When the Town Council of St Andrews wanted to build the Links Road in the 1870s, a local dispute ensued on whether the road should, or should not, be built.
The ‘Road War’ inspired this cartoon painting by local painter and frame-maker W. A Dick. On the reverse of the painting is a newspaper article from the period that explains:
The Links Road case and the making of the road have supplied material for the production of a cartoon, the work of Mr.W.A. Dick, painter, Market Street, in whose shop window it has been exhibited for about a week. It is executed in a large size – filling up the whole width of the window. The picture embraces a view of the road looking up from Clarke’s Wynd, bringing in the adjoining houses. The clubmakers’ shops and the Golf Hotel, with “mine-host” and his dog at the door are also seen. A well-drawn large white elephant is represented as marching up and down the road. A bird is perched upon his head, which is said to represent a laverock; but the drawing of it is not as good as that of the elephant. A rope is attached to the trunk of the latter, and at the other end of the rope dragging the elephant appears to be the likeness of a donkey. There seems to be abundance of road metal lying around, while eight or nine men are tossing it about. On the end of the house are the words “Road or no Road? That is the question”; while in smaller letters there appears to be the word “Paterson”.