Burgh of Doune Bye-Laws

A cold ice cream is probably not on the menu at this time of year in Scotland, but for November’s Document of the Month we are looking at the Doune Burgh bye-laws for ice-cream and aerated water shops that were instated in October of 1905.

Scotland’s Year of Coast and Waters has allowed us to look at a variety of topics involving the water of our country and its use in the aeration process is what we will focus on this month.

The Doune Burgh bye-law state that no person shall open or keep open any premises registered as an Ice-Cream Shop and/or Aerated Water Shop before 7am or after 10pm and that any person found to be doing so will be fined no more than 40 shillings for each breach of the bye-law. Similar bye-laws were also put in place for pigsties, slaughterhouses, and common lodging houses in the Burgh of Doune.

The document was made by the Provost, Magistrates, and Councillors of the Burgh of Doune on the 8th of May 1905. The bye-laws were later confirmed in Dunblane on the 4th of October 1905 and again on the 7th of October 1905 by His Majesty’s Secretary for Scotland.

At the time the bye-law was put into action, the Burgh of Doune received its water supply from the nearby Annet Burn. Annet Burn begins in the hills of Kilmadock Parish to the North East of Callander before flowing South East in two streams down the slopes of Uamh Bheag (meaning ‘little cave’) before joining the River Teith. It is 6 miles long and 1.5 miles away from Doune.

The water brought from Annet Burn would have been used in the aeration process for the local ice-cream and aerated water shops. Aeration is the process by which air is circulated through, mixed with, or dissolved in a liquid such as water. It is used in the production or aerated water or cola for drinking purposes. Today, we also refer to aerated water as carbonated water and see it as a fairly common drink, but the beverage (as well as ice-cream) would have been more of a novelty for customers back in 1905.

From the 31st October 1905 to the 14th of July 1921, eleven individuals registered ice-cream and aerated water shops in the Burgh of Doune. The ice-cream shop at 59 Balkerach Street, Doune changed owners a number of times and it wasn’t long until new shops opened up nearby on George Street, Main Street, and The Cross in Doune.