John Angus – Biographical details
John Angus was born on the 5th of December 1906 in Montrose and lived at 93 Bridge Street. His father, also called John Angus, was a manager in the whisky industry and his mother, Hope Elizabeth Chalmers, was a niece of the artist George Paul Chalmers and a talented amateur artist in her own right. He had a brother, Bill, and two sisters, Morag and Hope Elizabeth - who was always known as Biddy to distinguish her from her mother. He himself was always known as Jock to differentiate him from his father and the name stuck with his family and friends.
Educated at Montrose Academy he spent a happy and relatively prosperous childhood in Montrose and the family made regular runs up to Glenesk in their car - one of the first in the town. It was during this time that he developed his deep love of ‘the Glen’ - as he always called it - and he took to cycling there and exploring it whenever he got the chance.
After leaving school he studied Civil Engineering at Dundee University - then an annexe of St Andrews - and following this he got a job as a surveyor in Dundee. This was a reserved occupation so he was able to continue working there during the Second world War and became an ARP warden during the hostilities. He had started to write by this time and contributed short stories under a pseudonym to ‘The Red Star’, one of the magazines in the D C Thomson stable, to make a bit of extra money whilst he worked on his novels. He worked in Dundee until he moved to Stornoway, on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, where he was the Deputy Road Engineer. This was in the 1950s and many of the roads to the outlying villages constructed during this time were partly his work. He remained working in Stornoway, where he settled down and had a family, until his early death in 1968 at the age of 61.
Amongst his many hobbies he was a very keen fisherman and photographer, tying his own flies and developing his own prints. He found the excellent fishing and photogenic landscape of the Hebrides some compensation for being away from his beloved Angus Glens. Some of his images of Glenesk can be found in the photo section of the website.
Whilst in Montrose and Dundee he was exposed to the literary influences of the ‘Scottish Renaissance’ which was taking place in