Logie 100: March 1920

We take a look at what happened in the Logie project 100 years ago this month.

On the 1st March 1920 the applications were in. The last day to hand them in was 28th February. Although the Courier claims there were well over 500, we don’t know the final tally. The Police Treasurer and his team were busy assessing the applicants and whittling it down to the final 250 who would get the first houses in May.

The end of February also saw another hiccup. At midday on Saturday 28th February over 200 plumbers in Dundee went on strike, including 15 who were working at Logie. The issue was over pay. Plumbers in Dundee had been working on an annual agreement over increase in pay, which would take effect at the start of each March. However there had been a national wage rise at the end of 1919, which the Dundee plumbers had not taken part in, on the understanding that their wages would rise in March. But this caused problems, they were now paid less than others and would be behind them again if there was another pay rise in the Autumn. The current wage was 1s 10d per hour, but they demanded 2s. This would be 3/4d higher than the rest of the country, but it was argued that this would balance out the difference from the wages lost in the last few months. William Nicoll, the contractor at the Logie Housing Scheme, met with the plumbers on 3rd March and agreed to their demands of 2s per hour. He also brought in more workers to help with the two day backlog. 294 men were employed on 1st March, its not clear whether this includes the striking plumbers.

At a meeting of the Works committee on 1st March, we hear the proposed street names for the first time. The main avenue down the middle of the scheme is to be named Victoria Avenue, with the minor streets named after WW1 Generals and Admirals: Haig, Beatty, Allenby, Rawlinson and Kitchener Streets. In an article on 3rd March, the Dundee Courier described the name choices as “proper and fitting… the heroic spirit in which Britain waged war”. The article also argued that the main Avenue should be Victory and not Victoria. The name Victoria was chosen because the Avenue leads up to Victoria Park.

But you might well be thinking “Hang on! That’s not the names that were used.” And you would be right. A general meeting of the Corporation on 4th March 1920 rebuffed the street names and they were sent back to the Works Committee to reconsider. On 15th March the committee changed the name of the main Avenue to Logie Avenue – it was argued that as there was already a Victoria Street and Victoria Road, it would lead to further confusion if there was a Victoria Avenue. New names for the streets were also suggested: Sycamore, Elm, Lime, Ashbank and Birchwood. Its not really known exactly why the Council asked the committee to reconsider – its not mentioned in the minutes and its nor reported in the newspapers. With modern hindsight we would maybe say that it may have been anti-war sentiment or that putting a bunch of war veterans in a housing scheme which glorified the bloody and horrifying war they just lived through was not a good idea. Instead the street names reflected the natural, green surroundings of the homes.

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