President Jim Ewing welcomed 47 members and one guest to the recent meeting of Forfar Probus Club.
The meeting’s guest speaker was Paul Grant, of Mackays Jams in Arbroath, who delivered a talk entitled “What’s happened to the jammy?”
Mr Grant began by tracing the history of the firm which was started in 1938 by the Mackay brothers in the old carrot factory in Carnoustie and one of their products was the jam used in the “jam rings” biscuits made by United Biscuits for whom he worked.
In 1995 Mr Grant bought the factory and started to produce jams and marmalade under the label ‘Grants of Dundee’ using local fruits and original recipes. These were heritage products and exports grew. In 2000 the Mackays brand was launched to replace the Grants brand and, at the end of that year, they bought the ‘Mrs Bridges’ brand. The business grew until it had finally outgrown the Carnoustie site and in 2006 it acquired the present site in Arbroath. The locals said “What’s happened to the jammy” hence the title of his talk.
Mr Grant was justly proud of the fact that their Arbroath factory has 23 traditional jam making pans, making it the biggest traditional manufacturer in the world. Paul Grant (centre) is pictured with Bob Kydd (left), who gave the vote of thanks, and Jim Ewing.