Logie 100: May 1920

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

It’s May, the sun is shining, and things are buzzing at Logie. There are 342 workmen employed on site – we have now reached the peak in the number of workers on site. This is possibly because there are houses in a variety of stages so there are different skills on site. There are probably bricklayers, joiners, labourers, glazers, roofers, electricians, plumbers, painters and maybe even gardeners. We definitely know that there were joiners on site, because they went on strike on the 8th May. This caused problems as they were working on half of the houses and caused delays. 6 Corporation joiners were sent down to Logie to try and ease the problem. Its possible that the number of men on site was high as the first batch of houses were being rushed to meet the 28th May deadline. 11 of the blocks were being painted ready for the new tenants to move in at the end of the month.

The expenses involved in the project was up to £95,725 9s 9d – about £3.8 million in today’s money. At the start of the month the Scottish Board of Health agreed to the rent rates, but suggested they should be a bit higher. They wanted to raise the proposed rent for the 3 roomed houses (2 bedrooms) by 9d a week to 9s 3d. The Council weren’t happy about this and got the City Engineer to press them to accept the lower rate. Finally just as the first tenants moved in, the Scottish Board of Health (SBH) agreed. Annual rent was to be £22 2s for a 2 bedroomed flat, or 8s 5d a week. In today’s money, based on the relation to income, this works out at about £440 per month. The arm of the the SBH was twisted thanks to the special consideration that was to be given to ex-servicemen.

19200515 Robertsons advert
An advert for Robertson’s Furniture shop with a special Logie House lot, 15th May 1920 in the Dundee Courier

Then the day arrives. The Logie Housing estate was opened on 27th May 1920. At this time there were 90 houses finished and ready to become homes. The formal opening ceremony was conducted by Lord Provost William Don, accompanied by Sir George McCrae, president of the SBH and John Reid, Convener of the Housing Committee. The Lord Provost opened one of the homes with a ceremonial gold key (sadly we don’t know which one). In his speech LP Don referred to the homes as “little castles, superior in many respects, and equipped in a manner ahead of many of the larger and more highly rented house in this or any other city”. They then proceeded to the viewpoint and unveiled the memorial plaque. A reception was held at the Art Galleries (now the McManus). The Courier reported that Mr E Loseby’s orchestra entertained the guests whilst tea was served.

19200528 Opening party
A photograph of those present at the opening ceremony on 27th May 1920 (Taken from the Dundee Courier)

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