Abernethy, Aberargie and Dron News

Last date for submissions

31st October 2022

Date of publication

1st December 2022


by Ruby Ironside

There were two Joiners and Undertakers in the village. Mr J. McNaughton who had his workshop at the top of the Manse road. Morrison Bros. had their workshop at the west end  of the village, now a house, Winterwood.

The milkman William Gay did his rounds with a horse drawn cart, you went out with your jug or pitcher to get milk, butter milk or cream, Mr Gay lived at Hatton Farm.

After Mr Gay gave up the milk business the dairy then went to Ballomill, Mr W. Smith and thereafter to Mr J. Pryde who transferred it to Drumhead Farm

Mr T. Ramsey’s shop, now corner shop, sold groceries and newspapers so did Mr Peddie who also ran the Post Office. Mr Peddie was the provost for many years.

Mr D Scott had a lisenced grocers’ shop now Brian Greig’s shop. Mr Powrie had a small sweetie shop in the Main Street where the bairns spent their halfpenny and pennies there, what a selection of sweets.

There were two bakers in the village, Mr Munro had the shop at the west end of the village, now 27 main Street, taken over by Mr David Broom who served his apprenticeship with Mr Cuthbert at the other bake house, was Tower Bakery. After Mr Cuthbert retired Mr Broom took over the business

Mr David Brown was in the Abernethy Hotel, Mrs Neville was in the Cree’s Inn and Mr Stirling was in The Inn.

High class nightwear garments were manufactured at the factory of Robert Clow, formerly the Free Church, now Clow Square.

The other source of employment in the village was the linen factory at the east end of the village complete with chimney stack and pond, now Branston.

The chimney stack mentioned above was 100 ft high, quite a structure on the Abernethy skyline.

Ten feet was taken off the top of it when the Milk Marketing Board took over at the beginning of the Second World War to be used as a cheese factory. The chimney stack was demolished in 1958. The pond was filled in with the debris from the lum, now the entrance to Branston. In 1953, the Coronation day of the present Queen, the public bus going from Newburgh to Perth ran off the road and landed in the pond.

The YWCA home was well patronised for many years before being taken over by the military in the 1940s. Now known as Pennyhill.

There were two Tailors, David Fair and Peter Honeyman. Mr Fair had his premises in the Square, The Old Town House and Mr Honeyman worked from his workshop in Station Road.

The shoemaker was Mr J. Roy who had his workshop in the square now 38 Main Street.

The Town Council met in the Town House in the square this all changing in 1974 with Regionalisation, along came Community Councils and all the power moved to District and Regional Councils.

The street lamps were lit by gas, no electricity at that time, supplied by the gas works in Clunie street. Some of the houses have cellars where weaving had been carried out in the early days, I had one in my old home at 2 Clunie Place.

Other industries were salmon fishing, quarrying and of course berry picking. The quarry was at Loanhead.

The Town’s officer had various jobs to do in his working week, sweeping the streets, looking after the water works at Loanhead, maintaining the sewage works at  Hatton Road, collecting the rubbish and dumping it at the coup also at Hatton Road, grave digging, lighting the street lamps and ringing the steeple bell.

The bell in the steeple was rung on Sundays at 8am, 11.30am, 6pm and 8pm, the latter was locally known as the Bairns’ Bell. At that time the bairns of the village were meant to be home by 8pm, hence the name The Bairns’ Bell, no running the streets to all hours in those days.

The Telephone exchange was in a private house, now number  ??, this was before an automatic exchange was built in the garden of Rockmount. It still can be seen, the red brick building.

Mr Andrew Wilkie had a bicycle repair and accessories shop in Main street, now number 41.

We had a butcher’s shop in those days with the slaughter house behind the shop. The cattle were taken off the

train at the station and walked up Station Rd and School Wynd to the slaughter house where they were killed and processed into steaks, mince etc. It was a common site to see the blood running down the street gullies into the drain.

Mr Mitchell was the Head master at the school. The girls spent Monday forenoons baking or cooking one week and laundry or ironing the next. The boys had joinery work in the science room upstairs.

The infant teacher Miss Anderson taught us sewing and embroidery.

Travelling to the Sunday school picnic at Carpow was fun as it was by horse and cart. We had great fun and enjoyed our tea including “ the pockie” of buns and cookies from Broom the baker. Later years we went by train to Broughty Ferry or Aberdour.

Looking back we were happy and contented with very little.