Round about the Round-O 1880. Arbroath's yesteryear in print

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POEM - 016
'Frae the Wives at the
Fit o' the Toun'


I'M gaun t' sit doun, though I'm no vera gude a't,
To pour oot my heart to Him that's aboon
For blessin's on him that I winna mention,—
That's gi'en sic a gift at the fit o' the toun.

Sae aft's I hae ran t' the Boulzie Hill wallie,—
An' waitin' my turn, —I wis aye late at noon ;
An' fan I cam back there was naething but hurry ;
But there's nae hinder noo at the fit o' the toun.

The wives a' aroun' me, I 'm sure they will join me,
For blessin's on him wha has gi'en us the boon ;
For it's always oor crack fan we 're fillin' oor buckets—
The gude that he's dune at the fit o' the toun.

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These verses, which are understood to have been written, as they bear to have been, by one of 'the wives at the fit o' the toun,' commemorate the gift of a water supply to the town by the late Mr. William Gibson, Maulesbank, in the year 1863.

It was a small supply, to about a dozen street wells, and it has been superseded by the Nolt Loan water ; but at the time, in the then scarcity of water in Arbroath, it was highly prized. After Mr. Gibson's death, and in accordance with his will, a granite drinking fountain was erected at Brothock Bridge by his trustees, and by them gifted to the town.

Mr. Gibson, by his will, founded eight scholarships in the High School, and bequeathed large sums of money for charitable purposes. The annual proceeds of these funds are distributed in three charities, called the Gibson Fund, the Gibson Christmas Charity, and Gibson's Mortification for Sixteen Poor Householders. These are three of the principal endowed charities of Arbroath.


Commentary extracted from 'Round about the Round O with its Poets', 1883.
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