A 30-foot tribute to Fife’s coal mining heritage has been unveiled in a former pit community.
The mural, which covers the entire gable end of the White Gates pub in Comrie, was revealed on Tuesday.
The new mural features a miner as well as the pit’s winding towers which dominated the local skyline for decades until it closed in 1986.
Also included in the art is Comrie pit’s ornamental fountain and fish pond, which was thought to be the only mine in the UK able to boast such a feature.
Wull Morris, who has owned the White Gates pub since 1999, said he wanted public art to commemorate miners for a long time before work began.
“Mining is ingrained in the history of Fife, especially in Comrie, and I’ve been trying to find the best way to celebrate that.
“Plenty of my regulars pitched in with ideas and once I’d talked through a few with the artist, the result is what we now have on the side of the pub.
“Comrie was unique and was the only pit to have its own fish pond.
“One of the requirements was that definitely had to be in the finished work.”
And Wull is delighted with the completed art, which cost £5,000 to create.
He said: “It’s everything I wanted and so much more – it’s brilliant.”
Fife’s long and rich mining heritage
Mining in the area can be traced as far back as 1860, while the main Comrie Colliery brought its first coal to the surface shortly after it opened in 1939.
At the time of construction, Comrie was the new showpiece pit of the Fife Coal Company, consisting of two 130m shafts.
By 1948 the colliery was producing 1,600 tonnes of coal per day and employing around 1,000 people.
It later operated under lease from 1964 until its eventual closure in 1986.
The final painting was completed by Glenrothes-based artist Donna Forrester.
Donna’s other public works include mural tributes to Kelty boxer Connor Law and Black Watch soldier Paul Lowe, which adorns Kelty Ex-Serviceman’s Club building.
Overcoming her fear of heights, Donna completed the artwork in under two weeks, painting the entire wall by hand.
Donna said: “Wull and Catherine from the White Gates pub gave me a rough brief that needed to include a miner, the fish pond and the winding towers, so this is what I came up with.
“I designed the scene using a cyanotype colour effect which took 11 days to finish.”
The pub mural, which is visible to motorists as they enter Comrie along the A907, has been given the seal of approval by locals.
Among them is former miner, Alex Moffat, who worked in the Comrie pit for 17 years.
He said: “It’s a fantastic piece of work which will help remind future generations of the mining history Fife is famous for.
“I worked at the pit for 17 years until the day it finally closed down.”