Saturday, 27 June 2009

A SEGMENT OF HAWKHILL IN THE 70'S

This segment of old Hawkhill is just before it's demise, and I'm 99% sure that the premises with the white door is The Tav.
If it is the Tav, I read somewhere that before the Tav building got knocked down, the interior fittings of the pub were moved across to the University where it has now become part of the Students Union bar.
Can anybody say for certain if this is an urban myth or if the Tav was indeed transferred, so to speak?

37 comments:

  1. There was a Tav bar in the union until a few years back, that definitely had the look of an old pub, but I don't know if that story is true.

    It's no longer there, was lost in the redevelopment around 2004. I think it became offices or part of the gym, and was replaced with the horrible trendy bar called Air.

    A friend of mine was on the student council, I'll see him next weekend so can always ask should the answer not materialise in the meantime.

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  2. Like Michael said, there was a Tav Bar in the Union certainly between 1982-1987 (and probably longer). It had an oldish feel but it really wasn't. I frequented this place during the early eighties with a friend who had been in the original Tav and he never mentioned it being one and the same.
    I suspect that the name was the only thing in common.

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  3. This brings back memories to my childhood. I was at the Hawkhill Primary during mid to late 70's. This spot was about 80 yards up from the bottom of Annfield Road, opposite the white science lab buildings at the University.

    There was a real community then further down at Peddie Street and Sinderins. I remember 'Peggies' the sweet shop next to the Sinderins Bar, and 30 yards along opposite Taits Lane was a barber I went to, and Joe Bennadetti's fish bar where I was called out to get the fish suppers at the weekend. Denjan

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  4. The Tav Bar in the University union was definitely just a tribute in name only. I've been in both of them, although I was about 7 or 8 when I was last in the Olde Tavern. It was an alternative focal point to Laings for staff and students from the Art College, at lunchtimes and into the evenings too. There may well have been staff and students from the University there as well, but I think it was mainly the Art College crowd. As far as location is concerned, it was on the block on the other side of the street from the Whitehall Theatre, looking across the Hawkhill to the life sciences part of the university. As a kid I played in all of these buildings as they were being demolished along the Hawkhill, and as a student at the Art College I always missed the shops and houses that were here whenever I contemplated the barren stretch of tarmac and telly tubby grass hummock that replaced them..

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  5. I went there, the tav, once or twice, with no money, in the winter of 78, with my mate Al, hoping to mooch drinks. never got more than a pint of orange and water between us from some hippy. remember hanging about in rear area, wood floors?

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  6. The interior of the Tav bar was indeed resurrected for its university namesake. I've just watched an old 16mm film of the opening ceremony where Clement freud the then rector pours the first pint, a truly dreadful frothy one at that. The background commentary explains all about the interiors salvage.

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    1. The old wooden bench fittings from the Tav moved to the mid-level smaller Uni bar, next to the Student Union offices.However the Tav continued with new fittings, it was my usual watering hole before I left Dundee in the mid 1980s.

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  7. Hi I can also confirm that the optics and gantries were purchased by the Students Union from the TAV .I think that the picture you show depicts the Tav (with the sign ) .I spent many a happy afternoon in Both Tav bars .The guy that owned the Tav was called Phillips and many of my cheques used to be returned from the bank made out to Philililips - and they were cashed ! Not these days

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    1. Don't remember a Phillips but I knew Bert McIntosh the landlord of the Tavern well when I was a regular there at the end of the sixties. For a while I lived in the flat above.

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  8. Thanks for the info. Good to read that the Tav pub story was true! A wee detail to add, however. Clement Freud was rector in the 70's, and the Tav didn't close until around the mid 80's. So I guess the film of Clement must have been when he was in Dundee as a special guest, possibly when the Liberal Party had their conference at the Caird Hall. He definitely wasn't rector in the 80's.

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  9. ah, the fashion fits that date much better, and the cars. I'll try and get a copy of that film, it was projected for a wee audience from the council and they videoed it.

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  10. I was a first year student in 1982 and in the pub for the last night of the old Tav. A lot of the fittings did end up in the Union but a lot also ended up in our hall of residence rooms - I remember having a large chunk of porcelain from a smashed urinal. I remember Philips tried to get the same atmosphere in another of his pubs on the Perth Road but it never worked.

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  11. the pub in the pic is the tave. the tav closed in 1976. it was owned by bert macintosh. the council compusory purchsed the tav cos it was being demolished thay said. bert sold the fixtures and fittings to the uni union. somehow or other,later in 1976, the council then leased the place to a boy called phillips, who refitted the place. it closed and was demolished in 1982.

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  12. the pub was the tav bar, the right hand side of the buildings is where Wilkies Lane came out onto the Hawkie. the left hand side [not in view] was the famous 'one bog' willy frews, if you took a lady friend and she took short you would have to stand guard on the bog door till she emerged or she would go to the tav if chanty was occuppied.

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    1. One bog Willy Frews is right but the Tav' only had a urinal for men. If you needed anything more substantial you had to nip round to Frews (buying a courtesy half pint of course)

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  13. Was there ever a better pub crawl than up the hawkie and doon the blackie? Frews and the Tav both closed on the same memorable night to make way for that most Dundonian pean to the car - the University bypass?!? still not sure why this and all the other bypasses and dual carriage ways were sent smashing through the centre of the city - maybe the council were hoping to pick up on all the tourists that get fed up looking at the Old town in Edinburgh?

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  14. Certainly Ye Olde Tav I still have the dominoes!!. Think the shop to the right was Cuthberts Bike Shop.

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  15. This building was on the corner of Wilkies Lane. The shot must have been taken from the open ground to the west side of the old Princess Cinema. Between 1940 and 1950 our family occupied one of the two top-floor flats looking out over Hawkhill. The entrance was round the corner (No2 Wilkies Lane).
    As a child I used to hang out of the windows, especially when the Pipe Bands used to march up the Hawkhill on Sunday mornings.
    In those times, the two shops under us were Caesar's Ice Cream Shop on the left, and Miller's Fruitshop on the right. Happy daze!

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  16. The flats above the Tav went on fire one Friday night (circa 1978) and the fire brigade were shouting to everyone to get out as the water from their hoses started to drip through the ceiling. Did we go? Did we hell! We just covered our drinks with our hands and waited until it was all over and resumed our usual Friday night.
    Tavernite 1968-demolition.

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    1. I once lived in the flat above the Tav' (end 60s) We must have been contemporary Tavernites.

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  17. Next door to the Tav was the Cosy Cafe
    I lived above during 73-74 It was freezing in the flat because there was no windows in the Cosy Cafe.The wind came straight up through the floorboards. If you want to read the best(only)description of Tav Life read the opening chapter to the book Stargazing by Peter Hill,a D of J Art student becomes a light house keeper.

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    1. I lived above the Tavern in '67 (I was at the Art School). I've just ordered Stargazing from Fife libraries. Thanks for the tip!

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  18. Not so, anonymous me old pal! The old Tav and its clientele features (and was first described in) Tumulus, a novel by Andrew Murray Scott, published by Polygon in 2000, which was the first winner of the £6k Dundee Book Prize. Scott spent many a long year in Frews, The Tav, Scout, Laings and other howffs and they all feature in the novel which is about Dundee's unique contribution to the bohemian and beat way of life.It is very very funny. Sadly it's out of print now and I've no intention of lending you my copy!

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    1. Tumulus is back in print (Canongate 2004) and I've just ordered a copy from Fife libraries (Thanks for the tip). I drank in the Tavern from '65 -'71 (I was at the Art School) and knew 'uncle' Bert Macintosh very well. Happy Daze.

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  19. I was a student in Dundee in the 1970s. The picture you have is indeed of the Tav Bar in Hawkhill, but from a very interesting time.

    The building that the old Tav Bar occupied was condemned in the mid 1970s, and the Student Union brought all the fittings, out of which the Union's own Tav Bar on the first floor of the Union was created. In fact my wife and I got together there in 1975!

    The funny thing was that the old building from which the old bar fittings were extracted was not demolished for a while, and some enterprising person refitted the bar and re-opened it as....the Tav Bar. This new manifestation was painted black and white, which is what is shown in your photo.

    Eventually the building was demolished.

    Furthermore, I noted a few years ago on a visit to the Union that the Tav Bar there had also disappeared.

    Sad...... RIP Tav Bar in either manifestation.

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  20. You ask about Clement Frued.

    I was at the "Rectorial Rave Up" at the Student Union in October or November 1974. The rector was Clement Freud, who was there with his daughter Emma Freud. He brought a few rounds that night, and I was one of the lucky ones - that said, heavy was 14p a pint and lager 16p a pint!

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  21. I remember 'posing' at The Tav. Girls never sat down, but wanted to look cool with our cigarettes (cough).

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  22. I remember a real coal fire in the original Tav. Very cosy on winter days. I remember sleeping on the floor of a flat above the Cosy Cafe for 3 or 4 weeks in 1973 while I found my own place. The close was around the side, all the windows were broken. the flat was pretty basic but very handy for Frews and The Tav.I have a print of a painting by Stephen French dated 1981. called Ye Olde Tavern which shows the boarded up buildings to the left and right of the Tav. Cosy cafe to the right and the Dundee Eastern Co-Operative Society Limited an part of what could be a cycle shop to the left of the Tav. T.T.

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  23. Oh nostalgia.
    The old tav was an amazing place, only pub I have ever queued to get in on Friday and Saturday nights in the early 70's. It was a great help being over six foot tallI so that you could gesture to Bert when you came in and your pint would be there by the time you managed to battle your way to the counter. Yet at 5pm on a winter evening you could enjoy a pint in front of a coal fire.
    It really was not the same when it reopened minus original fitments.
    The Tav in the University Union was sad. Went there once to see it and it was soulless.

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  24. i used come throught from aberdeen in the beginning of the 70s to meet my girlfriend.i then moved to dundee and lived in annfield street and the tav became my local. great people and many happy memories. rip the tav

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  25. This is the Tav that existed when I was in Dental School. I had many a wild night there :). Was alomost caught climbing the lampost that stood outside one night following a birthday night out. They stripped me and threw my underwear up the post and I was halfway up the post retrieving said itmes when the police came along and tried to arrest me.

    My aunt stayed aboce the chip shop on the corner and the Princes Theatre was directly acroos the street from it.

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  26. i was brought up on the hackie. we stayed above the tav in 2 wilkies lane. the fire that annon was on about was indeed true as it was our chimney that had went up as often it did. ive got an orriginal photo of the whole block taking in our house and the tav. our windows are the two top ones directly above the tav and also the attick ones. i had a lot of happy memories growing up there. Bert used to give us ice lollies in the summer and crisps and juice. My mum and dad were great friends of Berts and also Willie frew.and a lot of great nights and carry oots were had at my mum n dads after time. Places change but pics and memories remain. long live the hackie.....

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  27. I was a student in Dundee in the late 60s and remember some great times there. The Tav on the night of The Art College Revels- full of mad people in fantastic fancy dress! Oh, nostalgia! And what was the name of the pub off the Perth road, I think,in a basement? You had to queue up on the steps down to it. Any information on what happened to all the characters from that time?

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    1. That was the Cellar Bar. (now Laings)I was at the Art College in the late sixties and drank there and in the Tav'.

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  28. A bunch of us used to drink in the Tav Friday and Saturday evenings, get a half bottle of VP each, tuck it in our inside pocet, then head across to Robeys dancehall in Well Road.

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  29. This in the mid 50s.

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  30. The Tav Bar in DUSA (The Union) closed in 2003, and is now offices. The redevelopment saw an extension put on the Balfour Street side (looking towards Hawkhill) which houses the soul-less "Air Bar" (airport departure lounge style drinking venue). Both The Tav Bar, and the old "Liar Bar" in The Union were both decent places to drink prior to the refit a decade ago, they had a bit of atmosphere, unlike what remains today.

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