Thursday, 30 June 2011

BUILDING THE WELLGATE CENTRE - 70'S

The top photo shows us how the council reached the decision to grant planning permission for the Wellgate Centre - as you can see, it was based on their observation that the building was "sympathetic to its surroundings", a phrase town planners like to spout!
So it's the mid 70's and the construction work is in full flow - just like the contractors champagne!
Photos by DC Thomson.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

HILLTOWNS DISAPPEARING PUBS - 70'S

Here's a couple of Dundee pubs in the process of being wiped off the map.
The top one is the Empire Bar & The Copper Bell Lounge which was on the corner of Rosebank Street / Constitution Street.
Underneath it is Bradley's Bar & the Talk Of The Town Lounge located on the corner of Ann Street / Ellen Street.
Both pub positions are listed in my 1970 Directory, but in my 1974 Directory the 2 addresses don't exist, so this demolition occurred sometime in-between these two dates.
Photos from Gordon C.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

CENTRAL FIRE STATION DEMOLITION

The retro decades in particular were pretty active when it came to demolishing Dundee's old buildings, so much so that sometimes we thought the Councils motto was "What goes up, must come down"...(well, apart from their salaries!).
There was also a fair bit of new construction going on too, so over the next few days I'm going to put up a mix of images showing some structures going up, and some tumbling down.
Kicking off with this one here which is Bell Street Central Fire Station being knocked down in the late 60's.
The photo was taken from Courthouse Square looking over into the firemen's living quarters above the main station, with the entire corner area bulldozed.
Below the snap of the rubble is a photo of the fire crew who worked at Bell Street Station in the 60's.
It was sent in by Mark Ritchie whose father is the chap top left in the picture.

Bell Street was such an apt place-name to have a fire station too don't you think?!

Demolition photo is from Gordon C.

Monday, 27 June 2011

WRESTLING IN THE PARK - 70'S

I've heard of all-in wrestling before but here's an example of all out wrestling!
Not got any info on this photo at all but a couple of guesses has me thinking it may be Baxter Park in the early 70's. Baxter's used to put on events like this during the summer weeks, and I've gone for the 72/73 period based on a boy in the crowd wearing what could be the Dundee FC "penguin" strip (near the bottom left corner standing to the right of the girl with the patterned coat). Also, the car in the background could be an early 70's Vauxhall Viva.
I'm not 100% certain on any of these statements, but that's the best I could come up with using what possible clues there are available in the picture.
The other obvious alternative is Camperdown Park.
If you fancy a stab at it, drop it in the comments.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

LOCAL GOLFING YOUNGSTERS

The top photo was taken in the early/mid 80's and has a bunch of youngsters trying out their golfing skills somewhere in Dundee. I'm not too sure which course it is they are on, Camperdown pitch & putt possibly. Anyway, if anyone can say for certain where the scene is taking place, or even recognise someone, feel free to pass on your knowledge.
The one below it I can definitely nail because that sporty looking chap is me! Yes that's yours truly in 1969 aged 11 playing on our championship course in our back garden. We turned the entire length of our lawn into a mini golf course, a 6 holer stretching from the side of the house, through the washing green and all the way down to the plot at the bottom lawn. It was mostly used for putting. One of the holes was located in front of a greenie pole which was like a giant flag pole and that allowed you to get great rebound shots!
For pitch & putt, some of the hazards were - the ball rolling under the shed, getting snagged in the hedge, rolling down the rockery onto the pathy slabs (out of bounds) or ending up in the plot amongst the rhubarb.
For real golf swing work-outs with a driver, being surrounded by housing, we had to use a plastic practise ball for obvious reasons. However, the inevitable happened one day when our mate had a go and gave one a full wallop, but he made the mistake of ignoring the guidelines and used a real golf ball - then it was CRASH..tinkle, tinkle - straight through the kitchen window!
Needless to say, golf was banned on our course for a short while afterwards.
The other image next to me is a toy my wee brother got for xmas, early 70's - Arnold Palmer's Pro Shot Golf. This was a great invention that had a miniature golfer on the end of a club handle, which, when you pulled a trigger mechanism, made the player swing and hit the ball. It came with various items such as sand traps, putting green, score cards and a set of clubs. Great fun.
By the way, the image of me and the toy box are not to scale..!!

Saturday, 25 June 2011

GOLF IN EVENING TELEGRAPH - 1972

Ten years on from the previous item, a golfing strip called "MacDivot" was running in the Tele, with this one dating from January 1972.
It was neither a tutorial or a funny cartoon but kinda sat somewhere in the middle as a golfing fantasy involving golfers going about their sporting day, competitively, but light-heartedly.
Then again, you get a hint at that from the title!
Click image to enlarge.

GOLF IN SPORTING POST - 1962

Dundee's newspapers made sure you would know what to do with your golf clubs by running golfing articles on a regular basis.
The one above called "Sam Snead's Golf School" adopted the form of a tutorial, giving lessons on how to improve your swing, foot positioning and so on.
This particular episode goes back to April 1962 and appeared in the Saturday Sporting Post.
As a bonus, there was a wee cartoon that accompanied the item called "Goofy Gowf", a golf themed gag adding a touch of comic relief after class.
Click onto the item to read the enlarged version.

Friday, 24 June 2011

DUNDEE GOLF COURSE PRICES - 1971

The amber ad from 1971 shows Dundee as the centre of the Scottish golf universe with 3 local courses on offer while reminding everyone that there are plenty more to be found in the surrounding area.
The 3 Dundee courses referred to in the ad are Caird Park, Camperdown & Downfield, and under it are their prices for the same year.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

RT WALKER - EARLY 60'S

This is a picture of RT Walker taken in the early 60's.
He was something of a local prodigy back then, because when Bobby was only 14 years old he became holder of the Downfield Course record by finishing a round in 63, taking a whopping 6 strokes off the previous record, and by the time he was 21 (around the period of the photo) he had held numerous Scottish titles and records.

DOWNFIELD GOLF COURSE - EARLY 60'S

Both the photo and the map are from the early 60's period and show the section of Downfield Golf Course that was given over for the Ardler multis to be built on.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

DAVID LOW AD - 1971

I haven't mentioned much about Dundee's golf scene on Retro, so because I have some bits & pieces, not much, I'm gonna post them up over the next few days.
Starting with this ad from 1971 for David Low who were presenting themselves as golf specialists at the time. Although they stocked other sports items in their shop in Commercial Street, they did devote an entire floor to golfing equipment, a photo of which you can see in the December 2008 Archive.
David Low also used to have a shop in the Seagate on the corner of Gellatly Street but that one closed down in the early 70's allowing them to concentrate their efforts on this branch here.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

OUTSIDE JOHN MENZIES - 1987

John Menzies moved away from their own well known position on the Murraygate/Commercial Street corner and took over Woolies prime spot further along the Murraygate in 1983, as above.
This shot of the activity outside it's main entrance, along with a few other nearby shops, was taken on 6th February 1987.
I do remember the guy in the picture across from John Menzies though, busking away on the accordion in his scruffy flannels and the wee money pouch attached to his squeeze-box.
As usual, if you want to have a closer look, just click onto the image to enlarge.

Photo by Neale Elder.

Monday, 20 June 2011

WOOLWORTH AD - 1973

I can remember Woolies in the 60's when they still had the original old wooden counters, but around the beginning of the 70's the store was modernised and got itself some new open plan style rack shelving.
This ad here is from 1973 and mentions how "up to date" it is as part of the sales pitch.
One of the relics from the old store they kept going, however, was the huge weighing machine tucked away in the corner beside the photo booth. A big red & silver thing it was, a penny a go.
Another memory from the 70's I always associate with Woolies were the budget priced "Top Of The Pops" albums with glamour girls on the LP covers. 12 chart hits for 60p or something. For that price though you didn't get the original artists, oh no, these were 2nd rate rogues imitating our favourite pop groups. The work of session musicians in fact, and they were mince!
Oh yes, and get this, I was once thrown out of Woolies when aged around 12/13. I was in the Murraygate store just having a look around, probably been there for 15/20 minutes, when this frumpy middle aged wifie (the floor-walker) came over to me and escorted me to the door. Was I stealing? No. Causing a scene with a shop assistant? Nope. My crime, she told me on the way out, was "being in the shop too long". What the...??!!!
The Murraygate store closed in 1983 and John Menzies took over the premises.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

MUCKING ABOUT AT HOME #3

In the days before computer based special FX, we used what was termed "trick photography" to create a bit of magic in a photo.
This picture here is one I volunteered my services for back in 1970 when I was 12, and was taken by my brother who was also school age.
The trick was to keep the camera facing dead centre while I moved into different positions. The shutter was kept open all the time and it was the separately held camera flash that caught my image. So it was right position - flash, middle position - flash and left position - flash, then close the shutter. All 3 positions captured on one photo.
One quirky thing about the end result is that I have my eyes closed on the right, half opened in the middle and wide open on the left, but neither of us can remember if we planned it out like that or if it was just a fluke.
It makes it look like I've been cloned then beamed down from Starship Enterprise's transporter!
Anyway, not sure if our wee experiment could be categorised as time-lapse photography, but it's not a bad effort for a couple of school kids mucking about in the backies!

Saturday, 18 June 2011

MUCKING ABOUT AT HOME #2

You can tell by the shirt hingin' oot from under the extra large homemade jersey, that I had just been running around playing before stopping off for a wee cold treat to cool myself down.
This is me in August 1963, aged 5, in my last moments of freedom before being dragged off to school for the first time shortly afterwards.
However, if I can draw your attention to the barkit knees, if you haven't already spotted them, then here we have ample evidence that before my ice lolly break, I'd probably been muckin' aboot playing futba aroond the backies or clambering around the garden trying to catch bees in a jar filled with clover!
Forget designer grunge and shabby chic, this is the real thing, maaan!
I didn't think it was fair to have my brother be put on display for this public humiliation, so I've cropped him out, although I've cunningly kept his Johnny X'rs in shot!

Friday, 17 June 2011

MUCKING ABOUT AT HOME #1

"Eh'm the king o' the castle..."
So everyone has their photo taken on top of the garden shed, right?
Oh well, it must have seemed like a good idea at the time, way back in 1969.
This is me, GG, on top of the shed aroond the backies in Craigie when I was 11.
It's one of my brother's early attempts at photography, him still being a schoolboy then too. It basically just came about by us mucking about during the 7 weekies and him suggesting to climb up on the shed for a picture.
I look quite cool from the shoulder up with my Polaroids on and mod hair, but below the shoulder is a bit of a strange mix!
That polo neck was bright orange. Then there is my nylon PE shorts, socks with the elasticity expired, and those oh so popular sandals.
The shed itself was a bit of a nightmare because the inside of it was hoachin' wi' forky-tailies. It was probably safer on the roof actually!
As you can see, the sharpness of the rooftop was the reason I opted to sit side-saddle!
Unlike Arthur though, we only had the one shed!

Thursday, 16 June 2011

DEMOLITION OF CARBET CASTLE - 1984

Here's a shot of Carbet Castle in Camphill Road, Broughty Ferry, being demolished in July 1984.
They actually had to go easy on the demolition when it was discovered the interior ceiling was still intact and considered to be a bit of a treasure, painted by French artist, Charles Frechou. The ceiling was carefully removed and put into storage.
The castle itself used to be owned by the Grimond family who ran the Bowbridge Jute Works.
Photo by Neale Elder.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

DRIFTING OFF AT THE FERRY - 1989

While the chap in the foreground drifts off to sleep, the ship in the background drifts off to it's next port of call.
This shot capturing the slow pace of a hot summer day was taken on 5th July 1989.
I think the image is a bit deceptive though because I reckon the blokes are plonked down way along in Fisher Street, quite a distance from the castle, with a telephoto lens probably creating a foreshortening illusion, giving the impression that they are closer to the castle than they actually are. I'm sure Neale will be able to give the lowdown on that.
And if anyone out there knows their ships, then now's your chance to shine, see if you can name this one.
Photo by Neale Elder.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

HIGH TIDE AT THE FERRY - 1985

From the opposite end of Beach Crescent to yesterdays views, this shot of Broughty Ferry locals was taken on 4th July 1985.
Nothing too energetic going on during high tide - a combination of fishing and lazing around.
Then again it looks too hot to be doing anything more lively.
Photo by Neale Elder.

Monday, 13 June 2011

WATER-SKIING IN THE FERRY - 1970'S

Taking advantage of the nice weather one summer evening back in the 70's, my brother nipped along to the Ferry to try out his new Nikon camera and wandered into this scene going on, some locals indulging in a bit of water-skiing. Also enjoying the fun were a few passers-by who stopped off to watch some of the action.
Broughty Ferry hasn't changed that much really, but you can tell it's the the 70's by the cars, Carolina Port Power Station puffing away in the background and the funsters messing about on the river without wearing any safety gear!
Click onto the images if you want to view the large versions.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

DUNDEE ANTI POLL TAX #3 - THE DEMO

Things are literally starting to heat up now with this demo against the Poll Tax that took place in the City Square in 1989.
Here we have a bunch of activists doing what they said they were gonna do, and that was to burn their Poll Tax books.
"Don't Pay - Don't Collect - We Will Win" was the slogan, with one of the biggest banners in the crowd belonging to the Ardler/St Mary posse.
Our photographer with the mob - The Bear.

DUNDEE ANTI POLL TAX #2 - THE ADVERT

If militant activist combat wasn't your thing, then an alternative way to express your outrage at the introduction of the Poll Tax was to follow the advice of local camp rockers, The Beaver Sisters, and that was - to "Eat Your Poll Tax Form!".
This ad is from June 1988.

DUNDEE ANTI POLL TAX #1 - THE MEETING

This was the moment in the late 80's when the Caird Hall was used to announce the setting up of the Tayside Anti Poll Tax Federation.
On stage, L to R - Unknown lass, Philip Stott, Alan Manley, unknown chap, Tommy Sheridan.
The group went on to organise protests and use urban guerrilla type tactics throughout the campaign.
Photo by The Bear.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

THE GRAND TOUR OF WHITFIELD - 1986

1
2
3
4
5
6
1 - ABERLADY CRESCENT
2 - WHITFIELD DRIVE
3 - HADDINGTON CRESCENT
4 - DUNBAR CRESCENT
5 - DUNBAR CRESCENT
6 - TRANENT CRESCENT
These pictures around Whitfield were taken in March 1986 and should bring back a few memories.
Since then, the Skarne blocks at Aberlady, Haddington and Tranent have all been demolished, as have the multis, and the Dunbar Crescent area is now Dunbar Park.
The good old days or bad old days?
A mate of mine who lived in Whitfield in the 70's was telling me he has a hazy memory of when the all-weather pitch had an inauguration match between DFC v United to officially mark the switching on of the floodlights, which was the first of it's kind back then.
Anyone recall this?
Photos by Neale Elder.

Friday, 10 June 2011

ROOFTOP VIEW FROM THE LAW - 1970'S

A moody dusky evening shot looking over the rooftops at the base of the Law.
This was taken around the early/mid 70's, and snapped just at the moment of lighting-up time.
You can see the top section of Kinpurnie Place in the foreground, in the middle distance is St John's school and in the background are the Ardler multis.
The Law Hill area was like a 2nd playground to me when I was a wee schoolboy because my grandparents lived in Byron Street, so when the adults wanted to have a blether, me and my brothers would nip out to play for a while, with the Law being like an extension to their backies!
I also remember mucking about at the Kinpurnie swings because they had a Witches Hat there, something we didn't have at home at the Craigie swings, so that would be the first thing I'd make a beeline for!
If you want to see if you can spot anything else, click onto it to enlarge.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

LOCHEE WEST STATION IN COLOUR

Got a rare, recently discovered colour photo from the 1960's of Lochee West Station at the junction of Elmwood Road and South Road.
Still lots of open land around the area back then, and even some quaint farm cottages across the road. In fact, you wouldn't think there would be much call for a rail stop at this point. Quite a change from how it is nowadays.
A reminder that there are a couple of other items on Lochee West Station in the March 2011 Retro Archives, including map and film footage.
Thanks to Gordon C.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

POLEPARK'S OLD TRAM SHELTER

I remember this old shelter from my schoolboy days in the 60s & 70s because my aunt and uncle lived just down the road from it. However, I can't recall now if it was sitting empty back then or if there was a newspaper seller using it. All I do know is that it definitely wasn't being used for what it was designed for - a tram waiting room.
It was on the Lochee Road across from Polepark Road near St Mary Place.
This picture of it was taken in June 1989, nearing the end of it's life.
It has since been removed and replaced with a bit of landscaping, but whether it ended up as scrap, or put into into a transport museum, I've no idea!
Photo by Neale Elder.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

HANGING OUT AT LITTLEWOODS - 80'S

"Oh great, a windee seat"... now we get to look down from Littlewoods cafe and see what's going on outside.
Well when the top photo was taken around the mid 80's, there was a group of punkettes gathered at one of the benches. You can't make out their faces but you can see their hairstyles. A couple of the lassies have the peroxide look (one a Mohican) and another has a full head of green hair that resembles Hilary a bit, not sure if it is her though.
The other photo outside Littlewoods taken on the same day has a different flock of females on display - these ones dressed smart but casual.
Bird spotting courtesy of The Bear.

Monday, 6 June 2011

WALLACE'S AD - 1973

Just thought I'd chuck on this '73 ad to finish off the local bakers theme.
Wallace's getting the final say with - FLOUR POWER!

BEATTIES & MOTHER'S PRIDE

3 ads for Beatties Bakeries, with the old style top one dated 1960 and the 2 red ones from 1973 & 74.
Although there are 2 different addresses in the 70's ads, I'm guessing it may be the same premises or possibly had an extension built on because these locations are in virtually the same spot on the map - the corner area where the 2 roads join the Kingsway.
Below is an old TV ad for Mother's Pride.
It's in black & white but most of you will recall the original red & white packaging that crops up at the end of it.
The tune also reminds me of a guy called Lance Percival, who performed improvised comedy calypsos on telly in the 60's & 70's.