The Newport, Wormit & Forgan Archive

The Tayside Annual and Directory for Newport, Wormit and Tayport for 1908

[This volume was essentially a directory of Newport, Wormit and Tayport to which was added articles on life in the burghs in 1907. It was the second and last to be 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 almost the whole publication 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 1908 Tayside Annual).

The Annual is dated 1908, but the information for it was collected in 1907 and it was published on 21 December 1907.]

Editorial Foreword. A very cordial welcome was accorded last year to the TAYSIDE ANNUAL. It met a felt want, and many kindly things have been said about it. The preparation of it was a great pleasure to myself. Little did I think that before the close of 1907 I should have left Tayside ; but so it is. I have removed from Newport to Peterhead. Before leaving I was so frequently asked about the issue of the Annual that I fell in with what appeared to be the general wish, and decided to continue the Editorship for another year. The result is now in your hands. The Annual is not all that I would like, nor all that under other circumstances I would have made it ; but it is a serviceable compilation, well up to the average of such year-books.
For the completeness of the present Annual I must give thanks and credit to the willing and zealous helpers in Newport, Tayport, Wormit, etc., who have assisted me. They have spared no pains in endeavouring to secure accuracy.
The Competitions announced in last year's Annual were fairly successful. Best of all was that for Tayside scholars. Some capital letters were sent in. I had some difficulty in coming to a decision as to the prize-winners, and called to my assistance a Tayside resident in the person of Mr David Pae, the editor of the 'People's Friend'. With great kindness he read the best of the letters, and the result of our joint deliberations was that the prize of one guinea was divided between Janet Leslie, Balmerino Public School, and Norman Anderson, Newport Public School. I have pleasure in printing their letters. They appear on pages 44 and 45. Excellent letters were sent by other competitors, and I was constrained to give extra prizes to Elsie Doig, Newport, who wrote on the Tay Bridge ; Margaret Whittet, Newport, who described a walk through the 'Serpentine' ; Anna Mill, Newport, for a glowing description of the River Tay ; W. T. Ross, Newport, for a racy letter on the 'Fifie' ; and Eunice Shaw, Forgan, who wrote on 'Why I Like Newport'. The leading prizes were presented at the annual exhibitions of the schools attended by the winners.
I am sorry that the amateur photographers did not rise to the occasion. Not a single photograph was forthcoming suitable for reproduction in the Annual. For the excellent pictures published in our pages I am indebted to Mr A. M. Anderson, Newport Photographic Studio. The quality of his work speaks for itself.
Before 1908 comes to a close Southern Tayside should be in full possession of its new railway line extending from St Fort to Newburgh. In view of this fact, I have pleasure in giving an article dealing with the associations of the district that the new railway will open up.
In laying down my pen as Editor of the TAYSIDE ANNUAL, I must put on record my gratitude to all who have encouraged the project, and in particular to the advertisers whose generous support has made it possible to give so much for so small a price. I trust that 1908 will be a year of great prosperity to Tayside and of much happiness for its inhabitants. As for the Annual, I bespeak for my successors the hearty support that has been accorded to myself.
December 21st, 1907.


East Newport from Pier

Municipal Affairs. Nothing of a sensational character took place in the municipal business of the Burgh during the past year. Anything of an exciting nature that there was, arose in connection with the roads and pathways, and defective sewers. The renovation and improvement of these have been the most important items of public concern. An outbreak of diphtheria, which fortunately was of a very mild type, was very effectively dealt with. Little interest was taken in election matters. Ex-Bailie Young and Councillors Cowley and J. T. Robertson fell to retire, and both the latter decided not to seek re-election. Ex-Bailie Young again offered his services to his constituents. Mr Robert Davis entered the lists against him, but afterwards withdrew. Mr Daniel Lowson and Mr James Coutts stood for the II. and III. Wards respectively. All the candidates were returned unopposed. Bailie Forrest was raised to the rank of Senior Bailie, and Councillor Strachan was honoured with the Junior Bailieship.

Politically there has not been much stir. In making his annual rounds Mr Asquith looked in at Newport and gave a speech in which he incidentally touched upon the restriction of the power of the Upper House. The meeting was enlivened by an outburst on the part of some of the movers in the Woman's Suffrage movement. The Liberal Club, under the presidency of Mr G. L. Wilson, who has got another lease of office, continues to be a success. It was gratifying to hear Mr Wilson intimate at the Annual Meeting that nearly all the debt on the building had been promised or paid off.

Educational Affairs have been of a quiet, but nevertheless progressive character. The headmaster, and his staff, in which there have been several changes during the year, have done good work. The reports of the Government Inspectors were highly satisfactory. Several additions have been made to the equipment of the school, and altogether it is in a most efficient state.

Church Life has been vigorous, and a fine spirit of brotherhood and mutual helpfulness has existed amongst the ministers. Perhaps the event of chief importance was the induction of Rev. William Young as minister of Trinity U.F. Church. Since coming to Newport he has taken an active interest, not only in matters pertaining to the Church, but in many institutions outside of it. The beautiful interior of the Parish Church was enhanced by the erection of a stained-glass window, which was put in in memory of Mr Alex. Rollo, only son of Captain and Mrs Rollo, and also by the addition of a baptismal font, which was provided by the voluntary contributions of the congregation. A stained glass window was also placed in Forgan Church by Miss Bisset, of Seggieden, in memory of her brother, who was a native of the district. The Parish Church in November held a most successful Sale of Work for funds to complete the organ and redeem the feu-duty on the manse. The proceeds reached £270, of which £37 drawn at the Guild Stall was devoted to Missionary purposes.

East Newport

Musical Enterprise has been upheld at its former high level. Mendelssohn's 'Elijah' was rendered by the Choral Society before a large assemblage. The concert was a great musical success. The conductor, Mr W. J. Calderwood, had good reason to be gratified with the result of his painstaking work. A second concert was given on 27th March, the first half of it being devoted to Coleridge-Taylor's 'Hiawatha's Wedding Feast' - the second half being miscellaneous, in which our esteemed townsman, Mr. A. B. Duncan, distinguished himself by his remarkable rendering of several songs. This society is to give the 'Messiah' and 'Elijah' during the coming season. The month of March is the time of consummation of the season's hopes. In March we listen with rapture to the strains of our Orchestral Society, which Mr W. P. Fleming zealously trains and conducts with conspicuous success. At their concert were played many classical pieces by the orchestra, and in addition, Miss Jean Waterston, Edinburgh, sang many solos with rare ability, and Miss W. Salmond acquitted herself with distinction at the piano. In March, too, we have the performance of the Opera Company. The 'Pirates of Penzance' was the opera produced. Mr W. J, Calderwood again comes in for eulogy. The performance was a splendid success and spoke well for the labours bestowed both on the chorus and the individual characters. The Working Men's Club has manifested great spirit, the concerts provided on Saturday evenings in connection with it being deservedly popular.

Forgan Nursing Association continues to flourish. At the Annual Meeting Miss Leng gave a lucid account of the year's work. Nurse Moir was the object of special praise for the splendid work that had been done by her in relieving the distressed. The Newport branch of the Onward and Upward Society still marches onward in the way of success.

Comerton Home had a beautiful sunny day for their 14th Annual Excursion in June. The Home deserves the hearty support of all who have money to spare for the support of good and wholesome institutions.

The Newport Literary Society continues a healthy and vigorous body. The syllabus contains many interesting items, and great zeal is shown in the discussions that take place at the meetings.

Our Athletes have sustained their good reputation. The Hockey Club has done well both at home and away. The Lawn Tennis Club has defeated many strong opponents, and their open-air concert was a brilliant success. The Bowling Club, too, has not sunk below its high standard of proficiency. Out of 14 matches played, 10 were won and 4 were lost. In the beginning of the season the Yachting Club held some exciting races ; but the annual regatta, owing to bereavement suffered by some of its most respected members, and other causes, was not held. The Curling Club had a fine spell of frost, and enjoyed the roaring game to the full. The Quoiting Club was in trim and had some interesting tussles.

Mr & Mrs Buist

A Golden Wedding is something of a novelty in the district, but in November that of Mr and Mrs William Buist, Woodhaven, was celebrated. The function took place in Mothers' Hotel, Dundee, and at it Lord Dean of Guild Dickie presented Mr Buist with a purse of sovereigns and a silver salver. A letter of congratulation was read from the Rev. David Anderson, Ceres, who performed the marriage ceremony in 1857.

Our Losses by Death have again been heavy. While last year's annual was passing through the press the news arrived of the death in California of Sir John Long, Kinbrae. Newport misses him sorely, for he was most prominently identified with the welfare of the place in which he had made his home. The community was proud of his achievements, and there was scarcely one of our inhabitants who had not at one time or other experienced his geniality and kind-heartedness. Before 1906 closed Newport sustained another great loss in the death of Mr W. Y. Blyth Martin, who had reached the great age of 92. His name and that of his wife will be ever remembered in Newport on account of their princely public benefactions. Few events of the year appealed so strongly to public sympathy as did the death on 28th August of Mrs William Berry, the wife of the Laird of Tayfield. Only three weeks before general rejoicings had taken place in the district over the birth of an heir to the estate. Mrs Berry had endeared herself to all with whom she had come in contact, and her early death caused great regret. Mr James Davidson, Parish Councillor, passed away on 16th September. Few of our citizens have been so greatly loved. One of the kindliest of men he has been much missed in Parish Council work, on the bowling green, and in private life. Space will only permit brief mention of other losses during 1907. They included Margaret Kay, widow of Alex. Campbell, merchant, Dundee, aged 82 ; Mrs David Pae, Craigmount, widow of the first editor of the 'People's Friend' and the famous writer of serial fiction ; Mrs Anderson, wife of the highly-respected keeper of the Blyth Hall Buildings ; Margaret Jane, eldest daughter of the late John Arthur, farmer ; Edward Charles Betsworth, late of the 'Mars' Training Ship ; Albert Nagel ; Miss Mary Ann Dickson ; John C. Niven, butcher ; Janet Martin, widow of Captain James Cappon ; Charles Robertson, aged 86 ; Susan A. Steele, widow of R. H. Wybrants, merchant, Dundee ; Matilda Sturrock, widow of David Arnot, farmer ; Louisa Holden, Duncraig, widow of Hugh Scott, manufacturer, Dundee ; little Freddie Fairweather, a bright sunbeam only 7 years of age ; and Geo. B. Mackay, Lorneville, the last to be taken of the well-known twin brothers.


Municipal Affairs. During the year of 1907 a great advance has been made in our village by the feuars having concreted most of the footpaths, and it is hoped that erelong the N.B. Railway authorities will complete this good work on their ground, and thus stop the saying that a 'Wormit man is known by his boots'. We are also in hopes that a platform on the main line will before long be erected. The Town Council election in the Third Ward was this year conducted in a most orderly and decorous manner. Mr William. Cowley, after five years' service retired, and Mr James Coutts was returned unopposed for the vacancy.

Rev. Tweedie

Ecclesiastical. The Established Church, under the new minister, Rev. C. R. M'Murray, is doing good work. In January the choir rendered a fine programme of sacred music at their service of praise. In April the energetic and industrious ladies of the congregation had their annual sale of work, at which £80 was realised towards the church fund. The ladies of the U.F. denomination have had a very busy year preparing for their 'debt extinction sale of work', and the success which has crowned their efforts must be very gratifying to them and Mr Tweedie, as well as a source of satisfaction to their many friends and well wishers. The amount realised at the sale was £566, consequently the debt on the church is reduced to a small sum. Early in the year Rev. J. A. Tweedie delivered two lectures on his visit to South Africa, illustrated with lime-light views from photos of his own taking. In January the anniversary service of the church was held, when Rev. G. Elmslie Troup preached a fine sermon on 'The Christian in Business'.

Educational. The public school, with its excellent staff, is a great boon to the village, although the resignation of Miss Mabel M'Rae was a severe loss, regretted much both by pupils and their parents. The 'Welfare of Youth' class, under the able guidance of Mr George Tudhope, had a most successful year, and it was extremely creditable that in a village the size of Wormit no fewer than five pupils should have won distinction. The passes were : in the Middle Section - Katie Wood, A. C. Geddes, John Geddes ; in the Junior Section - Gwen Jones, Rankin Tudhope. The Band of Hope, under the excellent management of Mr George Peattie, continues to form a great attraction for the boys and girls, who look forward with pleasure to Friday evening.

Societies, Clubs, etc. The Literary Society has had a splendid year, and fine lectures on literary, geographical, biographical, and philosophical subjects have been delivered by members and friends. At the annual 'At Home' in February, in addition to the usual musical programme, a highly successful little play was performed by several ladies and gentlemen. Mr Kenneth M'Kenzie, the Secretary, has drawn up an attractive syllabus for this session. A novel feature this winter was the offering of a prize for the best essay on the Society's picnic to St Fillans in June. This prize - a handsome volume - was gained by Mr John M. Patterson, whose paper was voted the best. In the spring a very pretty little play, 'Beauty and the Beast', was performed by several of the young people of Wormit in aid of Comerton Home and other children's charities. The promoters and organisers of the scheme were Mrs Dargie, Mrs Coutts, and Mrs R. L. Ireland, and these ladies are to be congratulated on the success of their undertaking. Mr Alexander Stewart, with his usual kindness, gave the use of his hail for the performance, thus reducing the expenses very materially. Under the presidency of Mr R. B. Morrison, the Liberal Association opened under most favourable auspices, with an address by Mr George M'Crae, M.P. for East Edinburgh. The Executive are to be congratulated on having secured a lecture from so fine and convincing a speaker. The Bowling Green continues to give much satisfaction and pleasure to its members, and under its genial president, Mr Alexander Johnston, is prospering, and the successful contest with Newport was very gratifying to the members. Two social functions were held during the season - a garden party in April and an 'At Home' in October. The younger people of Wormit are agitating at present for a Tennis Court, but it is to be hoped that a bazaar to further this scheme will not be resorted to, as the Wormit ladies of late years have had their full share of such. The Rifle and Archery Clubs still have their enthusiastic adherents, and a most enjoyable social meeting was held in connection with these in the Stewart Hall, when the various prizes were awarded.

Weddings. The weddings of the year were those of Miss Mary Howden, Wormit, to Mr George Allan, Dundee ; Miss Lizzie M'Dougall, Woodhaven, to Mr John Macbeth, teacher on 'Mars' Training Ship ; and Miss Annie Bruce, Wormit, to Mr Archibald Henderson, Aberdeen.

In Memoriam. Our losses by death, although not so numerous as last year, have cast sadness and gloom over the homes of many friends, and our loving sympathy goes out to the bereaved relatives. Those we have lost during the year are Mr A. Muir, Saxon, who died on 1st January ; Mrs Alexander Sturrock, Rockard, on 12th January ; Mr J. B. Harris, Scroggieside, on 20th January ; Rev. George Milne, Ashton, on 25th April ; Mr Robert Allan, Marybank House, on 29th June ; Miss Moira Kathleen Cockburn, Elmslee, on 30th June ; Mrs William Simpson, Woodhaven, in November ; and Mrs Walter C. Bowden, Elmbank, on 8th December.


Forgan Parish Assessments, 1907-8

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

Poor rate, per £0sh.1 - 9/16d.[£0.00651]
School rate, per £0sh.5 - 15/16d.[£0.02474]
Burial rate, per £0sh.1d.[£0.004167]
Total parish rates0sh.8 - 1/2d.[£0.035417]
Poor rate, per £0sh.1 - 9/16d.[£0.00651]
School rate, per £0sh.6 - 8/16d.[£0.027083]
Burial rate, per £0sh.0 - 15/16d.[£0.003906]
Total parish rates0sh.9d.[£0.0375]


Maps of East and West Newport

Notable Dates in Newport's History, in Tayside History, for the Tay Bridge, and for the Tay Ferries.



GAS COOKING and HEATING APPLIANCES of every description


Cookers fixed Free, with low Annual Rentals

COOKERS, GAS FIRES, GRILLERS, HOTPLATES, BOILING-RINGS, RADIATORS, ETC., GAS FIRES (of Latest Design, with low consumpt of Gas), on view at: Betsworth & Barlow's Showroom, High Street ; and at James S. Jack's Showrooms, Tayport Road ; also at Gas Works.

COKE, in large and small quantities, can be had on application to the Manager at Gas Works. Telephone No. 21 Newport.


Return to:     Library Contents