Monthly Archives: April 2021

The San Quentin Connection

In reply to a visitors question

I find the San Quentin connection with Monifieth information absolutely
fascinating, and cannot understand why it did not surface before. Thank you.
I have always considered that Monifieth was here because of the church history, but only developed from a sleepy village when the Low family established their foundry in an open field, in what is now the High Street around 1800. The establishment of mills and factories generated the demise of handling weavers working from home. The need for spinning, weaving and machinery associated with the linen and jute production, was recognised by the Low family and the Foundry by the Sea flourished.
The coming of the railway made transport goods to various places worldwide beneficial . The business flourished, and employees moved into Monifieth.
During both World Wars, the Foundry turned to production of munitions the work being undertaken mainly by local women.
Between the wars the Foundry employed almost 2000 with some travelling daily by rail or bus to Monifieth .
Today there are people who remember living in housing provided for foundry workers, on the High Street was Foundry Terrace, and in Reform Street ,the tenements fondly named “Poddlie Raw”.
Those who served their engineering apprenticeship in James F Low’s foundry were held in high regard, and found employment throughout the World.
To this day there are those who come forward with pride to tell of their connections with “The Big Foundry” in Monifeth with industrial premises covering fifteen acres in the High Street site.
The years following the change of ownership and operations under the trade name of Rob Roy engineering were successful with the appearance , at World Trade Fairs, of dumper trucks, water pumps and other machinery required by the building trade.
The closure of Rob Roy, and demolition of the buildings, ended industrial engineering in Monifieth, making employees look for work in other areas. This did cause families to drift apart, and created the start of different community.
Without the ancient history of the church and Low’s Foundry there would not be Monifieth as we know it today.
Incidentally it is now an accepted fact that Monifieth is a translated derivation “Holy Place”.

I hope this answers some of your questions

Hell Hole: Monifieth’s links to San Quentin State Prison’s hated jute mill

https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/nostalgia/2145502/hell-hole-monifieths-links-to-san-quentin-state-prisons-hated-jute-mill/