The Newport, Wormit & Forgan Archive

The Tayside Annual and Directory for Newport, Wormit and Tayport for 1907

[This volume was essentially a directory of Newport, Wormit and Tayport to which was added articles on life in the burghs in 1906. It was edited and produced by Alex. R McFarlane, a journalist living in Newport. The editorial content for the Newport and Wormit sections are transcribed here. The complete Annual is held by the Local History Centre, Dundee Central Library. A copy of the Newport and Wormit sections only can be downloaded here (this is a large .pdf file). The entries in the Directory sections for Newport and Wormit are included in the Directories listings on this site (listed as 1907 Tayside Annual).

The Annual is dated 1907, but the information for it was collected in 1906 and it was published in December 1906.]


In Municipal matters the year 1906 has been a stirring one in Newport. At the very first meeting of the Town Council it was decided to take over the Braes from Mr Berry of Tayfield; and at the same meeting Mr D. A. Donald, the Burgh Surveyor, submitted a report on the proposed concreting of the footpaths. The estimated cost of the improvements detailed was over £1,100. During the year a great many of the footpaths of the burgh have been laid with granolithic, and, although there is some regret that Newport is losing the village characteristics which have formed part of its charm, it is generally conceded that the new footpaths are a great boon in the wet weather. Incidentally, it may be mentioned that the Council Chamber has been extended and re-decorated, while the Corporation premises have been enlarged by the inclusion of the room where the School Board used to meet. The Braes and Gowrie Hill have been taken over as open spaces for public use, the occupation being from year to year. The Braes have been used as a dumping ground, while in the wood on Gowrie Hill swings have been erected for the children. The election was productive of a remarkable fighting speech by ex-Bailie G. R. Thom, who showed a wonderful grasp of municipal affairs. The polling, however, resulted in the ousting of Mr Thom in the First Ward by Captain George Rollo, and of Bailie Adams in the Third Ward by Mr James Strachan. In Ward II Councillor R. T. Leitch was returned unopposed.

The Church Life of the community is maintained at a high level. The outstanding event of the year was the application by the Rev. James S. Scotland, of Trinity U.F. Church, for the appointment of a colleague and successor. The congregation have been fortunate in securing the Rev. William Young, a minister who has won golden opinions during fifteen years' service at Crail. The settlement has been altogether most harmonious. The induction is fixed for January 10, 1907.

Politically the year opened with the country in the stir of a General Election. Captain Gilmour, Mr Asquith's opponent in East Fife, came in for a severe heckling at Newport, but was awarded a unanimous vote of confidence. The Liberals had also a meeting in the Blyth Hall, but Mr Asquith was not present. On polling day both sides were very active. Captain Gilmour, with Mrs Gilmour, visited the polling station in the afternoon, while Mr Asquith and Miss Asquith came in the evening. In October, Liberals were favoured with a visit from Mr Asquith, by that time Chancellor of the Exchequer. The occasion was the opening of the Liberal Club for another session. Under the energetic leadership of Mr G. L. Wilson the Club makes steady progress. The Ladies' Liberal Association have had a busy year, and their meetings have been productive of many splendid discussions. The Women's Suffrage question has been kept well to the fore, both by invading 'suffragettes' and by our local advocates of the cause.

John Fergusson

Educational Affairs have been more than usually interesting in 1906. The outstanding event was the retirement of Mr John Fergusson from the headmastership of Newport School, after 42 years' service. It is a long record, and it has been as honourable as it is long. Mr Fergusson has loved his work, and he has had his reward in the good show which so many of his old pupils have made in the battle of life. The retirement of so zealous a public servant could not pass unnoticed by the community, and on November 15th, before a large and represent audience in the Blyth Hall, Mr Fergusson was presented with tokens of the general appreciation of his valuable services. Provost Carswell presided, and Mr William Thomson, an old pupil, made the presentation in a very felicitous speech. The gifts took the form of a silver tea service and a purse of sovereigns, along with a jewelled pendant for Miss Fergusson. In Mr Harry Willsher, M.A., the community has been fortunate in securing a highly qualified successor to Mr Fergusson. The School Board election in March produced a big poll. Wormit secured four of the seven seats, and Forgan one; but Mrs Leitch and Mr George Drummond, Newport's two successful candidates, headed the poll, Mrs Leitch securing 972 votes. The Higher Grade School now affords exceptional facilities for the youth of Newport acquiring secondary education. The science laboratory is equipped with the latest appliances, and Mr George S. Dickson, M.A., B.Sc., is an admirable teacher. The team from Forgan School carried off the challenge shield for 1906. A feature of the course of instruction at this school is the attention devoted to practical work.

The Tayside Laundry Company, Ltd. opened business in July in splendid new premises at Northfield, They have adopted the principle put in force with so much success at Bournville and Port Sunlight, viz., the planting of industrial establishments in the country. The laundry is surrounded by green fields, and the situation, overlooking the River Tay, is an ideal one. The inside appointments of the establishment are of the most modern description. A special gas engine, which manufactures its own gas, generates the electricity which drives the machinery. The nickel-plated irons are heated by electricity, and produce beautiful work. Under the skilled management of Miss Sturrock, and with every natural and scientific advantage, the new laundry produces the highest class of work.

The Weddings of the Year included that of Mr William Berry of Tayfield to Miss Wilhelmina Graham Barns-Graham, third daughter of Mr Allan Graham Barns-Graham of Craigallian, Stirlingshire; Limekilns, Lanarkshire, and other seats. The ceremony took place in the picturesque Parish Church of Strathblane, Stirlingshire, on 24th July, and was performed by the Rev. W. B. Moyes, the parish minister. A reception was afterwards held at Craigallian by Mr and Mrs Barns-Graham. The presents were numerous and beautiful. In Newport flags were flying from most of the principal buildings in honour of the occasion. On returning from their honeymoon Mr and Mrs Berry received a cordial welcome home. Another wedding in which much interest was taken was that of the Rev. Frederick J. Rae, Beechgrove U.F. Church, Aberdeen, formerly of St Fillan's, Newport, to Miss Marianne Dorothy Stalker, daughter of the Rev. Professor Stalker, D.D. The marriage was celebrated in Beechgrove Church, on 17th April. On the 8th August Mr John Stuart M'Walter, solicitor, was married to Miss Helen Grant Nicoll. On the 15th of the same month was celebrated the wedding of Miss Jean M. Munro, the popular vocalist, and well known as leader of Newport Parish Church choir, to Mr James Whyte, St Arland's, East Newport. On September 12th Miss Effie Young, teacher, youngest daughter of Mr William Young, blacksmith, stationer, was united in wedlock to Mr John Gilmour, stationer, Cupar Fife. Mr James Scrimgeour, B.L., son of our Town Clerk, was married in London to Miss Stephen. On September 28th, in Dundee Parish Church, Miss Laura Georgina Kate Phillips was wedded to Mr Robert Paterson Keddie, son of the late Mr Robert Keddie, Newport. On October 10th the marriage took place at Carnoustie of Mr James Herbert Smith, Newport, and Jeanie, eldest daughter of the late James Hay, Carnoustie.

The Musical Talent of Newport is of a very high order, and this has been well shown by the performances of the various Societies during 1906. In March the Choral Society gave an excellent concert, the second part being devoted to John More Smieton's 'Ariadne'. Mr W. J. Pae, after eleven years' splendid and devoted service as conductor, retired from that office, and has been succeeded by Mr W. J. Calderwood. The members have been devoting themselves to the study of 'Elijah'. The Orchestral Society, under the able conductorship of Mr W. P. Fleming, delighted a large audience at their concert. The singing of Miss Louisa Moir, and the violin playing of Herr Gottlieb Feuerberg, were notable additions to the attractions provided by the Orchestra. The month of March was also remarkable for the sparkling entertainment provided by Newport Operatic Society. A delightful representation of Gilbert and Sullivan's comic opera 'The Sorcerer', was given to crowded audiences on three successive evenings. Both singing and acting were of a high order; while the piece was very effectively staged. This winter 'The Pirates of Penzance' is being studied. Nor does the Operatic Society exhaust all the dramatic talent of the burgh. The Girls' Guild of the Congregational Church showed to great advantage in their performance of 'The Grammar Fairies'; while at the Working Men's Club Concerts on Saturday evenings very clever dramatic pieces have occasionally been given. Genuine pleasure has been manifested in the community over the musical successes of Miss Nellie Thom, daughter of ex-Bailie Thom. In June she passed with honours the Royal College of Music examination for violin, and later in the year gained a scholarship, winning the first place in the United Kingdom.

Forgan Nursing Association is already a highly-appreciated boon in the district. In its aid a high-class concert was given in the Blyth Hall early in February. The first annual meeting of the Association heard an excellent record of good work done. Nurse Emily Moir had paid no fewer than 3,386 visits, and her labours had proved of the highest value. Since then the good work has been continued, The Newport Branch of the Onward and Upward Association continues to do splendid work. Miss Fraser, the President, gained the prize awarded for Scotland for having introduced most members.

Comerton Home had ideal weather for its 13th re-union in June, and the al fresco function was a great success, a feature being the happy speech by Sir John Leng. The Home does a great work amongst the poor children.

The Newport Literary Society, one of the oldest established bodies of the kind in the Kingdom, scored a distinct success with its fancy dress dance in the Blyth Hall in January, the artistic costumes of the fifty couples present forming a very striking scene. Mr D. Ferguson, as Secretary, was successful in arranging an excellent syllabus for session 1906-7; but, unfortunately, owing to a break-down in health, he had to demit office.

Our Athletes have done fair justice to themselves during the year. The Hockey Club, though a comparatively new organisation, has given a splendid account of itself, and on Waterstone Park some famous opponents have been overcome. The Lawn Tennis Club reached the final in the Second Division League of the Midland Counties' Association, and gained a great victory over the 2nd West End, Dundee. The Bowling Club also highly distinguished itself, a Newport team, skipped by Mr J. B. Philip, carrying off the Barclay Cup in the Counties competition. Our oarsmen, too, were well to the fore, and at the Regatta in September the Coronation Cup, presented by Sir John Leng, was gained by the Kinbrae, the Newport boat, stroked by Mr D. Kay. A very popular feature of the Regatta was the race for the whalers of the destroyer fleet.

Our Losses by Death during the past year include Mr James Brown, one of Newport's pioneers, who had an important share in the erection of a large part of the burgh; Mrs Reoch, Grenada, an active worker in St Fillan's U.F. Church, and in schemes for the public weal; Mrs Scott, widow of Staff-Commander Charles Casely Scott (at one time captain of the 'Mars' Training Ship); Mrs John Guild, Mackie House, aged 85; Mrs David Jeffrey, Kilnburn Place, almost an octogenarian; Mr William C. Fairweather, a promising young man, only in his 22nd year; Mrs Sutherland, for many years matron of the hospital in connection with the 'Mars' Training Ship; Mr James C. Don, blacksmith - the result of an accident at his work; Mrs Salmond, High Street, suddenly called away; Mr John Storry Stewart, Bellevue Terrace, aged 83; Mrs James Ronald, Ravenscraig, aged 83; Captain Otto M. Lindberg, a veteran shipmaster, long connected with Newport; Mr James Stiven, mill furnisher, Rosemount; Mr Archibald Henderson, Sunnyside, in his 82nd year; Mr Henry Spry, late chief officer of the 'Mars'; Mrs Brand, Robert Street, aged 70; Mr Alexander Neilson, sculptor, Woodend, highly esteemed in artistic, musical, and literary circles; Miss Annie Just, aged 81, a member of the family who founded the Congregational Church.


This flourishing suburb continues to maintain its progressive character in matters relating to intellectual, political, and social activity. Although building operations have decreased slightly for some years, very few houses are at present unoccupied, and at least fifteen new families have joined our ranks within the past year.

While Wormit cannot claim the distinction of possessing ancient monastic institutions, or ruined Gothic cathedrals, Church Life is very vigorous, as evidenced by the good congregations attending both places of worship. In the Established Church the Rev. R. C. Mitchell has been appointed to a charge in Perth, and his successor, the Rev. C. R. M'Murray, from Bonhill, Alexandria, Dumbartonshire, has just been inducted. The energetic and industrious ladies of the congregation had their annual sale of work in the spring, and, as usual, it was very successful. The members of the U.F. Church are delighted with the return of their minister, Rev. J. A. Tweedie, from South Africa, where he has been carrying on church work for six months. The ladies of the congregation had a jumble sale in the autumn, by which a considerable sum of money in aid of the building fund was raised.

In Municipal Affairs the burning question in the Town Council has been the making and taking of roads. One new member, Mr James Strachan, has been elected in place of Mr J. O. Adams for the Third Ward. In April, Wormit returned four of the seven members of Forgan School Board, namely, Messrs F. I. Oakley, G. C. Mitchell, A. Lindsay, and P. Scott. The lighting of the railway station with gas, and the introduction of a telephone exchange, have added to the attractiveness of the village. Mr George Colley's [sic] stabling and hiring establishment gives much satisfaction to the inhabitants. The public school, under Mr D. M. Allison, M.A., and the private one under Miss Montgomery's care, do very valuable work among the young people, while their musical talent is carefully cultivated by the various music teachers in the village. The County Council, as usual, have been active in providing and arranging for additional instruction, and a class for blouse-making has been conducted. Mr George Tudhope's class for young people in connection with the 'Welfare of Youth' scheme is even more popular and successful this season than usual. The Band of Hope, conducted by Mr George Peattie, is very well attended. The Liberal Club maintains its old vigour, and several excellent lectures - one particularly so by Miss F. M. Duncan - have been delivered during the winter. The Literary Society also has a first-rate membership, and many good subjects appear on the new syllabus. With Mr P. Lowson as President and Miss J. Sturrock as Secretary the present session is proving eminently successful. Amusements for young and old are provided. The Bowling-Green now - thanks to the activity of the ladies of the community in promoting a bazaar - is free from debt, and continues to entice the gentlemen from their gardening and other useful occupations; and the Rifle and Archery Clubs have each their enthusiastic champions.

The year 1906 has of course had its Sad and Sorrowful side, many familiar, loved friends having been taken for ever from our midst. We have lost by death Mr Napier, Glenorchy; Mr D. C. Stiven, Ravenscraig Villas; Mr A. Birrell, Cragside; Mr Dick, Auroco; Mrs R. D. B. Morrison, Hill Crescent; Mrs D. M. Allison, Hill Crescent; Mrs Packham, Ashcliff; Mrs Welsh, Woodhaven; Mrs Gibson Bellevue; Mrs Smith and Miss Allan, Marybank House; Miss D. Lawson, Station House; Miss M. Scott, Ballochmyle; and the infant son of Mr A. Johnston, Rowan Bank.

Forgan Parish Assessments, 1906-7

[These are worked out to a sixteenth of a penny.]

Poor rate, per £0sh.0 - 13/16d.[£0.003385]
School rate, per £0sh.6 - 15/16d.[£0.028906]
Burial rate, per £0sh.1d.[£0.004167]
Total parish rates0sh.8 - 12/16d.[£0.036458]
Poor rate, per £0sh.0 - 13/16d.[£0.003385]
School rate, per £0sh.7 - 9/16d.[£0.03151]
Burial rate, per £0sh.0 - 15/16d.[£0.003906]
Total parish rates0sh.9 - 5/16d.[£0.038802]



Electricity for the Household gives sun-like light and heat, purifying the atmosphere.

TAYSIDE ELECTRIC Gas Light Company, Ltd.

Registered Office : Hall Buildings, Wormit. A. Stewart, Secretary and Manager.

By the introduction of entirely new plant of the latest in economical working, we now supply Electric Light at 5d. per unit and Electric Energy for Heating and Cooking at 2½d. per unit, comparing favourably with the cost of gas in the district. We purpose having an Exhibition in Stewart's Hall, Wormit, during Christmas and New Year weeks, showing the advance made within the last ten years in domestic appliances for lighting, heating, and cooking.
The Company are now contemplating the erection of Special Wire for supplying the Eastern District.
All information can be had by applying to the Secretary, Hall Buildings, Wormit.


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