Great news for Dunfermline!
The birth of new peacock chicks recently has increased the numbers in The Glen to twenty two birds (seventeen adults).
These beautiful, iconic birds have been part of our local heritage since 1905. The philanthropist Henry Beveridge brought some back from India where he’d been working for the imperial civil service. Ever since then peacocks have had the freedom of the town.
And they’re famous for taking this freedom quite literally. Pictures of them in local back gardens are commonplace, along with holding up the traffic is also a common trait of these majestic creatures.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t always end up well…
Sadly one was run over and died recently.
Their wanderlust also resulted in this famous incident a number of years ago...
A local vintage car owner spotted one pecking his newly polished hearse. The bird thought it was seeing another peacock, rather than its own reflection! The hearse owner's reaction was somewhat over the top though. His subsequent rage and assault on the bird ended up in a fine (plus some unwanted attention in the tabloids!)
An all white peahen called Spirit was another iconic Dunfermline bird...
It often sat on the high wall between the park and the Coal Road and its ghost-like appearance must have resulted in more than a few frights to unsuspecting drivers over the years.
Our most famous peacock in recent times was Clive who lived to the grand old age of twenty. Clive was a particularly amorous chap so when he died our peacock population almost went the same way.
Thankfully Central Dunfermline Community Council stepped in with the help of funding and a team of volunteers to rally the day.
Chairman Jim Stewart told me this morning the team has since blossomed to sixteen volunteers who help manage the birds welfare!
Such is the strength of affection they are held in by the locals and visitors to The Glen.
A couple of summer reading recommendations for you...
One is by my friend Caroline Copeland.
Her fabulous children's book...
'Peacocks in The Glen Again' has some wonderful illustrations and captures, with fondness and kindly humour the history of the Peacocks in the Glen.
Secondly a new book by acclaimed American journalist Sean Flynn called 'Why Peacocks? An Unlikely Search for Meaning in the World’s Most Magnificent Bird' is due out in hardback August 2021. It includes a whole chapter on Dunfermline’s peacocks. Both these works are testimony to the Peacocks enduring fame and popularity perhaps.
Long may they flourish here I say!
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