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16 October 2014
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Cox's Jute Mill
There are 15 messages in this section.

Margaret Gordon from Canada. Posted 13 Jun 2003.
In the 50's and early 60's my Mum worked a a weaver in Cox's in Lochee Dundee as had her Mother before her. It was a hard (and dangerous)life working in the mills.
I remember waiting at St. Ninians Church for the horn to blow and the gates to open at tea time.
Many's the dinner I had in Cox's canteen.....the meals were great and the people were friendly.
Recently, my sister, who works at Verdant Works Dundee was surprised when a visitor from England introduced herself saying that her maiden name was Cox and that yes, it was her Grandfather who owned Cox's Jute Mill. To the surprise of my sister, the lady then apologized for the poor working conditions at the Mill.
Anne from Angus. Posted 24 Oct 2003.
Have just came accross this site and read your e.mail, my mother also worked at Cox's Jute Mills in the 50's and 60's, and ,many a story she had to tell!!I wonder if they knew each other?

i young from uk. Posted 18 Nov 2003.
My grandmother's maiden name was Cox and I understand her grandfather owned the cox mill and her grandmother arranged for clement park house to be built in lochee, dundee - she married a Duncan Thomson in the 1920's. Does anyone have any more info on the cox family?

J Duffy from Yorkshire England. Posted 14 Feb 2005.
My folks met and married whilst working at cox1s mill Dundee around 1950, my gran Isabella Nisbet Dow also worked at the mill in the 40's

Andrea Spencer from Jersey City, New Jersey, USA. Posted 1 Apr 2004.
Dear Miss McEwan:

My grandfather, Thomas MacFarlane, and his 2 brothers were sent to Smylum when they were about 6 and 7 years old, and we think the youngest, John, was only an infant. They were from Airdrie. I cannot find any other references to Smylum online. Does it still exist today? Is there a way to research the list of children that lived there? The youngest brother, John, seems not to exist in any databases (even the LDS site). The parents were both deceased by 1905. Any information you can give me about Smylum would be most appreciated

Very truly yours,
Andrea Spencer

Grant Buttars from Dundee, Scotland. Posted 27 Apr 2004.
A partial history of the Cox family can be found at

Gillian from Berlin. Posted 18 Aug 2004.
My father grew up in Smylum too. He must have gone there in 1940. It closed some years ago and developers have since turned it into luxury flats.

helen boyd from glasgow. Posted 29 Nov 2004.
I am working on project for the BBC entitled 'Immigration'. We are interviewing immigrants all over Scotland, and are looking for an Irish immigrant (male or female)who worked in the Dundee mills to be interviewed for the programme.
I would be very grateful if anyone who knows of a relative, friend of the family or perhaps neighbour who travelled to Scotland from Ireland, and who went on to work in the Dundee mills could contact me on this email address -
Thank you for any assistance you can offer.

Gillian Reid from Dundee. Posted 4 Apr 2005.
Regarding the request fro information about Smylum; my grandmother and her brothers and sisters spent five terrible years at Smylum from when she was 5 to the age of 10. Smylum is in South Lanarkshire. The building was recently converted into apartments.

Bill Rollo from Toronto, Canada. Posted 13 Jan 2006.
Reading this site brought back a lot of memories for me. I served my "time" as an apprentice at Cox's from 1975-1979. I was always amazed at the history of the mill. From the old boilers at the foot of the stack to the times we hid up the clock tower and smoked cigarettes. The mill was built over tunnels that housed the steam shafts that drove the Blackness looms. The main office block was actually built over the old stables and carraige house which at that time were still there although not obvious.

The canteen was still there. My aunt Peggy Worked there which mean't I was always looked after. The company was Sidlaw Industries then, and a lot of apprentices went through those doors. If you ever get a close look at those bells up the clock tower, you will see my name and those of apprentices before me scratched on the bells themselves.

Janice Henderson from Australia. Posted 6 Mar 2006.
My Mother and Father both worked all their lives at Camperdown works. (Cox's) Agnes Nee Macguire (Cop Winder) James O'Donnell (Dresser). They both worked there until the place started the redundancy process I think that was about 1979-80. I also remember waiting for them to come out when the horn sounded. The big doors opened and the amount of people that came rushing out. We lived in Clement park and out back garden overlooked the big house we called it the sallys home. I also remember when they started using I think it was called (flack or flax) not quite sure about the name. Just remember my Mother coming home covered it green. Still remember as a small child the smell of Jute when my Mother picked us up from the nursery which was attached to the work. I liked that smell as I suppose it was the recognised smell of the comfort of Mum.

Billy Hutcheson from London. Posted 6 Mar 2006.
I have also tried to find out more about Smylum on the net without much success. I spent several years there myself as a child with my brother and sisters and would like to find out more about it.

Sanwar from London. Posted 26 Apr 2006.
I grew up in the bungalows of jute mills in Bangladesh, my dad is a general manager in a jute mill, now nationalized. I have a great fascination about the life of waivers, supervisers of the great jute industry in scotland as the Jute industry is now breathing its very last breaths

Rose Thurton Pudsey from Edinburgh. Posted 12 Jul 2006.
I was subjected to the harsh reality of Smylum from 1951 to 1965, most of my memories are bad.

Richard Honeyman from Sheffield. Posted 16 Oct 2006.
I fondly remember serving my time as an electrcian at cox,s my name is also on the bell beside bill rollo who im sure i worked with all them years ago ahh fond memoiries

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