Tales Of Kirrie Toon



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Blogs one and two

Posted by Ewan McVicar on 18 September, 2019 at 4:10 Comments comments (3738)


I thought it would be useful to give an idea of how the project is developing, thanks to generous sharing that people have already done. Sandra Affleck has given us a copy of her Street By Street Survey, 1885 till about 1900. Dave Orr has given us various fascinating files including information about the town’s drummers and criers. Alice S has shared her detailed analysis of trades and occupations information in the 1841 Kirrie Census, and sample information about Kirrie people from the Dundee Courier of 1900.

Add to the above the photos etc in the Hub Memory Room, and the information in the Post Office Directory of 1846 and Slater’s Directory of 1878, and there are four potential areas for mapping pages to be created on the new website.

Each section would have two elements, a] basic statistical information, e.g, number of shoemakers or weavers living in a grouping of two or three streets, and b] Illustrative – accounts of individuals and trades – e.g. milliners, tinsmiths, the four comedians staying overnight in Kirrie in 1841.


The Trades O The Toon sessions at Kirrie Library are producing much fascinating information.

Alice Bremner has uncovered that on Census Night 1841 no less than four comedians were living overnight in Kirrie. Unless there was a Kirrie theatre no one knows of, they must have been a travelling troupe – where would they have performed? Open air in the Square?

Dave Orr has shared a list of Kirrie Town Drummers and Criers, and a wonderful account of the best-known one, Tam Barnet, who also features in Alan Reid’s Regality Of Kirriemuir.

Ewan had puzzled over the location of Newtown, but of course this is Southmuir, a newer build to the south of the old town. Kirrie had a New Town long before Cumbernauld and Glenrothes.

Some weavers’ cottages elsewhere had large windows built into the south-sloping roofs to let light in. But Kirrie weavers’ cottages were fairly dark, built with a small window in the north gable to take the heavy roll of finished cloth out.

In 1900 the Dundee Teeth Depot had a branch in Glengate Street, Kirrie , selling teeth sets from 21 shillings, ‘Country patients supplied the same day. Painless extraction by gas, 3s 6p’. Alice Bremner found this gem.

Bob Inglis recalled the Xmas Cracker Factory that flourished in Kirrie in the early 1950s. The owner Jeff Hallan would drive up from England, load up his van with the product the factory’s two employees had laboured to make, and sell Kirrie crackers all across Britain.0