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Showing posts from May, 2012

Fancy A Trip On The Crieff Canal ??

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Robert Stevenson , Glasgow born engineer and grand father of RL Stevenson(left ) Sir John Rennie , Scottish born canal engineer who advised Perth Burgh on Stevenson’s scheme(right ) The Proposed Strathearn Canal OK ! I conned you somewhat with that picture of Uncle Jimmy on the Forth and Clyde heading for the Falkirk Wheel !! In reality however we might just have had a similar canal here in the Strath if things and indeed history had been just that wee bit different ! It is a fascinating tale . so read on ! The early part of the 19th century saw a movement towards the construction of canals . In Scotland the Forth and Clyde Canal had started construction in 1768 and took until 1790 to reach completion and open to traffic . This canal had reputedly been financed by monies from forfeited Jacobite Estates Whether this was the case or not is not clear but certainly the idea of canal transportation for both passengers and goods rapidly caught on and the good citizens…

The Story of Weaving in Crieff & Strathearn ( Part Three )

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A Crieff Weaver The weavers were virtually a community within a community . They often lived in specific locations within a town or village and from the late 18th century developed an individuality that was strongly apparent . In Crieff , hand loom weavers were found in High Street , East High Street up to and including St Margaret’s College Buildings or what is now the Tower Hotel . Weavers lived in King Street , Burrell Street , Commissioner Street ( or the New Feus ) , Mitchell Street including the bottom part which was known as the Water Wynd , Miller Street , Comrie Street , Milnab Street and the lower part ( geographically ) around Bridgend and Earnbank Road . In Parish Life in Eighteenth Century Scotland ( Steven M, 1995 ) the author highlights the Statistical Account of Caputh , north of Perth where the minister highlighted conveniently the annual budget of a weaving family comprising the weaver , his wife and three small bairns under five years of age . As Caputh is o…

The Story of Weaving in Crieff & Strathearn ( Part Two)

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"Mount Rascal" Weavers' Hall in Commissioner Street Crieff A very early picture of Dallerie Mill c 1855 ************************************************ Strathearn For Strathearn, the diminution in importance of the Michaelmas Fair or Market in the later part of the 18th century brought about by the collapse of the cattle trade, was to a certain extent offset by the rapid growth of the linen trade. Traditionally, rural communities had always had a weaving tradition although mostly in wool. With the Union of Parliaments, the protective tariffs set up by the English state were abolished and at last Scottish merchants were given equal opportunities to deal with the lucrative London market where the light , cheap linen cloths had begun to usurp the hold of the traditional woollen garment. The town of Crieff too, had developed its own weaving " industry " in the wake of the decline after the departure of the Tryst to Falkirk . It was prior to t…

The Story of Weaving in Crieff & Strathearn ( Part One )

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If it wasna for the weavers , what would you do ? Ye wouldna hae your cloth that’s made o woo Ye wouldna hae your cloak neither black nor blue If it wasna for the wark o the weavers ! The pictures in descending order are 1. College Buildings Crieff where some 50 weaving families lived 2. Diagrammatic sketch of 62/64 Burrell Street Crieff , once weavers' houses 3. A weaver at his hand loom and 4. "Weavers window " - built to allow light into the attic space . ******************************************************************************************** Linen had been a major industry in Scotland for hundreds of years; by 1684 an estimated 12,000 people were employed its manufacture. The industry was stimulated by an Act of Parliament of 1686 stipulating that everyone had to be buried in linen winding sheets made from materials which had been grown, spun and woven in Scotland. Further stimulus came from the Act of 1748 prohibiting the importing or wearing of French…