Friday, 6 March 2009

DUNDEE AT WORK #3 - TIMEX

Timex moved into Dundee in 1946. At their peak they employed 5,000 Dundonians, spread around 3 factories.
Watches were their biz of course, but not only time pieces were manufactured. They also produced Polaroid cameras & flash guns, the Nimslo 3D camera, Spectrum micro computers and flat screen cathode ray tubes.
The short piece of film below features Milton of Craigie factory, the Autoshop dept to be exact. Every inch of the building's interior was painted blue, as seen in the footage, and I'm told there were a few houses in town painted the same blue...as a result of paint pots going astray!
Almost everyone in Dundee knew someone who worked in Timex. I had relatives and neighbours who were there for years. A quirky little memento that was passed onto me back then was a flexidisc record featuring the Timex advertising jingle from the 70's. It was based on a 1960 hit single by Jimmy Jones called "Good Timin'", and basically all they did was replace the word timin' with Timex. The record was dished out free to employees. I had a rake for it recently but couldn't find it so I've included a snippet of the original on the video instead.
The Milton of Craigie factory no longer exists as it was knocked down and is now an ASDA. Not sure if they have a shelf with Timex watches on sale though!
Timex's time halted in Dundee in 1993.

6 comments:

  1. As a kid back in the early 70`s, it seemed to be that almost EVERY adult i knew or met worked in Timex`s Milton of Craigie factory. I was always curious as to how it looked inside the factory, particulary with both parents working there. Now i know. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  2. There is a rumour that the reason that Dundee produces so many computer games these days is that, during the early 1980s, a few ZX Spectrums made it "over the fence" as they say, and were sold on cheaply to unsuspecting locals. Not sure if that's an urban myth, but you didn't hear it from me ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yep i was one took old broken parts from the skip at the back all my freinds simple
      had the

      Delete
  3. There was a roaring trade in these machines around the Lochee (and Dundee) pubs at the time of the Spectrum production. In fact, am pretty sure I bought mind in the Hoe'!

    ReplyDelete
  4. "There is a rumour that the reason that Dundee produces so many computer games these days is that, during the early 1980s, a few ZX Spectrums made it "over the fence" as they say, and were sold on cheaply to unsuspecting locals. Not sure if that's an urban myth, but you didn't hear it from me ;-)

    It isn't a myth, I know a few guys who got their Spectrums that way. In fact, one guy I knew used to rake the skips up at Harrison Road and regularly came away with stuff like, Spectrums, Microdrives and other hardware, all working fine. At one point he even stumbled across an early prototype for the 128, without the heat sink attached, but after fixing a piece of steel tubing to it, worked nicely!

    ReplyDelete
  5. My first watch was a Timex i bought in Draffens when i was 8. I remember the smell of the leather strap , and used to love to listen to it ticking.

    ReplyDelete