and a half years old he began to talk about going abroad.  She was surprised as she knew no reason why he should leave the country.  He went away in February 1911 stating that he was going to New Zealand to better himself.  He also said he would make a home for her and her child.  After beig in New Zealand for about six months he went to Melbourne, Australia.  During the first 2 years he was away he never sent her anything for her support and after that he sent her £2 on 2 separate occasions.  Her minister wrote to her husband in October 1914 but got no reply.  She had written to her husband's employers in Melbuorne but no reply came back.  After the summons in the action had been served on the defender in April of this year she had received two letters from her husband.  He complained about her writing to his employers and said what was not true - that on two occasions he had sent her £5.  In one of the letters he said he was coming home on 25th April.  She had not heard from him nor in her knowledge had he come home.
Pithead Mischief
In Dunfermline Juvenile Court on Monday a Lumphinnans lad of 13 years of age admitted having on 25th inst on the red bing at No 1 Pit, Lumphinnans wantonly and maliciously caused two empty hutches to run down the hutch road in consequence of which one of them derailed and the other endangered another load and collided with hutches at the pithead.  He was put on probation for 4 months.  
[Some extra information! A hutch was a receptacle in which coals were conveyed from the pit face.  Production commenced at Lumphinnans No 1 pit in 1852 and it closed in 1957.  The average workforce was 182.  The peak workforce was 202 and the peak year was 1951]. 

Tune in next week to see what happened in Dunfermline next week 100 years ago ..........

Blog written by Jacqueline Hunter of Ancestral Research by Jacqueline, Dunfermline, Scotland. Please email me at if I can help you with your family history research.

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