Tuesday, 11 August 2009


To set the scene, this little nook of Dundee is located where Barrack Road (aka Infirmary Brae) meets Parker Street below. The other side of Parker Street in the 1960's joined onto Dudhope Crescent Road, but these days it connects to North Marketgait.
I remember using these steps in the 60's, mostly on visits to the D.R.I.
Then when I had a nearby flat in the 80's, I used them again when going on trips to Dudhope Park and the Law Hill.
The short piece of film below is from the 60's and has some young lads running down the steps as fast as they can, which was good fun I recall, the wee legs going like the clappers!
There is also a glimpse of local residents, but don't blink or you'll miss them.
Viewing the steps from Parker Street now, the building on the right is still in use, however, the housing opposite is no longer there.



  1. .
    The tenements on the east side of Parker Street (shown in the photo) were built on the line of the, by then, redundant Dundee & Newtyle railway line.

    The line rose in a straight line from the Ward Road Station, by bridge over the road at the top of the steps, then, eventually, straight up Drummond Street to the motor house at the entrance to the Law Tunnel. The motor house contained the winding gear, as the train was pulled up from the station by cable, between the tracks.

  2. It looks like a filmed edition of Oor Wullie.
    I take it Fat Boab hasn't yet reached the top of the stairs?
    The Hillman Imp is the only concession to the twentietth century!

  3. Great wee clip. Can you please let me know who is performing the excellent soundtrack too.

  4. This tasty wee tune is by TRANSIENT - the track is titled "My Little Kingdom" and is taken from an EP called Magnets. It is available for free mp3 download on the Archive.org site.

  5. I lived in the basement flat in Garland Place (top of the Parker Street steps, back down into the basement) in (I think) 1979 / 1980. That winter was bitterly cold and the basement flat had no heating, no fireplaces, no hot water except a wee kitchen geyser that spluttered and farted and died. It was unbelievably cold. Absolutely bitter. One night, 2 or 3 in the morning, there was a hammering at the door and some of the folk from upstairs (we knew everyone in the stair) were running up and down the stairs shouting 'Flood!'. A pipe in an empty flat on the 2nd floor had burst with the frost and water was pouring out of the wall and down through the floors. We broke into the unoccupied flat, hacked through the plaster and found the lead pipe in the wall that had split. We pulled it out of the wall and bent it round the windae and out into the night,two or three floors above the dark arch shown in the clip. Freezing water poured down to Parker Street, roughly where the Hillman Imp is parked in the clip. We went to bed, pleased with our plumbing skills, it was too late and far too bloody cold to do anything else. Got up the next morning to find an irate neighbour hopping up and down in Parker Street beside his pride and joy - a lovely, metallic blue Ford Capri, completely encased in solid ice.

  6. I lived at number 7 Parker Street until 1971, when I was about five or six. I remember the houses seen from atop the stairs at the bottom of the Lochee Road. I used to go round to the local grocers near the Elim church regularly. Me and my brother started throwing stones at what we thought was part of the old bus depot but in fact was Bell Street Police Station. We had smashed a fair few windows before we were huckled by a WPC and dragged to our front door three stories up. Those were the days before asbos!

    Geoff Craig, Rieux-Minervois,France

  7. I lived at 7 Parker Street, top floor, from about 1954 to 1963. The couple next door were called Shilitto, and she was always locking herself out, so my dad would pass me through the lavvy window to let her in.

    On the third floor lived my gran, and a Mrs Moncur. On the second floor lived Joe Fagan and his folks. Can't remember the others.

    The west side of the street was demolished in the late 1950's. My pal Charlie Craig lived there, on the pletties.

    I remember there being shops on Dudhope Crescent Road between Parker Street and Lochee Road - there was a wee grocer's, and a chippie. Between Parker Street and the Conshie there was the DPM, an electrical shop which never seemed to be open, and a newsagent's on the corner of Laburn Street. There was also a DECS on the Conshie, where I would get sent with the book.

    On the south side of Dudhope Crescent Road was the Drill Hall, with flats attached. I think it was folks with the TA who lived there. That made way for the Hydro Board Offices. Next to that was the cemetery, which is now Bell Street Car Park.

    There was a sweet shop in Bell Street where we used to go on our way to the ABC Minors on a Saturday morning. I seem to remember there being a greengrocer's on the Conshie, and a great wee ice cream parlour, where my mum would take me as a special treat.

    People I remember are: Dean Noble, who lived at No 9, Bobby Paterson, No 5, and Eric and Peter Dickemann at No 3.

  8. Fascinating remembering Parker Street. We lived at No. 3 from 1956-68 and we were lucky to have an inside toilet which was uncommon in these days.
    Bill Monteith had the paper shop in Dudhope Crescent Road at Laburn Street where I used to deliver papers from. Initially to the 'big hooses' at the back of D.R.I. but then I used to go through the D.R.I. wards with a trolley selling papers.
    Tam and Jim McDonnel and their family stayed on the ground floor at No. 3 and as they were the first family to get a t.v. in the block in the 50s we used to go into their house every Saturday at 5 o'clock to watch the Lone Ranger.
    Joe Fagan and his family were at no. 5 I think and Dean Noble and his family were there too.
    There was a family Black at No. 5 as well as George Holroyd and his family (including Rita and Billy Johnston)on the ground floor there.
    We used to play football outside the garage at the top of Parker Street.
    Brian and Peter Connor stayed in Dudhope Crescent Road next to Elim Church and their dad used to take me to the football every Saturday. Dundee United one week, Dundee the next. We couldn't even consider going to away games because we had no money but once actually went to Muirton Park in Park which was an adverture in those happy days.
    But althought there are very few houses there now, the tenements in John Street, Little John Street, Cochrane Street, which were all opposite the tenements that are left now, were all full, with most folk working in the nearby jute Mills.
    The Duke of Edinburgh pub in Lochee Road at Cochrane Street was also very popular in these days.

  9. Joe Fagan lived at No. 7, 1 up. Dean Noble lived at No 9, Ground Floor.

  10. Theses steps are blocked off now. Should be done up!

  11. i stayed at no9 g/l in 2004/2005 frozen stiff for the duration. weeks later the entire close got double glazing. also there was still no secure entry system so there was regularly a homeless dude holed up in the bin recess beside the kitchen window, fair play