Tales Of Kirrie Toon

Carters Souters Coalmen

Carters, Souters, Coalmen


Carters and Carriers brought raw materials into town and carried away the finished work,

Before the railway came horse and cart brought in all that the town needed but could not make for itself.

In 1846 carriers included David Edward who lived in East-townend, George Fyfe in Kirk-Wynd, James Logan in West-townend, William Smith in Gardener's-close, John Wallace in the Roods,

Horse care in 1846 was provided by John Fleming, currier in South-townend, Barnet Kean, blacksmith, in the Roods, James Sandeman, blacksmith, in Back-wynd. James Stewart was the blacksmith in South-townend, William McNicol was a saddler in Glengate-street, Duncan Walker a saddler in the High-street.

By 1878 the railway had taken most of the carrying trade, the Kirrie carriers transporting goods on to Airlie, Balintore, Glenprosen, Memus and Roundyhill. But the blacksmith trade was brisk -six in Kirrie, three in Lintrathen, three in Airlie and one in Kingoldrum. 

There were other kinds of carter.

One of the old rhymes of Kirrie that Alan and Elizabeth Reid recalled was about Jamie Hall [a Carter in the Roods]

Fae sax o’clock I’ mornin

Till sax o’clock at nicht

Jamie Ha’s dung cairt’s

Never oot o sicht

We have not been able to track Jamie down in the Directories.

We were pleased however to learn that in 1846 Robert Anderson, hawker, lived in Thorter-row, and John Low, barber, in Crofthead. David Mann, molecatcher, and Joseph Ramsay, reedmaker, both lived in the Roods. [A reedmaker made a framed mesh of narrow canes or wires to keep the threads separate as they passed through the loom - a crucial component of each handloom.]

David McNair, herbalist, and Margaret Taylor, toy dealer, both had their businesses in the Roods in 1878, along with Isabella Wilkie, baby linen and repositories, and two register offices for servants.


In the 1790s there were enough shoemakers [souters] to start their own food co-op. And '1200 pair of shoes were made for exportation'. Old Statistical Account

The 1878 Slater Directory lists 14 boot and shoe makers.

But by 1909 ‘The leather industry has also [like the former breweries] come under a cloud. The tanworks are falling to ruin, and disaster has overtaken the laudable efforts of Mr Burnett to re-establish Kirriemuir as a centre for the production of boots and shoes.’ Reid 1909


Kirrie's coal and lime merchants by 1878 had sensibly based themselves conveniently at the railway station, all but William Edgar who operated from Crofthead. Some of the incoming coal would have been used by the gasworks. Plumbers and gasfitters Alexander Adams in Rodger's close and Arthur Ramsay in Roods st were on hand to connect up businesses and homes.

Image from vintagekirriemuir.com