1906 Tuesday, September 4th.

Dundee Advertiser  


(Mars table for the Queen?)



(By Marguerite.)


The Boys’ Work


It was a thousand pities that the Mars gala day was so disappointing in the matter of weather. I want space to abuse the Weather Clerk as he deserves, so I will simply content myself with remarking that the weather was quite unworthy of the occasion – as a celebrated speaker is reported to have said on a certain historic occasion in Dundee. I was particularly interested in looking at the display of the boys’ handiwork in wood and products of the work-top, though, I believe, they were shown last year in Dundee. Indeed on that occasion one of the exhibits had a great honour paid to it. It was an inlaid table, and it was purchased by a lady of the Court, then the guest of Lady Abercromby, and ultimately it found its way, so I am told, into the possession of Her Majesty the Queen. The boys are mightily uplifted over the fact, the news of which reached them lately, and their woodwork assumes a new importance in their eyes. I was struck with the capital selection of articles shown, all useful, and all very nicely finished – stools for various purposes including bending, travelling, footrests; booksliders and bracelets; pipe racks, easels, models of the boys’ sea-chests with rope handles, inlaid trays, writing boards, paper-cutters, and large articles like beautifully inlaid tables, a three-cornered cupboard, and a natty cabinet, which would be just the thing either for medicines or cigars. Not only was the work attractive, but it was cheap, absurdly cheap in some instances. I should recommend ladies who have been bazaars in hand to get into touch with the manual instructor at the Mars, and they will hear of something to their advantage – as the saying is. There were rugs too, and very fine brass work, both worthy attention. A splendid model of a Mars boat shown, the work of three boys, was very much admired. It was a first prize at the recent Exhibition in Liverpool of Industrial School work, and the ship took also second place for excellence on general woodwork. Another feather in the cap of the Mars was that one of the exhibits, an inlaid tray, was selected by the British Commissioner to be shown at an exhibition in New Zealand.


The programme was an excellent one. The speeches were short and bright, and the proceedings seemed to got through with unusual celerity. Lady Grizelda Cheape, becomingly attired in a long redingote of shepherd’s check trimmed with skilfully applied touches if black velvet, and a rose-wreathed hat, did not forget to put in a plea for temperance when addressing the boys; and Canon Cowley-Brown, whose fine intellectual face was strange to most of his hearers, spoke in a sympathetic strain which appealed to every boy present, and which no doubt touched a familiar chord in many hearts…