A loved old friend of Pittencrieff Park in Dunfermline has made an ‘historic’ return to her rightful location after a two-year spruce-up.
The famous locomotive engine – or pug – has been proudly refurbished by volunteers from Shed 47 Railway Restoration Group, at the Scottish Vintage Bus Museum at Lathalmond.
The old train, a former operational engine for a coal mine, is a recurring feature in thousands of family, school outings and day trip memories and photograph albums right across Scotland.
The engine was removed to be restored in 2011 and re-affirms the areas coal-mining links.
Cara Donald, Urban Park Ranger for Pittencrieff Park said: “It’s great that we can offer it a new and more prominent location in the north east of the park, on the grassed area between the Louise Carnegie Gates and the Glen Pavilion.
“Whilst the train had already left when I took up my post here as Urban Park Ranger, I hear from a lot of visitors about how popular it was. I look forward to seeing people of all ages enjoy it once more, now that it’s back and looking better than ever!”
Pete Westwater from Shed 47 Restoration Group said: “Originally we were asked if we knew of someone who could undertake the repainting of the Glen Pug. However with the facility we have at the Scottish Vintage Bus Museum we offered to undertake the job provided we could have the loco delivered to us so that the work could be undertaken under cover in our workshop.”
The Coal Road which runs down 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By 1973 the locomotive was out of use and rusting at Bilston Glen having been replaced by modern diesel shunters.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.