Saturday, 11 December 2010


This full page ad appeared in the Sunday Post in December 1973.
It's for Elena Mae who had shops in Reform Street and Castle Street.
The shop specialised in photographic equipment but as you can see in their ad they also stocked items such as binoculars, calculators and cassette recorders.
My old man used to favour Elena Mae's when he did photography in the 60's and when my older brother took it up in the 70's, he also shopped there.
I have no memory of myself ever having been in their shops so don't know much else about them.
Click on the ad to enlarge if you want to read the small details.


  1. That brings back memories, I actually got one of the Inablitz 5000 flashguns for my Christmas in the 70s. Lasted for years too.

    Didn't really like Elena Mae much, every time I went in the counter seemed to blocked by "enthusiasts" who never seemed to buy anything but spent all their time playing with the cameras and sneering at the ordinary folks who wanted to buy stuff.

  2. Must have been a hard job selling Polaroid cameras in Dundee when you could get one from a friend of a friend who worked at Timex

  3. Elena Mae had shops all over the country. Can't remember when they closed down, but I last bought something from a shop in Glasgow sometime in the early 90s.

  4. I think they closed down in the mid to late 80s not long after Jessops established themselves in Dundee. JD Browns must have went about the same time.

    I remember Elena Mae having a shop in the Wellgate Centre for a short time

  5. I worked in the Reform Street branch in the 60's, not one of my better jobs at all. They had what was the start of the target selling era. I fell ill and had to take a month off work, was basically fired and someone else taken on during the Christmas period.

  6. Just "googled" Elena Mae, as I saw it engraved on a stone on kirkcaldys revamped high street. Found your blogspot. Now at least I know what it means. Must have been an Elena Mae shop on the high street at some time in the past. Don't recall the shop myself, as I've only lived here since 1984.

    1. shop at 90 high street kdy late60s

  7. I worked for Elena Mae in Dumfries '80-'89.There were around 30 branches. Based originally in Dundee then laterly in Penicuik. Happy days!

  8. I was the first manager of Princes Street in Edinburgh.Elena Mae was the name of the boss's wife..Elena Mae Cook.As "Tommy" Cook was an undischarged bankrupt he had to set up a business using his wife's maiden name.Business started around 1948/9 when Tommy left his native Hull and after RAF service started with his first shop in Dundee.Any more info..ask.

  9. I thought it was Tam Cooks grand daughters name. Did you ever meet a branch manager named Iain Finlayson. I know he was in Princes Street before moving to Falkirk. Is your first name Bill by any chance?