MAKING IT HAPPEN - OUR PLANS AND ACTION
The following was written half way through the project.
THINGS WE ARE FINDING OUT ABOUT IN THE LOOKING
BEHIND OUR DOORS PROJECT
WHO DID WHAT WORK WHERE?
WHEN AND WHERE?
In general we are looking at the Conservation Area, but range wider at need.
We took as an initial cut off point the year 1955, but have not been strict about this when interesting later material was found.
We [Ewan and Christine] ran initial ‘drop in sessions‘ in the Local History area of Kirrie Library to meet and work with people undertaking their own investigating work, and others interested to become involved and contribute. These sessions ran on Tuesdays June 18th, July 2nd, 16th, 30th.
PEOPLE WE ARE LEARNING MORE ABOUT
Who were Kirrie Town Drummers, who and when was the last one.
Was ‘Spuggie Young the Wiever’ in the old Kirrie rhyme a real person?
Jamie Hall, dung carter in the Roods, was real. When and where did he live?
Who were the Flying Stationers who came to Muckle Friday Fair?
Alan Reid who wrote the Regality Of Kirriemuir and other local books, and he and his wife recalled the old Kirrie Rhymes. We found obituary material about him, and at last learned his wife’s name. Then one of his descendants gave us a rich account of his life and work - see here.
Some people who are taking part in the Project had already been researching their own family histories, and kindly offered to contribute what they are learning about Kirrie workers and businesses in the past.
WORK AND BUSINESSES WE HAVE LEARNED MORE ABOUT
The weavers and the souters of Kirrie both started very early food co-operatives in the 1790s. There is a short footnote about them in the Old Statistical Account. We are learning more about them and the Kirrie Cooperative Society that was formed in 183. By 1867 that society had a bakery. We are learning where they were located. Most recently local historian Dave Orr has shared an image of a £1 Co-op Society token.
In 1791/2 the souters were ‘exporting 1200 pair of shoes' - where to?
And the weavers were manufacturing coarse linen – Osnaburgh, scrim and birdy. We want to explain more about these kinds of cloth.
The shops, factories, places of business – what could we document about them? When were they built? Who by? Who ran them, etc? We are developing sequences of narrative about the owners and businesses over time of selected buildings.
SOURCES WE USE
Old work directories – The Post Office Directory of 1846 and Slater’s Directory of 1878 list workers, businesses and street addresses, and are a key starting point for our work.
Microfilm newspaper files and Names Card Indexes held in Kirrie Library include the Kirriemuir Free Press and the Kirriemuir Observer. Excellent sources of information.
There is a rich store of books in Kirrie Library Local History section.
Photographs in Kirrie Connections Hub Memory Room.
Much useful information is held by Kirrie’s Museums.
Angus Archives has collections of photographs and research files, and a team happy to advise and assist.
Kirrie Heritage Trust has researched various topics and created information resources.
Handling sessions – The Gateway To the Glens Museum has kindly organised handling session of objects held by them.
Group visits – Angus Archives welcomes groups coming to research topics, and we hope to organise an event there.
WHAT WE ARE DOING WITH WHAT WE LEARN
We are creating files of information about people etc, and mapping visually what we are learning.
Our materials are being shared on this specially created website, and will be published in a booklet and a series of leaflets.
THE RHYMES OF KIRRIE
The project has already created a website of old and new rhymes of Kirrie. See www.kirriewords.webs.com.
Messages and material can be left at Kirrie Library or Kirrie Connections. Ewan McVicar is co-ordinating the project, contact him at : email@example.com, Tel 01381 600920, or 07842 041004.