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Wee Meg: Minstrels fan who made big impression on Arbroath

Meg Reid was a huge fan of the Angus Minstrels.
Meg Reid was a huge fan of the Angus Minstrels.

Wee Meg of Arbroath, who made a huge impression on anyone she met, has died aged 81.

Her real name was Margaret Reid but she was universally known as Wee Meg in the town and even much further afield.

Once, a Christmas card was posted to Arbroath addressed to: Maggie, a little lady with a big personality, Arbroath.

Staff at the town’s sorting office guessed it was for Meg and delivered it to her home in Clova Avenue.

Holiday

The card had been posted by a couple Meg had met on holiday in Spain earlier in the year.

Born in Arbroath, Meg grew up on Helen Street, the only child of Bunt Reid and his wife Betty.

Meg attended Inverbrothock Primary School then after leaving senior school, followed her father into work at Corsar’s mill and also served for a period as a member of the reserve forces

She was well known in the town for queuing all night to secure tickets for the annual Minstrels shows.

Meg, left, receives tickets from Maggie Moss of Angus Minstrels.

From the 1960s right up until the middle of last decade, the shows were so popular that tickets were hard to come by.

For more than 25 years, Meg would camp outside the Webster Theatre box office, in a sleeping bag, to secure front-row tickets.

She made sure she bought enough so her family and friends could also attend the shows.

Often, Meg and her friend Flossie Swankie, another regular in the queue would entertain with songs and stories and were even known to send for Flossie’s accordion, so they could really keep everyone in high spirits.

Meg was a regular at the St Tam’s bar, the Lorne and the Station to name but a few and she played in several darts teams over the years.

Meg presents a cheque from the Lorne bar, Arbroath, to Andy Glen of the Little Cairnie mini-bus appeal in December, 1988.

She was a dear friend to the late Moira Gillespie, serving in the TA together and the pair went on many holidays to Spain and also had several trips to Canada and America to visit two other Gillespie sisters, Jessie and Norma.

She loved to travel and even as she got older and no longer going abroad, she still loved to go on bus trips all over the UK with Dorothy Gillespie and the pair were regulars at shows in the Webster Theatre.

Meg was also a massive Elvis fan and had the star’s signature tattooed on her arm and had amassed a huge collection of posters, records and other memorabilia.

She was a big Arbroath supporter, went to a lot of games and had been a season ticket holder. She also had a soft spot for Celtic and would travel to Glasgow to follow the team.

Dorothy recalls once at Hampden, the sheer volume of people separated the pair and she could only watch as Meg, looking utterly terrified, was carried off in the crowd, her feet not even touching the ground

Karen Gillespie, Dorothy’s daughter, said: “Meg never married but she had many, many friends and was well known for being a wee joker. Even latterly in Seaton Grove, Meg didn’t lose her cheeky charm. She was always full of fun.”

You can read the announcement here.

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