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Cinematographer: R N Robertson of Spearshill, Tayport Robert Nicoll

Robertson, born in 1884, was the son of Andrew Robertson, a Dundee Jute Merchant who resided at Spearshill, Spearshill Road, Tayport.

Robert attended Dundee High School and later joined his father in the firm of Robertson, Ireland & Co Ltd., Jute Merchants and Manufacturers, Dundee. Initially employed as a mercantile clerk, he became a director and partner in the firm before retiring in 1934.

Robert N. Robertson was credited with inventing a spool of green twist with a method which prevented the spool from becoming entangled. This technique was patented in 1910. 

Advert for "Nutscene" garden twine by Robertson Ireland & Co

Mr Robertson, who married Edith Mary Nairn from Dundee in 1926, was the local full-time voluntary fuel overseer for Tayport during World War 2. This voluntary service was characteristic of Mr Robertson and was a continuation of voluntary work done by him as chief of the reception committee for evacuees.

Well known in jute industry circles in Dundee, Mr Robertson was a keen cine photographer whose first of many reels was Tayport’s Silver Jubilee celebrations in 1935. Thereafter, among the many community events filmed by him were local coronation festivities in 1937 and 1953, numerous Sunday School outings, church events (he played the organ in Erskine U.F. Church), the Queen Mother’s visit to Tayport and the opening of the new Burgh Chambers in Queen Street.

R.N.Robertson died in March 1960 aged 76

Tayport Historical Video Footage Reel 01 (1934 - 1953)

00.00 –  Ferry Boat, Station and Wood Boat in Harbour

1.46 – Donaldson’s Sawmill

2.36 – Swimming Gala in Harbour 1934

3.20 – Coming to the Flower Show

3.45 – Sand Building Competition at Sea Wall

5.10 – At the Riding Academy Shanwell Road

7.01 – Scotscraig Golf Club 1934

8.03 – Football Match on Common

8.26 – Boy’s Brigade Band in Castle Street/School Children to Old Parish Church

10.31 – Picnic Parade

11.09 – Provost’s Party & Royal Toast in Old Burgh Chambers in William Street

12.17 – Picture House & Bowling Green

14.26 – Provost Barron switching on 33 Sodium Street Lighting (from Tennis Courts to Downie Mount)  at Old Burgh Chambers in William Street 26/11/1948

17.01 – Tayport Councillors relaxing at Bowling Green 1947

18.25 – Sports Day on the Common 8/6/1946

19.48 – Earlshall Castle Pageant by Tayport Dramatic Society 5/6/1948

22.51 – Royal Highland Show at Dundee 1949

26.57 – Scott & Fyfe Ltd (making Jute & other Yarns into cloth)

31.46 – John Johnstone Village Blacksmith & Engineer at Smiddy in Shanwell Road

36.13 – Coronation Day June 2nd 1953 – Old Parish Church and School

38.33 – Loyal Toast in Council Chambers & Decorations at The Factory & The Mill

41.06 – Street Decorations

41.50 – Gala Queen Parade 1953

43.17 – The Flower Show

44.02 – Tay Swim from Round Head

44.32 – British Legion (Women’s Section) Garden Fete – Mansfield Gardens Dougall Street/Grey Street

45.54 –Mussels on the slip on a Saturday morning at Harbour & Railway Station

47.07 – Town Industries – Smith & Kay shoe repairs 1948/49

55.20 – Queen ‘s visit Tuesday 19th September 1950 – (Irene Campbell presents flowers)

58.15 – Council guests in the Town Hall afterwards

Tayport Historical Video Footage Reel 02 (1934 - 1954)

0.00 – Auld Kirk Garden Fetes Maitland Street Manse (1934-15/6/40)

2.20 – Garden Fete Opening by Capt. J Henderson Stewart M.P.

5.11 – Dancing by the Misses Dickie & Pupils

6.41 – Women’s Guild Sale of Work 10/6/1944

8.17 – Sale of Work at Maitland Street Manse 3/6/1950 opened by J.D. Barron

10.22 – Boy’s Brigade Gymnastic display – Instructor Mr. Jas. Johnston

11.20 – Polish Army & Military / Civilian Parade War Memorial, William Street Burgh Chambers &  Queen Street

13.59 – Tayport Air Training Corp. 1943

15.26 – Tayport Army Cadet Battalion 1944

16.21 – Air Sea Rescue Launches / Swimming at Harbour / Female Staff at Station

17.53 – Harvest at Spears Hill Farmland (Marshall’s Threshing Machine)

19.17 – 1936 Coronation King George VI -Flags everywhere – Castle Street / Isla Place / Factory & Spinning Mill

22.38 – Children to Old Parish Church service then to School to receive Coronation Gifts

24.34 – Off to the Common for races

26.57 – Old Folks visit to Cinema & Bowling Green

27.35 – Then up to Newport to see their Street Parade & Windmill Park

29.19 – Dancing at Maitland Street

30.00 – Fireworks & Bonfire at Common

31.13 – Old Mill & New Houses 1945

32.45 – Erection of Queen Street Church Hut in Shanwell Road -Opened 5/9/54 by Miss Douglas

40.24 – Performance of Quaker Girl 20/3/54

50.35 – Picnic of Queen Street Church at Craigton Park 23/6/51

53.20 – Queen Street Church Hall and Garden Orchard

54.48 – Picnic of Queen Street Church at Bottom Craig Farm Balmerino 28/6/1952

Tayport Historical Video Footage Reel 03 (1937 - 1952)

0.10 – Tayport Town Hall opening ceremony 26/4/1950-Provost Wilkie turns the key

1.20 – Hall Committee and Town Council Members

2.21 – Crowning of Gala Queen 1951 by Mrs Wilkie, wife of the Provost

4.14 – Sports Day East Common – 14th July 1951

4.52 – Demolition of Mill Chimney at Golf Crescent

5.45 – Construction of new road bridge over River Eden at Guardbridge 1938

7.16 – 50 Year Burgh Jubilee celebration, Masonic Hall Tuesday 21st December 1937

10.34 – Merrie England performance Town hall 1950

17.50 – Official Opening of Queen Street Burgh Chambers 20/11/1952 (a very wet night)

20.40 – Afterwards in the Hall

22.06 – First Council meeting in new Burgh Chambers 28/11/52

24.24 – The Foundry in Tay Street – JAS. FERGUSON & SONS

28.00 – Tayport Amateur Musical Society

Ginger Man With A Cam: Episode 171 - Tayport

Ginger Man Logo

Ginger Man with a Cam’s visit to Tayport in August 2022 is reproduced here, courtesy of the Ginger Man aka Derek Bowman. It’s one of over 200 similar videos taken of cities, towns, villages, hills and trails of Scotland, many of which are in Fife.

You can see more at

Here’s the Ginger Man’s unsolicited comment on his visit to Tayport: “Stop what you are doing and make your next day out to Tayport…this absolute gem of a town sits nestled in the very top corner of Fife, looking over the Tay to Broughty Ferry whilst casually sitting next to the magnificent Tentsmuir Forrest.”

“If ever there is some drone footage to flex, this is it. Tayport is not only stunning from the sky, it’s packed with some ridiculous architecture to marvel at.”