Linton Lane Centre History
People of a certain generation may remember when the centre of Kirkcaldy looked very different. Long vanished areas with names such as Rose Street and Quality Street are probably unheard of by most of the town’s younger generation. But it was on Quality Street, which was situated just off Nicol Street, adjacent to the area roughly between Ava Street and Halley’s court that in 1923 a small tin hut housed a local football team known as The Kirkcaldy Liberty Boys.
This group with their humble headquarters came to the attention of local architect George Deas in 1926 who with a combination of vision and philanthropy decided to incorporate them into the National Association of Boys Clubs. His aim was all round fitness for the youths involved which included spiritual fitness in the form of a weekly Bible class. After establishing what became known as the Kirkcaldy boys club Mr Deas then decided that a more suitable venue was needed. After approaching the Kirkcaldy Rotary Club with the proposition of realising new premises for the fledgling club, the sum of £1000 pounds was raised in just two weeks and a new location was acquired in the now also long vanished Rose Street in February 1927.
Rose Street for those of us who don’t remember it used to run from the High Street to the prom between Tolbooth Street and Charlotte Street. The club along with the entire street was demolished in 1966 to make way for the Mercat shopping centre and once again the Boys Club was on the move.
Members of the former Rose Street Boys' Club on a float in the Kirkcaldy Pageant in 1966.
On April 13 1966 Lord Elphinstone, president of the Scottish Association of Boys Clubs officially opened the clubhouses new purpose built premises in Linton Lane where it has stood ever since. By this time Mr Deas had been retired for 10 years and had been replaced by James Raitt who would go on to run the place successfully for another 30 years overseeing a change of name in 1993 to a more inclusive “Linton Lane Centre” reflecting the aims of the club’s committee to focus on the entire community.
Kirkcaldy Boys' Club members Neil and Paul Arnold celebrate the centenary of the Forth Rail Bridge by painting a huge mural which went on to be displayed in the Royal Bank of Scotland in Kirkcaldy.
Now presently managed by Mandy Henderson, the centre is still a hub for much of the areas social and educational groups and widely regarded as “The heart of the community”.
Norman Clarke, Noleen Raitt (wife of James Raitt) and Mandy Henderson accepting a tapestry created by Sandy Elder commemorating the Centre's 50th anniversary in 2016.