Another one of my mathematical mystery tours, this time on the Northern shores of the Firth of Forth. It is less than a mile from the start to the finish of the clues. Park in Ravenscraig Park car park at the coordinates above.
The Boy in the Train
Whit wey does the engine say 'Toot-toot'?
Is it feart to gang in the tunnel?
Whit wey is the furnace no pit oot
When the rain gangs doon the funnel?
What'll I hae for my tea the nicht?
A herrin', or maybe a haddie?
Has Gran'ma gotten electric licht?
Is the next stop Kirkcaddy?
There's a hoodie-craw on yon turnip-raw!
An' seagulls! - sax or seeven.
I'll no fa' oot o' the windae, Maw,
Its sneckit, as sure as I'm leevin'.
We're into the tunnel! we're a' in the dark!
But dinna be frichtit, Daddy,
We'll sune be comin' to Beveridge Park,
And the next stop's Kirkcaddy!
Is yon the mune I see in the sky?
It's awfu' wee an' curly,
See! there's a coo and a cauf ootbye,
An' a lassie pu'in' a hurly!
He's chackit the tickets and gien them back,
Sae gie me my ain yin, Daddy.
Lift doon the bag frae the luggage rack,
For the next stop's Kirkcaddy!
There's a gey wheen boats at the harbour mou',
And eh! dae ya see the cruisers?
The cinnamon drop I was sookin' the noo
Has tummelt an' stuck tae ma troosers
I'll sune be ringin' ma Gran'ma's bell,
She'll cry, 'Come ben, my laddie',
For I ken mysel' by the queer-like smell
That the next stop's Kirkcaddy!
by Mabel Campbell Smith, from Dumfries, who was born in 1869. The poem was first published in 1913.
Kirkcaldy has a history stretching back to the 11th century. It was the birthplace of the economist Adam Smith in 1723 and also of the architect Robert Adam. Kirkcaldy became an industrial centre in the 19th century and was the first town to use the power loom, which revolutionised the weaving industry. Fortunately the ‘queer-like smell’ from the Kirkcaldy linoleum factories has now gone.
R is Ravenscraig Castle.
N56 07.174 W003 08.540
Ravenscraig was started in March of 1460 by James II. He wanted a castle that could withstand the latest guns then available. Its landward face is made up mostly of two massive D-shaped towers linked by a range containing the main door. This is set in the wall high above the deep moat cut directly into the rock. The west tower is assumed to be the Queen Mary of Gueldres's residence after the death of James II. Mary died at the castle in 1463. Ravenscraig remained unfinished until 1470, when James III forced William Sinclair, Earl of Orkney, to take Ravenscraig in return for Kirkwall Castle. It’s not wise to refuse such an offer from a king. It was held by the Sinclair Earls of Roslin, who completed the castle and inhabited it until 1650. During the 1650's Ravenscraig, like so many other Scottish castles suffered some damage from Oliver Cromwell's army. By the 1800's the castle was being used as a quarry and was stripped to build cottages and walls locally.
From this vantage point you will see great views out to sea, as well as a ruined part of a wall with a window. Count the number of metal posts set into the ruined walls on both sides of the window. Answer = A
I is for Interesting Detail.
N56 07.238 W003 08.361
A sign tells you that an oak tree was planted here on B9th June 19B9
D is for Desirable Doocot.
N56 07.197 W003 08.288
Next to the 16th century doocot is a locked gate with a view out to sea. Count the number of round bars in the gate. Answer = C.
D is for D***, FoF Is Making Us Count Blasted Stones Again!
N56 07.159 W003 08.080
The walls built around the beach were instigated by a local laird to stop miners walking along the shore to work. Apparently the masons employed to do this anti-social work, returned at night to destroy their own work, and the walls were not finished until about 1900. How many stones make up the doorway entrance in the wall to the secret beach? If you stand on the beach side the stones are more clearly defined. Answer = 1D
L is for Lovely Lampposts.
N56 07.376 W003 07.453
A 20m tunnel, created to allow carts to pass to and fro, leads you to picturesque Dysart harbour. Dysart was created a Royal Burgh in 1587 and here you can visit ‘Pan Ha’, a 17th century fisher house and walk the quaint streets to St Serf’s Tower, a battlemented church tower. Dysart has an old-fashioned appearance, and many ancient houses in High Street bear inscriptions and dates. The chief industries were the manufacture of bed and table linen, towelling and woollen cloth, shipbuilding and flax-spinning. Coal was also exported. In smuggling days the ‘canty carIes’ of Dysart were free traders. Nail-making is another extinct industry. During the time of the alliance between Scotland and Holland, Dysart became known as Little Holland.
Find a white anchor on a Dysart Sailing Club building. There are two letters and numbers beside it KY 8G.
There are some lampposts around the harbour area. Most of them are rather ornate, but several have been replaced with modern versions, unfortunately. Count all of the lampsposts and subtract 1 from this number to obtain EF.
Now walk up the steps at the back of the harbour at N56 07.417 W003 07.464. Go to N56 07.332 W003 07.502 How many benches are set into the wall as you descend the steps? Answer = H.
E is for End of the Riddle.
N56 07.454 W003 07.240
In the 15th and 16th centuries the town was a leading seat of the salt industry (salt to Dysart was the equivalent of coals to Newcastle ), but the salt-pans have been long abandoned. These 16th and 17th century cottages have been restored and they overlook the former salt pans. On a plaque you will see a date that the Queen Mother visited Pan Ha’. It is 16 October 196J.
N56 0 C. D B (A+E)
W003 0 (F+H). H J (G-B)
The final cache is a lock & lock Tupperware container 19cm x 12cm x 7cm. You may have to pretend that you are doing something else, like taking arty photos, if there are lots of muggles about. But the cache will be some distance away from them. There is a FTF certificate for the first visitor. Happy hunting!