From the Ness 25

1985 - 1989

1985 (Jan)  Burnside Works, Gravesend, adjoining Brothock Bridge, is demolished.

1985 (Feb 1)  The 'Castle Suite' opens in the 'Portcullis' at 4 Conon Terrace.

1985  (Feb)  Arbroath Musical Society's production this year is 'Call Me Madam'.

1985  The new High School is completed at Keptie Road.

1985  (Mar)  ' Gowan Park ', designed to accommodate 26 residents in a mix of independent living, opens in Gowan Street. It is developed in the former residence & grounds of Arbroath G.P., Dr. Beggs.

1985  (Mar 15)  The 'Blue Riband' award at this year's Arbr. & Distr. Musical Festival is won by the town's Eileen Walker.

1985  John M. Henderson, relocating from Aberdeen, open premises in Kirkton Ind Est.

1985  Steam power returns to Kerr's Miniature Railway.

1985  GEC-Woods Group, (previously Keith & Blackman), close their Arbroath works.

1985  (May)  The 150-seater 'Coral Star 111', based at Broughty Ferry, starts 'Under the two bridges' cruises from the harbour to the Firth of Tay rail & road bridges at Dundee. The venture by the owners Mr & Mrs A. Mann, Seaforth Hotel proprietors, ends in Sept.

1985  (May 17)  'Tramps' public bar opens at 22 Keptie Street. In the 1970s-early 80s the 'Vine Bar' had been here.

1985  Until this year, Inchcape Park has been summertime's Pitch & Putt facility.

1985 (Jun)  Construction by Tayside Regional Council is underway of the Inchcape Park sewage pumping station between Signal

Tower Museum and the old Ladyloan Primary School.

1985  (Jun 7)  The Public Baths in Marketgate close.

1985 (Jun 14)  The 'Cafe Rendezvous' opens at 1 Millgate.

1985  The Waverly ' Temperence ' Hotel closes at 1 Catherine Street.

1985  ' Focus On Fishing : Arbroath & Gourdon ' by Edna R. Hay & Bruce Walker is published by Abertay Historical Society, Dundee.

1985  Ruby Melvin (at one time known by the stage name 'Little Rube') dies aged 76. The only child of G.S. Melvin, she formed part of the family's entertainment troupe 'Melvin's Merry Mascots' & in later years has been an employee of the Herald Press.

1985  The 'Bistro' opens at 30 Millgate.

1985  Jeannie Fraser dies aged 100. She has been a weel kent figure selling 'The War Cry' in Arbroath's bars even into this decade.

1985  Arbroath Brothock Shotokan Karate Club is founded.

1985 (Aug 2) Bob Hall takes over Carlaw Lambs garage business at 1 Burnside Drive. He'll operate a Vauxhall dealership for 5 years.

1985 (Aug 10)  Cargill's Restaurant at 212 High Street closes.

1985  (Aug)  The Citizens Advice Bureau opens in Arbroath.

1985  (Aug 23)  The Phoenix Restaurant opens at 59-61 Ladybridge Street, in what had been 'The Shore Cafe'.

1985  The 'Palace', James Street, is sold to Border Movies Ltd & films are reintroduced at balcony level only.

1985  (Dec 3) Presto's new Supermarket opens at Gravesend. The building will later be home to Safeway, Co-op, then Lidl.

1985 (Dec 6)  The South Sea Restaurant at 207 High Street closes.


The editor's thoughts about his 'distant' home town., recorded in the late '80s. The lyrics refer to his being taken away in a big green Perts removal truck, questioning who he'd be if he had remained in Arbroath, concern that the town has changed beyond all recognition after the Burnside Drive hammer fell, gaining an understanding that the land survives when we go & the impact the Lifeboat disaster of  '53 still leaves on him. Despite the title, he does however actually manage to become an Arbroath council tax payer in 2003 !


1986  (Jan)  Pringle commence production of their sweaters at Elliot.

1986 Retiring from Websters, a female mill worker, tending 9 looms, earns £100 take home pay. The same lady, aged 15, was earning fifteen shillings per week in 1943.

1986  (Feb)  Arbroath Musical Society's production this year is 'George "M" '.

1986  (Mar 1)  House of Fraser's 'Arnotts' shop at 104-108 High Street closes. In the mid 1850s, this premises housed James Soutar's drapery shop , it's golden eagle dominating that part of the High Street. It will continue to keep an eye on us into the 21st century.

1986  (Mar)  Arbroath Footers Running Club is founded.

1986  (Mar 20)  'Legs Disco Bar' opens at 1 Catherine street, the address of the old Waverly Hotel.

1986  (Apr 10)  The Smugglers Inn, Ladybridge, opens. It is owned by Alex Shand.

1986 (Apr)  'County Sports' opens at 9-13 West Port.

1986  Savat Security Services are established at Fremar, near Colliston.

1986  (May 16)  Mr Yu's 'Mandarin' Chinese Restaurant opens at 118 High St. His 'South Sea' restr. had been in the shopping precinct.

1986  Market Place is given a fresh layout. It's main retailers now are R. Meekison (Decorators) at 31, & Ferrier florists at 25.

1986  The 'Bowling Green Inn' at 1 Ernest Street becomes 'The Bowler's Lounge'.

1986  Some of the old houses in Hamilton Green are refurbished.

1986  E. & O. Fish, fish merchants, are established in East Grimsby.

1986  Arbroath Sporting Club agree a 25 year lease with Angus Council for Seaton Park to be used for matches and training.

1986  The Alliance Building Society of 76 High Street amalgamates with the Leicester B. Soc. to form the Alliance & Leicester B. Soc.

1986 (Jun)  Victoria Wine, off-licence, opens at 242 High Street.

1986  'RRS Discovery', built in Dundee in 1901 by Dundee Shipbuilders Company, returns to the city of her origin. She carried Captain Robert Falcon Scott in the first of his Antarctic expeditions 1901-1904. (See 2007).

1986  Inchcape Sewage Pumping Station (between Signal tower and the old Ladyloan primary school) is completed.

1986  (Jul)  The Station Hotel (Bar ?) at 38 Keptie Street becomes the first public bar in Arbroath to install satellite television.

1986 (Jul)  The Arbroath Herald's printing works (opposite their present offices) are demolished.

1986  (Jul) At 'Shore', a car parking area is laid out alongside the inner harbour (now the Marina).

1986  Peterson, Brown & McGill, relocating from Brechin, open new factory in Kirkton Ind. Est.

1986  (Oct 25)  Current bus services cease due to deregulation & Strathtay Omnibuses take over Arbroath's town routes from the 26th.

1986  The Lifeboat boathouse extension is built, with a new boat store for the 'D' Class & improved crew facilities.

1986 (Dec 25)  John Menzies move from 194 High Street to the opposite Applegate corner (no. 196). H. Samuel, jewelers, occupy the vacated no. 194.


1987  (Feb)  Arbroath Musical Society's production this year is'Calamity Jane'.

1987  Letham Grange Golf Club Old Course opens.

1987  (May)  The Bell Rock Lighthouse is automated.

1987  (May)  Arbroath Cycle & Tackle Centre open at 274 High Street.

1987 (May 25)  R. R. Spink & Sons receive 2 warrants & Coat of Arms as suppliers to the Queen & Queen Mother.

1987  Mrs Jean Watson, of Nova Scotia, Canada, dreams up 'Tartan Day'.

1987 The Mayor of Berlin funds the school trip of pupils from Arbroath Academy (twined with Friedensburg-Oberschule) on the 750th anniversary of the founding of Berlin.

1987  St Margaret's Church dedicates four stain glass windows depicting local traditional industries: Weaving, Fishing, Farming, & Tourism. The artist is J. Blyth of Markinch.

1987  The Examination roll of Arbroath 1752 / Town's Duty Roll 1753, listing the town's populace & containing a street map and a parish map, is published by the Scottish Record Society, Edinburgh. It is edited by Flora Davidson.

1987  The use of the belt ( the toosh ) as a means of chastising pupils, is outlawed in all UK schools.

1987 (Jul 1)  Arbroath's first cash point machine is installed by Halifax Building Society at 220 High Street.

1987  (Jul)  A severe fire damages the kitchen, light room & control room of Bell Rock Lighthouse.

1987  (Aug 15)  Wm. Low's shop at 162-164 High Street closes.

1987  A development of six flats by MBHA is completed at Hill Place.

1987  (Sep 26)  The Arbroath Flower Centre in Fisheracre closes.

1987  Dredging is carried out off the Lifeboat slipway to improve launching.

1987  'Arbroath Lifeboat, An Illustrated History' by Alisdair M. Sutherland is published.

1987  (Dec) The public toilets at Inchcape Park, there since the town's development as a holiday resort, are demolished.


1988  (Feb)  Arbroath Musical Society's production this year is 'The Pyjama Game'.

1988  The area between the Signal Tower Museum & the Harbour is relaid & named Harbour Green.

1988 (Jun)  Hillcrest Housing Association are established in Bank St.

1988  (Jun 17)  'Argos' open at 162-164 High Street.

1988 (Jul 29) Ally Bally of Radio Tay opens Bally's Night Club (previously 'Smokeys').

1988  The Perthshire Caravan Company purchases The Red Lion Holiday Park.

1988  The stalls section of the 'Palace' become a roller rink.

1988  (Sep 2)  Arbroath Video & Cafe open at 281 High Street.

1988 (Oct)  Wheelie bins are introduced in Arbroath.

1988 (Oct)  Wesley Gardens (opposite St. Mary's Church) open. A plaque to mark John Wesley's visit to Arbroath in 1770 is mounted.

1988 (Oct)  'Nudges Amusements' opens at 8 Applegate.

1988 (Nov 19)  The Flamingo Leisure Centre, added to the Seaforth Hotel, is opened. The owner is Alex Mann.

1988  (Dec 1)  Mackintosh Structures (estab 1981) move into Kirkton Ind Estate.

1988  (Dec)  The 'Fastburger' restaurant opens at 233 High Street.

1988 (Dec)  'Applegate Amusements' open in that street. Prior to this, a cobbler occupied the premises.


1989 (Feb 10)  'Delaney's Bottling Company' public bar opens at 3 Millgate.

1989  (Feb)  Arbroath Musical Society's production this year is 'Viva Mexico'.

1989  (Mar 6) "Peppo's" fish & chip shop (Ladybridge St.) is badly damaged by fire.

1989  McIntyre Chocolate Systems open premises in Arbroath.

1989  The Arbroath Regality Registers now held by the Angus Local Study Centre.

1989  The St Thomas Bar in James St becomes (for a while) 'Swankies Lounge Bar'.

1989  New properties are built on Barber's Croft.

1989  The 80 tonne fishing trawler 'Nimrod', the last wooden boat which will be

built at WH Mackay's yard, is launched. (see 2012)

1989  Freddie & the Dreamers play Bally's Night Club.

1989  Ian Wight's gift shop at 33 Millgate closes.

1989  Brian Stormont joins the Arbroath Herald. He will become it's editor in 2007.

1989  Grove Florists, Marketgate, is taken over by Sandy Skeene & Margaret Noble.

1989  (Sep 28)  A short lived free newspaper, the 'Arbroath News', it's office at 92 High Street, is published.

1989  Vanda Gill, who has run Tuttie's Neuk during this decade, dies aged 43.

1989  Hospitalfield House hosts the first 'Jazz at Hospitalfield'.

1989  Angus Archives is established "to collect, record & preserve all archive material & photographs relating to the Angus area".

1989  (Nov 2)  A second free newspaper, cheekily named the 'Arbroath Guide', is published at 255 High Street, but also is short lived.

1989  (Dec 1)  The Harbour View Restaurant, owned by Giuseppe Orsi, opens at 59-61 Ladybridge Street.

1989  (Dec)  Mark & Steve Whittaker optometrists open at 258-262 High Street.


'in the 1980s' for a short period 'The Golden Haddock' fish & chip restaurant (13 High St.) becomes 'Carol's', then regains it's old name.

'in the 1980s 'Azzurro's Italian Restaurant opens at 45 High Street, formerly Grace Patterson's Florists.

'in the 1980s' 19 Market Place, previously the home of the 'Arbroath Guide', is 'Il Pescatore' Retaurant.

'in the 1980s' the Halifax Building Society occupies 220 High Street.

'in the 1980s' Tobacconist H V Lefevre close their premises at 236 High Street.

'in the 1980s' The public conveniences by the Donjon Tower in High Street are removed.

'in the late 1980s'  'Charlie's Sole & Heel' operates from 192 High Street.

4512070821_187x152.jpg 4511898630_184x152.jpg

Size matters.................1986

Many hands used

to make light work



Arbroath High School


Jazz at Hospitalfield


Letham Grange

Old Course

4516123644.jpg VISIT ANGUS ARCHIVES !

image courtesy of Angus Council

Global 1985 Global 1986 Global 1987 Global 1988 Global 1989 4517089491_176x264.jpg





 'I Can't Go Home'

- Fidycat