Logie 100: August 1919

We take a look at what happened in the Logie project 100 years ago. Each month we will bring together news, events and problems associated with the lead up to the monthly report to the Housing and Town Planning Committee (HTPC).

After the turning of the first sod on July 4th 1919, work got started straight away. Roads had already been laid out, as well as some pipes. By the time of the meeting of the HTPC on 7th July, all 63 sites for the blocks had been staked off. Excavation had started and building materials were on their way.

19190712 PJ stech
A sketch of the Logie Houses appears in the People’s Journal of 12th July 1919, taken from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

It was reported that a picture of the progress of the building works was passed around at the meeting. This would be the picture for July 1919 (see previous blog post). James Thomson, City Engineer and Architect planned to circulate such a picture twice a month. We only hold pictures that were taken once a month, so either they decided to only take one a month, or the other pictures were not kept. Its more likely to be the former.

The picture at the top of this article was taken for the August report to committee, the first full report.

20190724_142641
The first report by James Thomson into the building works at the Logie scheme.

On 5th August James Thomson reported that 65 men were employed. You may notice that the picture says 71, so maybe six had been let go in four days. But, only one month into works and there were problems already. Two weeks of labour had been lost. The building materials were due to be transported from Glasgow, but in mid July it was the Glasgow fair week. So everything shut down. Delivery was put back by one week. Then it was the Dundee fair week holiday, so the men were given the week off.

On 8th August the Council were given the go-ahead to build the innovative central heating scheme – believed to be the first of its kind in Europe. The cost of the scheme would be £22,200. A few of the councillors were concerned about this cost, but Thomson explained that fitting heating systems into each of the 252 homes would cost over £15,000, this should be looked on as a saving. The central heating system would also mean that once the homes were occupied, the tenants heating bills would be a lot cheaper. They also wouldn’t need to buy coal for the fire. Designs were finalised on 28th August and tenders were invited to build the boiler house and scheme.

James Thomson also suggested that unemployed men could be put to work building sewers and roads on the scheme (as well as a newly planned road to the top of the Law). The Employment Exchange had reported there was a ready supply of men and the Corporation had enough tolls for them to use. However the council decided against such  scheme until one full calendar year after the war ended.

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