Montrose beach front toilets back under council control

The Traill Pavilion
The Traill Pavilion

The toilets on Montrose’s beach front are back under Angus Council’s control after it terminated the lease of a local businesswoman who had been running them.

The facilities are in the iconic Traill Pavilion, which was opened on August 8, 1913, after brothers John and David Traill, who were born in the burgh but left to pursue successful business careers, generously gifted £2000 to the people of Montrose.

When it was opened it was originally used as a shelter.

As part of budget cuts the council put it on the rental market in 2014.

It agreed to lease the Traill Pavilion to a local businessman who intended to sell seaside-style refreshments, but in May 2015 it was announced that the tender had been withdrawn.

Jane Watson, who owns Mum’s of Montrose tearoom on Castle Place, took over the local landmark and the running of the toilets and turned it into Auntie’s Parlour cafe last August.

However, Mrs Watson has handed back the keys to Angus Council.

And the local authority is once again looking for someone to maintain the toilets.

Mrs Watson said: “I was open for 2200 hours compared to the 420 erratic hours when it was run by the council, which cost the tax payer £7000.

“I got the keys on July 31, 2015, and was open two days later on August 2.

“It was agreed with the council that I could charge people 30p for using the toilets to cover cleaning costs.

“There were wonderful people that supported the Pavilion and its sad to see that it is going to be closed again.

“I didn’t do it for me, I did it for the town.

“I still maintain it could be fantastic.”

Mrs Watson said that she did not charge those eating or drinking in the tearoom for using the toilets but anyone else was charged 30p for using the facilities.

She added she has made a financial loss from the venture.

Mrs Watson said the council made her aware of complaints that had been made and that it had been difficult to charge admission to the toilets.

She added she asked for the individual complaints but the authority refused and was ‘‘not interested’’ in her visitors’ book, which she said, was full of positive comments from members of the public, including visitors to Montrose.

An Angus Council spokesman said: “We cannot comment on the circumstances of the lease for the pavilion at Traill Drive, Montrose, other than to confirm a change in circumstances with regards to the tenancy.

“We are looking to alternative service providers to maintain the toilet facilities for the remainder of this season and hope to have this in place as soon as possible.

“This will ensure they remain open up to the end of October and, thereafter, we will look at the most suitable options for the pavilion.”