Delving into Angus communities’ local history

​Mr Dey discussed the history of Barry Mill with its custodian Michael Metcalfe.​Mr Dey discussed the history of Barry Mill with its custodian Michael Metcalfe.
​Mr Dey discussed the history of Barry Mill with its custodian Michael Metcalfe.
Angus South MSP Graeme Dey recently visited Barry Mill at Carnoustie to highlight Local and Community History Month.

The aim of the month-long celebration, which is held every May, is to increase awareness of local history, promote history in general to the local community and encourage all members of the community to participate.

Organised by the Historical Association, activities occur across the country every May to raise awareness of a strong community and to highlight local history.

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Barry Mill was once the beating heart of a rural community – supplying food, providing a place for trade and gossip, and witnessing the transition from a rural to an industrial society.

Mr Dey heard from Michael Metcalfe, that the water-powered mill produced oatmeal and other foods, as well as providing work for local people, for almost 800 years – right up until 1982. It is now one of only a handful of mills powered by water.

Rebuilt after a fire around 1814, it is now probably the largest and finest example of its type still in operation.

Mr Dey also visited Kirriemuir's Star Rock Shop, which was established in 1833 by David Ferguson. It still trades today from the same premises in the Roods, making it the oldest producing and continuously trading sweet shop in Scotland. It has been owned by Liz Crossley-Davies since 2018.

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All Star rock recipes are passed on with each new owner, and Liz makes them today in the kitchen at the back of the shop as they have always been done.

Mr Dey said: “I was very pleased to visit two fantastic historical landmarks for Local and Community History Month.

"Not many people are aware of the specific history and heritage of our local community.

"This month allows everyone to put their stories on a pedestal and celebrate their rich past.

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“Barry Mill has recently undergone restorations and I was glad to see the iconic mill is such lovely shape.

"It was also warming to hear Liz’s passion for the sweet shop that has been at the heart of the community for many years.”

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