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Father’s Day tribute to ‘man of Montrose’, ex-community councillor Terry Wood

On her first Father's Day without her dad, Terry's daughter Lesley looks back over her dad's hard-working life.

Terry Wood, former plumber and Montrose community councillor.
Terry Wood, former plumber and Montrose community councillor.

On what will be their first Father’s Day without him, the family of former Montrose community councillor Terry Wood paid tribute to their hardworking Dad and Grandad.

Terry, who was “Montrose through and through” was a plumber by trade and oversaw work in the construction of Ninewells Hospital and for the New Old Course Hotel, St Andrews.

Granny’s boy, Terry

Terry Wood was born on October 23, 1932 at 13 Northesk Road, Montrose, in the home of his Granny Wood.

One of four children, Terry’s mother Anne was a jute worker.

He attended North Links Primary School, then went on to Townhead Secondary.

A young Terry Wood from Montrose.

At the age of 11, Terry began his working life as a butcher’s “message boy”.

“My dad said he worked in ‘a’ weathers’ for two-and-a-half years,” his daughter Lesley Clifton, said.  “It would have been very hard work indeed.”

Back to build a life in Montrose

On leaving school Terry moved to Consett in England to live with, and help, his aunt and uncle.

While his aunt ran the home Terry’s uncle worked with the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC). As happy as his time there was he soon returned to Montrose where he became an apprentice butcher with the Co-op.

Seeing great potential in Terry his boss encouraged him to leave butchering in favour of qualifying in another trade.

With R Pert and Son, Terry began an apprenticeship in plumbing.

Based in Montrose, Perts worked all over Scotland.

Falling in love at the Locarno

By the time he was 21 Terry had qualified as a plumber, and on a night out at the Locarno Ballroom in Montrose, he met Irene Duncan.

From one dance Irene became his partner for life. The pair wed in Birmingham in 1953 and later their family grew with the birth of son Graham and daughter Lesley.

Very much in love, Irene and Terry Wood.

Building a home and providing for his family was of the utmost importance to Terry, however he often had to move around for contract plumbing work.

He purchased numbers 3, 5 and 7 Little Nursery, Montrose but they also lived in Caithness, the Shetland Isles, Thurso, Wick and Birmingham too.

Ninewells and St Andrews appointments

By 1964 Terry had garnered a reputation for excellence and was awarded a five-year contract to oversee all the plumbing as part of the construction of the new Ninewells Hospital.

From the mid 60s to early 70s Terry and his family lived in Monifeith, before building their own home on Perth Road, Dundee.

More prestigious contracts came along, with Terry behind the installation of the plumbing in the New Old Course Hotel, St Andrews.

Terry was a ‘man of Montrose’

When eventually they could, the family returned to Montrose.

A new house was built at Little Nursery, and two properties on Montrose High Street were also purchased. Terry and Irene, with the help of their children, opened a successful fruit shop and let out the flats above the store.

One final house move occurred almost half a century ago when they eventually settled in St Mary’s Road. Terry and Irene created a warm and inviting home there ever since.

When his beloved Montrose beach was once again awarded a blue flag, Terry was pictured with leisure services convener Joy Mowatt.

Never idle, Terry became the clerk of works for the Scottish Special Housing Association (SSHA), rising to the rank of inspector, overseeing 6,400 properties.

When he did eventually retire he turned his attention to local politics. He became a member of  Montrose Community Council, was proudly involved with Montrose Port Authority and later, Dorward House.

Terry was an avid collector of antiques, particularly Scottish paintings, china, and clocks. For 50 years, he enjoyed visiting Taylor’s Auction Rooms in Montrose with life-long friend Angus Lindsay.

Terry and Irene were also regular visitors to the House of Dun, where they enjoyed spending time with family.

The couple also visited Kew Gardens in London two or three times a year, with their son Graham, daughter-in-law Sarah, and grandchildren Robbie and Charlotte.

‘Til death do us part

In November 2022 Irene suffered a devastating aneurysm.

On his way to see her in Ninewells Hospital, Terry fell and also required urgent medical attention.

“Afterwards, we were able to wheel my dad right up to see Irene,” Lesley said. “We had our minister, Iain McLean, say a blessing and then later that day she passed away.”

A year later, almost to the day, Terry succumbed to his own battle with prostate cancer.

He passed away peacefully at home on November 28, aged 91.

The couple were married for 68 years.

He won’t be far from our thoughts for Father’s Day

Lesley and Graham’s first Father’s Day without their dad, and Jonathan, Robbie and Charlotte’s first without their “beloved grandad”, the family plan to mark the day the way they always have.

“I think we will go to the Park Hotel in Montrose, where we spent many a happy occasion, and where we always spent our Father’s Days,” said Terry’s grandson Jonathan.

Terry, who was particularly fond of Robert Burns’ poetry, especially “For A’ That and A’ That”, is hard to forget says Lesley.

Terry Wood, in 2003 as an independent candidate for Montrose.

“My dad, both my parents actually, were very special people. Very hospitable, hard-working, kind people.”

A family tribute added: “We’ve had a little bit of time pass since dad died. We’ll be thinking about his wisdom, how great he was to be around, and just how happy he always was.

“My grandad liked to help people and do the best he could for Montrose too,” added Jonathan.

“We’ll be thinking of him on Father’s Day.”