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Lochgelly Miners' Welfare and Institute - geograph.org.uk - 107201.jpg
Lochgelly Miners' Welfare and Institute
Grid reference: NT186936
Location: 56°7’41"N, 3°18’40"W
Population: 6,834
Post town: Lochgelly
Postcode: KY5
Dialling code: 01592
Local Government
Council: Fife
Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath

Lochgelly is a small town in Fife, sitting between Lochs Ore and Gelly to the northwest and southeast respectively. It is separated from Cowdenbeath by the village of Lumphinnans. According to the 2007 population estimate, the town has a population of 6,834.


From the 1830s until the 1960s Lochgelly was a mining town. With the industry now dead the town has slipped into economic and social deprivation as with other former mining towns. Lochgelly is now classed as town in need of regeneration "economically and socially" and has the cheapest average home price in Britain.[1]

Lochgelly, as part of the old parliamentary constituency of West Fife, was known as "Little Moscow" up to the 1950s owing to its Communist political leanings.

An area of Lochgelly was known as the Happy Lands (or Happy Valley)[2] and is referenced in the folk song 'The Kelty Clippie'.[3]

The town is served by Lochgelly railway station on the line between Edinburgh and Markinch.


In the 1970s new investment was brought in the form of a factory and development office built by the Andrew Corporation. This created microwave antennae under the banner of Andrew Antennas, symbolised by a red lighting flash on the dishes they made. These dishes were primarily for commercial and military usage. The firm located at the end of "The Avenue" on the south-east side of the village. Adjoining fields were used for testing new equipment.

Lochgelly is also the home of the most reputed firm that produced tawses, John Dick (Saddlers), and was hence a synonym for that typically Scottish device for corporal punishment.

Gelly Loch

The town derives its name from the nearby body of water, Loch Gelly. The name comes from the Gaelic Loch Gheallaidh which, loosely translated, means 'Shining Waters' or 'Loch of Brightness'. Land around the loch is owned by Wemyss 1952 Trustees.[4]

The loch was once a very popular spot for the local community and was used on a regular basis for water skiing up until the early 90s. Since then the loch has not been used for water sports.


  • Football: Lochgelly Albert FC junior club
  • Motor Racing: Thunder Valley Raceway, a quarter-mile oval racing track just outside the town.

Big Society and Big Government

To tackle issues of multiple deprivation in the town various organisations such as the Coalfields Regeneration Trust have been given funding monies to distribute locally via community based groups such as social enterprises, charities and voluntary groups.[5]

The Lochgelly Community Development Forum (LCDF), until early 2011 known as the Lochgelly Community Regeneration Forum, is a voluntary group representing the interests of the local community and providing a forum for raising local issues with the Council. The LCDF publish a 2 sided glossy newsletter, The Voice, which is delivered to every home in Lochgelly. This replaced a full magazine, designed for free by a locally based not-for-profit Social Enterprise (Subliminal Directions), now closed.

Lochgelly has a Community Council, with monthly meetings.

Mooth O the Yooth, is a local non-profit group, managed by and for local youths, with support from Fife Council workers, community wardens and community police officers. The 'Moothies' aim to provide and set up activities for other youths in the area. Activities and successes include arranging the 'Bairns Ball' (a youth disco), which is held on a monthly basis in Lochgelly. The Moothies obtained a Youth Shelter (an open steel construction, similar to a bus shelter, with a seating area and roof to provide some shelter), located at the bottom of Lochgelly Public Park. The shelter has since been vandalised.

In January 2010 'Loch of Shining Waters', an online not-for-profit community platform, was launched. It allows members of the local community to publish articles about Lochgelly, raise issues of concern and find out more about local issues.

The Royal Oak Community Club provides affordable venue hire for many smaller groups in the local community, such as the Lochgelly Community Council, dance groups and meals for the elderly but the work they do is currently in a limited capacity due to the restrictions of their facilities. Having recently achieved charitable status and social enterprise status they plan to redevelop their building with a complete upgrade of facilities. During the refurbishment works they will be seeking temporary premises for the Lochgelly community to use.

Outside links