Sunday, 15 February 2009

DUNDEE GANGS IN THE 1960'S

This rare piece of footage below shows some of the gang names that were kicking around the city in the 60's.
It was filmed between 1967 and 1969.
The graffiti includes the Shimmy - Huns - Cosmo and the Fleet.
There is also an interlocking "TS" ( The Shimmy - The Shams?).
I noticed 2 sets of letters as well - RNB and YRB, but not sure if they pertain to gangs or a persons initials.
Anyway, the main thing is, the originals are documented for posterity.

video

15 comments:

  1. tiny shimmy , tiny shams :)

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  2. Nice bit of footage. Whats the music?

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  3. I don't think the terms "Tiny" and "Young" cropped up until the 70's, although it makes more sense than my interpretation!
    The moody piece of music is by LANDAU, the track "Spring showers" taken from their 2004 album The Epic Compromise. Merck Records. GG

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  4. RNB looks more like a badly sprayed RAB. Sonny and BILL are beneath.

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  5. The Tiny Shamrock started up in 1970 the Tiny Shams 1971

    This sign would have been Shimmy as the Young Shimmy also used the Interlocking Y and S - later used by the Young Shamrock/Shams.

    B&B Fintry....

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  6. Thanks for the lowdown.
    Any guesses as to the 2 arrows with the HUNS sign?
    I thought it might be an early visual way to represent the Hulltoon.

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  7. I was born in the Ferry but moved to Alloa in the mid 60s. We used to come back regularly to see my grandparents and I remember clearly that there were tags for two gangs visible on our route through Dundee - the Tongs and the Huns. Both liked to use the term Rule Ya Bas as in Tongs Rule Ya Bas. I presume this is short for Tongs Rule You Bastards. Certinly put the fear of God into me as a young kid!!!

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  8. Looks like i may have got it wrong about the Tongs who appear to be a Glasgow gang. I'm sure I remember them featuring in spray paint signs in Dundee but it was over 40 years ago!!!

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    1. The Tongs were defin-ate-ly Weegies. See Tongland on Wikipedia.

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  9. Growing up as a teenager in Kirkton during the late 60's/early 70's, the Huns were the local gang.

    The main rival gangs at the time were the Lochee Fleet, Fintry Shamrock and the Douglas Toddie. Each gang as I recall had its own graffiti sign and colours.

    I think the Shimmy were around a bit earlier in the 60's and I'm not sure they were connected to a specific area of Dundee (might be wrong).

    The Hulltoon Huns and YMB (from St. Mary's) were I think newer gangs and to my recollection not taken very seriously back then.

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    1. The Toddy were the younger brothers of the Mafia, the original Douglas gang.

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  10. Fascinating to see those signs again and read people's recollections.

    I grew up in Invergowrie in the 60s and 70s - no gangs there but that simply meant we Gowrie boys were fair game for any/all gangs from the city when 'in the toon' and got a bit of a doing from time to time just (I think) for not being identifiably anything/anybody.

    Re the arrows on the Huns sign, I think it may have something to do with the Who, as the band were hugely popular with Mods (of which I was one) in the 65-67 era and they featured arrows on at least one of their early albums. Most of the early gangs were Mods, inspired by the clothes, the r'n'b music and the seafront battles with rockers.

    It's my recollection that the Who were also indirectky responsible for giving the Shimmy their name. As an earlier poster wrote, the Shimmy were an all-encompassing gang, not from any one part of the city indeed drawing people from other parts, even some who were also in their own district gangs. At the time, being too young to get into pubs, the main meeting places were coffee bars, eg The Haparanda on Arbroath Road and the Shakespeare (always known as the Shake) on Perth Road. At the time one of the Who's songs was called Shout and Shimmy and it was my impression that was the origin of the gang name.

    Nothing more specific than distant memory to go on but it's an unusual name so would be interested to hear of alternatives.

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  11. I grew up in Menzies Hill and remember the Shimmy tags but also seem to remember The Stave.

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  12. There wiz only one gang that hid respect,we are the Kirkton Huns, unbeatable and the top man,HIGGS beat abody,notorious we took on ah cunt, nabody wid mess we us,KIRKTON HUNS YA BASS,rest ar ah pussy

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    1. you dinna half talk some shite. when colin higgins was leading aff the huns, there were no other gangs in dundee.

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