Letters to the editor - 29.8.2013

Forfar bridies

Too much to stomach!

Sir - the recent article in the Dispatch by Orraman claiming that bridies were originally from Kirriemuir was too much for Forfar to stomach!

Bridies are a good deal older than he claims, and in fact the earliest written reference is in the “Aberdeen Shaver” on October 17th 1833 when an Aberdeen baker by the name of James Torry was “about to introduce a famed sort of pye, in Edinburgh, called the Forfar Bridie”.

We owe this discovery to David Murison, Editor of the Scottish National Dictionary, writing in 1971.

However ex Forfar Town Councillor Alex Joss, in an article in the Forfar Dispatch on the 29th of September 1960, relates that according to his grandmother,the first bridies sold in Forfar came from a shop in West High Street kept by a Mr. Elder 140 years previously. The whitewashed building stood on the site of what was Sturrock’s bakeshop in his day, next to the site of the Meffan, where Tiffins is today.

On checking Pigot’s Directory for 1825/6 lo and behold I found a Thomas Elder listed as a Baker in the High Street, proving at least part of that story.

There is also a reference to a baker named Dakers mentioned with affection in a poem in the mid 19th century, but I have not been able to track that down yet.

The Margaret Bridie origin of the name is one theory , but no proof of her making bridies has ever surfaced. Another equally plausible theory comes from the Forfar worthie, Jeems Stark, in his recipe -

“ Juist a brodie - a big roond slap o dough wi the tap hauf spread wi steak cut sma an chappit ingins. Syne the boddam hauf’s luftit an laid ower the tap an scolpit ee aidge. Nick oot twa holes ee tap, fauld, an there y’are - a brode pie - a brodie - a bridie.”

Norman Atkinson,

(via email).


Have you considered it?

Sir - Have you an adoption connection? If so, you will know what an amazing thing it is to give a child a safe, loving and permanent home.

There is a desperate need for more adopters throughout the UK and you could help inspire others to become a ‘forever family’ for a vulnerable child or sibling group.

The British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) is looking for more people to volunteer as Adoption Champions to help spread the word about adoption. Even if you do not have a direct connection, but simply care about creating a better future for the most vulnerable of our children, you are very welcome to sign up as an Adoption Champion too.

Our adopted daughter is the most precious thing in our lives, so I have become a Champion to help encourage others to think about adoption – to show that adoption not only changes a child’s life in the best way possible, but also that it brings so much joy and reward to adoptive parents.

Could you inspire others by sharing your experiences by writing a short blog or holding a talk in your local community? Or perhaps you could use your social media channels to support adoption.

There are lots of different ways to get involved and the BAAF team are there to give you advice and support. To find out more information and to register, please visit www.nationaladoptionweek.org.uk/adoptionchampions

Claire Grogan

c/o British Association for Adoption & Fostering (BAAF)


A Caribbean connection?

Sir - I am a writer and researcher investigating a very interesting connection between Scotland and the Caribbean island of Carriacou. On the island there are a number of Scottish surnames and all claim Scottish ancestry. These families are predominantly boat builders who have come from the east coast. The names include McLaren, McKlaren, McFarlane, McLawrence, McKensie, McQuilkin and McIntosh. If you have any information please get in touch.

Patricia Clevelan-Peck

Harelands, Ashurst Wood, East Grinstead, E. Sussess, RH19 3SL