Willie’s View: Across the Tay


Before any bridges were built across the wide Tay Estuary between Perth and Dundee, those seeking to reach the other side would have had little option but to take a ferry.

There’s not a lot remains to show for these once important services. But on today’s walk from Stormontfield, I came across one little gem from those times.

At Waulkmill, on the gable wall of a stone bothy, is a list of the fares for the old Waulkmill Ferry.

Pedestrians would have to pay 1d. Bring your bike and that would increase to 2d. A car, however, would cost you 6d.

The list goes into great detail for horses, sheep, cattle and whether you intend re-crossing the same day. If you’re on your way home from a late party, though, it’s maybe worth reading the bottom line.

The rates to be doubled between the hours of 10pm and 5am.

It’s not often the passage of time has the effect of reducing prices, but at least today we can drive across the bridges over the Tay for free.


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Mairi Hughes