Tag Archives: Monifieth Local History Society

Monifieth Heritage Centre


There has always been a problem in Monifieth finding accommodation for meetings.

It was the reason why MLHS initially, in 2004, leased the premises at 55  High Street, which resulting from donations of items  etc by members of the community developed into  Monifieth House of Memories / Heritage Centre.

One of the main attractions by the MLHS, and a valid reason for the lease application for the former Angus Access Office being the anti rooms, which not only would allow setting up for research etc, but also have available meeting space for other discussion / learning groups..

Monifieth residents are accustomed to travelling out with the town to find services on offer to those in other Angus towns.



As you can see from this years books we need support in our venture.

Balance sheet 31st October 2017


Should we be successful with our Lease Application for the Angus Access Office, and I sincerely hope we are, then we must start getting into place formal plans for the management of a Monifieth Community Heritage Centre. Please note that the key word is Community, which means that they would be required to play a much more active part in supporting the ambitious project. We the Monifieth Local History Society will continue as we have done for 14 years to promote the Monifieth Heritage story, however, we will only be part of the Heritage Centre  giving our support .
The proposed Heritage Centre will not only attract more  visitors to Monifieth, it will help `town centre regeneration`, something very badly lacking at present, for all High Street businesses. Monifieth would be moving up the ladder, on the tourist trail, catching all the visitors in the area, due to the opening of the  V & A, more  cruise liners docking at Dundee.
A Heritage Centre Management Committee will need to be established from those who are willing to become involved. Can we state now that this is something which should not only be undertaken by the “Golden Oldies / Senior Citizens” but those with ambitions and committment to preserving the not only the heritage , but the community of Monifieth, which is rapidly becoming a Dundee dormitory.

President’s Report September – Become a Friend

Friday 8th September 2017.

We are depleted in numbers due to the illness, of Alex Bell, our Vice President, and Doris Bayne, our Treasurer.

Their invaluable work as Society volunteers, I feel should be recognised by nomination for Honorary Membership, with the wish to see them soon back in good health . Seems as though the summer is over and we are now planning for the Autumn months. We should feel some sense of achievement in the fact that after 17 years since the formation of the group, we are still very active and contributing a much welcomed service to the community at large.

Monifieth, unlike other Angus towns, being bereft of some services provided by the Angus Council Administration, is dependent on voluntary organisations to preserve and encourage the sense of community. Monifieth Local History Society’s objective in preserving the Heritage of the local area. The success of our work, can perhaps be gauged by the House of Memories, and Website, both being very active for over 13 year, and yet still creating much interest.

The financing of both has over the years been graphically ‘peaks & troughs’, and causing many sleepless hours for those associated with fundraising. However, we are still here and operational, thanks to the generosity of the local community, Angus Council Community Funding, and the initiative of our volunteer fundraisers. We still survive. The Future requires us to consider, even re-consider ideas old and new, to maintain and improve our objectives. We do have some feedback from those who attended our recent talk “Monifieth’s Disappearing Heritage”, for example; Friends of the House of Memories. Those who are prepared to sign up as interested in supporting our work, without the necessity of becoming ‘paid up ‘ members.


One final suggestion, with the approach of the ‘cooler autumn days’, the ’55’ volunteers, bring out their woollens for warmth.( Energy prices are rising) Thank you all for your commitment and hard work.


The Monifieth Local History Society was formed in September 2000 under the patronage of Lord George Thomson, of Monifieth, by a number of people interested in researching, recording, and promoting the social and industrial past of the ancient community of Monifieth.

The main objective of the Societybeing to create an awareness of the many historic happenings, and events connected with the Burgh, locally, nationally and internationally.

Learned historians have recorded that in pre-historic times , the only collection of human dwellings, in what we now call Scotland, were at Laws, Ardestie and Ardownie sometime around 3000BC.

The development over 5000 years to the present day has resulted in a community spirit, which is caring, vibrant, and very much concerned with the future of how their home own will evolve.

The Society’s work will hopefully convey the innermost feelings of the people of Monifieth past and present.

The future is unpredictable, however, with the experience of a community surviving for 5000 years, we believe Monifieth’s residents will look forward with future generations considering it to be ” The Best Place to call Home ”

Ardestie Earth House

Ardestie Earth House

As sure as the sun, has arisen and set for thousands of years the Dighty flows into the Tay beside the place where many have been proud to call home.

To others it is known as Monifieth







The Scottish Cemetery: 159B, Ustad Enayet Khan Ave, Park Circus, Park Street area, Kolkata, West Bengal 700017, India




One of the results of the Act of Union (1707) was the ability of Scots to engage in the opportunities provided by organisations like the East India Company. Henry Dundas (1742-1811) “the uncrowned King of Scotland”, helped to bring the activities of the Company under the direct control of the British government. By 1792 as many as 1 out of 9 civil servants in the Company were Scots, along with a third of all officers in the army in India and 1 in 11 of its soldiers.  Scots, including soldiers, missionaries, jute traders and businessmen went on to play a prominent part in the economic development and administration of West Bengal.



Scots were heavily involved in trade. Coal, timber, sugar, indigo, and cotton all had large markets created by the Industrial Revolution in back in Britain, and by the 1880s West Bengal was also the world leader in the production of quality tea. Of local interest, from the 1830s it became possible to mechanically spin jute fibres and much of the raw material jute made its way to the mills of Dundee.





Such were the numbers of Scottish-linked families in India that they formed a regiment in the British Indian Army: the Calcutta Scottish. Their badge featured the Saltire as well as the arms of the city, and they wore Hunting Stewart tartan.





St Andrews Church in Dalhousie Square, built in 1816, is now part of the Church of North India; and the nearby Scottish Cemetery at Calcutta was established in 1820.



Extending to 6 acres (24,000 m2) the cemetery now lies within a dense urban area in the centre of Kolkata. It is enclosed by a high wall; and the entrance, which bears the title “Scottish Cemetery” over an archway, is flanked by a restored gatehouse. The cemetery is roughly square in plan and laid out largely in a grid pattern.  It contains over 1600 burial plots, with well over 2000 burials.

All burials were recorded in meticulous detail and are preserved in the original ledgers kept at St Andrews Church and the Cemetery gatehouse.  Well over 90% of the names are recognisably ex patriot Scots; most of the others are prominent Christian Bengalis.  The memorials are generally of imported Scottish sandstone or granite. Towns of origin mentioned on the various stones include Paisley, Sutherland, Fife, Campbeltown, and many from the Dundee area including Arbirlot, Broughty Ferry, and Monifieth.



Although the cemetery was in use until the 1940s, it was abandoned in the 1950s and almost all the original lead (used in lettering) and cast iron has been removed. By the turn of the twentieth century the cemetery was derelict and overgrown; the monuments and stones were broken and decayed. The cemetery, was a great burden for St Andrew’s church to maintain; and it served no useful purpose for the relatives of the people buried there or, more importantly, for the local population.




However, it is a rare, largely undeveloped area space in a densely populated part of Kolkata; and it has considerable potential not only as a regeneration project but also a revenue generating tourist attraction.



A conservation project, initiated by the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), is now led by the Kolkata Scottish Heritage Trust with the following aims:

  1. To maintain the Scottish Cemetery as a managed green space which can be a ‘lung’ for the surrounding population as inspired by the ideals of Sir Patrick Geddes.
  2. To research and record of the cemetery and thereby improve the understanding of the site, its history and its genealogical importance. To make this information readily available.
  3. To restore the cemetery buildings and as many of the monuments as possible.
  4. To establish a centre for training traditional building skills necessary for the repair and restoration of the monuments as well as of the traditional buildings of Kolkata.


In 2008 the cemetery was cleared of invasive vegetation which had been the principal cause of decay to memorials and headstones. Thereafter, it was possible to conduct a detailed archaeological survey, to assess the condition of surviving monuments and consider the most effective means of repair. Much of the survey work was conducted by RCAHMS (the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic and Monuments of Scotland).



The initial work of clearing the overgrown vegetation was done by Simpson and Brown Architects of Edinburgh with Addyman Archaeology. The boundary wall has been repaired and made secure, lighting has been installed, gardeners have been employed to keep the vegetation under control, the Gatehouse (with toilets) has been conserved for the use as an interpretation centre for the visitors and tourists, and workers quarters has been constructed. Levelling for proper drainage is in progress; and research continues for developing compatible traditional mortar. Planting of flowers, trees, and shrubs has been undertaken to encourage butterflies and nesting birds and so enhance the area as a sustainable natural eco-system within the built up area.



The second phase of the work was started by Neeta Shubhrajit Das Associates in 2012. Dr Das attended a residential training course at the Scottish Lime Centre Trust in Fife, Scotland in 2013 to study the manufacture and application of traditional lime-based building materials including mortars and renders. She will train local craftsmen to ensure that the historic buildings and memorials are appropriately conserved.

In addition to all that, The Kolkata Scottish Heritage Trust is working in partnership with the Presidency University, Kolkata and the University of St Andrews to digitise the cemetery’s burial archives.


The Monifieth Connection: Samuel William Low of Monifieth, Forfarshire

Alexander Johnston Warden, Angus or Forfarshire, the Land and People, Descriptive and Historical Published 1880 (Part XIV) details that Lows had been resident in Monifieth for 300 years. In 1849 James Fairweather Low and his brother, Samuel Miller Low took over what in 1880 was described by Warden as “a large and thriving concern now known as Monifieth Foundry, and about 300 operatives have steady employment at the various departments of the work. The machinery sent out by Mr Low has made him and his work known in all parts of the world where flax or jute is spun.”

Samuel Miller Low had married Grace Margaret Lyell the eldest daughter of Dr Lyell, a physician in Dundee, and they had three sons and four daughters. Charles William Low (1867- 1897 in India). Charles brother, George Carmichael Low (14 October 1872 – 31 July 1952), was a celebrated Scottish parasitologist who in the course of a distinguished career was President of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. He worked with Sir Ronald Ross who in 1902 had received the Nobel Prize for his work, in Calcutta by co-incidence, on the transmission of malaria.

See also MHAIRI PYOTT “J F Low Ironfounders – the Foundry by the Sea. Posted on August 28, 2013 on The Monifieth Local History Society Web Site



  Nick Goes to Eden Gardens

SLIDE16086 The Sherriff of Kolkata





You Tube: Scottish Cemetery in Kolkata is worth a look.

Twelve years on

Looking back to our first news

Monifieth Local History Society

        Newsletter Letter

        Thursday, 05 February 2004

Seven days is said to be a long time in politics.

It can also be an endurance test for the members of the Monifieth Local History Society. The prolonged legal negotiations for the lease of 55 High Street, Monifieth are finally reaching a conclusion.

Now the `real work` begins.

The clearing up, painting, decorating and setting up the displays will keep everyone out of mischief for a while.

The Trustees, who are to manage the day to day running of the Monifieth House of Memories, are busy with pens, papers and calculators working out business plans, costing strategies and `fund raising` activities.

No complaints though, they are eager to see the first member of the public through the door, to view the display, even sit down for a chat about events and days long past.

You may wish to know “When will that be?”

No definite answer, as lessons were learned from the delays that can occur out with our control

Re. Finalising the Property Lease.

The more help and assistance given then the sooner the `Opening Day`. The old saying “Every mickle maks a muckle” could be applied to the situation.

Help in any shape or form will be gratefully received.

The video “Monifieth Past, Present & Future” is still very much sought after. Already this project has generated £2000 towards funding for the House of Memories.


Seven days since the launch in the Monifieth Public Library Learning Suite.

We have already had quite a number of `hits`. Tell us what you think of our site? .

What would you prefer to see?

Have you any Monifieth Tales?


Monifieth Quiz.

Who was James Gerard Young?

Where were the `Brickies`?

Where was the Tram Depot?

Where was Albert Works?

Where was Jennie Barrie`s Inn?

Letters from Abroad.

This week a letter arrived from an internationally, well known “Monifieth Laddie”, Walter Deas.

Accepted as one of the World`s leading experts on under water photography and diving, Walter still keeps up links with his `home` town. Now resident in Australia he does visit his family in Scotland, between spells working , in some exotic spot filming .

Thanks Walter for noticing us.

Monifieth Beach pre 1950

Monifieth Beach pre 1950

The Replica of the Monifieth Pictish Stone

Replica of the Monifieth Pictish Stone

Replica of the Monifieth Pictish Stone









Monifieth being located in South Pictland, the learned gentlemen of the kirk , narrowed down the establishment of Christianity in the area to between 570 / 580 AD. The close proximity of the Laws, with it`s fortifications, broch etc., in association with the souterrains at Ardestie, Carlungie and Ardownie, it was most certainly a very important Pictish settlement.

Continue reading

Angus Heritage Week

Angus Heritage Week:

Wednesday 10th  September, 2 – 4pm

Monifieth Local History Society Display

Monifieth Community Cabin, South Union Street , Monifieth

This is the place

This is the place

Monifieth Local History Society will have on display a selection of photographs, memorabilia and researched information material relative to Local Heritage.


Checking the Information

Checking the Information

Tea will be served.

Tea and Discussion

Tea and Discussion


Everybody who came  seemed to have an enjoyable afternoon.



You don`t say!

Taking a break

Taking a break

Tea in the Monsoon

Two teas please!

Two teas please!

 The  pictures from Anne, which were taken at “Tea in the Monsoon”  !!!. Despite the weather it turned out a great success story with everyone enjoying the afternoon and thanks to great support we raised over £230 for the House of Memories.
We found a dry spot

We found a dry spot


Meet the backroom team

Head Gardner

Head Gardner


At the ready

At the ready

Have tea - will deliver

Have tea – will deliver

Tour of the garden

The Garden tour

The Garden tour

Welcome desk




Stall holders

Stall holders

Final check

Final check

Commonwealth games arrives nearby

Work has been done to spruce up the House of Memories for the Commonwealth games with the shooting competitions taking place in nearby Carnoustie.


This was taken on the 27th July.

In case you are wondering about the car it is our President, Mrs Copland’s.

The person by the window must have been drawn to look at the decorations…..

a close up for you.



Don’t forget to check Doors Open Days which will give you details of September’s events.

The Rt Hon Lord Peter Fraser of Carmyllie QC

It was a very solemn occasion when we learned of the sudden death of the Patron of Monifieth Local History Society, Lord Peter Fraser of Carmyllie. We were indeed very privileged to have been one of the groups to have been within the broad spectrum of his many interests. An interna­tionally acclaimed politician, man of the law, sportsman, family man, who still managed to find time for those from the local area, such as MLHS.

His knowledge of the Heritage of Angus , in particular the light­houses , he willingly shared with others.

A great man of many interests and parts , he was most of all a ” Man of the People” who will be sadly missed by them, Never forgotten.

Lord Peter Fraser of Carmyllie

Lord Peter Fraser of Carmyllie

Revised Constitution

Monifieth Local History Society


  1. 1.  The name of the group shall be Monifieth Local History Society.
  2. 2.  Aims and Objectives.

2.1        To act as a group catering for residents and other groups interested in research, and representing Local History in the Monfieth area.

2.2        The aim of the group shall  be to advance the education of the public about the history of the Monifieth area and in furtherance of this aim develop and share Local History information through events, displays of common interest to the residents of Monifieth, Angus, also nationally and internationally.

  1. 3.  Structure

3.1        The group shall consist of individuals and group representatives interested in researching

3.2         and producing local history projects, information and literature. Any individual interested in the society is entitled to apply for membership. Representatives of appropriate Angus Council departments may form part of the group as non voting members in accordance with Angus Council regulations.

3.3         The group reserve the right to suspend or refuse membership.

  1. 4.  Powers

4.1        The group shall be empowered to organise events, fund raise, and produce a Newsletter as part of the informing process.


4.2        The group shall be a non profit making organisation.

  1. 5.  Meetings

5.1        The group shall meet on a regular basis , at a suitable venue.

5.2        The committee shall meet on a monthly basis, as and  when required.

5.3        An Annual General Meeting shall be held once a year, when the President`s report and Treasurer`s statement and Accounts shall be presented for approval. At this meeting an election of the President, Secretary, Vice President and Treasurer will take place. Two examiners will be appointed to check the statement of accounts. Members shall receive 21 days notice of the said Annual General Meeting.

5.4        A request for an Extra –ordinary General Meeting may be made by any member subject to written application containing the signature of not less than three of the members. This meeting will take place within 28 days as receipt of application, giving seven clear days notice to all members.

5.5          A quorum for any Annual General Meeting and Extra-ordinary General Meeting  which may occur, shall consist of not less than 3 members or 50% of the current membership which ever is the smaller.

6     Voting

6.1                    Only those present at ant General Meeting are entitled to vote, and

Each member will be entitled to one vote.

6.2                    A simple majority at any quorate meeting shall take decisions. In the       

Event of a tied vote the President shall hold the casting vote in addition to his/her deliberate vote.

7     Finance

7.1                    Any money received on behalf of the group shall be lodged in a bank account and administered by the person appointed Treasurer.

7.2                    Any 2 of 3 Office Bearers will be required to authorise cheques.

7.3                    The President  nominated by the group will sign funding application and acceptance  of funding awards and grants.

7.4                    No member shall incur expenses on behalf of the group without prior permission of the President  or Treasurer.

7.5                    The financial year shall be from November 1st – October 31st. Books shall be presented for examination within two months of the end of the financial year.

7.6                    The group shall have powers to get annual fees  if and when deemed necessary

8     Constitution

8.1                    A request for alteration to the Constitution must be received at least 28 days prior to the date set for the Annual General Meeting.

Such a request should be signed by a proposer and a seconder. 

9     Dissolution

9.1                    The group may be dissolved at any time but only at an Annual  General Meeting / Extra –ordinary General Meeting and any such decision must be supported by two-thirds of those attending.

9.2                     Any assets of the group, either cash or property will be allocated to a group of charitable status with similar aims.  None of the Society`s assets may be distributed or otherwise Applied (on being wound up at any other time ) except to further it`s charitable purposes.  The recipient group will be selected at this meeting and assets will be disbursed within 28 days.

9.3                    Before assets have been disbursed all monies owed by the group will be paid.