Tales Of Kirrie Toon

Star Rock Shop


Reid [p201] tells us this.

"Nor should we forget to mention the local confection, Star Rock, or 'Starrie', a packet of which is the favourite present between friends at home or far away. This sweetmeat is now made by several vendors, but like the Forfar Rock of Peter Reid, is has an authoritative source and emporium. The genuine article is now made and sold by Miss Morrison, in the Roods. Her mother, Mrs William Morrison, and her aunt, Miss Margret Morrison, inherited the recipe and the business of the original maker, David Ferguson, who commenced the manufacture and sale of Star Rock as early as 1833. Originally, and as occasionally happens still, the rolling of the rock caused its sections to assume a star-like appearance, thus giving meaning to its name, and making its production all the more wonderful that it was mixed, boiled, rolled, and cut by a blind man. Sometimes the sale of 'Starry' is phenomenal, even though pitted against the varied sweetmeats of the times. During the Dundee holiday season, for instance, so great is the run upon it that the town will be swept clean of rock, Miss Morrison boiling close to two hundred pounds of sugar daily to meet the demand.'


All of the following has been corroborated from official records unless stated otherwise. Note that the information for Valuation Rolls was collected between autumn and the following summer then printed in that autumn so for eg VR of 1914/5 the information collected could be any time between autumn 1914 and summer 1915 and compiled in to the roll by 15 August 1915.

1833-1881 (died 1881) , David Ferguson

1881-1886 (died 1886) , Margaret Whyte nee Ferguson , She will probably have been involved prior to 1881

1886-1907 (died 1907) , Jean Morrison nee Ferguson , She may have been involved after her father died in 1881

1907-1945 (died 1945) , Jessie Ramsay nee Morrison , She was involved prior to 1907 as shown on census 1901

She was probably not involved right up to 1945

1945-1957 , Frederick Brown son of Agnes Brown nee Morrison , Probably involved about 1942

The shop was for sale in 1950

Brown was not ‘of Kirrie’ so did he run the shop or own it and have a manager

1957-1961 , James Reid (his nephew still lives in Kirriemuir) , Who was Mrs F Chapman who won a raffle prize in 1959 with address Star Rock Shop? Probably bought the ticket at the shop

1961-1981 , Frank & Maureen Shaw , Shop for sale 1980

1981 , Miss Catherine M Lauder , Newspaper

1982-1987 , Gap in Valuation Records

1988-1991 , Mrs Milne & Mrs M J Rae

1991-1995 , L & Mrs Bertram

1995-2000 , Gap in Valuation Records

2000-2001 , Geraldine McAuley

2001 , End of Valuation Records

2008 , Ruth Mitchell , Shop for sale from Dave Orr

Wendy Patterson , Oral record

2018 , Liz Crossley-Davies , Current Owner

The Star Rock shop had competitors serving Kirrie's sweet teeth.

Alice S has contributed the following information.

In 1878 Alexander Martin Confectioner was somewhere nearby, at 13/15/17/ 19 or 21 Roods, while the Star Rock was at 23 / 25/ 27 or 29.

I would like to suggest the ‘other confectioner’ at No 7 Roods who had the recipe for Cream Rock and this recipe was sold or given to the Star Rock Shop when No 7 went out of business in 1960. I got on to this as Liz Crossley-Davies of the Star Rock Shop wanted to know when the Cream Rock recipe was transferred to the Star. She still makes cream rock.

No 7 may have been a confectioner from any time after 1860/70 when it sold newspapers etc though I think that confectionary as such is not mentioned until 1920s with Alice Bruce then when W. Mills took over, Cream Rock as a registered recipe is seen. I can find no connection from this W. Mills to William Mills bookseller, liquor merchant etc etc. who is much seen in Kirrie for a very long time. Friends in the town remember Mrs Mills who was last in the shop at No 7. They also remember the Caledonian BBQ Company who took over the premises and sold roast chicken off the spit supposedly a grand smell on a cold night. From Alice S.

Liz Crossley-Davies

In the centre o the toon

There lies a wee sweetie shop

And children come racin roon

Their pockets full o pennies

For chocolate, sugar and rock


In the Square o Kirriemuir

There’s a small sweetie shop

The shop calls in with great lure

And sells candy and pop

It sells a variety of sweet and sour

As the pop fizzes away

Children could be choosing for hours


In the Angus toon o Kirrie

There’s a wee tasty sweetie shop

That sells really nice chocolate

The old famous Starry Rock Shop

Northmuir Primary Rhymes


There’s a shop called Starry Rock

Doon at the tiny wee Roods

Buy some rock there you can sook

Doon Caddam Woods

Try a bon bon, or some tablet

Blow some bubble gum

Have a sip of Vimto

To stop you feeling glum

Southmuir Primary Rhymes

To read several newspaper articles about the Star Rock shop over the ages, also gathered in by Alice, see this PDF file.