Snapshots & Sketches – Inner Bay

Searching for the Lazaretto: Inner Bay, Pinkie Well and mud-skating across generations.

Karen Delaney

featured image: the Janus interpretation of Karen’s work

“The muddy surface (of Inner Bay) presents a wretched contrast to the scene when the tide has returned and is at its height. One day soon going home from school with bag on back, I turned up my trousers as far as they could go, and started across from the bottom of the manse garden in the direction of Pinkie well. When nearly halfway over my imagination became possessed by the idea of bogs and the bottomless pit; and it seemed the same if I tried to turn back or proceed. I kept on my way, and got out at ‘Pinkie’, and there washed my little shanks in the pool at which cows were watered, none the worse, and less disposed to repeat the feat.”

‘Reminiscences of childhood at Inverkeithing, or, Life at a Lazaretto’ 1882, by James Simpson, b1826

Karen Delaney ‘Dad skating across Inner Bay with his brother, Inverkeithing 1950s”

Karen was intrigued by ‘the Lazaretto book’ which can be read here , and in particular she explored the topography and geography of Inverkeithing’s bay, and the position of the buildings. She runs the local cafe, situated near the top of The Mill Brae, a pathway from the high street to the bay and harbour. Her work in the community, especially for older Inverkeithingers, is well known and appreciated.

Karen’s family are from the area, and she found a delightful parallel between the story of James’ fearful skate across the mud flats in the 1830s, and her dad and uncle’s stories of skating there in the 1950s.

Karen is also interested in locally produced food and foraging, and has a knowledge about local sites where wild plants can be collected.


The Alchemist’s Forge – Hand-Forged Silver Jewellery

The Alchemist’s Forge has a studio in Inverkeithing, overlooking Ballast Bank Park and out to the Firth of Forth. A beautiful setting for a gorgeous studio and the place where this stunning hand-forged sterling silver jewellery is created, inspired by the bonnie lands of the north and her creatures and trees.


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We’re delighted that The Alchemist’s Forge will be joining us for the second time at one of our Makers Markets. Their raffle prize will be a studio voucher – a day working with Sam in her beautiful studio, and taking away at the end of it a piece you have hand made yourself. We think this is a great idea and a fantastic prize! Raffle Tickets will be available on the day of the Makers Market, £1 for a strip of 5, until the prizes are drawn at 4pm. What a great chance to win this fantastic creative opportunity!