— Route Stop #16
Nowadays , Wester Close has a central row of communal clothes poles — a ‘modern contrivance’. In the days before spin driers and because of the lack of gardens or nearby drying greens, hanging washing out to dry on lines between houses was a common feature of coastal fishing villages such as Newhaven — and which was occasionally commandeered by the fisherman in the family!
Wester Close is immediately to the west of the west-side buildings of Fishmarket Square. Immediately to the east of the east-side buildings of the Square is another lane that once lead to what was known as Parliament Square — two lanes of the type common in the old village before redevelopment of which there were many.
The use of pantiles is a particular feature of east coast Scotland fishing village roofs. Their use dates from the late 1600s when vessels taking coal and salt from the Forth to the continent, and particularly Holland, required a ballast for their return journey. Pantiles were cheap and plentiful and were a much cost-effective and lighter roof finish than was used before.
You can learn more by going to an excellent site prepared by Steve Liscoe of Fife Council’s Planning Services.