History of Forth Village

In the early 1900s Forth was a thriving village, well served by a variety of shops and services. The horse and cart was soon replaced by the motor car and traders used vans to serve the wider district.

By the 1930s, as more people moved in from the surrounding declining villages, Forth grew and during the next twenty years the Council built 724 houses.

The village developed the cultural and recreational facilities of a fairly large and prosperous community. Music, drama and football were given high priority and the hobbies of fishing, pigeon racing, quoits, tennis, bowls, budgie breeding and pitch and toss were popular.

After the Second World War a branch of the British Legion was formed, not only as a social club for ex-service men and their friends, but also to provide assistance and fund provision for war veterans.

The last passenger train left Wilsontown in 1951 and soon the local line was closed altogether. More than half of the population of the parish now lived in Forth, whose inhabitants increased from 680 in 1901 to 3,217 in 1951.

In 1955 Dixon's Pit closed and eight years later Kingshill No.2 stopped working. Since they were two major employers in the area their closure marked the beginning of a population movement away from Forth and by 1999 the population had decreased to 2449 and there were many empty houses in the village.

In 2000 thirty homes were demolished but these have now been replaced by 20 new homes and more new builds are in progress. At this time, 2012, the population in the village is approximately 2020.

Over the decades the area has been robbed of its mineral wealth but a new form of energy is being tapped through the construction of Black Law wind farm. This put Forth on the map since it was for some years the largest on-shore wind farm in Europe. It has brought many benefits to the local community through donations & support from Scottish Power, and to the wider community through the monies from Community Benefits which are fed into the Renewable Energy Fund.

Through various local groups there has been a renewed sense of community and a willingness to revive cultural and social life in the village. These actions will go a long way to restoring Forth to its former prosperity.

We have our fair share of problems for the village is special not perfect but there has been a movement of new residents into the private housing in the village and these people have come to the village by choice, as one new resident says:

’Forth is a wee hidden Treasure!‘.

Further information on the History of Forth Village can be found on www.forthdistrict.co.uk

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