View toward Rosyth and the Bridges

Grave stones in foreground and graveyard boundary wall. In the distance bridges across the Forth. Queensferry Crossing first and behind that Forth Road Bridge. Hills in the distant background

Fiona: Ha, ha.  I like to give you a cliff-hanger.  Come back for next week’s thrilling instalment.  Da, da, daaa.

Fiona: No, don’t worry, this IS the next instalment.  Not sure if you can see it today, but if you look down, way past the war memorial, toward the water, you might just be able to see the edge of Rosyth dockyard, just to the right of the three bridges.  Sometimes you can spot a giant blue crane though not always easy to see as it’s about three miles away.     

Thomas: Don’t tell me, Margaret’s family became dockers and moved up here to Scotland for work.

(SFX The modern dockyard of Rosyth mixes to SFX of medieval ship in storm)

Fiona: No!  Actually, I’m showing you this spot because it is traditionally said this was roughly where the family ended up.  We don’t know too many facts for sure and there are different theories about what really happened but the story that’s been handed down is they managed to take a wrong turn in a storm and landed down there on the banks of the Firth of Forth. 

Thomas: Someone could have done with GPS.

Fiona: There’s a place down there now known as St Margaret’s Hope which I suppose is a best guess at where they landed.  They came so close to disaster and must have thought they’d turned up in the middle of nowhere. But, then, things start to look up, though I don’t think Margaret thought so at first.  

Young Margaret:  It had been a terrifying time, having to escape from England so suddenly and then getting caught in that terrible storm.  Where we landed, everything looked so different to the things I had been used to. I didn’t recognise the language people were speaking, the clothes people were wearing were strange to me.  I didn’t know where we would end up or who would protect us. I’m ashamed to think of it now but it all seemed so uncivilised to me when I arrived. Before I got to know them, of course.

Fiona: It just so happens that nearby, here in Dunfermline, the King of the Scots, Malcolm III –  who, by the way, also had the name Canmore, which in Gaelic means big head, makes me laugh every time –  anyway, Malcolm big head, I mean, Malcolm Canmore, hears that the royal family has turned up on the banks of the Forth and decides he’d better help out.  In fact, they may have even been old friends as Malcolm himself had been exiled to the English court for a while.  

Thomas: Phew, close shave for them.  So, he came along and then what?  Put them on the next cart to London?

Fiona: Before I tell you about their meeting, you probably need to know a bit more about Margaret herself.