Weavers invited to grand tea party to re-tell stories of mills

local weavers from Forfar and Brechin are invited to join with their counterparts from Dundee for a Grand Tea Party celebrating Dundee Weavers 1512-2012 later this month.

Both Angus towns are steeped in history of life in the mills, and the organisers hope a strong contingent will join together in the Marryat Hall, City Square on Tuesday, July 17 from 2 pm to 4 pm (doors open 1pm).

Forfar and Brechin were once thriving towns with their mills employing hundreds of workers.

Alastair Scott, former Deacon of Dundee Weavers, is assisting current Deacon Ron Scrimgeour of Forfar in attracting as many former mill workers and weavers as possible to the grand tea party.

The event has been organised to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Weavers’ Incorporation in Dundee and it is hoped it will bring together weavers, spinners, textile workers and members of all the trades associated with the local jute industry. It is hoped that up to 200 people will attend.

Mr Scott said: “It is for all textile people involved in the industry for many years. Forfar has Don and Low and there were other mills, including Jock Lowson’s in Forfar, but so far we have a slow response from Forfar and Brechin.

“Ron has spoken to a number of groups in the area and we would now like people to come forward.

“Those involved in the mills are invited to come along and have a blether about the days at Don and Low’s and Lowsons and other factories in Forfar and Brechin.

“There will be a number of events during the afternoon, including a quiz and songs from famous Dundee textile singer Sheena Wellington.

“There will be a lot of entertainment and people will be able to chat and recall the happy days of life in the mills and factories.”

Former mill workers are invited to take along old photographs or memorabilia from their working life and those living alone are invited to take along a friend.

The Grand Tea Party was the idea of Vivien Scott and Sandra Thomson to add another dimension to this year.

Vivien’s husband Alastair’s family firm was H & A Scott and as a former jute manufacturer he himself is a member of the Weaver Craft.

Sandra Thomson is managing director of McGregor Balfour Textile and earlier this year was one of the first women admitted to the Weaver Craft.

They have been in touch with groups and individuals, including J & D Wilkie, Low and Bonar, Scott & Fyffe and Don and Low and with churches, care homes and libraries to encourage people to go along and enjoy the afternoon reminiscing.

They are encouraging people to go along and tell their stories. They are keen to record stories and memories that come out of the tea party which they will add to their archive. Stories can be written in advance and taken along which would help on the day.

Tickets are £5 each and are available from Vivien Scott on 01382 775846 or Sandra Thomson on 01382 775088/732767; or contact Vivien at 6, Abertay Street, Broughty Ferry, Dundee DD5 2QG (make cheques payable to The Weaver Craft of Dundee).