The Burgh of Broughty Ferry

The Passing of Broughty

4th November 1913 - The day Broughty Ferry was absorbed by its larger neighbour - Dundee.

Taken from the Dundee Year Book, 1913

Auld Lang Syne and Goodbye

On the evening of Monday, November 4th, 1913, the heads of the now departed municipality gathered together at a banquet held in the Council Chambers, Broughty Ferry, to celebrate, or rather to mark – the passing of the Burgh as an independent entity. The men who formed the company were for the most part the champions who had fought to the last ditch in their attempt to preserve that independence. But they had come out losers and now they foregathered over a festive board to be in each other’s company at the psychological moment – twelve midnight – when the town should die, and a large and important suburb be added to Dundee.

Provost Lindsay presided and he was supported by Provost Fenton, Monifieth; Mr Edward Cowan, Town Clerk; and Bailies Kinmond and Ellis; and the others present were Councillors Peter Sim, James Crystal, W. Lawson Clark, Peter Swan, T. S. Dick, J. Gilles, W. Anderson, C. T. Godfrey, and J. B. Archer; Mr William Luke, Town Chamberlain; Mr J. K. Roddan, Burgh Surveyor; Mr James Turnbull, Electrical Engineer; Mr George Keillor, Gas Manager; and Mr William McGill, Depute-Town Clerk.

Though the gathering was in the nature of a watch-night assembly, the company showed few signs of being subdued by the importance of the occasion. On the contrary, a spirit of jovial light-heartedness permeated the gathering. This was but natural, for, however the occasion might be regretted had not the weight of municipal responsibility passed to the other broad shoulders? The Provost wore, for the last time, the chain of office which had been the symbol of the civic authority.
The proceedings were private, and were of an informal character. Little in the way of formal speech making was indulged in, but many stories were told and songs sung.

The Memory of Broughty Ferry

Shortly after midnight the Provost proposed the toast of the evening, “The memory of Broughty Ferry.” He took from his neck the handsome chain of office, the gift of the late Provost Orchar, and laid it on the table. He could have wished, he said, that the chain had been laid, not upon the table, but upon the shoulders of a worthy successor in office. He referred to the fact that Broughty Ferry had now ceased to exist, and voiced his regret that it should be so. Parliament, however had enacted it, and they had no control over the matter. The debts of the big cities of the nation had grown steadily, and they would now equal the National Debt. He alluded to the fine Council Chamber and the pictures that adorned the walls, and to the portraits of the Provosts, and said he had a premonition something would occur, since his portrait had filled up the last and twelfth space, so completing the ‘Gallery,’ and he had proved to be the last Provost of the Burgh. Broughty ferry had had a fine history, and they would never forget it. (Applause)

The toast was pledged in solemn silence. Thereafter Baillie Kinmond paid a tribute to Provost Lindsay whome he described as their honoured chief. The old Burgh was dead, but it was awakening to a newer and more expansive life. He gave the toast of ‘The Provost,’ who acknowledged in a sentence. Provost Fenton referred to the able manner in which the affairs of the Council of Broughty Ferry had been conducted by Mr Cowan, and proposed that gentleman’s health. The Town Clerk replied.
Thereafter the company joined in singing “Auld Lang Syne,” and the proceedings terminated.

Since its erection as a Burgh, Broughty Ferry had 10 Chief Magistrates, the last three under the Burgh Police (Scotland ) Act, 1892, receiving the designation of Provost. The list is as follows: -

George Hair Newall 1864-1866
William Warden Rennie 1866-1870
James Cunningham 1870-1873
William Hynd Norrie 1873-1876
John Leadbetter 1876-1878
George Halley 1878-1881
James Mudie 1881-1886
James Guthrie Orchar 1886-1898
Baxter Gray 1898-1907
William Lindsay 1907.


The Town Arms of Broughty Ferry - taken from the Provost's lamp - which still exists outside the former Orchar Gallery in Beach Crescent - And the last Broughty Ferry Council of 1913


Provosts Lamp
OldBroughty Arms
1913 Broughty Council
The old Provost's Lamp in Beach Crescent - outside what used to be the Orchar Gallery - now an old peoples home
The Broughty Logo
The 1913 Broughty Council


Iain D. McIntosh, Friends of Dundee City Archives

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