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Thursday, 18 December 2008

CHRISTMAS MESSAGE

In keeping wi' abody else, I'm gonna have a wee xmas break. So no more posts till January.
A big THANKS for all your comments. Good to know you're enjoying looking back at Dundee life during the 60s,70s & 80s.
Any newcomer to Retro Dundee who is not too sure of the layout, here's a wee guide:
When you visit the blog, not all the material will be on view, you will only see a few of the most recent posts on the page. To view ALL the items, go to the "BLOG ARCHIVE" to the left of the posts and click on any month to view that months material and scroll through them.
If you want to leave a message, there is a small "COMMENTS" feature at the bottom right of each post, again just click onto it if you have something to say.
Those of you who are regulars, my break might be a good time for you to backtrack over the older posts again to read the comments. There are a lot of amusing ones as well as many with added extra info.
I've still got loads of stuff to put on...so stay tuned and I'll be back in full flow early January.
CHEERZ GG

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

SWITCHING THE XMAS LIGHTS ON - 1980'S

Aaaaaahhh..!! Affy bonnie. This looks kind of cosy and quaint now, but this is how they went about switching the christmas lights on in Dundee in the early 80's. Just a bit of a sing-song....no pyrotechnics.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

THE OLD WINTER CARDIE


...and keeping the retro Dundee Xmas fun going, here is a wee verse from 1973...

THE NIGHT TWAS COLD AND WINTERY
AS LOCALS DRANK FESTIVE DRAMS
FOR SANTA HAD DROPPED IN ON FINTRY
IN A CARDIGAN OF THE YOUNG SHAMS!

Feel free to download it and put it to good use.
Click on the image to get the larger better quality version.

Monday, 15 December 2008

XMAS IN THE SCHEMES

Keeping the 70's music theme going...here's a tune that will get you bouncin' aboot on your Spacehoppers..!!
It's by Dundee's brilliant new pop sensation (they bribed me to say that!) - The Cundeez.
Ok, it is actually a brand new track, but it does have that retro vibe reminiscent of the golden age of Xmas pop - the 70's - complete with catchy chorus and Christmas chimes.
You'll need the following details to get your mitts on it :
Artists - THE CUNDEEZ
Song - XMAS IN THE SCHEMES
Available from all the major MP3 download sites for only 79p...a snip at the price.
Here is a link to iTunes if you're in a hurry.. http://www.apple.com/search/ipoditunes/?q=cundeez
Below is a wee taster. Give it a sample - then go treat yourself..!!

video

Sunday, 14 December 2008

TOP OF THE POPS IN THE 70'S

Between the ages of 12 and 15 in the early 70's, the TV programme that we always talked about in Dundee's school playgrounds was Top of The Pops. A show you didn't dare miss. Whether we were playing 2-touch in the culdee or hanging around the chip shop, we would all stop what we were doing and rush home every Thursday evening to catch the latest episode. At Craigie High, like most schools, we all had our favourite groups scrawled all over our jotters and bags. Pure pop fun.
Below are 2 original TOTP intros, for a wee bit of nostalgia. First one is from '71 and the second from'74. As you'll see there was more than Glam Rock bands on offer with there being a fair smattering of Rock and Soul acts in the charts too.


video

Friday, 12 December 2008

QUEEN - CAIRD HALL - 13th DEC 1975

33 years ago, Queen were rockin' the Caird Hall... and a gig I was at.
Bohemian Rhapsody was at #1 in the charts at the time and that was the song they opened the show with. The Caird Hall lights were turned off, and out of the darkness a loud mystery voice was heard announcing..."Ladies & gentleman, welcome to a night at the opera"... then out blasted the middle operatic sequence from Bohemian Rhapsody. It was still pitch dark as we listened to the familiar song without the band present, but eventually it flowed straight into Queen bursting onto stage at the famous guitar riff segment, complete with exploding flash bombs. Quite an intro!
Needless to say they kept these kind of theatrics going throughout the rest of the show.
Below is a recording from this actual concert. 2 tracks in fact with Dundee getting a couple of shout-outs during the chat to the audience.

video

60'S WINTER COATS

Before the more popular quilted Anorak's and Parka's arrived in the mid 60's, the winter coats most often worn by kids in Dundee were - the black Trench coat and the navy blue Duffle coat. I never had both but I definitely had a navy Duffle with the inside of the hood tartan lined. I remember one winter when we were having a sna'ba' fight, I had my Duffle coat hood up when somebody threw a snowball at me and it shot between the gap at the side of my face and inside edge of the hood, got trapped in the back of the hood then ended up rolling down the back of my shirt! Brrrrr!
I wouldn't be surprised if Health & Safety have banned snowball fights now for being too dangerous!
Photo by the Scotsman.Tints by GG.

THE INN AT THE QUAY - 1982

Dundee's "floating pub" was a very short lived novelty. In business only for a few months in 1982. The Balmoral (the boats former name) was modified to become The Inn At The Quay around spring 1982 and it sat at Craig Pier, beside the Leisure Centre. It was a good wee pub to visit in the summer months because you could sit out on deck and take in the warm lighty nights. Everytime I was there it was always a young crowd on board and I'm fairly sure it had dj's on at weekends. The funnel had an image of a "key" on it which was a wee bit of visual humour - key/quay. You could say it was an INN joke..!!
I remember in August that year, I arrived back in town after a 4 week tour of France and as soon as I stepped out of the rail station, the Quay was the first place I headed for, then it was straight up to the Deep Sea for some proper food..a puddin' supper!
By winter the floating pub had shut.
Photo by DC Thomson.Tints by GG.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

DAVID LOW - COMMERCIAL STREET

A little glimpse inside David Low's Sport shop in June 1972, the golf department being on the upper level.
Apart from all the obvious golfing equipment in the foreground, also on display are items such as (on the shelves above the assistant) boxes of "BIFFIT" sets, a Slazenger sports bag and a "Clock Golf" box, which was a putting game for the garden. Tucked away in the right-hand corner you'll find hats, gloves and golf balls.
My trips to the shop were 9 times out of 10, visits to the ground floor department where they had all the football goodies. Kits, boots, scarves etc. It was also a very handy shop for getting football match tickets. Even when Cup games were advertised in newspapers as being sold out, the shop managed to conjure up tickets from under the counter, which was a real life-saver sometimes!!
Photo by DC Thomson.Tints by GG.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

VISITING SANTA'S GROTTO IN THE 60'S

I remember being taken along to Santa's Grotto in department stores like D.M Browns, Draffens & G.L Wilsons (photo above) as a wee lad in the 60's.
The one thing about it I can recall most is that us primary kids applied a bit of know-how to the situation.
Santa's sacks of gifts were seperated into different age groups. Something like Under 5's, 5 to 7's and 8 to 10's. We noticed the pressies were bigger & better the higher the age group. So when it was time to chat to Santa, instead of telling him our correct age, 7 for example, we'd say we were 8, and he'd take something out from the appropriate sack!
Well it was the difference between getting a water pistol or a Luger with a silencer!
Photo by Dundee University.Tints by GG.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

BILLY MACKENZIE'S XMAS SONG - 1984

Better get yer hankies oot..!!
As a special wee treat for Christmas, here is Dundonian, Billy Mackenzie singing a weepy festive song called "The little boy that Santa Claus forgot".
Billy was in The Associates, and it was 24 years to the day that the band performed this song at Londons top jazz venue, Ronnie Scott's. This is the actual recording from that session on 9th December 1984, along with general footage from the gig in the video below.
The song itself was composed way back in the early 50's.


video

Monday, 8 December 2008

TELEPHONE HOUSE MURAL - 1976

I was always impressed with this piece of work everytime I saw it.
The 30ft long Dundee Panorama Mural was made from cut-out copper panels and hung in the foyer area of Telephone House in Ward Road.
It was created by John Shields and Joe Millar who were lecturers in Design at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art.
These 2 images, taken on 7th April 1976, show the full panorama in the top picture and a close-up of the central section below it.
Photos by DC Thomson.Tints by GG.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

THE CRAIGIEBANK SHOPS - 1962

This is a section of the Craigiebank shops located on Arbroath Road near the Kingsway circle. The picture was taken in December 62 and the shops in the image, starting at the far end corner, are :
DPM - Dairy
Patterson - Butcher
Yeaman - Newsagent
Post Office
MacFarlane - Chemist, Optician & Photography.
These are the local shops I went to throughout the 60s & 70s. I remember the Post Office sold wee kids knick-knacks such as plasticine, crayons, magic slates and stuff like that. One of my favourites when aged about 4 was Magic Painting Books. They were just plain white pages with simple illustrations drawn on but when you filled in the illustrations using a brush dipped only in water, the colours would appear on the page, like magic!
The other aspect of the picture is the wee boy with the ball. I used to take a ball along to the shops too. The idea being to skillfully keep the ball on the pavement away from the road. When a pedestrian was coming towards me, I would imagine it was an opposition player and play a 1-2 off the wall as I ran past them, pretending to be Pele!
Photo by DC Thomson.Tints by GG.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

THE WELLGATE WATERFALL - 1986

The Wellgate waterfall was installed in 1978. It was constructed of 2 curtains of plastic wires down which trickled water into a pool below. There were also 3 small fountains shooting water upwards in-between the 2 main curtain cascades, and the whole installation was illuminated by coloured spotlights set in the base of the pool.
As the water feature became the focus of attention, people started to throw coins into the pool like a wishing well, and every so often the pool would be dredged with the money going to charity.
The surrounding plants increased in quantity as time passed by until it eventually took on it's oasis-like appearance above, which was taken on 30th November 1986.
Photo by DC Thomson.Tints by GG.

Friday, 5 December 2008

BUZZCOCKS & JOY DIVISION - DUNDEE - 1979

Not a full house for this gig on 8th October 1979 but it was still quite lively!
Buzzcocks did come up with a few punk-pop classics in their day it has to be said and it was great to hear these gems blasting out live in the Caird Hall.
The crowd at the front of the stage were pogoing and gobbing like it was a punk gig from 1977 but the support band, Joy Division, was proof that alternative music had moved on to it's next phase - it being almost 1980 and now time for the post punk/new wave era.
I can remember hearing the awesome electric drum on "She's lost control" and thinking how futuristic this Joy Division track sounded. I can still see the image of Ian Curtis doing his agitated dance movements in my mind!
I used to have the Caird Hall poster for this gig on my wall too, printed in maroon & yellow colours. The poster did have Joy Division mentioned on it, whereas the ticket didn't give them a name-check at all.
Unfortunately, I ended up chucking it out when I moved house, so the poster is one item from my past I can't display on Retro!

Thursday, 4 December 2008

THE ODEON - STRATHMARTINE ROAD

The Odeon was a picture house I used to go to occasionally rather than regularly. Main reason being it was at the other end of town to where I lived and it needed 2 buses to reach it. It was probably the plushiest of Dundee's cinemas though, from what I can remember of the 1960s/70s period.
A part of the build up to the main movie features were of course the Pearl & Dean adverts on screen, and here below are a couple of original P&D ads from the late 60s/early 70s era to transport you back in time!

video

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

JOHN MENZIES - MURRAYGATE - 1985

John Menzies moved across the road into these premises in Murraygate in the early 80s, the store having been vacated by Woolworths. Everything was on ground level this time, with the above record department at the far end of the shop. On the left is the Computer section and on the right were wall racks of cassettes and audio accessories.
This picture was taken in December 1985 and in amongst the album racks under "S" are - Shakin' Stevens, Status Quo, Simple Minds, Soft Cell, Saxon, Supertramp, Rod Stewart, Savage Progress & Small Faces.
Photo by DC Thomson.Tints by GG.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

JOHN MENZIES CARRIER BAG - 1975

I never thought I'd be able to put this photo to use but seeing as I mentioned the Bruce's bag in the previous post, I've decided to plonk it on. It's a John Menzies carrier bag and this is me arriving home with yet another album - picture was taken in 1975.
John Menzies at this time was located on the corner of Murraygate and Commercial Street. The interior of the store did change a couple of times while it was there but the layout I can remember best was - Ground floor: magazines and books - Upstairs: albums, cassettes, posters and stationery.
The JM slogan on the carrier is - IT'S IN THE BAG.

BRUCE'S CARRIER BAG - MID 70'S

Every Friday, as soon as I got my wages, I was down to Bruce's Record Shop like a shot.
The Reform Street shop opened in December 1974 and I've already put up a couple of posts about Bruce's, like the time Rod Stewart appeared for example.
However, I can also remember the time when all of Dundee's record shops banned the Sex Pistols album when it first came out, but Bruce's, being more hip, had improvised a huge sign in their shop window stating proudly that they had the album in stock and on sale. I think the record sold out that same day!
Goodness knows how many albums I ended up buying from there in total but this is the bag design I brought them home in.
Bet you didn't know their famous slogan - I FOUND IT AT BRUCE'S - was an anagram of - OBTAIN FUTURE DISC..!!



Monday, 1 December 2008

KIDS TRANSFERS IN THE 60'S

Another quirky little item I can remember from 60's childhood is transfers. I don't recall ever buying them from shops, they just seemed to be items I got "free". I got them out of comics and from the rag man who used to drive his van around Dundee's housing schemes for jumble. There were usually around 10 transfers on a sheet of paper and what you did was, cut out one of the images, wet your arm or back of hand (usually by licking), place the transfer onto the wet patch, hold into position for about a minute then peel off the back paper to reveal the image on your body like a tattoo. They were usually pictures of rockets, birds of prey, sportsmen and soldiers. The transfer above is an original unused one from the 60's which was too precious to waste my saliva on!