Sunday, 30 November 2008


A familiar figure in Scottish football in the 70's & 80's was Dundonian ref, Bob Valentine. Along with all his weekly appearances in the top League games, he also took part in major tournaments such as the World Cup in 1978 & 82 and the Euro's in 1984 & 88.
Despite this hectic schedule he was actually a DC Thomson employee and worked in Meadowside casing dept.
The ball he is holding in the picture is signed by Pele!

Saturday, 29 November 2008


Not the clearest of pictures, but what I like about it is the gear the school boys have which is of typical of the time. The omnipresent quilted blue anorak and the ubiquitous football team sports bag.
The photo was taken in Lochee on April 1970 when 4 teams from Charleston Celtic left Dundee to play games down South. 2 teams went to the Newcastle area and the other 2 travelled to Newmarket.
Feel free to click on the image to enlarge/download if you think you can identify anyone.

Friday, 28 November 2008


Watt's in the old Wellgate, was a shop that sold electrical goods and music items.
The advert displaying their TV service dates from the late 60's.
Like Larg's in the 60's, Watt's had a record counter as well as listening booths, and this is where I bought my first ever 7 inch single.
Pride of place goes to The Turtles with "She'd Rather Be With Me" and it cost 6/8d in old money (about 33p!). That was back in 1967 when I was 9 years old.
The lower image is a reminder of the shop's paper record bag.
As you can tell by the rubble in the picture above it, the photo was taken in the early 70's when the old Wellgate was being knocked down to make way for the present one.
The shop to the right of Watts is John Temple the gents tailors.


Radio Tay began broadcasting across the local airwaves on the morning of 17th October 1980. The station's opening announcement was made by Gerry Quinn who also had the honour of playing the first ever record.
Here below is that very first introduction to the new station, complete with debut jingle!

Thursday, 27 November 2008


There was an obscure wee TV programme back in 1972 called "The Young Idea".
It was all about youngsters from around the UK who had unusual hobbies or interests.
Strangely, it was broadcast around 2:30 in the middle of the afternoon, so most kids would still be at school and not see it!
Anyway, the show came to town in July 1972 and based themselves at the Royal Hotel.
Not sure if they actually did the filming from here (like the Antiques Roadshow) or if they were just scouting around for material to be included in future episodes.
It would have been far too early to have a collection of records by The Jam, but maybe some kid had a collection of Dundee jam jars!
If anyone can remember any Dundonian who made it to the TV programme itself, feel free to pass on the details in the comments.
Let's find out what those unusual hobbies were!

Wednesday, 26 November 2008


I used to really like going to Larg's in Whitehall Street. I always made a beeline for the basement to gape at all the guitars hanging up on the wall, the drum kits on the floor and the amps in their wee room. Always ended up buying more plectrums than I could use when schoolboy age.
Another room in the basement area sold racks of sheet music.
Upstairs there was a roomful of electric organs and another area that sold electrical goods & records.
Underneath the photos is a reminder of the record dept.'s carrier bag with a keyboard design on it.
Below that is an advert for the shops range of amplifiers.
The reason they were highlighting the fact that The Beatles used Vox was because the ad was published in the local press on the night the Fab 4 were playing at the Caird Hall in October 1963.
In 1976, I made quite a major purchase now that I was a wage-earner. I bought a very expensive hi-fi. Huge wooden speakers made in Norway with a very powerful amp and top quality turntable. The amazing thing is, it's the same one I still use today. I have of course added lots of modern extras to the stack since but over 3 decades later, the Larg's hi-fi still gets played on a daily basis!

Tuesday, 25 November 2008


Goldberg was a clothing shop the size of a department store and was to be found at 11 Murraygate, near the corner of Commercial Street where John Menzies were.
It was quite short-lived at this spot really, just there during the early 70's to mid 70's period.
Unlike other department stores, it didn't just sell standard everyday style clothes, it was actually surprisingly fashionable gear they had. The gents/boys dept was upstairs and items I can remember getting from here for example were a yellow & white paisley pattern shirt, psychedelic kipper tie and 2-tone trousers!
Still being at school however, meant I was only allowed to wear this kind of groovy stuff at weekends!
The ad from '72 says Goldbergs with an "S" but the shop front says Goldberg without the "S" - so take your pick! 

Monday, 24 November 2008


This is an NME review of Paul Haig's gig at Fat Sams - the gig taken place in August 1986.
I was at this one, me already being familiar with Paul live, having seen him play with Josef K in Edinburgh a few years before.
I can't recall too much from the Fatties set list other than he did perform all my favourite tracks from "The warp of pure fun" album (which I've still got on vinyl).
Staying on the fun theme...although this was a Paul Haig gig and NOT a Haig/Mackenzie gig, needless to say Billy Mackenzie did make an appearance and sang a couple of tunes. In between tracks, Billy pointed to Pauls fluffy cropped hairstyle and commented "He's got a head like a squeaky ba'" then pretended to squeeze it. Pure fun...and a good night had by all.
To read the review, click on the image to enlarge or download.

Sunday, 23 November 2008


The Seahorse up the Hulltoon wasn't my local chip shop but this advert from 1976 reminded me that I used to pop in there quite a lot efter the futba on Saturdays & Wednesdays back in the 70's.

Saturday, 22 November 2008


I remember a lot of us wearing Wayfinders at Balerno school in the mid 60's. They appealed to primary aged kids because they were shoes with 2 novelties for the price of one. The first obvious one was the animal track soles for identifying various animal footprints. The second not so obvious novelty was a hidden working compass in the inside heel which needed the wearer to lift a wee round lid to get to it. The idea behind them was to encourage kids to have outdoor adventures, but the problem was, in order to see the animal tracks we had to stomp around in the mud which then lead to a bit of bother from parents when we came back home with messy shoes! Ok for snow unless they were bought in summer which usually meant the sole would be worn away by the time it snowed! Still good fun though.
I also seem to recall they came with a free wall chart or a booklet all about animal tracks.

Friday, 21 November 2008


In the early 80's, the decision was made to regenerate the Blackness area which had become rather dilapidated by then. One of the ways they used to attract attention to the buildings was to use art. The example above was one of the many projects to catch the publics eye. These Dundee transport themed panels in Bellfield Street were the creation of Kenny Munro, and were made using silk screen prints on tiles.
I took this photo of the car in 1985.

Thursday, 20 November 2008


Brian Sherriff's shop at 93 Victoria Road was THE place to go to get Airfix models and radio control cars. Just looking in the shop window was fun, seeing all the ships, planes and vehicles. It had everything you needed for model making, the kits, spare parts, wee pots of paint and transfers. It's heyday was the 60's when it was as popular with dads as it was with kids.
The above picture was taken in the mid 70's when it closed down to make way for new development on the site. The wee side street with the big incline is Idvies Street.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008


This is how the ABC in the Seagate looked back in the days when cinema's only had one screen. I used to visit it quite regularly in the 60's & 70's. Whenever there were real big blockbusters on, the queues used to stretch way past Gellatly Street car park. Another thing that I recall was when we were still at school, aged around 15/16, we used to get the bus into town at half-fare, then go see an X film! A double victory for school kids!! That was the only way to see Bruce Lee in action because videos hadn't been invented.
In the picture above is a full length animation called "A boy named Charlie Brown", released in 1969, and it just so happens I have the movie in my collection. So below is a quick view of the intro for all those who would like a wee trip back in time.
By the way, the other film on with it is "Our man Flint".
Photo by DC Thomson.Tints by GG.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008


This was a gig organised by Dundee's Dance Factory, who used a variety of venues around town when presenting gigs before they eventually settled at Fat Sam's.
This one featuring the Eurythmics took place at the Barracuda in the Marketgait on 27th February 1983, a while before Fat Sam's opened.
Although I was at this one, I was too boozed up to remember much about it now. All I can recall is, because the venue was a disco, there was no stage for live acts to perform so the band were just tucked away at the side of the dancefloor. I can also remember Annie in her grey suit and cropped orange hair doing her robotic dance moves which was a bit of a fad at the time with clubbers!
The band line up: Annie Lennox, Dave Stewart, Clem Bourke (ex Blondie), Mickey Gallagher (ex Clash & Blockheads) and Eddy Reader doing backing vocals.
Click on the image to enlarge and read the other bits & pieces on the flyer.

Sunday, 16 November 2008


A few months ago, my brother unearthed a batch of photographic slides he took at a David Bowie concert in the Caird Hall on 17th May 1973.
It wasn't a gig I was at but I do remember a few Craigie High schoolmates went to it.
This was a period when Bowie haircuts were very popular in school at the time too!
I did make up for missing out on this event a few years later, going to his 1978 gig at the Glasgow Apollo.
Anyway, the above colour images are the very ones from Bowie's '73 Dundee appearance, with quite a variety of costume changes during the concert as well, as you can see!
His backing band on stage were of course "The Spiders from Mars" and featured Mick Ronson on guitar, Trevor Bolder on bass and Mick Woodmansey on drums.

Click onto the photos to bring up the enlarged versions.

Saturday, 15 November 2008


Every kid in the 60's when first starting primary, wore a SATCHEL (A). This was the standard school bag starter for infants. It had a small window frame where we would place our name into.
Next was the DUFFLE BAG (B). A more casual bag. This was a popular choice with us kids because as we were getting more sporty, these bags were ideal for keeping your swimming gear and sannies in. They had a drawstring design for quick access.
As we progressed, around longers wearing age, it was time to carry the HAVERSACK (C). A rougher canvas bag that most of the seniors used. It was pretty handy for fighting too I seem to remember. A wallop on the head really hurt!
By the end of the 60's a new design hit the scene, the SPORTS BAG (D). These were colourful, trendy and had zips. They became even more popular in the 70's when they designed the bag in football team colours with club badges printed on the side of them.

Friday, 14 November 2008


There were 2 places worth a visit in the mid 80's in this section of Whitehall Crescent. The pub, Jack Daniels, on the left and Manifesto on the right, the fashion boutique which is still on the go.

Thursday, 13 November 2008


The 3 shops in the photo taken in the Murraygate in 1973 are :
Dolcis shoe shop.
The golden fronted one is the fab & groovy Miss Lewis, female boutique.
The green marble place next to it is Hendersons furniture store.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008


Although I can remember visiting Caird's in Reform Street in the 60's, I don't recall being in this ladies department above. There's a chance I may have been dragged around it as a nipper with my mum I suppose but there wouldn't have been anything there that would have interested me!
I do have memories of the boys/gents department, although I must admit it wasn't very inspirational - it was more sensible kind of clothing than trendy and also they supplied school outfits. I do remember getting what was called a car coat from Cairds, complete with furry collar.
The picture was taken in November 1960.

Photo by DC Thomson.Tints by GG.

Monday, 10 November 2008


In the early 80's, the Caird Hall was filmed doubling as a Moscow theatre in a play by Alan Bennett called "An Englishman Abroad", about communist spy Guy Burgess. It was broadcast on TV, Tuesday 29th November 1983 on BBC.
Also in the hour long film are scenes filmed in Exchange Street and Dundee High School.
I have another 2 items on this subject in my July 2008 Archives.
Here below are a couple of scenes taken at Caird Hall, including the opening sequence.

Sunday, 9 November 2008


Popular in the 70's were the "educational trips" on board the ship, Uganda. I wasn't on any myself mind you, but I do recall some Cragie High schoolmates ventured on trips in the early 70's to places like Gibraltar and Malta. These voyages were on offer to most UK schools, Dundee being just one of the stop-off points of departure.
Here below is a short film clip of the Uganda berthed at Dundee in 1973/74 dropping off some local lassies at the end of a Scandinavian tour. You may even recognise someone you know!

Friday, 7 November 2008


The building in the yellow & blue stripes in the picture is B.G. Forbes, the music shop up Victoria Road.
The ground floor sold musical instruments, sheet music and so on, while upstairs, (as you can see by the big PIANOS sign) they had the Music School.
There were different rooms for different instruments and I used to go to guitar lessons there every Saturday morning when I was primary school age - in fact it would have been around the same era this picture was taken, that being 1968.

Photo by DC Thomson.Tints by GG.

Thursday, 6 November 2008


Falling & Laughing was a local fanzine that cropped up on the scene in 1983.
It's main material was alternative music but they also touched on subjects like TV, theatre and so on.
Their HQ and editorial address was located in Strathmartine Road.
The example on display here is issue 5 which came out in June/July 1984.
The content includes new record release reviews, fanzine reviews, cassette reviews, TV review, live gigs, adverts and amusing graphics.
There is also a Manchester theme throughout which not only gives the lowdown on the Manchester scene but also has interviews with such Manchester acts as The Fall, Morrissey and Mark Riley.
Other acts from around the UK that are given either an overview or interview are Orson Family, Red Guitars, Prefab Sprout, Del Amitri and Implied Consent.
As regards the Dundee centred items, the page I've put up on view is a review of 2 local acts, namely Aaga and Altres, who brought out their own product on cassette (Whatalife and Rise) and both received a Falling & Laughing thumbs up!
Click on the cassettes page to read the large version.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008


This is Muriel, photographed in the Tay Centre Hotel lounge in April 1974.
Reason for her visit was the Deep Purple gig at Caird Hall.
She was a London lass who ran a Deep Purple fan club called Purple Stars International Fan Club.
Prior to her Dundee visit she spent 8 days roughing it at Heathrow Airport waiting to greet Deep Purple who were flying in from L.A., only to discover that their plane was diverted to Gatwick!
Unperturbed, she then went to Kings Cross, jumped on a train to Dundee to catch the band's first gig of their UK tour at Caird Hall.
She booked into the Tay Centre Hotel, where the band were staying.
Muriel managed to get a pass for the show, joined them on stage during the sound-check and took a few photos.
When it was time for Deep Purple to appear, she was overcome with joy and started sobbing.
It wasn't so much the guys in the band, but the music she cared for.
After a short while, composed, she got back into concert mode and enjoyed the gig along with the rest of the Dundee crowd.
Enthusiasm, determination and result - mission complete.
Next day she departed Dundee for London.


Not much of a picture really but the 2 doors in the top image were once buzzing with life back in the 70's & 80's.
They were part of the Tay Centre Hotel building in Whitehall Place. These 2 doors, however, were situated around the side in Dock Street and were an upstairs / downstairs job.
The door on the left of the photo lead upstairs to the disco.
The disco in the mid 70's was called the FERRY BAR, and played rock music.
In the late 70's it became JUNCTION 9 and played a mix of rock, pop & punk - the photo showing the sign above the entrance and the ad dates from summer 1979.
By the time it reached August 1982 it was known as CLUB FEET, and was playing trendier New Wave music.
The Club Feet ad dates from summer 1984, just a few months before it closed down in November that year, and underneath it is a shot of the Club Feet dancefloor being put to good use.
The other door next to it lead downstairs to a pub called the Centre Bar, as shown in the other photo.
It too had DJ's that blasted out music, but no dancing took place - and anyway, it was so jam-packed most of the time, it was difficult enough to reach the bar for a round, never mind make any other kind of bodily movement!!

Tuesday, 4 November 2008


Here's a humorous slice of satire from the 80's.
A variety of aspirations centre around the simple concept of installing a kids swing - with a very real kinda punchline!
It's all rather self explanatory.
Click to enlarge.

Monday, 3 November 2008


The ad at the top dates from the mid 80's and is for the Okhai Group.
They manufactured a variety of items such as product packaging, sweets, fizzy drinks, stationery, etc.
You can read the full list of what they produced in more detail on the ad.
Their main depot was based at 34 Mains Loan.
They also came up with an amusing slogan with a touch of double wordplay - "Okhai The Noo".
When Keiller's closed down in the early 80's, the Okhai Group ended up using their empty Dundee factory to produce their own range of soft drinks, including Meri-Mate. The picture of the factory interior above is dated 1984.
After about a decade in business, Okhai closed down in the early 90's.
Photo by The Scotsman.Tints by GG.