Kirkcaldy is a small town not too far north of Edinburgh. You might not have heard of it, but in its heyday in the late 19th and early 20th centuries it was the world’s largest manufacturer of linoleum. Invented in 1855, lino was produced in Kirkcaldy shortly afterwards by Michael Nairn & Co., a company specialising in the production of floorcloths. The industry grew rapidly and a number of new companies emerged and new factories were built to meet demand - a demand that continued until the 1950s, when lino was largely superseded by newer floor coverings.
It is not too surprising then that Kirkcaldy boasts one of the oldest lino factories in the world, or what’s left of it. Built in 1882, Nairn’s has been standing empty since 1985 and is now in such a poor state of repair that it is swathed in scaffolding for health and safety reasons. Despite the building’s A listed status and a BBC restoration campaign it has recently become the subject of a demolition proposal by the current owners. The outcome remains to be seen, but these images offer a peek, possibly for the last time, into what’s left of a fascinating industrial site.