Humbug Pits (Cuttlehill/Fordell)

One 'Humbug', the Humbug (No. 12) Pit was located in Crossgates on the site which became Humbug Park, the football ground for the local football team Crossgates Primrose. It is listed as a pit of the Cuttlehill Colliery in abandonment plans and operated in the mid-late nineteenth century. It is thought to have been around 10 fathoms in depth.

It is thought that an earlier 'Humbug' existed in the Vantage area around Fordell House and Castle. There were a number of small bell-pits near Vantage (see sketch map) and this Humbug Pit may have been working from as early as the seventeenth century.

Click on Sketch Map or Aerial View to Zoom In


Plan of Abandoned Seams for Humbug Pit Pits or Mines designated in Plan
COAL; Splint; Five Feet; Lochgelly Splint (1866) CUTTLEHILL
No. 9; Burn; George; Humbug; North; Wellington


"Dunfermline Saturday Press"
17 March, 1866

On Wednesday, an accident occurred in the "Humbug Pit", Fordell Colliery - the property of Mr Henderson - to James Halket, a miner residing in Crossgates. In consequence of the fall of a piece of coal of about a ton weight, he sustained rather severe bruises on the left shoulder and left thigh. The assistance of Dr White, Aberdour, was obtained, under whose medical treatment Halket is expected to recover. From the same accident, Thomas Muirlaw, also a miner, had his left hand severely bruised.


"Dunfermline Saturday Press"
26 January, 1929

The cries of a cat were heard emanating from the Humbug Pit, a disused shaft sixty feet deep, near Crossgates. Different means of rescuing the animal were tried, but it was only after Thomas Brown, 20 years of age, residing at Dunfermline Road, Crossgates, was lowered by rope to the bottom of the shaft that the cat was brought safely to the surface. The cat had been tied in a bag and dropped down the shaft. ...


"Cowdenbeath Advertiser"
5 September, 1952

Mr. John Potter has just retired after 58 years' service with the Fordell Collieries. Mr. Potter, who was foreman of the screening plant at the Alice Pit, first entered the mines in 1894. He started work at the Humbug Pit, Crossgates. At that time there were no engines in use at the pit. The coal was conveyed in the old type Fordell two-and-a-half-ton wagons and pulled by horses from Crossgates to Fordell sidings and then to St. David's Dock. On leaving Fordell, Mr. Potter was presented with a pocket watch, a pipe, and supply of tobacco by his fellow workers. The gifts were handed over by Cathie Fairley. He is the brother of Mr. James Potter, well-known ex-County Councillor and miners' leader.

See Central Fife Index Entry 'Fordell Pits & Mines' for more information.

Can do with help on the Humbug pits.

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