Tales O Kirrie Toon

Click here to edit subtitle

Wilkie's Mill

Above, Hamish Rowan. Below Hamish with Jean-Christophe Granier.

Photos by Louise Kerr 

The Gairie factory was built as a linen works in about 1873-4 by John Ogilvy, and was situated next to the Gairie Burn to the south of the town centre. It grew to specialise in jute weaving, and had the biggest loomshed in Scotland.

It was eventually taken over by the neighbouring company of J and D Wilkie, after which the factory grew to specialise first in polypropolene, and later in non-woven fabrics. Jute weaving was then concentrated at Wilkie's Marywell Brae Works nearby.

The Marywell Works now hosts school visits to its Heritage Room, with a display of processes and artefacts. David Mann set up the Heritage Room, and used the handloom to weave A4 sized sample designs for prospective customers. 
Peter Spark, electrician in the Works, made a very fine DVD about the Works, including David Mann working the handloom which can be viewed on request at The Hub.
David’s colleague Charlie Speed was an engineer at the works for twenty years. One of his responsibilities was to restraighten Peter Pan’s pipe when it had been bent by some late night drunk.


FROM CANMORE


Kirriemuir, Bellies Brae, Gairie Works

Jute Works (19th Century)

Site Name Kirriemuir, Bellies Brae, Gairie Works

Classification Jute Works (19th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Garie Mill; Gairie Linen Works; Bellies Brae; Gairie Burn; Ogilvie's

Canmore ID 72776

Site Number NO35SE 61

NGR NO 38602 53795

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/72776

Collections

Photographs (48)

 

Prints and Drawings (1)

 Manuscripts (4)

 Digital Images (63)

 Other (1)

Administrative Areas

Council Angus

 Parish Kirriemuir

 Former Region Tayside

 Former District Angus

 Former County Angus

Archaeology Notes

NO35SE 61 38602 53795.

(Location cited as NO 387 538). Garie Mill, late 19th century. A group of snecked-rubble buildings, consisting of a 2-storey, 2- by 4-bay office block, a 2-storey, 18-bay finishing block, 8 bays of north-light weaving sheds, and single-storey stores and other ancillary blocks, some brick built. There are two engine-houses, one of which, until c. 1970, housed a Douglas and grant tandem-compound, drop-valve engine of 1916. There is a tall circular-section brick chimney. Some interesting machinery, including narrow jute looms and calendars and mangles.

J R Hume 1977.

This factory was built as a linen works in about 1873-4 by John Ogilvy, and is situated next to the Gairie Burn to the S of the town centre. It grew to specialise in jute weaving, and was eventually taken over by the neighbouring company of J and D Wilkie, after which the factory grew to specialise first in polypropolene, and later in non-woven fabrics. Jute weaving is now concentrated at Wilkie's Marywell Brae Works nearby.

The buldings are built mostly from dressed and squared red sandstone, and the hearyt of the factory comproses a large block of former power-loom weaving single-storeyed sheds (two-storeyed at the S end), with two associated steam engine houses, a boiler house and stores to the E. Both the main steame engines have been removed, but some of the original underfloor details have survived, as have the steam engine foundations in the N engine and dyamo houses.

At the time of survey, the factory was in use, and despite the changed function of its many parts, was remarkably intact. the major structural changes included the removal of nearly all line shafts and steam engines, the loss of the factory chimney stack, fire station, blacksmith's shop, waste store and water tower, and the filling in of the pond. in addition, a new yarn store and loading bay have been inserted, filling in open space towards to E side of the works. Most of these changes were associated with the takeover by Wilkie's in the early 1970s.

This survey attempts to record the factory as it was in December 1989 using a works plan dated 1988 (see RCAHMS DC 33068 and DP 009312) and a description of the various parts of the factory (see RCAHMS MS 5244).

General Features

Most buildings in the works are built from squared red sandstone rubble, with dressed quoins and margins...most bays of the former weaving sheds are north-lit with uneven-pitched slated roofs carrying octagonal cast iron ventilators and wind-vanes. The inside of the roofs are lathe and plastered, and have c.25mm tie-rods running across the bays at wallhead at slightly narrower intervals than those of the columns. Some other bays and individual buildings have even -pitched slate roofs supported by king-post roof trusses comprising wooden tie-beams, raking struts rafters, purlins and slateboards. Exceptions to the pattern of octagonal roof ventilators are the occasional round sheet metall ventilators of similar size, and in some areas , the appearance of tall, wood-framed louvered ridge ventilators , each with its own small pinded slate roof. All roofs have cast iron gutters. Most windows in the works are wooden-framed, usually having 8 or 10 panes, arranged vertically (2 panes wide) with the top pair pivoting open inwards on bottom hinges. Other common features to be found throughout the works include fluorescent strip-lighting, a fire-fighting sprinkler stem and a network of steam-heated convector heaters. Compressed air is also piped to some areas for a variety of purposes.

Visited by RCAHMS ( MKO) 7 December 1989.

RCAHMS MS 5244, DC 33068 and DP 009312.

Contact US

Sales Office

Jackie York & Moira Robertson

Email: sales@jdwilkie.co.uk

Tel: +44(0) 1575 572 502

Fax: +44(0) 1575 574 564

Switchboard

Tel: +44(0) 1575 572 502

Address

J&D Wilkie Ltd, Marywell Works, Kirriemuir, Angus, UK, DD8 4BJ



The Last Threid
0:00/4:54

The Last Threid

Andy Shanks , Christine Kydd


The weavin’s a’ but done nou

And the lassies a’ awa

The hum an stoor has settled

And my hair’s like April sna

But if I could undae the weave

And haud one last threid to stay
It’s gaen up the brae wi Sandy

At the glimmer-end o’ day.


I wis blithe and brave at fifteen years

Danced like the Gairie Burn
Strong as a smithie’s lass should be

I rose to take my turn.

When the bummer went at Wilkie’s Mill

I left the child behind me

Hard, sae hard for a Kirrie lass

Her ane threid yet tae find.


The threids o’ life flee by

Full o’ thunner-stane and sky

But I found my place in time

To thrum the last jute on the line.


Rosie went tae service

Millie tae the field

Maw had me for a ‘Toufie’

My futur set and sealed.

Wi Heidelberg and steaming heat,

Tho the days seemed owre lang,

In the threid o’ Sandy’s quiet ways

I fund a tweel where I belang’d .


It’s an ill wind blaws doon the Den

Wi nae siller in its draw

Ma hert beat wis the stamp machine

Till ma lad swept me awa.

Soon, wedded, paid aff, back agin

An singin tae be free

Wi the threid o’ Sandy’s steady hand

An a Kirk Wynd front door key.


The threids o’ life flee by

Full o’ thunner-stane and sky

But I found my place in time

To thrum the last jute on the line.


Now Bellies Brae is seelenced

An the caddice blown and gone,

The threids atween the mill an toon

Like the last screed o’ a song.

But if I could undae the weave

And haud one last thread to stay

Be gaen up the brae wi Sandy

At the glimmer-end o’ day.