THE second in our articles about the search for stories on Cowdenbeath's Heritage features a lady who was a strong support of the Communist Party in Scotland.

The man who is spearheading the project, Martin Ayres, of anim8s, paid a huge thanks to those who were able to share stories about the heyday of the Co-op and the Co-op fire for our series of films about the social history of Cowdenbeath as described in last week’s paper.

He said: "This week we’d like to hear from anyone out there who has memories of Mary Docherty, one of Cowdenbeath’s most celebrated citizens from years past.

"Mary was born in Church Street, Cowdenbeath in 1908 to Willie Docherty, a miner, and Janet Todd. She attended Broad Street Primary and on Sunday’s enjoyed the Proletarian Sunday School.

"Her parents were both involved in the temperance movement and shared an interest in Theatre, her father writing political plays in which he and Mary performed. Mary too loved performing at school and trod the boards at the Empire Theatre where Willie, her father worked for a time.

"She is best known, however, as a political activist. She followed her father’s footsteps and joined the Communist Party at the age of eighteen.

"In 1929 she travelled to Russia where although she succumbed to Tuberculosis was able to learn much and be impressed by life with “no capitalist class”. On her return Mary became increasingly known as an activist, leading amongst others, campaigns for the abolition of the tawse as a form of punishment and for the introduction of free school meals".

Added Martin: "Mary was a remarkable woman who made a difference to the lives of working class people in Cowdenbeath. She continued to play a meaningful part in the community right up until her death at 91 in February 2000.

"We would very much like to hear from any friends and family who have memories of Mary. We would be particularly keen to know of any photographs of Mary and her family that may help us to tell her story".

If you have any memories or bits and pieces you’d like to share please contact Martin Ayres at or by calling 01383 415598.