Tuesday, 31 March 2009

CRAIGIE'S PLAY PARK IN THE 60'S

This was the play park we went to as kids in the 60's. It was in Kemnay Gardens opposite Crathie Place. It was a regular stop-off for us on our way to and from Balerno Primary School. We actually just referred to the whole area as "The Swings" but it also had a chute, 2 sets of swings, 2 roundabouts, a climbing frame and these monkey bars, above.
I had an accident on these very monkey bars around 1966. You know those somersaults kids do where you'd climb to the very top, lie on your belly grabbing the outer frame and birl around until you end up dangling - a move I'd done dozens of times before - well on this one occasion, I lost my grip, fell flat on my face and burst my nose! I ended up being taken home by the Parkie, surrounded by about 20 kids and my shirt covered in blood. I was rushed up to DRI for a check-up but there was nothing broken. Came back with a topper of a swollen nose and a couple of keekers. That'll teach me to show aff! Did get a few days off school mind you.
The Parkie's door in the photo was designed like a stable door, an upper half and a lower half. He would usually have the upper half open and lean on the closed lower half to keep an eye on things.
The shelter in the picture we'd use when it rained and played 2 touch, headers, truth-dare and so on.
The above image was taken in the 80's, and by the 90's, using the current method of creative thinking, turned the whole area into a car park.
Photo by DC Thomson.Tints by GG

TAYPARK HOTEL - 1960's

Taypark Hotel was in Broughty Ferry and its location meant that it had a very nice view overlooking the Tay.
The 60's illustration at the top shows that its ample grounds went right down to the river's edge.
Incidentally, these very grounds were once used for a photo shoot with The Rolling Stones back in 1965.
As you can see from the photo above, which also dates from the 1960's, its interior was rather spacious too.
This dining area was called the Bay Suite Restaurant and Ballroom.
Quite a plush looking place really, with a large curvy 90 ft. window to catch the scenery and a stage opposite complete with grand piano.
The actual dancefloor featured illuminated glass panels in a variety of colours.
Then there was the Riverview Lounge and Smuggler's Cocktail Bar to choose from as well.
All this information has to be referred to in the past tense now because the entire building was demolished in 1983.

Monday, 30 March 2009

AD FROM THE 80'S - LE PAPILLON

The last in the sequence of ads from the 80's is this one dated 1981 for Le Papillon Restaurant in the Angus Hotel.
It says you can sit and listen to soft piano music while enjoying the intimate surroundings. On Saturday evenings you can really let your hair down and dance along to their resident trio!
Perhaps they should have called the place Le Papillon (butterfly) for day time, and in the evenings, Le Papillon de nuit (moth)..!!

Sunday, 29 March 2009

AD FROM THE 80'S - THE THREE BARRELS

This subtle ad is from 1981. No wording as to who it is, what it is or where it is. The gist of it being that The Three Barrels is so well known in Dundee that only this image is needed to remind everyone that it is the pub up Strathmartine Road.
At least Dundee's firemen knew of it's whereabouts anyway. In 1989 the pub was ablaze, but amazingly, because of quick action by the firies, managed to reopen for biz again in only a couple of weeks!

Saturday, 28 March 2009

AD FROM THE 80'S - DA VINCI'S

This ad is dated 1983, when Da Vinci's was in it's prime.
It is actually advertising their "New luxurious ground floor Lounge Bar". The "Studio" however, was upstairs where the main action was - namely, the disco.
You can click on the image to enlarge it if you want a wee read, and spot the fact they spelt Barracuda wrong!
The squares in the illustration are a reference to the glass panels that were part of the main doorway design.
Also, a reminder that there are interior shots available to view in my August 2008 Archives.
Talking about the main door, I remember boss, Frankie Esposito ( who looked like Trevor Horn in his large 80's specs ) used to stand at the door throughout the evening deciding who would get in and who wouldn't! If you were really really drunk the night before sometimes you had to wait a week or two before he'd let you back in.
So then, 1983 sounds we queued up at Da Vinci's to hear blasting out the speakers would have included the likes of - Heaven 17 - Malcom McLaren - Police - The Icicle Works - SOS Band - Yazoo - David Bowie - Style Council - Herbie Hancock - Depeche Mode - Indeep - Tom Tom Club - Freeez - Michael Jackson - Level 42 - Echo & the Bunnymen - George Clinton - The Cure ....and I'm sure you'll be able to rattle off a few others!

Friday, 27 March 2009

AD FROM THE 80'S - TINDALL'S

Tindall's opened for biz in Castle Street around 1980ish.
I think I'm right in saying that this is the pub that had the bare floorboards, which was a bit of a novelty at the time.
Why I'm not 100% certain is because my mind is doing battle with Cactusville, another pub that opened in Castle Street around about the same time, and although I've been to both pubs, my memory is a bit on the blurry side and can't recall which one was which.
So, it's up to you now to fill in the details on this occasion....
The ad is dated 1981.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

THE BAXTER PARK DISPLAYS

On one summer weekend each year in the 60's and 70's, Baxter Park put on a display that attracted hundreds of visitors. All the entertainment and action took place in front of the Pavilion, and around the edge of the cordoned off square, they had Army vehicles, Air Force tents, food stalls, ice cream vans and so on.
Performing in the square would be things like motor cycle stunt teams, a dog handler's obstacle course and the highlight would be the Red Devils sky-diving team. They would drop from the sky wearing their smoke flares and land dead centre on a cross marked out in the middle of the square.
I remember one time in the late 60's they ended the show with an old fashioned biplane that flew extremely low over the pavilion, over the crowd and off down across the Tay. A few people in the crowd even ducked by instinct, but it wasn't as low as that!
(By the way, in the late 60's, psychedelic rockers Jefferson Airplane released an album called "After Bathing At Baxter's" and had an image of a biplane on the cover.
However, theirs wasn't about a trip to the park, but more to do with a trip on LSD..!!)
Anyway, one of the quirkier side show attractions was a 6 ft robot that claimed it could answer any question you asked it. I wish I had asked it how it worked!
The above photo was taken on 22nd July 1976. Not much of a crowd for this one though compared to earlier shows. The sky-divers on this occasion are from the Golden Lion Team. The 2 guys are, Jim Conway from Mid Craigie and Mike Colligan from St Marys.
Below you can see the original Red Devils in action that may bring back a few memories of this Baxter's annual event, although it wasn't filmed there.
Photo by DC Thomson.Tints by GG

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Wednesday, 25 March 2009

THE TUFTY CLUB

It's getting a bit on the rusty side now, but here's the original Tufty Club badge from the 60's.
The Tufty Club's road safety campaign started up in 1961. To help promote it they had Tufty teams visit schools, including mine, Balerno Primary, and dished out badges & booklets.
The Tufty Club has another link with Dundee, although not related, this being the name that was given to an under 14's disco they had in the early 70's at the JM Ballroom. I never heard of any kids being run over on their way to the disco, so at least all that 60's road sense paid off!
I remember even into the 80's when there was an under 14's disco at the Barracuda on Sunday afternoons, that too was referred to as the Tufty Club, but I think by then it was a patronising term spouted by older clubbers, rather than by those who went there.
And as a wee reminder of what triggered it all off, here's the original tv ad below.

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Tuesday, 24 March 2009

NEW MUSEUM EXHIBITS - 1980'S

When the old Museum (Albert Institute) was modernised in the late 70's, the main entrance moved from the corner of Meadowside to the area facing Panmure Street.
Also during the renovation, the Central Library moved out of the Museum building in 1979 to the Wellgate, and the Victoria Galleries were renamed the McManus Galleries.
The Museum introduced a new "local history" room which displayed things like Blind Mattie's squeeze box, Tay Bridge disaster relics and so on.
A quirky story from October 1983 was when the Museum put on a football exhibition with all sorts of memorabilia on display. A match programme dated 1925 from the Dundee v Celtic Scottish Cup final was stolen. The police eventually tracked it down and returned it. Bizarrely, it was found inside Tannadice!
The McManus Galleries created a larger space for showing temporary art exhibitions. These changed on a regular basis, sometimes they were big name touring exhibitions and sometimes shows by local artists. I used to visit them quite a lot because they kept varying...from Eduardo Paolozzi to Ansel Adams.
The photo above was taken in 1983 and shows a corner of one of their temporary exhibitions. I think the yellow & black one, 2nd from the left, could be a Sutherland crucifixion.

Monday, 23 March 2009

OLD MUSEUM EXHIBIT #3 - DUG-OUT CANOES

Although these are as well known to Dundonians as the Discovery, Unicorn & Fifies, the Museum's dug-out canoes are hardly ever seen in photos, so here is a picture for posterity.
The top one was found at the river Tay near Errol, and the bottom one is from Kinnordy Loch.
As regards how old they are, well let's just say they predate Robb Caledon!


Sunday, 22 March 2009

OLD MUSEUM EXHIBIT #2 - THE CIST

The technical term for a stone burial box such as this is a cist. The photo above was the one that was on display in the middle of one of the floors in the Museum in the 60's.
I remember having to be lifted up to see inside it when I was about 5. I then progressed a couple of years later to viewing it standing on my tip toes, and a couple of years after that it was just a matter of catching sight of it in the passing.
This cist was unearthed near Brechin. It belonged to a group of settlers called the Beaker People, who lived around the East coast of Scotland from about 2,500 BC.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

OLD MUSEUM EXHIBIT #1 - SHRUNKEN HEAD

Back in the 60's when the Museum entrance was on the corner of Meadowside, opposite Commercial Street, they used to have a doorman in uniform who would open the door for you then give directions to the various rooms. Well near to that corner reception area where he stood, they had a shrunken head on display. This very one above as a matter of fact.
I remember a few folk considered it to be a model, because, being the size of a tennis ball, it looked like a doll.
So if there are still any doubters out there, I can confirm it was indeed a real human head.
Information from the original Dundee Museum catalogue is that it comes from Ecuador, the Jivarro tribe to be exact, and dates back to the late 19th/early 20th Century. Similar details on the net backs this up.
Not knowing what was involved, I checked Wikipedia to find out what the shrinking process entailed and apparently the skull is removed along with all the fatty tissue, then the skin is boiled in water & tannin, finally once the shrivelled flesh is dried & prepared, it is stuffed and remoulded back into shape.
Don't go trying that at home now!!
On a lighter note, this chap wouldn't have been too out of place in the late 60's with a hairstyle like his!

Friday, 20 March 2009

BILLY MACKENZIE AT THE DOCKS - 1984

On a snowy winters day back in 1984, Billy Mackenzie was interviewed for TV down at the docks. The show was "The Tube" and Leslie Ash was the presenter.
There were 2 boats used in the 10 minute feature. The one where the interview took place was on a tug boat called Castlecraig, and the other boat was the Unicorn (above) where he performed a song.
Although it was a feature solely on Billy Mackenzie, the song was still by The Associates, and the track was the single "Waiting For The Loveboat".
I reckon the Tube video (below) is much better than the official promo video for the single, which does make me cringe a bit.
Photo by the Scotsman.Tints by GG
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Thursday, 19 March 2009

CORAL STAR - UNDER THE 2 BRIDGES - 1985

In the summer of 1985, they began organising boat trips up & down the Tay. The folk behind this venture were Seaforth Hotel proprietors, Mr & Mrs Mann. The boat was called Coral Star and the cruise was titled "Under the two bridges". The boat left from Broughty Ferry harbour and went down the Dundee side of the Tay up to about Inchture where it turned around and came back up along the Fife side. A nice wee journey. The trips only lasted that one summer in 85, May to September.
Me and my brother went on one. He had his camera with him that day and took a few snaps.
I've stitched some of them together into a short slide-show below.

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Wednesday, 18 March 2009

BIDE BY THE LAW

Decided to put this photo up because it's not very often you see an image of the Law from the other side, so to speak, it's usually snapped from the river Tay area.
The picture was taken in the early 80's and quite a few changes have taken place since then of course - so click onto the image to view it larger or download it to your pc and zoom in to see what changes you can spot.
At least it was a nice day anyway, plenty of washing hingin' up roond the backies!

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

THE STANNERGATE AND DOCKS - 1970'S

After fishing for small fry up at the Swanny Ponds in the 60's, we progressed to bigger catches down at the Docks in the 70's. This would be the 1970 to 1974 period in our young teenage years.
We would start off at the Grassy Beach first when the tide was out to dig our own bait. Horrible creatures we called "rigger" (rig worm), they looked like millipedes. When the tide came in we'd go back again with our fishing gear to Stannergate. I had what was called a "Tope rod", but I ended up calling it my "nope" rod because I never caught a thing with it! We often discovered going along to the Docks was more productive. We didn't even need to cast, just dangling the line over the edge was enough to hook pollack, gurnard and eels.
By the way, we used to get our hooks, gut and stuff from a shop called Shotcast, in Whitehall Crescent.
The Docks area was still pretty active back then. Names I can recall from that period are - Kestrel Marine - Briggs - Yorkshire Imperial - Robb Caledon and Esso, Shell & BP had depots there too.
This footage below was taken in 1974 and shows the launch of a floating crane bound for Poland. Not sure who built it but some of the guys are in shot.
Photo by the Scotsman.Tints by GG

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Monday, 16 March 2009

THE SWANNY PONDS IN THE 60'S

The Swanny Ponds was about half an hours walk away from where we lived, so when we went there it seemed more like a days outing than a visit to the local park. This would have been the 60's when primary school age.
Did the obvious things like fishing for sticklebacks using a long cane net. Went on the rowing boats that sometimes turned into "water dodgems", usually by accident! I can't recall any paddling looking back now, but I certainly remember on a couple of occasions boys pushing their mates in the water for a lark!
One time, when I was passing on the 13 bus, I saw a group of 4 school kids push a female into the pond. Not one of their mates though, it was a mature woman in her 30's I'd guess. No idea what that was about, but I remember being more shocked than amused. Maybe it was a truant officer..!!
By the way, it looks like Mr.Whippy in the background of the image.
Photo by DC Thomson.Tints by GG.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

THE BEATLES IN DUNDEE - 1964

 
The above sequence of photos captured the buzz in town when The Beatles were here on 20th October 1964.
The first 4 images show the crowd waiting on the Fab 4 to arrive at the back of Caird Hall in Shore Terrace.
Then the car shows up with the band, and gets mobbed - you can see Paul McCartney managing to barge through the fans with a little help from his police friends!
The remaining photos were taken at the Caird Hall, of course, when The Beatles finally made it on stage.
Although it was probably just another straight forward gig for the band (the guys having toured extensively by then), the locals still seemed to be excited to see them play live.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

DUNDEE ON VINYL #3 - THE GRIP - 1982

The Grip are probably the only reggae band to have come out of Dundee, well certainly during this era anyway. I can remember catching them play a few times around town in the early 80's.
This single, "Keeping The Peace" they recorded over in Edinburgh in May '82 with well known producer, Wilf Smarties.
Band line-up is - Ronnie Chalmers, guitar & vocals - Neil Forbes, sax/percussion/vocal - Dan Stewart, trumpet/percussion - Ross Ramsey, bass - Jim Grieve, drums/percussion and Kenny Blair, keyboards.
On the back of the record sleeve in amongst their "thanks to" list are J.T.Forbes music shop, and Brian Sinclair who ran the Tayside Bar, one of the venues The Grip played.
I have picked out the B-side of the single, an instrumental track called "Musicland Part Two". Reason I opted for this is because near the end they indulge in a bit of dub, which I'm particularly partial to. Dub is usually considered being a mixing process done in the recording studio, but The Grip used to be able to do this live on stage using a combination of copycat loop machines, drum machines, echoplex pedals and bunch of other gadgets & gizmos. The wilder it was the more I enjoyed it!
Give it a wee listen and get a taster of summer in Dundee in 1982.

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Friday, 13 March 2009

DUNDEE ON VINYL #2 - DUNDEE HORNS - 1970

Saxophonists, Roger Ball & Molly Duncan, were known as the "Dundee Horns" before they went on to become part of the Average White Band in 1972.
This wasn't an act in their own right, so to speak, more of an outfit for session work.
The Dundee Horns tag was actually coined by Scottish rock singer, Maggie Bell, and the duo have been involved in a number of recordings during their pre AWB days.
One such recording was with a group of well known folk-rockers who got together and called themselves The Bunch, and they released one album titled "Rock On" in 1972.
The Dundee Horns were also part of Island Studio's in-house band in London and guested on various records, one being the hit single by Johnny Nash called "I Can See Clearly Now" also in 1972.
Even in 1973 when they were established in AWB, they were still called upon to do the backing on Bryan Ferry's debut solo album "These Foolish Things".
Anyway, another pre AWB record the Dundee Horns took part in is the one featured here, a band of jazzy prog-rockers called Mogul Thrash. They brought out a single in 1970 called "Sleeping In The Kitchen" and then released an album the year after. In the band was John Wetton, who went on to form King Crimson amongst others. Brian Auger produced the Mogul Thrash sessions. His own band incidentally, Brian Auger's Oblivion Express had Dundee drummer Robbie McIntosh in it, and of course, Robbie got together with the Dundee Horns to become Average White Band. Which is a nice little note to end on.
So, here below is Mogul Thrash with their single, "Sleeping In The Kitchen".

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Thursday, 12 March 2009

DUNDEE ON VINYL #1 - ANDY LOTHIAN - 1966

Dundee based entrepreneur, Andy Lothian, who used to put on gigs at the Palais as well as have his own jazz band, also ran a local record label called ALP (Andy Lothian Promotions). The label had a total of 11 releases, all dated 1966.
The musical content of the singles was split into 2 categories, Scottish traditional bands and modern beat groups.
The first 7 inch single - #001 - was by The Red Hawkes, and the final 45 - #011 -was by The Vikings.
This one here from my record collection is #006 - actually by Andy Lothian himself. Well it says Andy Lothian, but I'm not certain of the band line-up. You see there was Andy Lothian junior (of ALP and East Coast Jazz Men) and Andy Lothian senior, his father who had a dance band. The track is the traditional Scottish tune "John Anderson, my Joe", which would suggest AL senior. AL senior was a violinist and the tune here has lead violin, but at the very end of the track you can hear a couple of wee jazzy chords. So I have always thought that it could be a father and son collaboration. The record does say AL junior arranged & produced it.
The B side is called "Piper o' Dundee".
You can hear it yourself below, even if it is a bit worn now!


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Wednesday, 11 March 2009

RADIO TAY'S JAZZY GRAPHIC

This funky little jazz band illustration was to be found on Radio Tay's envelopes back in the early 80's. If you were lucky enough to win tickets in one of their competitions for example, you'd receive them in an envelope with this artwork printed on it. Not sure if all of Radio Tay used it, but Alan Steadman certainly did. Alan's show "Jazz Waves" has gone on to become Scotlands longest running jazz programme.
Unfortunately, I can't make out the artist's signature, so don't know who drew it.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

NAZARETH - CAIRD HALL - 1980

29 years ago, Nazareth were rockin' the night away in the Caird Hall.
This Jock-rock band from just doon the road in Dunfermline were regulars in the singles & album charts back in the early to mid 70's period.
However, when you think of all the post punk and new wave acts that were on the go at this time in 1980, this gig would definitely be deemed as "old school". Nothing wrong with a couple of hours of loud rock music blasting in your ears though and with the addition of guitarist Zal Cleminson from the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, this gave the Naz sound a little bit extra bite.
In true rock cliche tradition, Dan (Naz singer) shouted out at the end of the show - "Thanks Dundee, we'll be back!" - but I'm not so sure they did return!

Monday, 9 March 2009

TANNADICE STREET - 1970

This photo of Tannadice Street was taken in 1970. It has changed a wee bit since then. Gussie Park carnival would have been there, as well as the Angus Jute Works, and obviously the other 2 "Parks", Tannadice and Dens, have now become Stadiums.
I reckon if they moved the cars out of the way, this would be the ultimate spot for Dundee kids to play Kerby! A backdrop like that would surely inspire a few good throws to get those "half-roadies".
Stats show that Dundee FC and United were eeksie-peeksie around this time.
The 1969/70 season had United finish in 5th position on 38 points and Dundee in 6th with 36 points.
The 1970/71 season saw Dundee finish 5th on 38 points and United in 6th spot with 36 points.
The cool piece of film below was taken a year or so earlier and shows the comings & goings at Tannadice on match day.

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Sunday, 8 March 2009

PETER LORIMER - FOOTBALLER

Hailing from Broughty Ferry, Peter Lorimer's schooldays were spent at Stobswell, and needless to say, he played football for the Stobbie too. He was so good, it wasn't long before he was playing for Dundee Schoolboys and the big name teams came looking for him. He ended up signing for Leeds United. In fact he was thrown straight into the deep end as he actually played in Leeds full team when he was just 15. He also played for Scotland, and is now a Leeds (and Scottish) "Legend".
I can remember watchng him on tv a lot. He had a helluva shot and banged in loads of goals from long range.
Going back to his schooldays, Stobbie were playing Linlathen at Caird Park one time - Peter took a free kick from 20 yards out and broke the keepers fingers!!
He has played at Dens Park, not for Dundee but against. He was in the Leeds team that Dundee met in the Fairs Cup semi final in May 1968. That was a 1-1 draw but Leeds progressed to win the trophy.
There was also a Testimonial at Dens in April 1978 featuring the Peter Lorimer XI. The XI winning it 3-2.
There's no doubt about it, Leeds were a fantastic team back in the late 60's & early 70's and here below is Peter (#7) getting a hat-trick in the Leeds demolition of Southampton in 1972.
Incidentally, ex Dee, Jim Steele, is playing for the Saints in this and can be seen wandering around in a daze!

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Saturday, 7 March 2009

GEORGE KIDD - WRESTLER

George Kidd went to Clepington Primary School, and being a wee lad, he would get picked on sometimes, which lead to him being a bit of a scrapper. To develop his skills further he took up boxing, Ju Jitsu, yoga and was a regular at the gym. After a stint in the Navy he opted for wrestling as his profession..
He used to be on tv quite a lot in the 60's & 70's. Wrestling went on around 4.00 pm on Saturday afternoons, before the football results. I watched it quite a lot as a schoolboy back then because it was often a good laugh. George himself came up with some amusing moves and was particularly well liked. He even performed in London's Albert Hall in front of royalty!
Back home in Dundee he also ran the Ellenbank Bar in Alexander Street.
He died in 1998.
Here's George below in action.

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Friday, 6 March 2009

DUNDEE AT WORK #3 - TIMEX

Timex moved into Dundee in 1946. At their peak they employed 5,000 Dundonians, spread around 3 factories.
Watches were their biz of course, but not only time pieces were manufactured. They also produced Polaroid cameras & flash guns, the Nimslo 3D camera, Spectrum micro computers and flat screen cathode ray tubes.
The short piece of film below features Milton of Craigie factory, the Autoshop dept to be exact. Every inch of the building's interior was painted blue, as seen in the footage, and I'm told there were a few houses in town painted the same blue...as a result of paint pots going astray!
Almost everyone in Dundee knew someone who worked in Timex. I had relatives and neighbours who were there for years. A quirky little memento that was passed onto me back then was a flexidisc record featuring the Timex advertising jingle from the 70's. It was based on a 1960 hit single by Jimmy Jones called "Good Timin'", and basically all they did was replace the word timin' with Timex. The record was dished out free to employees. I had a rake for it recently but couldn't find it so I've included a snippet of the original on the video instead.
The Milton of Craigie factory no longer exists as it was knocked down and is now an ASDA. Not sure if they have a shelf with Timex watches on sale though!
Timex's time halted in Dundee in 1993.

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Thursday, 5 March 2009

DUNDEE AT WORK #2 - MICHELIN

In 1972, Michelin opened up their tyre factory in Baldovie Road.
In 1983, the date of the above ad, they were specialising in MX tyres, then went on to the more advanced TDX-E tyre.
I remember at school in the early 70's there was a joke going about that went went a little something like this - "What's another name for a tyre factory?"...answer - "a rubber plant"
Around the time of the corny joke, George Galloway (the MP) worked at the Dundee Michelin plant, which is also when the short film clip below was taken (1974). It shows the main gatehouse area.
The factory is still at the same spot today. You can't miss it actually as it now runs on wind turbine power and the blades can be seen from quite a distance.

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Wednesday, 4 March 2009

DUNDEE AT WORK #1 - VALENTINES

At one stage in their history, Valentines were the biggest producer of greetings cards in Europe, with 100 million cards per year being made.
In 1825 James Valentine started off as an engraver then around 1860 went into postcard production, and now you can see all those ancient postcards cropping up for sale on EBay, some making big bucks. So it can be said that after all that time, Valentines are still doing good business!
Around the late 70's Valentines became part of card giants, American Greetings, handing over control of the business. At the time of the handover, another one of the Valentine family founded Andrew Valentine Ltd in order to keep the family name going in card production in Dundee, but eventually, they too were to become part of another USA company, the American Ziff Corp.
The ad above dating from the early 80's has the slogan "Make everyday a Valentines day!" and shows snapshots from their Kingsway factory.
Below is film footage going back to 1965 and also shows scenes from inside the Dundee factory.
So if you knew anyone who worked at Valentines in the mid 60's, you may even be lucky enough to spot them in the film clip!

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Tuesday, 3 March 2009

CLOTHES ENCOUNTERS OF THE NERD KIND

In 1976, when punk fashion first started to generate a stir with people who didn't understand the style, I too wore a garment that triggered an adverse reaction.
I bought this T-shirt (illustration above) which featured the slogan "I Love Unorthodox Behaviour" on the front.
The slogan is nothing now of course, but back then it seemed to annoy certain unenlightened blokes.
I didn't buy it specifically to trigger this response, but every time I wore it, the damn wording would always attract these nerds over who would then get het up just because they couldn't make out what it was all about!!
They'd desperately try to tag me as a punk, or a lefty, or rebel, or fascist, a loony, coming out with all sorts of nonsense like this.
Having a good sense of humour however, I was always amused by these encounters, especially seeing the stroppy state some of them would get into as a consequence of me knowing something they didn't know.
But the good news is (and this reveals the difference between being musically aware and being out of touch) I did experience one instance when someone DID know what the wording was referring to.
I wore it once when I was shopping in Forbes record shop on the corner of Commercial Street, and when I went over to the counter, Rob Adams, who worked there, as calm as you like said "Oh, I like your Brand X t-shirt".
For that is what it was!
This was the only time someone knew what the wording pertained to and at long last, no hassle to accompany it!!!
Yes I bought this t-shirt from a music paper mail order company back in '76.
Brand X were a jazz-rock band that had just released their debut album called "Unorthodox Behaviour" - and I thought it was an excellent LP, so I decided to get the merchandise to go with it.
I also reckoned there probably wouldn't be anyone else wearing the same t-shirt in Dundee, knowing that they were not available in any local shop, so I liked the obscurity aspect of it too.
That's all it was though, just a t-shirt with an album title on it.
But blimey, talk about getting a reaction - "Never Mind The Bollocks" was like a wee kiddies record in comparison!!

THE BREAD / BOTHY - CONSTITUTION ROAD

Although this is a fairly recent photo, the period I drank there would be the late 70's and early 80's.
It's a pub that had 4 names, the real name being The Breadalbane, but locals referred to it as the Bread, the Bothy or the Howff. Take your pick. My mob favoured the Bothy tag.
I lived quite near to it back then so it was a place I used to go to quite a lot, but usually more midweek than weekends.
It had a bit of a reputation for being a hippy hangout, and I suppose there was an element of truth in that. I do recall it had the likes of Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton on the jukebox. Although it was a more mature crowd than you'd find in the city centre pubs, I always found it a really cheery place. In fact the humour veered towards satire most times. Politics and topical issues were discussed and mocked in equal measure. You would often see a copy of Private Eye magazine lying beside the Morning Star newspaper. That summed it up.
Downstairs had a cosy main bar area and a back room which was used for smokers frequently. Upstairs was a large lounge. This was the area live music was performed in. Sometimes organised, sometimes unplanned. If some regulars brought in their instruments, that would often trigger an improvised session, whether it be folk or rock. Local musicians Michael Marra and Peter McGlone were regular visitors.
It was probably the nearest I got to having "a local".
Oh yeah, and despite the fact that The Howff Restaurant was next door, the peh's & beans and the toasties in the Bothy were so scrumptious, I didn't need to visit it!
As is the way these days, the building is one the demolition team have since visited and so it is no longer on the go.

Monday, 2 March 2009

EDDIE & THE HOT RODS - DUNDEE - 1978

Another one of my Caird Hall ticket stubs, this time from 31 years ago this very night.
Eddie & the Hot Rods cropped up on the scene around the time punk was surfacing and so they kinda got chucked in with them. Their brand of rock-pop was fast & energetic, but they were more of a no nonsense rock band, than punks. Having said that, their 1977 hit single "Do Anything You Wanna Do" did sound like a record The Jam could have made, so they were pretty close to producing punk music. There was some pogo-ing near the stage when they were on, I recall.
2 support bands on the night.
Radio Stars leaned more towards a new wave/pop sound. They had done John Peel sessions by this time but they hadn't really cracked the charts in a big way. They always seemed to be just bubbling under the current scene without bursting through, a bit like their position on the bill.
Squeeze were the other band performing on stage. This was around the start of their pop career, and out of the 3 acts on stage, they were the ones who went onto be most successful. They hadn't released many records up to then but their excellent single "Take Me I'm Yours" was the one that everyone in the crowd knew. Jools Holland used to smoke large cigars while playing his keyboards back then. He also always stood up to play keyboards, not like nowadays, sitting down all the time. It's only a matter of time before he switches from cigar to pipe!! Only joking!!
Anyway, a pretty good value evening, working out at 50p per band!!
The other item is a full page ad from a 1978 NME that contains the tour dates.
And as far as I am aware, all 3 acts are still gigging today.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

THE FIFIE

Before the Tay Road Bridge was built, Dundonians used the "Fifie" to cross the river. This ferry service was for passengers as well as vehicles and it took you to Newport.
The day the bridge opened was the day the Fifie crossings stopped. That was on the 18th August 1966. The above photo of the Fifie with its flags up was taken on the 18th, the final day of the ferry service.
I can remember being on the Fifie only once. That would have been around 1963/64 when I was about 6. Can't recall much of the trip other than the image of the boat moving away from the pier.
To bring back those memories into a clearer image, here below is a wee video that contains film footage of the boats in action.
Photo by the Scotsman.Tints by GG

video