That queer like smell

That queer like smell
The boiling of Linseed oil for making the linoleum cement was the cause of the smell from the factories. Many factories were around the railway lines which go through the town, hence the smell when approaching by train; this prompted the poem, by Mary Campbell Smith.
The Boy in the Train
Whit wey does the engine say Toot – toot ?
Is it feart to gang in the tunnel ?
Whit wey is the furnace no pit oot ?
When the rain gangs doon the funnel ?
What’ll I hae for my tea the nicht ?
A herrin’, or maybe a haddie ?
Has Gran’ma gotten electric licht ?
Is the next stop Kirkcaddy ?
There’s a hoodie – craw on yon turnip – raw !
An’ sea – gulls ! – sax or seeven.
I’ll no fa’ oot o’ the windae, Maw,
It’s sneckit, as sure as I’m leevin’.
We’re into the tunnel ! we’re a’ in the dark !
But dinna be frichtit, Daddy,
We’ll sune be comin’ to Beveridge Park,
And the next stop’s Kirkcaddy !
Is yon the mune I see in the sky ?
It’s awfy’ wee an’ curly.
See ! there’s a coo and a cauf ootbye,
An’ a lassie pu’ in’ a hurly !
He’s chakkit the tickets and gien them back,
Saw gie me my ain yin, Daddy.
Lift doon the bag frae the luggage rack,
For the next stop’s Kirkcaddy !
There’s a gey wheen boats at the harbour mou’.
An eh ! dae ye see the cruisers ?
The cinnamon drop I was sookin the noo
Has tummelt and’ stuck taw ma troosers……
I’ll sune be ringin’ ma Gran ‘ma’s bell,
She’ll cry, “Come ben, my laddie.”
For I ken mysel’ by the queer like smell
That the next stop’s Kirkcaddy !
Linoleum is still made in Kirkcaldy today.


  1. I used to visit my grandmother’s sisters in Kirkcaldy. One of her brothers was a founder member and played for Raith Rovers. So many memories.

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