Haddock Smokers, Arbroath (Smokies)
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Haddock Smokers, Arbroath (Smokies)

A fishing port and resort town on the North Sea coast of Angus, Arbroath sits at the mouth of the Brothock Burn 17 miles (27 km) northeast of Dundee. Formerly known as Aberbrothock, it became a royal burgh in 1599. Its most notable building is Arbroath Abbey which was completed in 1233 and was the scene of the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320. In addition to its activities as a port, the burgh developed in the 18th and 19th centuries as a centre of linen weaving, spinning, bleaching and tanning. In 1875 there were 154 fishing boats and 34 spinning mills and factories in addition to tanning, shipbuilding and chemical industries.

The modern economy depends on engineering, oil-related industries, fishing, boat building and the manufacture of metal products and textiles. The town, the largest in Angus, remains an important fishing port and holiday resort on the Angus Tourist Route with a Signal Tower Museum, bathing on the West Links, a sports centre and a golf course. Established in 1935, Kerr's Miniature Railway on the West Links Park is the oldest in Scotland.

Arbroath was the home town of James Chalmers (1782 - 1853), who invented the adhesive postage stamp; Alexander Shanks (1801-45), inventor of the lawnmower; John Ritchie Findlay (1824-98), the newspaper-owner and philanthropist; David Buick (1854 - 1929), who founded the noted American motor car marque; and music-hall performer Sir Harry Lauder (1870 - 1950), until the age of 14. Arbroath is particularly associated with a variety of smoked haddock known as Arbroath Smokies, a name guaranteed under Protected Geographical Interest status which was awarded by the European Union in 2004.

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