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!

video

10 comments:

  1. Brilliant!
    When I was wee, my dad did freelance artwork for Valentines and he knew all the artists in the studio. I saw two of his good friends in the film, one went on to be a caricaturist for Melody Maker and the gent with the white beard illustrated loads of Enid Blyton books and did the most beautiful Christmas cards you have ever seen, his artwork was magical.

    Many years later I went for a job in the studio doing something with calendars ....I didn't get the job but just as well as the place shut down about a year later!

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    1. bilindsay@TalkTalk.net19 December 2013 at 11:44

      My father Jim Lindsay was an artist with Valentine's from 1945- 1954 and had the best selling Christmas card for many years. He did a series of paintings of Westminster Abbey in1952 prior to the coronation.

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    2. Oh my goodness,just came across this! Thant's my Dad, Jimmy Thomson, who as you mentioned was the caricaturist for the Melody Maker from the early sixties until 1977, just recently had a small exhibition of his caricatures in Dundee. Great to see this,I'm sending this to my Dad! Thankyou!

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  2. Valentine and Sons sold out to John Waddington and they changed the name to Valentines of Dundee Ltd.They were later taken over by the Hallmark group.They were never owned by American Greetings.Perhaps you are being confused with Gibsons.

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    1. I worked for andrew valentines as a sales rep in the 80s.Andrew valentines,celebration arts and rustcraft were all part of american greetings.Valentines of dundee was a seperate company.

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  3. I'm a volunteeer for Oxfam in Bury St. Edmunds. We currently (1-11-2012) have a whole box of Christmas wrapping paper for sale on eBay. Some of it is marked Regal, Valentines of Dundee. It came in a box posted in 1974. If you want to grab a bit of nostalgia (and support an excellent charity) get your bid in quick.

    http://search.ebay.co.uk/?sass=oxfam_f2613_bury&ht=-1

    John G.

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  4. as was stated above , valentines was taken over by hallmark cards , and it was eventually closed by them as well , i worked for a dundee packaging firm for 13 years and was the operator / maintenance then supervisor on the bow making department of the company , the machinery was purchased from hallmark cards in bradford when they were downsized. we supplied hallmark , john lewis , harrods , and many of the high end gift stores in london for about ten years , until imports from china made it impossible to compete, the machines are now in stoke on trent and owned by midwest ribbons !

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  5. When did Valentines of Dundee close? I used to own a newsagents and we sold their range.

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  6. I was a sales rep for Valentines of Dundee in the early/mid 1970's in Cheshire and parts of Greater Manchester. They were a great Company to work for - I enjoyed my stay with them before going off to open my own small chain of card shops.

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  7. Well, well!
    In the centre top photo the standing guy is Heb Hardie, he is talking to Ted Banasiak, a lovely polish chap who came here because of the war.
    To the right of Heb is a young guy with his back to the camera, that was me, I worked there between 1980 and 1985 before leaving to become freelance.
    Always wondered what happened to the other guys.

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