Please feel free to copy this calendar for your own personal needs.
Similar to other Scottish towns the changes over the years have been dramatic, to my personal knowledge the last 40 years have been unbelievable in what the `village` is today as to what is was in the 1970`s. What was it like in 1915 ?.
Research information from various sources, Burgh Council Minutes, Monifieth Almanacs etc., revealed the following information.
Monifieth Town Council
Chief Magistrate, Provost Fenton; Senior Bailie James Nicoll; Junior Bailie, D.W White; Councillors: John B. Crichton, J.M Rattray, Alex Maiden, J.K Doig, M.T. Hannigan, and David ; Burgh Surveyor, Chas A McKenzie; Medical Officer Dr. Gorrie, Procurator- Fiscal, A BurnsPetrie, Conveners of the various committees – Works, J K Doig, Parks & Recreation, David Band, Sanitary, J B Crichton. Gas & Lighting, M T Hannigan. Finance Alex Maiden.
Monifieth Town Council meeting : Provost Fenton and the Council unanimously agreed that: “The Town Council requests that the government
(1) a minimum pension of £1 per week to the widow of every soldier killed in the present war.
(2)a similar pension to the dependent mother of a soldier killed.
(3) £1 per week to the wife of every soldier killed in the fighting line: and
(4) a pension of £1 per week to every soldier `maimed` in the war. `soldier` to include , sailors, territorials. And all other units of His Majesty`s Forces.
Submitted to the Secretary for Scotland, requesting that the same be submitted to His Majesty`s Government.
“MonifiethTown Council, the Churches, the Town Improvement Association, and many other organisations set about collecting funds, clothing etc. to provide for the comfort and preserve the health of our men , at the front. The ladies in Monifieth, of every class and degree set to work to knit garments that were necessary and useful. These were produced in abundance, and money collected in the Burgh spoke volumes for the goodness of heart and the patriotism of the people. Everyone gave according to their means.
Monifieth Foundry contributed freely in men and money during wartime. It`s industrial resources also being exploited to help the country in it`s hour of peril. The old established firm of JF Low & Co. has for several months been largely employed in manufacturing munitions of war. Under the present 1915 management. it is one of the most up to date Foundries in the district. Never in it`s long history has it been called on to fulfil duties such are being carried on within it`s walls. Hitherto it`s products have been made for peace and industry, and these have been carried to many lands. Hopefully in the near future it will again resound with machinery not meant for destruction, but for promoting the comfort, progress and the prosperity of nations.”
Monifieth Council May 1915
Special Report: Public Convenience Report submitted by the Burgh Surveyor giving alternative estimates for the erection of the proposed Public Convenience. (1) In wood and corrugated iron.: (2) Cast Iron: (3) Brick.
After discussion it was agreed to erect a brick built convenience on the ground. 9 inch thick brickwork, rough cast, hurled on the outside, and lined with enamelled brick inside, for a height of 4 feet 6 inches. The walls above the enamelled work and ceiling to be cement plastered, and the roof slated.
July 1915: Permission has been formally requested and granted to the Monifieth Red Cross Society, for the erection of a Pavilion at the Red Cross Hospital (Gerard Hall)
Letter to Council: From Burgh Surveyor, to the Recreation Committee:
Gentlemen, I submit letter received fro OC, the 3/5th Black Watch , Forfar, regarding camping facilities for a company of 120 men who are marching through the shire on a recruitment tour. As a matter of urgency I consulted the Convener, with the result that permission was granted for the use of the West End Links for one night. I trust this meets with your approval. I have to report that serious damage has been done to three bathing screens on the foreshore, especially the ones at the East End. In all about ten square yards of lining have been ruthlessly stripped off beside the posts and rails. Instruction given for repair and reported to the Police.”
Letter to Council: An application of 17th July 1915 from James Gibson, Panmure Street, Monifieth, for a licence to ply for hire within the Burgh , and a radius of five miles from the Post Office , in said Burgh, a brake constructed to carry twenty two passengers, has been submitted. The Magistrates granted the licence subject to the provisions of the Burgh Polce (Scotland ) Act 1892, and al Bye Laws, Rules and Regulations , made or to be made, by the Magistrates; allotted as a stance, for said brake, on the south side of the High Street, opposite Taybank, and near the Tramway Car Terminus, the exact site to be pointed out by the Sergeant of Police, at Monifieth: the registered number of the said brake being number one; colour blue and red underneath; and the number of passengers not to exceed twenty two; the licence to endure from this date until 31stMay 1916; and hours and route within the Burgh by which the said brake must run to be from time to time be prescribed by the Magistrates.
Inspector `s Report 1915
I have inspected the milch cows in the Burgh for the quarter ending 30th ultimate, and have to report that I have found them all being in a satisfactory state of health, the number being 37. The dairies, and cow sheds were found to be clean and tidy at the time of my visit.
Account received by the Clerk to the Council:
For maintenance of a patient in Noranside Sanatorium from Monifieth , and now deceased.: Maintenance from 14th December 1914 to 5th May 1915, 145 days at 4/4 = £31-8-4. Hire of Ambulance removing patient from Monifieth to Noranside Sanatorium £1-15-0.. The meeting authorised payment and instructed the Clerk to enquire as to the portion, if any, recoverable.
Refreshment Rooms- Bye Laws Leave for internal communication
Application by Antonio Mortali, tenant of shop registered at 62 High Street, for communication between the shop and a room at the back thereof, used as a store and was submitted and read. After discussion the privilege asked for was refused
Letter of date 13th March 1915, from Chief Constable Birnie, re making Police Staion of Monifieth suitable as a place of detention, for short sentence prisoners under the Criminal Justice Administration Act 1914.
Gas Works Manager`s Report
Letters received from R.M Mathers, W.P.Laird & Sinclair, Steven & Dron. Submitted that they would require about 52 tons, 70 tons and 104 tons respectively of coke during the current year. The price for coke that would be charged would be under consideration.
Permission was granted for the laying of extra stone setts around the water trough at the top of Well Street.
Friday April 10th saw the Monifieth History Society put on a display featuring the Foundries of Monifieth under the title……… Monifieth’s Famous Historic Foundries:
A display of photographs, memorabilia and research information relative to the part played locally and internationally by firms such as J F Low and Low & Duff.
On a bright sunny day the visitors came in to see the exhibition .
One of the visitors Mr. Jack Scott of Montrose had just celebrated his 100th birthday.
By Mhairi Pyott
Over many years I have read or been told of incidents and happenings associated with people from the Monifieth area.
You may judge for yourself as to the accuracy of such tales and events written in this recorded version.
Certainly some articles are factually correct, others, well you are left to make your own decision.
Hopefully you will be entertained by reading Monifieth Tales, Fact or Fiction
From : Frank Walker who was an employee.
There were two poplar trees, within the foundry grounds, quite near to the houses. In the Spring, every year there was a colony of rooks settled and attempted to build their nests. The noise and mess they generated cause problems. Finally the Fire Brigade, led by Firemaster Fenton, dislodged the nests with high pressure, water jets.
From : Donald Scott : Ex Management Employee.
I can recall being in the office when I was told that production had ceased. Everyone had `downed tools`. Believing some industrial problem had caused an `all out strike`, I rushed down to the factory floor.
To my amazement the reason for the `withdrawal of labour`, being my pet rabbits had escaped from their pen in the garden of my home adjoining the foundry premises. The workmen feared for their safety, running loose through the machinery, therefore everything ground to a halt
There was no equipment for breaking down large pieces of metal. This was overcome by hoisting a very large weight, by a rope over one of the highest branches of a tree within the foundry grounds. The large pieces of unwanted metal were stacked below the tree, then the force of the weight released from the branch was sufficient to smash most of the metal. One day it was noted that the tree was swaying badly. Close inspection showed the trunk of the tree to be hollow. Legend had predicted if the tree `came down` , then so would the Foundry. The tree was felled. !!!
From : Mrs Cook, Monifieth Resident.
Told to me by my late father.
In early 1914 with the outbreak of War in August, the manufacture of Textile Machinery was forbidden, in favour of munitions of war.
My father gave much praise to a Mr Robertson, uncle of Mary Christie, the sweet shop owner, who allowed him to work from 6 a.m. / 8 a.m. in the `pattern shop`, then as relief in the `tool room`, also from 6 a.m. / 8 a.m., in order that I would master the practical side of J.F. Low (Ironfounders).
At this time my father was Chief Draughtsman and all this practical experience led to him being made Works Manager in 1915, with a five years agreement.
The factory employed around 1000 people, operating a continuous shift system from 6p.m. on Sunday , until noon on Saturdays. Mr David McGraw was head of the office during those years. This was his `War Service`, since he had been
No 1, of Steel Bros of Rangoon. My father described him as one of the shrewdest and ablest man he ever knew.
Between them they `fought` the Ministry and mostly won.
Mr McGraw was later taken to London to Ministry Headquarters and kept in touch.
In 1917 `Headquarters` decided to double J. F Low`s capability, due to their increased efficiency, but apparently due to the War coming to an end, this did not appear to happen.
Charles T Gordon was managing Director, at this time.
After the War, J.F Low opened a works to produce Textile Machinery in India, but this venture failed with the loss of £88,000 mainly by Mr William Low.
by Local Historian Mhairi Pyott
With families reunited after what had been a long War, the residents of Monifieth were similar to all other communities in the United Kingdom, looking forward to peaceful change and ` better things to come.`