Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Tom Craigie 1926-2011

The staff of ARMMS were very sad to hear that Tom Craigie, formerly a local businessman, died recently at the age of 84. Mr Craigie was a regular researcher for the past six years and with his keen sense of humour, friendliness and cheerful attitude he became one of our most popular readers. Indeed, he was practically part of the department, on occasion referring to us as his staff, while we, in turn, would threaten to ‘dock his wages’. Each Tuesday Mr Craigie would travel to the Archives from his home in Carnoustie and spend most of the day on his research. He would keep us posted on his movements so that we knew the days he wouldn’t be in – more often than not his absence was due to trips to Italy with his son and daughter-in-law. Each Christmas he kept us well supplied with shortbread and biscuits.

Mr Craigie first visited the archives a few years after the death of his wife. He was looking for a photograph of the old railway bridge that crossed the eastern end of Americanmuir Road where he and his wife had often met during their courting days back in the 1940s. Although no photograph could be found the search sparked his interest in the Dundee and Newtyle Railway Company. From that point on Mr Craigie became the Archives’ most regular reader over a period of six years, working methodically through our substantial Dundee and Newtyle collection.

His research also took him to the National Archives of Scotland in Edinburgh. He identified previously unseen archival material relating to the Dundee and Newtyle railway and Mr Craigie’s knowledge of the railway’s history was undoubtedly unparalleled; he spotted mistakes in leaflets or museum displays instantly. Ultimately his goal was to publish his research in a book that would certainly have cast new light on the history of the company.

Unfortunately Mr Craigie died before being able to do so, his death coming as a shock to the ARMMS staff. His absence from the search room will be keenly felt and he will be sadly missed by all. He will live on in our memories as a very special man.


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