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For most of its history Buckhaven was primarily a fishing village; which once boasted the second largest fishing fleet of any town in Scotland. However since WW1 the fishing industry has withered away almost to nothing although much of the independent, almost clannish attitudes of a typical fishing village still remain. From the early 1900's fishing was replaced by coal mining, and many of the inhabitants over the age of 50 would have worked in the local pits (mainly the Wellesley, Earlseat, Wellsgreen and Lochhead) or in some related industry such as the railways.