Tales O Kirrie Toon

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Markets

MARKETS AND FAIRS

There were two Fairs each year on Kirriemuir Hill, and weekly markets in the town centre. 


The morn’s the Fair on Kirrie Hill, coos an cuddys tae buy or sell

Tents an booths an animal stands, deals made by spittin on hands

Cart wheels, cattle hides, spindles o yarn, hucksters, fleshers, loons frae the farms

Stalls for sweets or fresh baked bread, cheapjacks  sellin ribbons an threads

See the money that’s changin hands, lumps o notes or sovereigns grand

They’ll no be back for a month or three, so come an hae a tear.

Ewan McVicar


Two Great Annual Fairs were still held on Kirriemuir Hill in 1909, in July and October, [two smaller ones in June and December seem to have lapsed by this date], for sheep, horse, and black cattle; and for flax, wool, labouring utensils, and household necessaries.

Alan Reid tells us that in 1909 ‘The attenuated relic of an ancient and picturesque observance, the Fencing of the Market, may still be seen at the principal fairs and croft markets on the hill.’ Before 1843 this was a grand procession from the Town House. ‘In such state as the Regality uniforms, shining halbards, and orderly ranks afforded, the official custodians of the Burghal privileges marched to the Market Muir.’ The dealers had set up their tents, booths and stands and gathered in their beasts overnight, but no business could commence yet, the market was still “unfenced” till the Baillie arrived and an edict read out by the clerk.


An 1836 publication of the ‘table of customs charged at the markets’ is most illuminating.

One lippie per boll of meal, fourpence per stone of lint or wool. For each pound of cheese or butter a sixth of a penny, a stone of tallow one penny and a third, a hide of cattle one penny, boll of seed oats one penny, carcass of beef one penny.

Covered stands fourpence each, smaller stands in proportion. Woollen stands fourpence to one penny, according as the goods will make a cartload or not, shoemaker’s stand twopence to a halfpenny, huckster’s stand twopence to a penny.

Pair of cart-wheels or load of wood or fish one penny, spindle of yarn one halfpenny. Horse or cattle beast one penny and halfpenny, every sheep one farthing, load of potatoes or wood twopence to fourpence.

And, for every waggon for exhibiting shows, or the like, according to size, or length of time remaining, one shilling to 2s 6d.

In Kirrie Town Square every Friday 'the shoemakers, hucksters and cadgers pay one-third of a 

penny.'


Find source info re – flying stationer on Fridays

See a reference in Weavers page to reduction in weaving materials sales at Fairs