Pages

Saturday, 24 April 2010

WINDMILL BAR - HILLTOWN - 1985

The Windmill Bar was located on the corner of Ann Street at 113 Hilltown.
Some of you may remember it as being a place that had a reputation for being "a bit rough!".
Well this wasn't just based on hearsay, it was well earned, so much so that it was actually officially documented in city council and police files!
In 1984, the pub was refused a late license because of the amount of incidents there was there. In one infamous rumble, a policeman was knocked unconscious. So the place could get a bit lively at times!
In their defence, the pub owners put in a complaint to local MP, Gordon Wilson, about the "continuing police harassment"!!
On the flip side of the coin to it's Wild West image, the pub was also equally known as a live music venue for local talent.
Remember Dundee group, Thynglechyme? Well their drummer, Mick Rafferty, used to run the Windmill at one stage, and that lead to many a late night jam session with the likes of Brian Reid, Willie Hastie and many others.
It even became a bit of a draw for the alternative music scene in the early 80's, with bands such as The Junkies, Street Level and so on, all playing there.
Talk about being "put through the mill" though, just to further "put the wind up ye", there is the HH prominently on display on the front of the premises... just as a wee reminder!!
This top notch picture was taken on 30th July 1985.
Photo by Neale Elder



22 comments:

  1. and did prince philip not write a wee poem about how "quaint" it was, ??????????????????? :-) also one of the only pubs i saw a bar billiards table in ,

    ReplyDelete
  2. That's right, the poem was written in 1977. Everyone must have been on their best behaviour that day!
    By the way, the wee shop to the left of the picture is "Ye Old and Ye New".

    ReplyDelete
  3. And I remember it was a pound a pint in the Windmill when it was a fair bit dearer everywhere else! Probably around the time this was taken in the mid-80's. We used to have a few in there then go to Tannadice to watch a young Kevin Gallacher entertain the masses,

    ReplyDelete
  4. If you enlarge the picture and look just above the McEwans sign on the gable you can just male out the stone head which sat in a little alcove.mac.

    ReplyDelete
  5. My uncle used to have a stable in the pend behind the Windmill.Do anyone remember.??

    ReplyDelete
  6. i think so, was that not where the celtic clubbie ended up ???

    ReplyDelete
  7. We used to go there a lot in 81/82 very small inside, but great music and cheap booze, it was worth the walk up the Hilltoon just for the bands they had on. Never found it that rough when we were in, maybe we were just lucky. Oh and the free stovies when the band were on a break were brilliant

    ReplyDelete
  8. I once made a small cine film inside this pub, back in the 60's with my brother in law. My mother in laws shop was next door, Clark's the Draper.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Had many a pished night in there, never found it that rough either, or maybe I wiz to pished tae notice!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hope you dont mind, I borrowed your photograph so people who escaped Dundee (myself included) can see what it is like now

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3371/4612551389_97e10a72df_o.jpg

    ReplyDelete
  11. i was Barman there in 1977,Vera and her Daughter Heather were my bosses. ;-) good old memories.Left just before Nationwide turned up with their camera team after receiving a letter from Buckingham Palace.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I remember being in this pub in the very late 70's/early 80's. Now I like a working man's pub, but what I remember most is buckets on the bar to catch rain water coming in, and a piano. There was a fruit and veg shop next door in Ann Street where I used to get my grannie's tatties. They were kept in a bunker type thing with an opening on the floor and the shop-keeper used a shover to scoop them up and put them in my bag.

    ReplyDelete
  13. i was a barman there in around 1965 vera mckenzie and husbsband ran it i was just learning barrells downstairs once brick through window ,i think many years before it was origonally a piggery

    ReplyDelete
  14. I remember seeing St Andrew and The Woolen Mill Band there it was a Great Night x

    ReplyDelete
  15. Regarding the mention of Thynglechime. I remember them well. I worked for Gemini Entertainments when they were put through to appear on Opportunity Knocks. They won it for about 5/6 weeks and wore pink suits. My fingers were sore with the amount of postcard votes I sent in !!

    If I remember correctly, the line up was Alan McGaughey, lead singer (not sure of spelling) / Brian Reid guitar / Kenny Gibson? base guitar / Mick Rafferty drums / Alan McKay keyboards.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Mick Rafferty was married to Heather McKenzie, daughter of Vera who ran the Windmill.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi maggy de do you know what happened to mick and heather.i was micks business partner in m.i.c joinery i moved to England in the late eighties
      and have tried to contact mick
      without success.if anyone has any info.can you let me know.
      thankyou. Bruce Ogilvie.

      Delete
  17. Maggy were you the receptionist in the office of Gemini Entertainments in the early seventies?

    ReplyDelete
  18. remember a great night in mid 80s, the best Dundee blues band with stevie doghouse playing.great beer and people

    ReplyDelete
  19. Did prince Charles visit the pub in the 70s

    ReplyDelete
  20. Interesting to find out a young Robin Williams played here. Who'd a thunk it? R.I.P Robin, you will be sadly missed.

    http://www.eveningtelegraph.co.uk/news/local/dundee/robin-williams-was-a-dundee-cafe-regular-1.518873

    ReplyDelete