Here are some stories and reports from local newspapers over the years:
The Monifieth Times & Local Advertiser
(Free issue) May, 1896.
“The Burgh of Monifieth has a population of over 2000 inhabitants. Its principal industries are, Iron Founding, Machine making, and Jute Spinning. The former has been carried on in Monifieth for nearly a century. The latter has been established for a long period, and is an important source of revenue to a large section of the community.
There are also other industries of a minor nature , consisting of tradesmen and merchants, most of whom are up to date, enterprising, and quite alive to the requirements and necessities of modern life.
Mr J.B. Hay is showing commendable enterprise by his proposed erection of two villas of superior class, at the north end of Queen Street. The site is one of the most secluded and desirable spots in the Burgh, and well suited for the style of buildings, which Mr Hay is to erect. The view, which can be obtained from the place, both of land and sea, is excellent and the surrounding ground is well wooded. This is supposed to be the ancient site of Monifieth village in the times anterior to the Roman invasion, and many coins, pieces of Roman glass, and other relics have been found in the adjoining fields.
The Font stane wood lies a little to the west of Mr Hay`s buildings, and contains a large boulder with a square hole on the top. We have heard different authorities give their opinion as to the purpose for which this relic of antiquity was used. Some authorities believe it was part of an obelisk erected by the Culdees, who had a place of worship where the Parish Church now stands.
Some of our Dundee Journalistic friends were rather inclined to poke fun at Monifieth over the starting of a new rookery. We are glad to inform these gentlemen that the new start has proved a success, and the young crows are thriving bravely.
Some fifty years ago a minister of Monifieth had driven in winter to a bleak upland parish to preach for a friend.
Drawing his plaid carefully around him, he remarked to his man “John, this is a caulder part than ours”.
“Deed it is minister; a full flannel sark caulder than Monifieth”
From the Monifieth Almanac 1909.
Estimated Population 3000. Number of Householders 580. Yearly Rental, £14,765 16s 9d., being an increase for the year of £660. Including Tramways and Railways, the assessable property is £16,100.
Superiors of Monifieth : The Earl of Dalhousie; Thomas Anderson Esq., The Grange : and William Low, Esq., Seaview.
Justices of the Peace: The following are Justices of the peace resident in the district:- Alexander Gordon, Esq., Ashludie… William Low, Esq., Seaview, Provost Stewart, Chellwood;
Samuel M Low, Esq., Ashlea, J. Smith, Adderley; William Robertson, Esq., Lornebank; Captain Vair, Durham Street; Robert Reid, Esq., Maldon Cottage.
Monifieth Public School.
In 1878 the old parish school and school house were cleared away by the then lately constituted school board, and more suitable premises were erected from plans by Mr McLaren, Architect, At that time the opinion of the ratepayers was that the school board had built a school far too large for the requirements of the place, and the late Dr Young, who was chairman of the board, was so generally reproached for incurring uncalled for expenditure, that he did not seek re-election to the next board.
He lived, however, to see the addition of two extra classrooms to the school, and he did not fail to remind his parishioners, from the pulpit, of the abuse he received for being more farseeing than them. Yet within a decade from the last extension, the school required further additions, which were got by putting on a storey.
The late Mr James Munro, Architect and Sanitary Inspector of the Burgh, was entrusted to carry out the extension, and his work remains a testimony of his architectural skill. Through these alterations the school now consists of eleven classrooms, a cookery room and a central hall for drill. The number of scholars is over five hundred, and the teaching staff consists of the headmaster and twelve teachers.
The first notice we have in connection with a school for Monifieth occurs in the year 1600, when the Kirk Session of Monifieth fixed the emoluments of the schoolmaster at a scale proportionate to the extent of the heritor`s estates, the total from this source together with a yearly contribution of 4 merks from the minister amounting to £34 Scots. In addition the schoolmaster received 18s. on the proclamation of marriage of “persons of good qualitie and rank”, while those “of meaner qualitie” paid 12s. A fee of 20s. was payable to him upon the burial of any person in the kirkyard, who did not belong to the parish, and 8s. was the portion allowed to him on the baptism of a child. As the sums are in Scots currency, a very meagre salary was all that would fall to the lot of the schoolmaster. Parents and guardians were, however, called upon to provide “peets, coales, or truffes”, for the school “for the use of the schoolmaster and bairnes in ye winter season”. During that period the session gave the schoolmaster a yearly allowance to rent suitable rooms.
It was during 1691 that Mr Dempster, the last of the “Episcopals” of Monifieth brought the question of the school forward, and the session, without calling upon the heritors to contribute, proceeded to have a suitable school built. Had they waited a few more years, the Act of the Scottish Parliament of 1696 would have forced the heritors of the parish to provide a school and dwelling house. The school and schoolhouse occupied the site of the present school, the buildings which were demolished by the school board in 1878 having been an extension of the original school
Deliveries in Monifieth commence at 6.45 am., 9.30am., 3.550pm., and 6.50pm. Box closed for dispatch at 6,15am., 10.30am., 2.20pm., 5.20pm., 6.35pm., and 8pm. Collections from Tay Street wall box, 6am., 10.10am., 2pm., 5pm., and 7.50pm. from Albert Street, box 5.45am., 10.20am., 2.10pm., 4.50pm.,and 7.50pm. from Well Street box, 6am., 10.10am., 4.45pm., and 7.50pm; from Seaview box10.10am., 4.45pm., and 7.50pm. Office open for Money order, Postal order, Savings Bank and Telegraph business from 8am., to 8pm. David Macrae, postmaster.
Monifieth Savings Bank
Office 15 Tay Street. Hours of business from 6.30 to 8.30 on Monday evenings only. Trustees and Managers—-Provost Stewart, ex Bailie W. Robertson, ex Bailie W.P. Laird, ex Bailie J Nicoll, Rev. Crawford-Smith, Mr A.S. Troup, Mr William Robb, Mr Andrew Gray. Office bearers—- Secretary, Mr David Gowans; Actuary, Mr William Young, Accountant, Mr James A.Young, Assistant Accountant, Mr David Gowans,jun.; Auditor, Mr John Millar.
Monifieth Gerard Cottage Hospital.
The Hospital was erected by the Trustees of the late Dr Young, Parish Minister of Monifieth for 44 years, in accordance with instructions contained in his will. It is maintained primarily for the surgical and medical treatment of Parishioners and inhabitants of Monifieth suffering from injuries or non infectious diseases in poor and necessitous circumstances. The Trustees are: Mr S.M. Low, Ashlea, Monifieth. Mr A.B. Gilroy, Castleroy, Broughty Ferry. Rev. W.M. Tocher, M.A. B.D. , Dunbog, Fife. Mr W.M. Ritchie, Somervillebank, Broughty Ferry. Rev. D.D. McLaren, M.A. B.D., Minister of Monifieth Parish (ex officio). Dr John W. Wemyss, Westbourne House, Camperdown Street, Broughty Ferry. Mr William Low, Seaview House, Monifieth. Mr David Stewart, Provost of the Burgh of Monifieth.(ex officio)Mr Lindsay Provost of the Burgh of Broughty Ferry (ex officio)Rev. Crawford Smith M.A., Minister of South United Free Church, Monifieth (ex officio). Chairman, Mr A.B. Gilroy.
Monifieth and Dundee Tramways
Office and works, Milton, Monifieth. Manager and Engineer Mr J.H. Shepherd. Secretary, Mr Edward Cowan, 4 High Street, Dundee.
From the Monifieth Almanac 1911
Monifieth and Dundee Amalgamation.
The most important public question which has been before the electors during the past two years is the proposed amalgamation of Monifieth and Dundee. The Town Council fully considered the matter and had the benefit of a delegation from Dundee as also a printed statement of the questions submitted for consideration. They decided the idea was inopportune and at a public meeting on 25th October, they gave the electors an account of the whole proceedings. This took up so much time that the assembly had to be adjourned till Monday 31st, when the proposal was again brought up for consideration. On the first occasion the Provost gave an exhaustive and effective explanation of the case and his reasons for opposing it. Bailie Maiden, Bailie Hay and Coincillor John Nicoll followed. At the adjourning meeting Councillors. D.W. Wwhite, J.K. Doig, Wm. Robb, James Nicoll and J.B. Crichton addressed the meeting The latter fairly excelled himself in his eloquent appeal to the electors to stand forward like men and give Dundee a lesson to keep hands off. Waxing eloquent the redoubtable John cried “ Tomorrow Monifieth expects every ratepayer to do his duty. Your very existence is at stake. United we stand, divided we fall. Lay the proud usurpers low, tyrants fall at every blow.” Never did the words of our national poet get a more lusty reception and our bold man John took his seat amid loud and renewed cheering. The poll took place on the following day and resulted in 515 recording their votes against and 31 for amalgamation.
Death of the King.
King Edward V11. Died on 6th May and the world mourned the loss of a worthy ruler. The funeral took place on 20th and Monifieth showed every respect to the memory of our late monarch.
A memorial service was held in the Parish Church, the Rev. D.D. McLaren, B.D.; Rev. W. Crawford Smith, M.A.; and Rev. W.W.A. Bell, B.D. jointly presiding over the united congregation from the various churches. In the morning a children`s service took place, at which the local company of the Boys` Brigade commanded by Captian Chaplin, attended. They marched to “Lord Lovat`s Lament”, with arms reversed. At the Parish Church they formed a guard of honour to the school children, in the charge of Mr Meldrum, Mr Malcolm and the other teachers. The Rev. Crawford Smith preached a simple eloquent service.
At 12.30 a public procession was formed, headed by the Burgh Police, and followed by the pipe band, officers and non-coms of the Boys` Brigade under Lieutenant White; Provost Fenton and his Councillors, ex Councillors, Burgh Officials, the School Board, his Parish Councillors, Church representatives, Postmen, Burgh employees, Shepherds and the general public.
The cavalcade was marshalled by Captain Chaplin, and marched to the touching strains of “The flowers of the Forest”. The Church was appropriately decorated, and the church choirs, under Mr Fraser, led the praise in a fiting manner. Mr Crawford Smith`s opening prayer was couched in beautiful and touching language. The address was given by the parish minister, Mr McLaren. The hymn “Peace, Perfect Peace” was sung, and after the benediction the organist , Mr Fraser, rendered Handel`s Dead March in “Saul”.
Masonic Lodge for Monifieth
A meeting of those interested in the ancient and honourable craft was convened by Mr David M. Stirton in the Panmure Hotel Hall, on Wednesday evening 6th April, for the purpose of having a Lodge formed in Monifieth. There was a good attendance, and ex Provost Stewart, Provincial Grand Master of Forfarshire, was called on to preside. The proposal met with hearty approval, and an influential committee was appointed to carry out the movement and get a charter from the Grand Lodge. Representatives from Carnoustie and Broughty Ferry expressed their pleasure at the prospect of Monifieth having a lodge of its own, which they were confident from the enthusiasm displayed would prove a success.
Masonic Service at Monifieth
A great gathering of the members of the ancient craft took place in Monifieth on Sunday 16th October, to participate in the first church parade of the newly formed Lodge Grange, No. 1073.
There were representatives from all the Lodges in Dundee, Broughty Ferry, Carnoustie and other towns, several of the most notable officials of the Order were present.
The procession was formed at the Lodge room at the east end of the High Street, and marched through the Burgh to the Parish Church, where the centre part of the area was reserved for the brethern.
Brother the Rev. D.D. McLaren conducted the service, while ex Provost Stewart, Provincial Grand Master of Forfarshire read the lesson. Brother McLaren in his concluding discourse, referred
specially to the cause and purpose of Masonry as presented and understood in our time. It was, he said, founded on faith of God`s truth, and permeated through and through with the principles, virtues, and graces of religion. its influences, its power, and its purpose were all for the glory of God, for the fashioning of a pure and true character, for the up building of a strong and noble manhood, and for the realisation at last of the heavenly hope that when the earthly houses of this tabernacle was dissolved we should have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
The church was beautifully decorated with flowers, fruit, and corn.
Brother W.J. Fraser presided at the organ
From the Monifieth Almanac 1922
Monifieth when we first remember it, consisted of a few scattered houses on the south side of what is now known as the High Street. These were mostly thatched, with here and there one of the newer construction with slated roofs. There were a few houses standing where the Gerard Hall now is, and on the opposite side of the road, which then took a sharper turn, stood other houses of similar humble construction. These were in summer, overgrown with blackberry bushes and honeysuckle, and had a picturesque appearance. The school and schoolhouse were red sandstone buildings, and occupied the same site as present. Monifieth Foundry had, at this time began to extend, and a considerable number of workers were employed. Each householder kept as many lodgers as could conveniently be accommodated. This lent an air of industrial activity to what hitherto had been an agricultural village.
At the time referred to a number of sloops anchored in the summer season in Monifieth Bay, and carried on a lucrative trade by brining coals, lime and other merchandise to the village. They were also the means of exporting grain, potatoes and other agricultural produce and it was quite a common thing to see one of the sloops in the bay with a long string of farmers carts waiting the ebbing tide to allow them to get a supply of coal. When the water had left the ship high and dry, a brisk scramble was witnessed as the carts loaded before the returning tide made work impossible. As one cart left the ship`s side another took it`s place until the water was almost mid wheel, and further work was rendered dangerous, as the horses became restive when they felt the tide rising rapidly around them.
Many of the owners of these sloops continued their visits long after the railway was made, but as the old race of sea dogs died out new ones failed to take their place.
The last sloop to make it`s appearance in Monifieth Bay made it`s final visit in the summer of 1868, and since then the railway has been left in undisputed possession of the transport trade in the district.
Monifieth has in reality been built, it`s trade expanded, and the sandy bunkers, which formed some of it`s main features, have given way to substantial houses and fruitful gardens. The period has a record full of achievements in moral, intellectual, and social intercourse of the human race. Slowly but surely the pendicles, which were at one time the outstanding feature of Monifieth, have been taken up by feuars and houses built on them. A rough outline of a village was prepared by the Land Steward of the Panmure Estate, and along these tracks the village took formation. Trade at the foundry increased, and business premises were opened. In 1891 the population had risen to 2,134, as compared with 400 in 1841. It is now 3,400.
Look Back to 1921 Happenings
The social happenings in Monifieth during 1921 have been many and varied, but these have more particularly affected individual families than the community in general. The censud taken in June last shows that the population in Monifieth is now 3200. During the year there has been 86 births, 14 marriages and 40 deaths.
In comparison with the rest of the country trade up to near the end of October kept steady with the foundries working at full capacity. Since then there has been a considerable amount of unemployment. The extensive improvement of the Golf Links, involving expenditure of £2,000, helped in some degree to provide work for a large number of men.