Wednesday, 20 July 2011

BOB MACKAY'S - WESTPORT - 1960'S

Officially, this pub was called The Great Northern Bar, but the locals who drank there just referred to it as Bob MacKay's.
The photo was taken in the 60's at a location that no longer exists - the corner of Westport & North Tay Street.
For those of us (like me) who didn't socialise until a little later in the 70's, this spot here was the big car park space beside the Barracuda.
At the time of the photo however, it was the JM Ballroom that was just a few doors up from it, so needless to say, despite it being considered a bit of an old mans pub, the young set would often pop in for a couple of pints before nipping along to the JM.
The pub, along with the rest of corner area, was demolished in 1968.
Photo from Gordon C.

16 comments:

  1. I have never understood why Dundee demolished so many areas like this for no apparent reason. After 1968 this site was left as waste ground/temporary car park for nearly 2 decades until the mid eighties when the Westport roundabout and Hawkhill Bypass was created. A good idea would be to recreate the north side of the West Port, from this corner up to the Globe, there is plenty of room if they cut the 4-6 lanes of the hawkhill bypass at this point down to 2....

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  2. the demolition of old Dundee had absolutly nothing to do with backhanders to people in power from demolition firms whatsoever.

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  3. I really like the old, run down, shabby look of the place as it is in the picture. It would attract me to it like how the Scout and Tayside Bar did.
    Someone was telling me that Bob Mackays had a basement which was popular with the younger crowd.
    The building that's in that same spot nowadays is where adults go to experience the thrill of rigged tiddlywinks, so I've been told!

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    1. Sorry but Bob MacKays never had a basement. Just a wee snug partitioned of the bar with a coal fire in the winter.

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  4. Be thankful for what is left. Most of the old West Port buildings still to be seen today came very close to coming down in the late seventies/early eighties.

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  5. You know, I see these fantastic pictures of an old Dundee that I never really knew and I feel cheated. If I had been born 10 years earlier I would have experienced them. As it stands, like you say Retro, many of the characterful buildings were demolished merely destined to be waste ground for a couple of decades.
    I hope those responsible for this wanton vandalism don't sleep well at night.

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  6. Bridie, having been born in 1964 I feel the same way. Most of those responsible for the vandalism are probably now dead. Two of the Big Names who spring to mind certainly are.

    But it's not healthy for Dundonians to keep beating themselves up over this. Like I suggest above, we need to celebrate what's left of the city's heritage. And there's more of it than many people think.

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  7. Och Neale!
    Now I feel all inspired!
    I always rave about the merits of Dundee to whoever will listen but I really can't help feeling cheated that the brilliant, scruffy, weatherbeaten Dundee that I see in all the books I have accumulated over the years has disappeared.
    Oh to be transported back to the Dundee of around about 1880 then 1950 for just a day.....sigh!

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  8. I was only in Bob Mackay's a couple of times as The Neuk was a cleaner,brighter pub and was closer to the J.M. Ballroom.There is a lot of rose tinted glasses view of the old West Port,Overgate area but most of the former residents missed their neighbours more than the damp riddled houses which had outside toilets and no baths.Some people decorated mid December hoping the wallper wouldn't peel off through dampness pre Xmas.M

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    1. so true! missed neighbours, wallpaper! what was that.

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  9. I used to stay with my granny and grandad in Temple Lane in the late 1950's and the West Port was buzzing.
    Used to hate going to the shared outside lavvy on the platty at night though.
    The house was damp and when they got a flit to Charleston they didnae hesitate.
    We lived in King Street and it was equally alive and busy then, but my mum and dad moved to the schemes as soon as they got an offer and we went to St Mary's in 1960.

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  10. the houses may have been damp and outdated, but they sure could have been modernised like other tenements in the city were, and let out to students/young professionals who would want to live in that area. Instead they were left to rot to such an extent that nobody could see their potential...

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  11. I enjoy a lot of modern architecture, I always watch out for the latest creations, but the most interesting places I've visited around Europe are the ones who have retained their history. Whether it be Gothic, Baroque, Victorian or whatever.
    Venturing into the "old quarters" of cities is brilliant. All the crooked streets leading to places unknown, the chaotic life going on around them, the ramshackled buildings with locals who welcome you even with their laundry hanging out the front. Everybody mucking in and doing their bit. It does leave you with a nice comfy feeling that nothing has changed since the middle ages.
    A city who is hundreds of years old really not ought to be trying to model themselves on Milton Keynes!

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  12. What a waste given a bitof tidy up this could hve been like the old town in Edinburgh

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  13. BoB MacKays; a real spit and sawdust pub; it was our one of our regular drinking pubs when we were 17/18. He served a great pint of "Campbell Hope & Kings" dark heavy. I have never found another beer like it. In the snug you had to take care that your class did not get stuck to the ancient varnish on tables. I always wondered what happened to the collection of Toby Jugs which sat above the bar ?

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  14. Trying to settle a pub argument, can anyone confirm the location of The Neuk pub in Dundee? I remember it being to the right hand side of the JM Ballroom front door and it had a little neon sign outside. Thanks John

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