Friday, 21 May 2010

FREW'S - HAWKHILL - 1978

Here's an image I bet many of you have been longing to see - Frew's on the Hawkhill.
It's another of Neale Elder's photographs, this one though he took when he was only 14 years old, using his first camera, a good old Polaroid.
A few years later when he was doing his Higher Art at Craigie High School, he made a model of this very tenement scene!
I suppose the pub and the location has inspired a few folk like artists and musicians. I know Frew's gets a mention in a poem called "Step Row Nights" written by author/poet Scott Martin.
If you check out the comments on Retro about city pubs I posted on 12th January 2010, the Captain gives the lowdown on a few aspects of the pub as well as the variety of characters who frequented it - a diverse a range as it could possibly be in fact - from the "Carry On" team to Jocky Wilson!
Captains log...
And when Willie Frew wasn't in his pub at 157a Hawkhill, he'd be home at 22 Finavon Place.
Both rather humble abodes for someone who has achieved such legendary status in the history of Dundee pubs!


15 comments:

  1. Willie Frews. When you got fed up of the Tav (a few doors away)Frews was always a great place to get a seat. Whereas the Tav was dark, posey and studenty, Frews was really bright, always had a telly on and had two wee snugs.

    For years they didn't have a women's loo so if your girlfriend wanted to go you had to check inside and then stand outside it, blocking the way. If anybody came up, you would just say "there's a lassie in there" and they would just wait patiently.

    Spent many nights there with Steve Grimmond, Mike Kane, Jim Kane. Remember the last night of Frews when we tried to nick a load of glasses......

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    1. I have just posted a film on You Tube taken by my sster on the last night in July 1982. See if you're on it. Share if you want. Search for "Willie Frew's" or follow this link. https://youtu.be/fgXd2vG1tng

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  2. Why did Dundee planners destroy Dundee?

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    1. The Lord Provost owned a demolition company, Trojan Demolition, who "won" contracts to demolish much of old Dundee.

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  3. Because they got loads of back handers but t least a couple of them got sent to jail for it

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  4. I liked the Tav too, but always remember watching the toilet door when my girlfriend had to answer a call of nature.

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  5. Wullie & Bert took nae nonsense, ran a great pub, went to the Tap oh the hull and did the same, Wullie has retired now but the pub is still going strong, great place to go before the futba.

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  6. wullie frews was the best pub ever, bar none. it was mainly, like myself, art students who went there. there was no locals, as nobody lived anywhere near the place.
    wullie bought and moved to a bungalow in hillside around 1978. when the original tav closed in 1976, wullie had picked up most of the trade. when the tav reopened, it was a shitehole, so most old tav drinkers stayed at frews.
    as for 'step row nights'. "in wullie frews, we got the news, lennons been shot dead.
    well, lennon was shot at 11pm new york time, 4am our time, and pub shut at 11. next day it was never off the tv and radio, so must have been away visiting another planet not to have heard about it till the following night. or just made it up cos news rhymes with frews.

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  7. Shame you can't get any of Joseph McKenzie's photographs up here - he documented the whole death of the Hawkhill, as well as many many bits of Dundee

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  8. Was this bar related in some way to Frews at the top of Strathmartine Road which is still on the go today ?

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    1. Yes. Willie and Bert Mackintosh, who owned The Tavern next door to Frew's, jointly owned the former Plough at the Strathmartine Road/Dens Road junction.

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  9. best pint o80 shulin ,I worked across the road coming from school in my uncles butcher shop,next to the premmie club ,at one time we all counted all the pubs on the halkie , but cant remember now there was a lot of them

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  10. In 1969, when I first knew The Tav, it catered for three groups : students and lecturers from the art college ; a smaller number of university students ; and, at lunch time, a few old men who still clung to life in the crumbling tenements on the north side of Hawkhill. On Saturday nights the Tav would be so packed that one queued to get in, waiting in the inevitable rain for someone to leave and so make space. Mid-week lunchtimes were, by comparison, sad with a strong air of decrepitude and stale smells. Not, perhaps, the best place to get engaged – as, indeed, it turned out.

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  11. always love Frew's great for a carry - out after and Dougie Cameron and Annabelle Campbell, me and Linda Green, Chris Taylor, Lucy, yep, we were on another planet, was it a dream, must have been, Scott, www.ploughmanpoemforscotland.co.uk

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