Poetic Writing of ROBBIE KENNEDY BENNETT © www.rkbpoetry.co.uk Born in Wolverhampton of English and Scottish parentage. He grew up on the Rough Hills Estate area of the town and his Scottish ancestral roots are in the Kingdom of Fife and Dundee. The author is now residing in Codsall, Staffordshire. Drawings, pictures and writing are copyright of the author Robbie Kennedy Bennett. Poems and pictures related to walking the Fife Coastal Path between May 2007 and May 2008. Not only a coastal walk but the experience of treading where ancestors before have worked, lived and breathed. WHEN I WALKED TO LEVEN. THE FORTH RAIL BRIDGE. THOMAS JOSEPH HARRIS. WHAT DO I REALLY SEE? ABERDOUR GREETS ME KINDLY. A FRIENDLY FIFER SAID "HELLO." DID ALEXANDER KENNEDY WALK THIS WAY? STEPPING INTO A SCOTTISH STRATHSPEY. IAN UNDERSTANDS. A GLIMPSE OF GOLD IN KIRKCALDY. THE SILVER TRAIL TO CRAIL. ST ANDREWS I'M ON MY WAY. THE COURAGE OF THE RNLI. FROM THIS WINDOW FIFE I SEE.

PART EXTRACTS FROM MY E-BOOK 'WULFRUNIAN FOOTPRINTS IN FIFE' available on Amazon.

The picture that interested the 'Tay' shirt manufacturer.


© Robbie Kennedy Bennett

part extract;
When I Walked To Leven ©

I arrived at the Forth Bridge at the break of dawn,
On May 14th on an early morn.
By the 15th I’d walked into Leven,
On paths and beaches and trails uneven.
No dismal clouds were brewing a wee shower,
I saw silver sands at Aberdour.
Edinburgh I viewed from Lammerlaws,
Castle ruins by rocky shores.
The bluest sky I had ever seen,
Over Burntisland way beyond Aberdeen...



© Robbie Kennedy Bennett



THE KINGDOM GREETS ME A SCOTTISH ‘GUID MORNIN’,
‘OW BIN YER?
CAME THE BLACK COUNTRY REPLY.

In the early spring of 2007 I was feeling the desire of a new challenge while there was still enough life left in me having past my 53rd birthday. My football and marathon running days were well past because of dodgy aging knees. A medical verdict a few years back described the problem as ‘excessive wear and tear’. By now life had moved on from my sporting competitive days and my wife and I were now grandparents for the first time.

All my sporting years had been based in the midlands and I prided myself on running many of the local marathons in the mid 1980’s. The Wolverhampton Marathon was on my calendar a few times as were Sandwell and Birmingham. Many roads around the Black Country were in my training programme and my A-Z at the time was well marked out with mile marks for my reference. The Black Country Bugle has printed many poems of mine over the years portraying my affiliation to the midlands. The last poem that was printed was called a Wulfrunian Way which describes in verse my family roots on my moms side. Carl Chinn also featured this poem in the Express and Star during Christmas 2006 calling it a ‘cracking poem Rob’. He was true to his E mail by printing it with a picture of St Peters church overlooking the old outside market. Carl described it has capturing Wolverhampton how he and his family feel about Birmingham. Kind words from a man who is passionate about local history.

I had recently regretted not going to my dad’s birthplace when in my sporting days. This resulted in a poem of mine I Should Have Played For Ladybank Violet. Ladybank is a village in the Kingdom of Fife where my dad grew up and the Violets are a local amateur football team. Often when visiting my roots in Fife I had noticed the Coastal Path stretching the 82 miles from the Forth and Tay bridges. I began to believe this could be an opportunity of a suitable challenge and to balance the books of my parental divide. The walk can be done in stages so I started to make plans for at least 2 days.

On the evening of Sunday 13 May at 7.45pm I set out from my home in Codsall for a leisurely night time journey, resting on route to Scotland. The weather through the night was poor until I had got past the Lake District. I eventually arrived in Fife driving over the Forth Road Bridge at 5.00am on Monday morning. The magnificent sight of the Forth Rail Bridge in North Queensferry greeted me not long after dawn.
I parked my car at the railway station and at 5.30am and searched for the start of the Fife Coastal Path. My plan was to get to Burtisland, 13 miles along the coast where I had booked 2 evenings bed and breakfast.

To be completely honest I struggled to find the start of the path and at 5.30am in the morning there wasn’t anybody in sight to help. When in the middle of a short panic attack the sign of the coastal path was there before me, as if to say, ‘here I am, open your eyes’. Well I was a bit tired having not slept a wink but off I went, into the unknown. I had talked about doing the walk for weeks so there was no going back.



When I walked To Leven © Robbie Kennedy Bennett






Within a short while of walking the coastal path there was many a magnificent view when I looked back to the bridge.

© Robbie Kennedy Bennett








Property of RKB

part extract;
Thomas Joseph Harris ©

You must have visualised the manufacturing construction,
Advancing young man beyond toiling day introduction.
How many summers had passed since your day in school?
Secure in class at your desk on a bench or stool...



Thomas Joseph Harris © Robbie Kennedy Bennett














The view of the south coast of Fife from Edinburgh Castle that I walked along on the way to Leven. We had spent a few days in Edinburgh and the view to Fife fascinated me. Little did I know that a few years later the coast that I could see would attract me so much.


WHAT DO I REALLY SEE? ©
by Robbie Kennedy Bennett

How many miles can I see?
From the castle standing on high.
I see the coast of the Kingdom,
And the Lomonds in a cloudy blue sky.

I see the Isle of Inchkeith,
And the sun shining down on Pettycur Bay.
The green hills near Aberdour,
Clouds in all shades of grey.

As I'm looking north across the Firth of the Forth,
What do I really see?
I see the road to the Tay this cloudy bright day,
I see Fife that's inside of me.




What Do I Really See? © Robbie Kennedy Bennett






part extract;
Aberdour Greets Me Kindly ©

In every forward step I feel I’m walking back,
Into the land of unknown past.
I sense some kind of welcome,
Has the Kingdom accepted this man at last?....







part extract;
A FRIENDLY FIFER SAID "HELLO." ©
by Robbie Kennedy Bennett


Mid-day in May in Burntisland,
Absorbing the warmth of the weather,
Fife and I were alone together.
The sun made it all worthwhile,
After a treacherous journey,
Many a lonely rainy wet mile...



A Friendly Fifer Said "Hello."© Robbie Kennedy Bennett

Property of RKB
The Isle of Inchkeith from the Beach House, Burntisland.
www.thebeachhouse.org.uk/index.html





Property of RKB


part extract;
Did Alexander Kennedy Walk This Way? ©

Maybe, perhaps, I wonder,
Alexander was here on Pathhead sand.
At Ravenscraig Castle high over the shore,
About the year 1864.
Did he walk like me, by the sea?
Down steps to the waters edge of this land,
Alexander, I have a stone from Pathhead sand.



Did Alexander Kennedy Walk This Way?
© Robbie Kennedy Bennett




© Robbie Kennedy Bennett


Raith Rovers FC

© Robbie Kennedy Bennett


Property of RKB




When walking into Buckhaven on Tuesday lunchtime approaching 30 miles of the Coastal Path I noticed a war memorial. As always I took time to read the names of those who fell for our freedom. On top of the monument that stood at least 25 feet high was a statue of a kilted soldier standing proud with the Firth of Forth in the background. I couldn’t help but notice the surname of Anderson a few times. This a name that is on both lines of my Bennet and Kennedy Fife roots.

In the Bull public house in Codsall is a customer named Ian Jenkins. Although not ever been a serviceman himself he is from a military family. His father served in the X11 Royal Lancers, and he had uncles in the Royal Engineers and the Staffords to name just a few. Ian’s ability to recite chapter and verse of regiment accounts and battles staggers me.

As I spent a few minutes on route to my next stop at Bayview, East Fife Football Cub, I read the names and regiments of the fallen. I thought of Ian as I was doing so and imagined he would do the same. As I walked away I thought of a poetic verse and put pen to paper.


Property of RKB


Ian Understands © Robbie Kennedy Bennett


Bayview home of East Fife Football Club.

© Robbie Kennedy Bennett







Property of RKB

part extract;
A Glimpse of Gold in Kirkcaldy ©

A wee glimpse of the gleaming of gold,
In Kirkcaldy the morn is about to unfold.
Awaking natural sense,


A Glimpse of Gold in Kirkcaldy
© Robbie Kennedy Bennett





The Trail From Leven to Crail


I instantly noticed the view of the sunrise in Kirkcaldy and pulled my car over to stop and take some pictures. It was just past 6.30am and what a magnificent scene, it was then that I knew it had been worth the long night drive from my home in Codsall, just outside Wolverhampton.

It was early on Sunday morning 16th March 2008 when I arrived back in the Kingdom of Fife to walk the second stage of the Coastal Path.




Property of RKB

part extract;
THE SILVER TRAIL TO CRAIL ©
by Robbie Kennedy Bennett

Silver shone o’er the Forth from under a blanket of grey,
This morn in March, the last time I was here it was May.

Early once more by the sensuous shore
Onward I gather my trail,
Twenty so miles over sand steps and styles
Walking from Leven to Crail...




Property of RKB





I passed through Lower Largo, the birthplace of mariner Andrew Selkirk who inspired Daniel Defoe to write Robinson Crusoe.

Property of RKB


The following day before breakfast in my B&B in Leven I strolled down to the sea front where 24 hours earlier I had arrived and started to walk. I noticed the offices of East Fife Mail and visited them later in the morning. Reporter Scott Inglis and I conversed via e-mail that week. The day previous to my arrival East Fife FC had became 3rd Division champions. Scott had included my poem Fifers Day 1938 in his story about me. See that poem on page Footie Poems and on the website Football Poets.


EAST FIFE MAIL, April 2008.
Read the report at the link below.
www.fifetoday.co.uk/east-fife-mail-news/Wolverhampton-wanderer-muses-on-coastal.3926209.jp

PICTURE BRiTAIN, I had noticed that a verse of my poem THE SILVER TRAIL TO CRAIL was in an article of the East Neuk, Fife on Picture Britain's website. Only recently have I found that Picture Britain is produced by a young American lady by the name of Abigail Rogers and describes herself as a Britophile. Abigail finally made her long ambition of visiting Gt Britain this year. Link to the article on Picture Britain website and further reading.
www.picturebritain.com/2011/12/bits-of-east-neuk-part-ii.html


The Silver Trail To Crail © Robbie Kennedy Bennett

part extract;
St Andrews I’m On My Way ©

Sleepy eyed and satisfied
East Neuk at early morn,
As an April day is born.

St Andrews I’m on my way,
I shall be with you later today...



Property of RKB

View of the East Sands and Shorehead, St Andrews, the birthplace of Isabella as I came walking ower th' brae.


The main pilgrim route to St Andrews is along the East Coast, this I did not know when walking this stage of the coastal path. I was treading in age-old footsteps of thousands of pilgrims preceding me.
On my mind was that I am a Great Grandson of Isabella Cramond Traill born in Shorehead, St Andrews. On the East Sands she must have played many times and here am I ‘walking ower the brae’.



St Andrews I'm On My Way © Robbie Kennedy Bennett





The Crail to St Abdrew's stage really was peaceful and not until 4 hours into the walk did I pass someone to speak to. At the Naval point at Fife Ness the officers waved to me as they were heading for home after finishing their nightshift. The coast there changes direction and heads north past golf courses and deserted beaches. The path passes Constantine’s Cave where the King was killed c874. It then becomes rugged and challenging and getting to St Andrews was like trying to pull in a great white shark with a 2-bob fishing rod brought from a second hand stall on Bilston Market.








I stayed at the Craws Nest in Anstruther on the third stage of my walk. After returning from St Andrews I visited the RNLI shop. I was kindly shown the duty lifeboat in the boathouse. Unfortunately the Kingdom of Fife lifeboat was away in Poole, Dorset for maintenance and not due back until the next day. There was a model and a picture on display. I recalled a poem I wrote about the courage of the RNLI when in Llandudno.


Picture displayed with permission of Roger Grundy, Anstruther Lifeboat Station.

Here is the poem that you can find on page WELSH FLAVOUR and links to the RNLI if you wish to support their work and Anstruther Lifeboat Station.

www.rnli.org.uk/
www.anstrutherlifeboat.org.uk/


Property of RKB

The Courage of The RNLI © Robbie Kennedy Bennett




Property of RKB

In May 2008 while walking through Tayport on the north coast of Fife I suddenly noticed a Lifeboat named ‘The Duke of Kent’. It was positioned out of the water at the harbour on a grass bank. I could see that it had been in service for years and I wondered why it was there. A few days later I searched and found photographs on the Internet of Eastbourne’s Eighth lifeboat ‘’The Duke of Kent’’ being launched in 1979. I studied the picture closely with the photograph that I had taken and they look remarkably the same. I couldn’t help but think that I had seen a piece of naval history and what is to become of her?

You can see the pictures of that launch in 1979 on the link below.

eastbournernli.org.uk/Stationhistory.html

















Almost 12 months to the day that I had first started walking the coastal path I drove away from my home in Codsall. It was 11.15pm on a Tuesday evening and I wanted to be in St Andrews at dawn to start the fourth and final stage. As I pulled away from my house I felt a strong presence of my Dad knowing what I was doing.

Property of RKB

Bang on 6.00am I arrived at St Andrews East Sands. There was a cold brisk breeze as I laced my boots, locked my car and headed for the Tay Bridge 19 or so miles away. I passed the Cathedral and Castle ruins and down to the famous Old Coarse where the groundsmen were busy. This stage I found was less coastal than the others. I followed a homemade coastal path sign and got lost having to backtrack and pick up the route. This put another hour and extra unnecessary miles onto my already blistered feet. I watched as planes were taking off at Leuchars Airfield. You could hear them for half a minute before seeing them appear from out of the trees and into the air.








Property of RKB

part extract;
From This Window Fife I See ©

This wee proud piece of Bonnie Scotland,
The copious coast I’ve walked along.
This wee proud piece of Bonnie Scotland,
A feeling for the Kingdom grows strong.
He found love but relinquished plenty,
When National Service called.
His name and connection with the Kingdom,
I’ve re-established and also re-installed.

Dad, if you knew what I had done,
Me, your second son....


Property of RKB
Walking across the Tay Road Bridge with Dundee in the background.
In 1878 my Great Grandfather Hector Bennet was born in Dundee.
You may think that the sign above my head is my age, but as you can tell I am older than that.



My Scottish ancestry walk was over and I hobbled painfully along the streets of Dundee to the bus station. I now needed to get back to my car at St Andrews and drive to Sandilands, my Guest House at Lundin Links in the East Neuk. I was to realise later that my story started last year with mentioning our first Grandchild. Since then we have had another Grandson. They were on my mind on my journey back to St Andrews. I wondered if one day they would read my story or perhaps want to see Fife for themselves. If they don’t ever come to Fife where they have an ancestry connection they will at least be able to look at a map and see where the Forth and Tay Bridges are and know where I have walked.



The window in the poem was the view from room number 3 at Sandilands in Lundin Links. Brian and Bronwyn's 'high standards of traditional hospitality' were true to their words.



From This Window Fife I see © Robbie Kennedy Bennett










I finally achieved what I wanted to do, walk the coast of Fife. My pencil drawing of Fife shows the Forth Rail Bridge on the south coast to my finish on the north coast at the Tay Road Bridge.


Kingdom of Fife

For further information of the Fife Coastal Path, here is the link to the official site. www.fifecoastalpath.co.uk/main.asp










BACK ON THE PATH AT SHELL BAY © Robbie Kennedy Bennett

On the second stage of walking the path back in 2008 I can recall stumbling on the camping and caravan site at Shell Bay. Not only was I impressed by the site but also the climb up the hills away from there and over to Earlsferry.





© Robbie Kennedy Bennett

part extract;
BACK ON THE PATH AT SHELL BAY © Robbie Kennedy Bennett

Good to be back on the path
fortunate Fifeshire was gie
The lap o’ the Forth
called me north
to a close proximity....



Back on the Path at Shell Bay © Robbie Kennedy Bennett





© Robbie Kennedy Bennett

part extract;
TELL ME O' THE TAY © Robbie Kennedy Bennett

Tell me o’ Balmerino Abbey
remains, ruined and grey
tell me heritage
Tell me o’ the Tay...


Tell Me o’ The Tay © Robbie Kennedy Bennett



On the 21 March 1901 the Discovery, built by the Dundee Shipbuilding Company, was launched on the Firth of Tay to be part of Captain Scott’s expedition to Antarctica. For 2 years the Discovery was set in ice and having to be freed by controlled explosives.

She later became a cargo vessel and in 1936 given to the Boy Scouts Association in London as a static training ship.

After years of deterioration she was almost scrapped until saved by the Maritime Trust. She was restored and open for public viewing on the River Thames.

On the 3rd April 1986, although on board of a cargo ship, thousands of people were out on the shores of the Tay to welcome her home.

The Discovery is now owned by the Dundee Heritage Trust and is the star attraction of the Discovery Point Visitor Centre in Dundee.

Tell Me o’ The Tay © Robbie Kennedy Bennett







PART EXTRACTS FROM MY E-BOOK 'WULFRUNIAN FOOTPRINTS IN FIFE' available on Amazon.









POETIC WRITING OF ROBBIE KENNEDY BENNETT © 
www.rkbpoetry.co.uk 

In My Blood, by Robbie Kennedy Bennett on Scotland's Enchanted Kingdom. This and a short detailed account plus other odes about Fife. Featured since 2008;
www.scotlands-enchanting-kingdom.com/in-my-blood.html 

Featured poet on Poetry of Scotland since 2006;
www.poetryofscotland.co.uk/bennett.php 

Football Poets / Robbie Kennedy Bennett;
www.footballpoets.org/p.asp?Id=22949

Wolverhampton wanderer muses on coastal path
www.fifetoday.co.uk/east-fife-mail-news/Wolverhampton-wanderer-muses-on-coastal.3926209.jp

An Ode To Hugh, Devotion In Rhyme;
www.wolvesheroes.com/2009/01/13/an-ode-to-hugh/#more-2360

Welcome to the writings of Robbie Kennedy Bennett, on Collessie.... a great place to live.
www.collessie.btck.co.uk/PoetryonCollessie 


Contact me on Facebook;
https://www.facebook.com/robbiekennedy.bennett

Purchase books or visit Authors page on Amazon;
www.amazon.co.uk/Mr-Robbie-Kennedy-Bennett/e/B0146Q0ZTE/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0 

Thank you for visiting Poetic Writing of Robbie Kennedy Bennett
RKB poetry since 1989