In the 1800s, Aberdour, a sleepy village on the Firth of Forth, was revived when it was 'discovered' as a retreat for sea-bathing and restful holidays. When day-trippers in their hundreds spilled out of excursion steamers, it wasn't so peaceful. As a residential village nowadays, it is a quiet, douce wee place again, but one that still appeals to the type of visitor who appreciates the atmosphere that first brought 'strangers and sea-bathers' to this part of the Fife Riviera. Dalgety Bay couldn't be more different. A 1960s private enterprise 'new town', Dalgety Bay is though a new town with surprising links to the past from the medieval through the wartime years to the present era of rapid change. Incorporated in the town since the 1980s are the inland villages of Hillend and St Davids Harbour. The latter was once a busy wee port as the outlet for coal from nearby Fordell carried there by a railroad dated back to the eighteenth century.
Eric Simpson acted as historical consultant for the BBC Grand Tours of Scotland programmes. He has written many books for Amberley. He lives in Fife and has an extensive collection of Scottish seaside memorabilia.