While the Mars was the at times, the charity of choice for the well to do in Dundee, obviously, others suffered. The poorhouse in Dundee was one of many that struggled to make ends meet, here is a letter from the Weekly News, Saturday, October 13th, 1877.
A PLEA FOR THE INMATES OF DUNDEE POORHOUSE
To the editor of the Weekly News
Sir, - Through the considerate kindness of Mr Robert Small and the mangers of the Caledonian Railway Company, neat and substantial boxes have this day been placed at the East and West Stations for receiving newspapers and periodicals for the inmates of the Dundee Poorhouse. The boxes are painted mahogany colour, and lettered in gold – “NEWSPAPERS AND PERIODICALS RECEIVED HERE FOR DUNDEE POORHOUSE.” There is generally an average ranging from five to six hundred paupers in the House. It is easily conceivable that, cut off from friends, old scenes, and familiar faces, they must have many a weary hour within the walls. Their sitting rooms and dormitories are clean, airy, and spacious, with windows commanding extensive prospects. Beautiful flowers in pots are distributed through all the wards, the airing yards being the most beautiful of their kind in the three kingdoms. Yet with all these amenities or advantages I know that they have, as already stated, “many a weary hour.” They wonder much what is going on in town, and the great world outside. Nothing better could be devised for breaking the tedium or relieving the monotony of their existence than newspapers and periodicals. But, though the humblest working man considers his daily newspaper a necessity, these poor people are deprived of that luxury. Mr Gunn, the Governor, has for years supplied them, at his own expense, with the two local dailies. These are good as far as they go, but what are they among such a number, and scattered over so many wards. The great mass of these inmates in the days of their health and strength were engaged in public works, and numbers were in shops and offices. They are now old and worn out, maimed, in bad health, or otherwise unable to earn their daily bread, and are now without homes of their own, spending out their last days in the Poorhouse. Most assuredly they miss the newspapers. Passengers coming off their journeys would do well to remember our Poorhouse paupers by dropping their read or used newspapers and periodicals into the boxes placed at the stations for their reception. Friends who have newspapers and periodicals to spare might kindly oblige by sending them from their houses, shops, and offices to the boxes. Such kindness, I know, would be well and gratefully appreciated by the inmates. These newspapers would not only furnish pleasure in the perusal thereof, but also provide never failing topics for thought and conversation. As there are so many eager to obtain newspaper, and many ready and willing hearted messengers, there need be no fear of the boxes being choked with contributions. A FRIEND
Dundee, 6th October, 1877