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Fairlie and Fifes

Fairlie, a small village situated south of Largs, is not a small name in the classic yacht scene. It is well known as the place of origin for the graceful classic yachts designed and built by William Fife & son. A great yard stood on the beach on Bay Street and is now replaced with a row of terraced houses. At the turn of the 20th century and for many years, up until 1940, some of the finest yachts in the world were produced and launched from Fairlie beach. There was a team of talented craftsmen who brought William Fife’s line drawings to life and the yachts still grace our waters today.

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It is important many to remember what was achieved prior to the closing of the yard in the 1940’s. With little visible evidence still present of what once was there it was decided by Fairlie Community Trust that the three generations of the Fife family and workers should be commemorated with a public monument. This was unveiled in July 2011 and is situated on Bay Street and displays a sculture to represent the first-class workmanship and beauty of design in the sailing crafts created.

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The monument will be visited by owners during The Fife Regatta and it will give an opportunity for more than the locals to reflect on the accomplishments of this small Ayrshire village. Should you wish to visit Fairlie and view the monument ensure you take a look up at the church steeple where Fife’s yacht Latifa tells us daily of the wind direction. Add to your visit by enjoying the Fife room at Fairlie Inn where there are great images to be admired and comfort to be found.

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The Fife Memorial depicts ‘The Lady Anne’ and was designed by John Macfie of Fairlie. It is located on Bay Street, Fairlie, opposite house number 26  (KA29 0AL).