Broughty Ferry book is right up your street

Authors Craig Muir (left) and Callum Webster were in Broughty Ferry to launch the new edition of their local history book, "What's in a name?"
Authors Craig Muir (left) and Callum Webster were in Broughty Ferry to launch the new edition of their local history book, "What's in a name?"

An updated edition of the Broughty Ferry street name book “What’s in a Name?” was launched in Eduardo Alessandro Studios on Wednesday.

Back due to popular demand, the book explores the history of every street in Broughty Ferry and reveals the meaning behind their names.

It also contains details about former residents, including professional football and rugby players, eminent scientists, businessmen who rose from rags to riches, and missionaries martyred for their faith.

Author Callum Webster told the Gazette: “It started out as a hobby, looking into family history, and a way to keep in touch with my home town when I left to work in Belfast several years ago. It involved looking at local history records, maps, old property registers, newspapers and family trees too.

“I was back here on holiday three years ago and got talking with old friend Craig Muir, who suggested my research would make a good book. As a designer, he knew what to do and we worked on the first edition for 18 months.

“It went on sale in November last year and all 1800 copies sold out in four months!”

After this success, Callum and co-author Craig have been working hard to prepare this revised version, with additional information and illustrations.

Beautifully illustrated with black and white photos of local scenes and vintage sketches, the second edition includes stories about: the former Grove Academy pupil who publicly debated with Sherlock Holmes author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; the girl from Panmure Street who became Australia’s first female anaesthetist; the Barnhill resident who rescued orphaned children from Communist China; the Camphill Road stockbroker who embezzled £40,000; the West Ferry merchant who was shot dead during a grouse hunt on the Sidlaws; and the local minister nicknamed the ‘Parachute Padre’ for his role in a World War Two SAS operation.

Asked what he found most interesting during his extensive research, Callum said: “Finding out how streets got their names. For instance, Nursery Road was once home to a nursery, famous for its roses, and there used to be a fort, built by the English and once captured by the French, at Forthill and a working mill on Mill Street.”

The ideal Christmas gift for Ferry residents, the book also contains biographical details about every councillor who served on the old Broughty Ferry Burgh Council, before Dundee annexed the town in 1913. “What’s in a Name?” costs £12 per copy and is on sale from the following outlets: Eduardo Alessandro Studios, 30 Gray Street, Broughty Ferry, The Katz Pyjamas, 55 Gray Street, Broughty Ferry, Hallmark Cards, 2 Campfield Square, Broughty Ferry and Waterstone’s, 35 Commercial Street, Dundee.