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.

Noticing the details: Snapshots & Sketches

I have spent some initial quiet exploratory time with the collated work done by eight local artists for the Snapshots and Sketches project at Maker. I wanted to heed the selection, giving it some space to reveal the artists’ engagement with the themes of past, present and future. I noticed many delightful details, and captured some images to share. The work will remain in-situ in Maker now so it can be viewed from Thursday – Saturday 11am-5.30pm. Please feel free to share your thoughts on the work below.

The work has been developed in progress towards motifs which will be integrated in upcoming public realm works throughout the town centre, taking inspiration from Inverkeithing past, present and future. It is being developed by members of Inverkeithing Arts Initiative and commissioned for the Inverkeithing Heritage Regeneration project, funded by Historic Environment Scotland, National Lottery Heritage Fund, and Fife Council.  The project, running 2019-2024, is being delivered by Fife Historic Buildings Trust.