Historical donation to Pitstop weavers

Chris Whatley and Dawn Mullady.
Chris Whatley and Dawn Mullady.

The Pitstop Weaving Project has been given a unique piece of local history related to the textile industry in Forfar.

Professor Chris Whatley, who visited the project earlier this year, is standing down as Dundee University’s vice-principal and while clearing out his office decided to seek a new home for an original letter from the archives of the Don family firm in Forfar.

The framed letter was given to him when he completed the history of Don and Low in his book, ‘Onwards from Osnaburgs’ which the group used as research material for its project on Forfar’s textile roots.

During his visit Professor Whatley answered many questions about his book, the just and flax industry in Forfar and how local amateur historians could contribute to the search for historical truth and accuracy. He was so impressed by the interest the young people had shown that he wanted to reward them for their local knowledge and research skills.

Pitstop project leader Dawn Mullady accepted the original and unique gift on behalf of the group.

She said: “We are currently constructing a weaving shed in the basement of the Pitstop building and this historical document will have pride of place there. The young people at the Pitstop project are thrilled to have Professor Whatley’s continued interest in their activities.”

The weaving project was set up last year and a £1,000 grant from the Nine Trades of Dundee allowed the group to buy looms. It obtained further funding from the Lottery Heritage Roots Fund.