Snapshots & Sketches – layers of a townscape

Once upon a could have been: Inverkeithing’s townscape, buildings and layers of history

Donna Sinclair

Donna’s blog post differs from the other because her small sketch of a Janus head, inspired by her childhood memory of a small statue on the roof of the townhouse, became the key element of all of the interpretations. Her interest in this, and in the Inverkeithing witch trials, will be carried forward into further projects with Inverkeithing Arts, but the main body of work she created for the project has somewhat taken on a life of its own!

Donna and her family are from the area, and she has an interest in history which far predates this project. She was drawn to old photographs and illustrations of the buildings and streets of Inverkeithing and surrounding area, and began to piece together the sometimes opaque history of the physical lay-out of the town. Its easy to spend many hours looking at old photographs, which pre-date some demolition or re-build or other and try to work out ‘where on earth is this’. For Donna this became a labour of love for her home town. Not only did she look and wonder, she sketched and drew what she was uncovering.

As she wrote in one of her sketchbooks, this work was a cry for ‘once upon a could have been’ for a town which has not been particularly valued since its heyday. Unlike Culross, chosen as a ‘history town’ despite it once being within the legal boundary of Inverkeithing, Inverkeithing’s heritage was poorly preserved for many years, unrecognised and often changed beyond recognition. With this current heritage regeneration, hopefully at last the importance of its townscape will be recognised.

Donna’s exquisite style has garnered her many admirers, and she is currently working with the Inverkeithing History Society for the ongoing Burgh Survey project. We’ll post updates on this here as it progresses.