Railway Tavern

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Fife - Kincardine

Three star - A pub interior of exceptional national historic importance

Listed Status: C

16 Forth Street
FK10 4LX

Tel: (01324) 552398

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At the end of a row of cottages, this small, friendly pub is an amazing survivor. 200 years ago it is thought to have served drovers bringing their livestock south to market. Until the coming of the railway in 1893, it was called the Ferry, which related to a crossing on the Forth about 100 yards away, taking people across to Higgins Neuk. The lettering above the door – ‘J Dobie Licensee’ – is the only outward sign that this is a pub. It refers to Janet Dobie, the mother of Ronnie Dobie, the present, fourth-generation owner. Three rooms are in public use (a fourth is now a store), all very simply appointed. Two of them have working bell-pushes connected to an annunciator box in the corridor. Here also are the remnants, in the ceiling, of what are said to be hooks from which drovers slung their hammocks. On the left is the public bar, one of the smallest in Scotland: the seating consists of metal framed seats originally constructed by Alexanders, bus builders of Falkirk. Listed in 2008 as a result of survey work by CAMRA.
An amazing survivor: 200 years ago, this tucked-away terrace pub (clearly under a different name) served drovers bringing their livestock south. It would have presented much the same plain appearance as it does today, as the only sign that this a pub at all are words above the door, 'J Dobie Licensee'. The Dobie family - present owner and publican, Ronnie - is said to be the longest-serving family licensees in Fife. Inside is one of the smallest public bars in Scotland, and two other rooms, just one of which is in regular use. Enter down a passage with its partitioned wall, hatch, shelf for passageway drinking and working bell-box.

The door on the left leads to the tiny public bar, where there is a bar counter at least 60 years old with a Bakelite top. The back gantry consists of homemade domestic shelves of miscellaneous provenance, and there is a small 1930s cast-iron fireplace with Art Deco detailing. Seating consists of just four double seats originally constructed by Alexander's bus builders of Falkirk; there is just one oblong table with well-worn Formica top and cast-iron base.

The front right small room with '2' on the door has a decorative pink cast fireplace from the 1930s, half-height panelling, a five-legged table and you can press the bell for table service. The rear left room with '3' on the door contains an antique decoratively carved table and another working bell-push. The fourth small room at the rear with '1' on the door is now used as a storeroom.
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