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.



FIFE MY FRIEND ©

Fife my friend do you remember me
or do I display too much familiarity?
I crave your very place on earth
merely a man of word and little worth
I am drawn dear Fife, you are inbred and worn
I am torn dear Fife, I am torn.
Fife my friend say you remember me
I warm to you as family
you always raise my spirit, the moment I arrive
Fife, the simple reason I’m alive


© Robbie Kennedy Bennett
23/05/2009



It was a near empty car park at 2.35am as I pulled onto Gretna Services to rest awhile. This was my Homecoming Scotland journey for 2009 as I set the driver seat back and closed my eyes but I never actually fall asleep. I thought I would be off again in about 20 minutes and be on the M74 heading north to Glasgow and east to the Kingdom of Fife. I then awoke sudden and looked at my watch, it was 3.30am and I’d actually fell asleep finding it hard to believe but glad of the rest. I had gone to bed around 8.00pm that evening trying to force myself to sleep because of my midnight departure from Codsall to Scotland.

© Robbie Kennedy Bennett

My next break was North Queensferry and the Forth Rail Bridge then along the south coast of Fife not really knowing when or where I was going to stay for the night. I had two plans, a guesthouse for one night but if I was unsuccessful in booking I had a pop-up tent and a sleeping bag in the boot. The tent was actually borrowed from my next-door neighbour. I had practised with it in the garden and could pop it up okay but I wrestled with it to get it back in what seemed like a little lucky bag.

© Robbie Kennedy Bennett

Eventually I parked up at Kinghorn, got my backpack out, put on my walking shoes and strolled along an empty beach. It was now closing in on 7.00am so I called my wife back at home to tell her I was here safe and well and checked she was up to get ready for work. “I’m going to walk to Kirkcaldy” I told her “then come back for the car and drive up to St Andrews”.

The weather was glorious but I had heard there was a chance of thunder and showers in the afternoon so my plan was get outside while it’s dry. I can remember walking into Kinghorn in 2007 and being impressed. It is lovely little seaside place with a lifeboat station. It reminded me that later on that I should call in at Anstruther to see if their lifeboat the Kingdom of Fife is there as last year when I visited it was down south having maintenance work done.
I leisurely strolled along the braes from Kinghorn to Kirkcaldy passing the Seafield Tower ruins. There was a different attitude in my walk this time, as I had no timescale to work to. I just wanted to get back on the coastal path and take in more than I had the first time I had come.

After an hour or so in Kirkcaldy where I believe my Kennedy ancestry is connected I thought it time to return to Kinghorn but along the coast road where there were grand views of the fields with the Forth in the background.

© Robbie Kennedy Bennett

I had heard of the Harbourmasters House in Dysart but never called so again because of time on my hands I paid a visit. It appears they work tirelessly for the upkeep of the path and plan to extend it further along the north coast of Fife obviously with land owners permission.

© Robbie Kennedy Bennett

Here is a link to their official site www.fifecoastalpath.co.uk/main.asp


Later on that morning before walking around Elie and Earlsferry I visited the Lifeboat Station at Anstruther and was pleased to see that the Kingdom of Fife was at home cleaned and polished and ready for duty.

© Robbie Kennedy Bennett


Back in March 2008 I had arrived in Leven to walk my 2nd stage of the Fife Coastal Path finishing at Crail. During that walk I passed through Elie and Earlsferry and noticed a lovely wee pub overlooking the bay. I didn’t stop there at the time because of wanting to get a few miles under my belt but today was a different matter. Today’s weather was glorious as I purchased a pint in the Ship Inn taking care not to do any damage to person or furniture as I still had my backpack on. I carefully navigated myself and made my way outside and over a wee road to where they have a bench area with a sea view. To coin a phrase ‘it was absolutely magnificent’. I made a point in calling my mother back in Wolverhampton telling her “I’m having the best pint at a pub with the best view in the world”.

© Robbie Kennedy Bennett

Research has taught me that the Ship Inn has been a pub since 1838 and a welcome place for walkers, sailors and golfers. Upon discovering I likened the feeling to finding a valuable coin in your back garden.

© Robbie Kennedy Bennett

LOVELY, LITTORAL ELIE, ELIE WAS LOVELY OH AYE.
© Robbie Kennedy Bennett



It was busy in St Andrews when I arrived that afternoon and the No Vacancies signs were noticeable. Even Kinkell Braes had a sign that all touring pitches were fully booked this weekend. I was in luck as I found a single room in Murray Park albeit with the bathroom down the landing. Camping will have to wait for another time and I have to admit the adventurer inside of me made me feel guilty for choosing a bed with a roof overhead.



© Robbie Kennedy Bennett

I awoke early Friday morning about 4.15am and made off for the West Sands. St Andrews never ceases to amaze, as you can never be the first to be knocking about. Just past 5.00am I looked over to the Old Course and there were the early bird golfers getting ready to tee off. I set my camera on the clock to prove to any disbelievers that it really is a unique place and worthy of its title the home of golf. They come in their droves from far and wide to play and I can understand their desire to want to get swinging their clubs. I had that same desire when running, sets you up for the day real fine in my book.

After a while I changed direction and walked towards the castle ruins where I read the plaque about George Wishart 1513 – 1546 and his imprisonment and torturous end and changes thereafter.

© Robbie Kennedy Bennett
© Robbie Kennedy Bennett
© Robbie Kennedy Bennett


This part of the coast was less busy compared to being by the Old Course with only the occasional student jogger or cyclist. I again rested and let my imagination flow looking out across the North Sea and the early morning sky. I took a photo and then turned to take another of the cathedral ruins and gravestones. Suddenly an elderly gentleman appeared by my side and spoke to me. I can’t recall his exact words when he pointed at the graves but it was something like, “that’s yesterday and that’s history”; he then turned to point at the sun rising in the east, “that’s the future and that will take care of itself ”, and in a friendly way he then tapped me on the arm and said “this is today, enjoy it”. And off he walked without either of us needing to wish hello or goodbye.

I returned to my guesthouse for breakfast in Murray Park and within minutes of finishing it I had checked out and drove to the Tay Bridge where I parked up overlooking the Tay. I purposely wanted come to here because when I walked last year from St Andrews I went over the bridge and into Dundee. This time I wanted to walk to the Rail Bridge further along the coast albeit on footpath.

© Robbie Kennedy Bennett


It took me about an hour to walk from bridge to bridge and I took a picture of the footings of the first bridge that collapsed that surface the Tay. I engaged in conversation with a lady who was out walking her dog. She told me that the passengers on the fateful train were mostly from Edinburgh and Farmhands from Fife who were out for a Saturday night in Dundee.

© Robbie Kennedy Bennett

7.15pm December 28th 1879 on a windy night the 1720 from Burntisland to Dundee was crossing the Tay when sections of the bridge collapsed the train fell into icy water. A total of 75 lives were lost with only 46 bodies recovered. Thus becoming the worst structural disaster in British history. An interesting note is that the locomotive was recovered and stayed in service for another 40years.

Reading a list of names I scoured down to see who was the youngest victim. It appears to be Bella Neish aged 5 from Lochee who was travelling with her father.


BELLA'S LAMENT ©

Bella were you Bonny,
Were you the apple of an eye?
Oh bonny Bella,
I hear your mother cry.




I caught the bus back to my car, as I wanted to start travelling south to Collessie, Ladybank and Kingskettle Cemetery. I was soon parked up in the lane from Monimail to Collesie taking pictures of the countryside.

© Robbie Kennedy Bennett

It was real quiet and I wishing someone was here to take a picture of me with the cottage in the background where my dad was born. I thought about flagging down a motorist but then to my surprise around the bend came a group of red tee shirted guys who were walking coast-to-coast for Motor Neurone. Their blistered feet shown rank to mine obviously but at least I got my photo, thanks guys.

Below is the report from their site;
On the 16th May 2009, 8 members if 3(Fighter)Sqn Royal Air Force, will set off from Oban on the West coast of Scotland bound for St Andrews on the East coast. These highly untrained heroes have but one aim; to walk 26 miles per day for 5 days in order to raise as much money as possible for the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MND). The MND Association has been 3(Fighter) Sqn's charity since one of our members, Sqn Ldr Ned Cullen, was diagnosed with this incredibly debilitating disease shortly after completing a tour of active duty in Iraq.
www.justgiving.com/3sqntyphoonwalk

I did try to remember how I could find on the Internet how they got on but it soon went in one ear and out the other. Just as I was wishing I had wrote it down around the corner came another couple of red tee shirts and I got my pencil and got their link written down on a paper RNLI bag.


LINK TO RNLI
www.rnlishop.org.uk

From Collessie I moved on to Ladybank where I spoke with Dougie at the Tavern. He told me that years ago over the road from the pub there once was works and many of the men would come in for a drink at dinnertime so the pub would be a thrive of activity. My final visit was to Strathmiglo because a friend of mine with the surname of Paton believes he has roots there. I dropped in at the Strath Tavern and found the local football team Strathmiglo United were playing in the Fife Cup that evening in St Andrews. I passed on my contact number and wished them luck for the game. Next morning I received a message from John that they had won the Fife Cup 3 goals to nowt.

© Robbie Kennedy Bennett

www.smartcommunityfife.org.uk/directory/listing/strathmiglo-united-fc/

Another two days fascinated by Fife, my ancestral Kingdom is alive in my life.




THE KINGDOM OF FIFE
© Robbie Kennedy Bennett

It’s pleasing to be where you’ve been,
And to see what you’ve seen,
The fields of farmers corn,
The cottage in where you were born,
Those Lanes with walls of stone,
Did you run or wander and roam.
Could you see the smoke from the railway,
Rise over the Kingdom of Fife,
Have you stood on Ladybank station,
Was it happy your childhood life.
The Lomond Hills stand high,
As high as the Scottish sky.
Is that where you wanted to be,
Did you want to climb them to see,
North to the Firth of Tay,
The church of Collessie or Cupar,
And out to St. Andrews bay.
Did you ever ride out to the ocean,
Watch the fishing boats mooring at Crail,
Was the sea your only tomorrow,
How soon were you likely to sail.
Your bloodline runs on now in England,
Bennet Kennedy roots lie in Fife,
We honour the land we are living,
But The Kingdoms a part of our life.

Your son,
Robbie



GUEST BOOK MESSAGE

Just had the time to look at your fabulous site. Really great stories and poetry, Fife tourism should be featuring your work!. Thanks for your mention of Strathmiglo United and please visit us when you are in the area. Best wishes, John and Sheila.
Comment by: John Schofield
03 June 2009 - 14:56:28






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