Made in Dundee
Mill Lassie's Clock
The road you are on forks either side of an impressive circular sandstone building. Take the left-hand fork.
Can you see the clock? It stands in the middle of the street, at the top of a long black pole. Stop to look at it. This is the Mill Lassies' Memorial Clock.
Look at the words carved around the base. 'The mill's gaen fest, the puir wee shifters canna get a rest' used to be sung in the jute mills. They were the inspiration for Mary Brooksbank's "The Jute Mill Song". Jute is the second of the three 'J's and it arguable had the biggest impact on Dundee, or Juteopolis as it was sometimes known. And although I promised you an escape from the tired old stories about Dundee, it will be hard to get away from jute. Jute weaves in and out of our tour, having an impact on the people of Dundee in subtle (and not so subtle) ways.
But don't worry - this is only a starting point. Jute does help us begin to explain some of the unusual aspects of Dundee. For example – the fact that Dundee is known as a 'woman's city'. Overwhelmingly the jute workers were women. A man's wage was almost twice what a woman was paid and four times the wage of a child. Youths working in the jute mills would be sacked on their 18th birthdays so that their employers did not have to pay them the wages of adult men. For this reason Dundee became a city of female breadwinners and male 'kettle boilers'. It affected the city in many ways, as we shall see.
Continue along the street.