Access issue sparks ‘Bummie’ memories

The Forfar lads were (back from left) Bob Evans, Alex Gordon, Harry Hill, Douglas Guild and Bobby Smith with (front from left), Willie Whammond, Jack Macdonald and Alf Whyte. Jack is the last surviving member of his group of friends.
The Forfar lads were (back from left) Bob Evans, Alex Gordon, Harry Hill, Douglas Guild and Bobby Smith with (front from left), Willie Whammond, Jack Macdonald and Alf Whyte. Jack is the last surviving member of his group of friends.

OUR RECENT articles on access issues on a route leading to Balmashanner have sparked off memories for 95-year-old Forfar man John (Jack) Macdonald.

He popped in to the office on Friday with a copy of a photograph featuring himself and a group of his friends who took to walking round Balmashanner in the 1930s to find out who was the fastest on two legs.

Jack said: “I served my apprenticeship as a factory mechanic with Dons from 1933 to 1938.

“During the summer months on a Sunday evening, there used to be a competition between the boys on who could walk round Bummie in the fastest time. As we couldn’t afford watches then, we used to time our walk from the clock on the forefront of the Town Hall.”

The walk started at the Pend, along West High Street, Dundee Loan, Dundee Road, up the path leading up to Butcharts’ farm and on to Bummie, down to the entrance to Lour Road, down the Vennel, finishing back at the Pend.

Jack continued: “I don’t remember whether we had to cross a field to reach Bummie. If we had this walk was a right of way in these days, as Northampton Road was not built then, but after the war.”

The boys’ times were printed by “The Drummer” in the Forfar Dispatch.