Duncan M Neill headstone

1920  The majority of Auchmithie fisher folk now live around the lower end of High Street

(which for many decades has been known as 'The Fit O' The Toun') & around the harbour area. They've brought with them their own traditions & superstitions & the unique method of hot-smoking haddock in barrels sunk into the ground - the Auchmithie Smokie becoming the Arbroath Smokie.

1920  Possession of Colliston Castle passes to Richard Bruce.

1920 On the retiral of it's publisher John Brodie, aged 74, the Arbroath Herald becomes a

Limited Company at 29-31 Brothock Bridge, with Brodie as Chairman of Directors.

1920  Alex Dundas's 'Cash House' closes at 1 Catherine Street.

1920 (Oct 14)  Duncan M. Neill, Chief Constable

of Arbroath Burgh Police for 30 years, dies aged 73.







1921  The population (fallen from 1901) is 19,499.

1921  'Arbirlot Eighty Years Ago' & 'Arbirlot Memories' by William Craig  published.

1921  The Rt. Hon. the first Earl of Inchcape (Jas. Lyle McKay) is offered the crown of Albania, but declines.

1921  The Scottish Central Theatre Co. Ltd. aquires 133 High Street and opens the Arbroath Cinema.

1921  The Arbroath War Memorial (designed by George Washington Brown) is erected on the High Common.

1921  (Nov 2)  Lt Patrick Wright Anderson dies in Arbroath Infirmary of wounds

received in Flanders during WW1 on 27.6.18.


1922  Queen Mary visits Annesley House in Arbroath.

1922  (Jun 3)  The Arbroath War Memorial is unveiled at the High Common.

1922  Alan Irons shop opens at Hamilton Green.

1922  James McDonald is Chief Constable of Arbroath Burgh Police. In

Forfar, Robert T. Birnie is Chief Constable of Forfarshire County Constabulary.

County Police Sgt. James Edwards occupies 43 Jamieson Street.

1922  (Sep 27)  Robert Arnott Gillespie Fraser is born in Arbroath. He becomes involved with the Boy's Brigade, serves with the RAF in WW2 and in peacetime become a journeyman printer. In 1957 he emigrates to Canada and forms the Lord Selkirk Boys Pipe Band in Winnipeg. He becomes Pipe Major of the St Andrew's Society Pipe Band and later (1967-73) be Pipe Major of the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders Pipe Band, both also in Winnipeg. He teaches chanter students of the LSBPB into the second decade of the 21st century, and dies on Mar 9, 2012 in his 90th year.


'early 1920s'  The nurses home at Arbroath Infirmary is built.


1923  (Jan 1)  The Dundee & Arbroath Railway Police are absorbed into London & NE police.

1923  (Dec)  David & Kathleen Craig emigrate from  Arbroath to Argentina where David becomes manager in a textile factory in Buenos Aires. He is a decorated veteran of WW1 during which he fought with the Grenadier Guards. Their son Neale Craig will become an RAF pilot during WW2.  Neale's son Alan, born in 1963, will find himself fighting in the Falklands conflict of April 1982, but ironically with the 7th Infantry Regiment de La Plata, on the Argentinian side. After the surrender he will return home to Buenos Aires in HMS Canberra.


A short clip is included on the juke box above from a recording made in 1994 of Harry Lawrence, an 82 year old Lichtie recalling past days (early 1920s). On many Sundays he'd accompany his father (David Lawrence, 1871-1942) to the Flairs (flat stretches of rock beneath the cliffs) where they'd collect dulse & wulks and on the way home stop at Victoria Park & watch the light from the Bell Rock where his father had worked during the first world war.


1924  The Abbey comes under state care.

1924  The Arbroath Male Voice Choir is founded, following a meeting within Inverbrothock Church attended by many local singers. The choir's first conductor will be Roy Sheriff.

1924  St Ninian's Church is built at Brothock Bridge.


1925  By now BBC radio broadcasts (started in Nov 1922) can be heard in most of UK.

1925  The Arbroath Fishermens' Association is formed.

1925  T. Brown's pet shop opens in James Street.

1925  Mr George B. Lowe ( a former proprietor himself) recollects in an Arbroath Herald article, some of the traders in West Port & Keptie Street:  14 West Port - Miss Steele, Milliner ; 15 West Port - Mrs Fyffe, Glover's shop ; 6 Keptie St. - John Anderson, Jeweller ; 26 Keptie St. - Mrs Dunlop's Sweet Shop ('Black Balls', 'Horehound', 'Cinnamon Balls', etc) ; Keptie St. Post Office - Mrs Cuthill & daughter Jessie ; 49 Keptie St. - Bob Cuthill, Tobacconist & Newsagent.

1925  The 'Oriental Bar', High Street, comes under the ownership of Alex McIntosh (until 1926).  

1925  Lifeboat 'James Gowland' replaces storm damaged 'James Stevens No 13'.

1925  MacPherson's Bakery business opens at the corner of Barngreen & Hay's Lane, under proprietor William MacPherson. He in turn teaches his son Robert the business and when William emigrates to Australia in the 1940s, Robert (or 'Pie Bob' as he comes to be known to the locals) along with his wife Isobel take over the business under the name R & I MacPherson. Later, Robert's son (Robert jnr) will take over the bakery, but in time sells the business on. Ironically, it will be under these new (unrelated) owners that the business will be given the familiar name 'Pie Bobs' . (This information kindly supplied by William's grandaughter Tracey Moore).

1925  Arbroath FCs' Gayfield Park is extended & as Greater Gayfield is opened on August 29th.

1925  By now 900 people per annum at being treated at Arbroath Infirmary, with costs approaching £100,000 p.a.


1926  (Apr)  The first Arbroath & District Musical Festival takes place. Andrew Morrison, violinist, wins the 'British Industries Challenge Cup' (later known as the 'Blue Riband').

1926  The 'Oriental Bar, High Street, comes under the ownership of William Baillie (until 1938).

1926  Lamb's Garage opens in Marketgate. It will exist there until 1974.


1927  The TSB building is constructed at the corner of Marketgate & Commerce Street. Prior to this date, a 'rather elderly 2-storey building' housed a tobacconist shop on the corner with John Bremner's printing works on the top floor.


1928  Forfarshire becomes Angus.

1928  The yawl 'Isabella' has a new engine fitted & is renamed 'Fortuna' by John Smith & his sons Alex, James & John. Considered unlucky, the name change appears to have instead breathed long life into the 1890 vessel which will still be sailing in 2006 !


1929  The Glasite Church in Church Street is demolished.

1929 (Mar 5)  David Dunbar Buick dies in Harper Hospital, Detroit, USA, aged 74.

1929  David Dinnie takes over the Crown Inn at 41 West Abbey Street.


'In the 1920s' Brothock Bank House contained a branch of the National Bank of Scotland.

Late 1920s ( - Early 1930s ? ) :  James Pirie is the publican of Tuttie's Neuk. His wife is Jemima, their children Gracie, Ethel, Gordon & Douglas. By the early 1930s they will have relocated to Belfast, N.I. where they buy a

public house, naming it 'The Edinburgh Castle'.

4511944101_196x119.jpg 4511918100.gif

1920 - 1929

The 'James Gowland'

goes to sea

- 1925




4514421934_337x227.jpg 4513312535_173x129.jpg Global 1920 - 1929 4518867736_187x162.jpg

Annesley House

off Arbirlot Road

from the 1901 map

Arbroath War Memorial on the High Common

The headstone where Chief Constable Duncan M. Neill is laid to rest in the Western Cemetery

Arbroath map 1925-26

Arbroath area 1925-1926. Click map for larger image.

St Thomas St - W. Abbey St - Abbey Church 4513230282_122x157.jpg

An 1890s view from West Abbey Street looking along St Thomas Street which

ceases to exist when all domestic buildings in the immediate vicinity of the Abbey are demolished in the late 1920s. Abbey Church's entrance gates are visible on the right.

Robt Arnott Gillespie Fraser 1922 - 2012

Robert Arnott Gillespie Fraser - printer, piper, and selfless tutor

(left 1) Terry McCrodden has kindly given permission to include his poem 'Arbroath Smokie'.


(left 2) The editor's Dad (Harry Lawrence 1912 - 1995) recounts  walks with his father.