TVFHS Research Centre closure

The Research Centre will be closed on Friday 14th and Saturday 15th March, 2014, in order to rearrange the layout and redecorate some areas.

A floor plan of the new layout will be posted in the Centre

4 March 2014

The Muriel Sheldon Award 2013

The Muriel Sheldon Award is presented annually to the authors of the best articles appearing in The Tay Valley Historian of that year. For the fourth year running, the winners have been selected by Fife writer, Barbara Millar. The top articles from the 2013 issues have a common factor – jute.

The number one position has gone to Stuart Hay for his article on the life of a distant relative, William Westwood. From Hawkhill to the House of Lords appeared in the June edition. William, born in 1880, started his working life in the jute industry in Dundee before moving on to a variety of other occupations. He became active in the trade union movement and the Labour Party and his administrative skills in supporting the World War II Coalition Government led to him being created Baron Westwood of Gosforth – he had moved to the North of England with his second wife.

Jute also figures in the article which has been awarded second prize, Flax and Jute: Dundee and Angus, Ron Scrimgeour’s piece in the February issue. Ron’s comprehensive history initially takes us back to Biblical times to explain the origins of textile terminology in the Middle East. He then switches emphasis to the development of the flax and jute industries in Dundee and Angus, focusing particularly on the efforts of William Baxter and Peter Carmichael.

The third article, again from the June edition, is The Forgotten Grey Lady of Dundee by Suzanne Zeedyk. The article is about Mary Lily Walker who spent her life making life better for the families of the jute workers in Dundee’s slums. She became the founder of Scotland’s first infant health service, instigator of Dundee’s first women’s hospital, author of a ground-breaking report on the health of the city’s children and one of the first two women elected to serve on Dundee’s parish council. She also founded the Grey Lodge settlement in 1888, the community centre she bequeathed in her will to the city of Dundee. Suzanne has requested that her prize be donated to The Mary Lily Walker Project.

Congratulations to the winners and our thanks to all the contributors to the Journal throughout the year. Special thanks to Barbara for agreeing to adjudicate the competition yet again. Her full adjudication can be found in the February 2014 issue of the Historian. Members who would like to read the winning articles again, but have mislaid their copies, can login and download the issues at

3 March 2014.

Road Closures in the Vicinity of the Research Centre

Dundee City Council website has the following announcement:

Albert Street/Princes Street/Victoria Street closed from Lyon Street to Blackscroft and Dens Road to Princes Street for electricity/telecommunications/resurfacing works from Monday 3 March for 3 weeks.
Works to be carried out in separate phases.

The last comment suggests that the three streets may not all be closed at the same time. Closing Princes Street and Victoria Street at the same time would cause major disruption to traffic to and from the east along Arbroath Road.

For the latest news on the closures, go to Dundee City Council website.

For information on bus services affected by these road closures, go to National Express Dundee or Stagecoach East Scotland (and select Dundee in the dropdown menu).

17 February 2014

Further Update

Monday 24th  March - Victoria Street (Arbroath Road to Dens Road) remains closed for up to one week - see Dundee City Council website and National Express Dundee.

24 March 2014

AK Bell Library, Perth

Temporary Closure of Local Studies and Reference Library.

The Local Studies and Reference departments, on the first floor of the AK Bell Library in Perth, will be closed to the public from 20th January to 3rd March 2014 to enable a number of key improvements to be undertaken. Limited services will be available from the Lending Library during this time. For details see

30 January 2014

Webmaster's Jottings New Year 2014

Monday, 6th January 2014: the Christmas decorations are down, and, in Scotland, many, if not most, people are returning to work for the first time in the New Year. TVFHS volunteers are also taking up their duties again as the Research Centre reopens after the festive break.

There is much to look forward to in Scotland this year.

If you are planning a visit, you will find a large number of events taking place under the banner of Homecoming Scotland 2014. If you are combining a visit with doing some family history research, you might be interested in the SAFHS 25th Annual Conference taking place in Dunfermline. Of course the Homecoming events are open to Scottish residents as well as visitors.

There are a number of Highlight Events. On that page, you can search for events happening at particular places. One of the highlights is the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn.  A new visitor centre is opening in March and in June, at the time of the anniversary, there will be re-enactments of the battle.

As well as Homecoming 2014, there are two major sporting events in Scotland this year.

The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games take place from 23rd July to 3rd August. Most of the venues are in and around the host city, but there is one in the Tay Valley area. The shooting events are to be held at the Barry ranges which are situated between Carnoustie and Monifieth in Angus.

In golf, Europe will be attempting to retain the Ryder Cup against the USA from 23rd to 28th September at Gleneagles in Perthshire.

Exciting though these events are, of more importance to people residing in Scotland is the Independence referendum on 18th September. In case anyone living outside Scotland does not know, on that day, Scottish residents over 16 will be voting to decide whether Scotland remains part of the United Kingdom or becomes independent.

Latest News

Webmaster's Jottings 2014-09-18
News of website updates.

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Webmaster's Jottings 2014-08-04
Updates of some earlier items and two new ones.

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What's On
Calendar of events (updated 21 Nov 14)