Thursday, 4 September 2008

THE OLD WELLGATE

2 images of the old Wellgate before it became what it is today.
Above picture was taken in the mid 70's when the street was closed down to make way for the demolition team to do their stuff.
Below is footage that was shot in the late 60's showing the street still open for business.


video

6 comments:

  1. Thanks very much for the site as a whole and in particular for posting the Wellgate entries – brings back a lot of memories. I lived in Dundee in the late sixties and early/mid seventies, and for a period rented a flat in Panmure St (owned by one of the various Iannettas). For some reason my flatmates and I settled on the Forester’s (Forrester’s?) Arms in Wellgate as our local, a pretty bizarre choice as the Café Royal it was definitely not. As we were all long-haired English students, the other users of the pub no doubt felt that they had three reasons to be less than welcoming, but we bought our beer and minded our own business so we fitted in well enough. We also constituted a high proportion of the bar’s regular trade, as by that point there were few people living in the Wellgate tenements. The Forester’s had a good example of what was then a common phenomenon, an elderly chap, well gone in alcoholic decrepitude, who was chucked a couple of free drinks an evening for collecting up the empty glasses. To my retrospective shame and embarrassment, we used to mimic his zombie-like progress between the tables….the cruelty and arrogance of youth. Up until the Sex Equality act in 1971 the public bar was strictly men-only, and I recall one anxious lady looking for her errant husband who was very briskly ejected from the bar. I’d give a lot now for a Saturday evening in the Forester’s with my old friends – buy a Sporting Post from the seller in the shop doorway at the corner with Panmure St, then spend the evening chucking down pints of Tennent’s lager.

    There was another pub in Wellgate on the other side of the road and down the hill a bit – I forget the name but it had a nice wooden interior, a bit like Mennie’s on the Perth Road. It was a pretty rough old place and allegedly patronised by Dundee’s small-time criminal fraternity. There were certainly some serious drinkers; I remember once going in at lunchtime when one particularly legless patron staggered back from the gents having (how shall I put it?) failed to pay sufficient attention to re-buttoning himself – we certainly weren’t going to point out (so to speak) his mistake and thereafter we stuck to the Forester’s. I really enjoyed the Wellgate video – somehow black and white images and rain on a winter’s day is appropriate to my recollections of the street. Am I right in thinking (it’s been a long time since I visited Dundee) that the Wellgate steps disappeared during the redevelopment?

    David C.

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  2. The steps are still there, but they were redesigned to become part of the Wellgate Centre construction.

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  3. Great memories of the old wellgate. Pity they Bulldozed it. A lot of history has gone forever in the 1960s. I stayed in Cowgate, and had lots of mates in Wellgate. Boxing Snooker, Arcade, Music shop. It was a shoppers paradise for shopping. Lots of people will remember the Coffee stall at Overgate, the owner parked his van in Charles Street. Everyone played outside in these times, not like today. Progress for what? The wellgate could of been renovated, and been a ideal tourist attraction. Small shops like York. The same applies for the Old overgate

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  4. Lived in Charles St 1951 for 3 or 4 years, first street down on left from Wellgate steps.Only 6 years old but remember it like yesterday,Wellgate always full of people,great memory's real nostalgia.Keep up the good work,fantastic sight.

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  5. yeah, that's what gets me about the 60/70s, they pulled everything down and built rubbish. I'm not native Dundee and was a student there in the 90s. Always feel robbed of the old Dundee and think it would be so much better with old winding streets: Wellgate, Overgate and Shore front before the brig.

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  6. Delivered milk in this area when I was at school in the early sixties ,scary place at six in the morning

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