Wednesday, 3 December 2008


John Menzies moved across the road into these premises in Murraygate in the early 80s, the store having been vacated by Woolworths. Everything was on ground level this time, with the above record department at the far end of the shop. On the left is the Computer section and on the right were wall racks of cassettes and audio accessories.
This picture was taken in December 1985 and in amongst the album racks under "S" are - Shakin' Stevens, Status Quo, Simple Minds, Soft Cell, Saxon, Supertramp, Rod Stewart, Savage Progress & Small Faces.
Photo by DC Thomson.Tints by GG.


  1. fantastic site sir!

  2. great photo. my dad was the manager there

  3. I remember the manager! Nice man with dark wavy hair if I remember correctly.

    I worked as a Saturday girl in the toy and then the card department of the store on the corner of Commercial Street and Murraygate.

    Happy memories although I did object to the Royal blue a-line nylon overall.

  4. Ah, memories...thanks for this!

    I believe the "new" JMs opened in the summer/autumn of 1984. I actually bought my first ever single from the very same counter shown in the photo - Nelly the Elephant by the Toy Dolls, which no-one else (of my age) seems to remember, although I'm convinced it was quite a big hit. In the years before it closed, I remember that, for some bizarre reason that maybe only John Menzies himself could explain, there was a travel agent actually located within the store.

    Coincidentally, I bought my first album in the "old" John Menzies on the corner using a gift token I'd received for my birthday in 1983 - Bucks Fizz Greatest Hits. Come on, I was only 7!!! I actually remember that the sales girl looked quite frightening to my wee eyes, although I now realise she was probably a Siouxsie Sioux-type goth.

    It's sad that Menzies is no longer on the Murraygate - going there used to be the highlight of my shopping, even as a student at Abertay - but I suppose it's typical that the mighty Tesco quickly moved in after it closed in the 90s. WH Smith is no match. You can't buy Jetpac for the ZX Spectrum for £1.99 from there.

  5. I worked in the record department in the 80's.
    Managers name was Mr George Betty a lovley man he was,and there was Mrs Clowe,she was a scarey lady with pure white hair.

  6. Hey anonymous...I must know you then as I was in the card dept from about 1980-1983.
    Mr Betty was a really nice man and I got on quite well with Mrs Clow too. She was exceptionally tall and her bouffant white hair seemed to add another foot to her already statuesque stature.

    She didn't give me a hard time for putting an iron shaped burn hole in my gorgeous nylon a-line overall...I can still feel the relief!

  7. Graeme here's someone who remembers The Toy Dolls - Nellie The Elephant. In fact as a DJ I remember it did a few years later became a bit of a cult song at student nights.

    I remember both John Menzies shops in the Murraygate well, as a DJ it was one of the many shops I acquired my vinyl collection a lot of which I still have stacked high in boxes in a cupboard.

    I'd love to see some old pictures of Woolworths in the Murraygate especially the old counters they had.

  8. I also worked in the murray gate in 1985, on a good old YTS.
    Worked in the card department, then the stationery.
    Got paid £28.50 per week and £2.50 towards a weekly bus pass..managed to pay board money, dinners all week and fags....i remember the butter rolls, we ordered in the morning for break times...mmmm

  9. I rememeber going into John Menzies as a small child in the 80s, and there were real life Barbie & Darth Vadar handing out stationary to the kids!

  10. I worked on Saturdays in the toy department for three or four years in the late eighties. Great atmosphere to work in, especially at Christmas. Drinks in the "fire exit" were a highlight.

  11. HI, I used to demonstrate the remote control cars at Xmas and had a great few months, everyone was really friendly and we had a right old laugh. My Dad was the Manager but I remember getting into trouble for taking too long on a lunch break once!!

  12. Angela Fisher (Buchan)3 February 2010 at 04:00

    Angela Fisher (Buchan)What a find! I worked in both the old Murraygate store and the new Murraygate store! I worked in the record department for many years and loved it! Mr Betty......what a treasure. Great manager, great fun and very handsom.Mrs Clowe, well, she used to say 'call me the iron lady..I'll be the iron lady at staff trainings when anyone stepped out of line. Firm but fair I suppose. Does anyone remember the party's in the old shop? Especially the leaving party when we took over the tannoy and sung Stevie Wonder- I just called to say I love you throughout the shop?
    The extra pay packet at Christmas £28.50 and the bottle of wine on the way out on Christmas eve. Those were the days!

  13. Lovely to learn that so many remember me . Those days were certainly very happy ones in my working career. I managed to get a confession from the managing director , just a few days ago, admitting that the move across from the corner of Murraygate to the Woolworth site was a mistake - something I tried to tell him in 1984 !! Thanks for the nice comments

    George C. Betty

  14. Thinking back , I remember little " Angie" on our Record department - she always used to put on a Streisand LP when I was around , because she knew I loved that kind of gentle music . !!

  15. Someone earlier wondered if there was a travel agency in JM's.. There were travel agents in both sites. I worked within Blenheim Travel within the second site for a short while but know folk who worked on the first site (possibly Argosy Travel owned by the Automobile Assoc?) The travel agency staff moved into AA Travel (Automobile Assoc) in the Overgate and that's where I worked with them before moving to JMs when the AA were closing their centre in Dundee

  16. Wow, what a memory from my days there. I worked in both the old store, a maze of floors, corridors, stockrooms, basement. It was like working in Grace Brothers.

    I remember George Betty and Maureen Clowe very well, I thought Maureen was very Mrs T.

    In that picture are my old chums Shawn Anderson and Angie Booth...I remember the others but not their names...I worked in the book department with the marvellous Phyllis Herd? John Menzies is still a great memory and career highlight. Gordon

  17. I know the woman in the middle of the pic used to work in the spar in Ballindean road , Douglas, say late 80s, early 90s. Can anyone remember her name?