THE owners of Thistle Industrial Estate, in Cowdenbeath, hope to host a visit to the site of the former NCB Workshops in the town before it is demolished later this year.

After a number of former Workshops employees, many who started their apprenticeships at Church Street, had asked for the chance to have a last visit before the 100 year-old facility is pulled down, mining historian, Iain Chalmers, wrote to the owners of what is now Thistle Industrial Estate to explore the possibility.

Iain was delighted to get a reply this week from In-Site Property Solutions which indicated they would be delighted to host a visit sometime in July.

Said Iain, who has designed Pit Plates for many years, and is leading the cause to have a mining heritage site set up at Lochore Meadows: "As a resident of Cowdenbeath and someone who had worked in the coal industry, however, not at the former Workshops, I would say the former NCB Workshops hold a place dear to many in the town and to Central Fife in general.

"Many people, through the years, have served their apprenticeship at the Workshops and have fond memories of working there.

"With the intention of demolishing the buildings, there has been a rise in nostalgia through various social media sites about the Workshops by former employees who reminisced about their time working there. "I have spoken with a few who have expressed an interest in visiting the workshops for one last time before these are demolished and I wanted to ask if a visit could be arranged, current situation understood.

"I was pleased to get the reply which said that the owners would be delighted to accommodate a visit so now I will be looking to ring fence a date in July which will suit most people."

The NCB Workshops started its life carrying our repairs to the pits in Fife but by the mid 20th Century was looking after collieries in all parts of Scotland.

At its peak it employed around 1,000 people and it was the biggest industrial base in the Cowdenbeath-Lochgelly area for many decades.

When the Workshops closed 30 years ago it became an industrial estate which has again hosted hundreds of jobs as firms of all shapes and sizes have set up home there, but having been opened in the early 1920s, the buildings are now reaching the end of their working lives and that was why In-Site Property Solutions submitted an application for planning permission to demolish it.