Friday, 4 September 2009


There is a picture of Gussie Park carnival in my October 2008 Archives from further up Fairbairn Street, this one here being down at the corner area.
Back in the old Teddy Boy days, they once held a Jivin' contest on the Dodgems floor! It took a little while for the city centre ballrooms to adjust to this young, rowdy, wild teenage scene called Rock'N'Roll, so Gussie Park was one of the first places in Dundee where you could listen to & dance to the music.
In the 60's, I remember there being a huge "MAFIA" piece of graffiti on the perimeter wall, but this corner area in the photo seems to have got off lightly. However, the building on the other side of the park, in front of the Tannadice stairs, has got a large "King Billy" painted on it's wall. Yes it was pots of paints in those days, not spray cans. You'll need to zoom in though.
When I went to the carnival in the 70's, there was definitely more stuff on offer than there is in this shot. It used to fill the entire area. Eh mind being on the Big Wheel for example.
Look at the overgrown shrubbery on the back slope at Tannadice. When you got fed up of the futba on the pitch, you could go look for birds nests..!!
Click on the picture to have a look around the large version.
Photo by D C Thomson.


  1. Your no far wrong there GG , when I went the whole place was "chokka" the empty bit at the top normally had the "rib tickler" and a "ghost train" and a few fowk asking you to chuck things in bowls or dartboards ;) great pic tho , cheers ! :)

  2. Yep another classic but wish it was from my early 70's era when it was my stomping ground. I remember the King Billy graff clearly and the huge THUNDERBIRDS... Also the little shoppe on the corner 'Carmichaeals'? Great memories, oh and also the Dive Bombers!!!!!! Scary tin thing.

  3. "Carmichaels" yip i remember it now, flehs ower the tap oh yir devon slice, slipped in a broon paper bag we a stra'berry tart ??? where were the poly boxes when required? its a hoose now , another great memory floods back :) cheers

  4. Shilton: I posted this on the earlier Gussie Park thread...I thought you'd be interested re the Dive Bombers!

    "I remember being suspended upside down from the top of a dive-bomber when it broke down once. With no safety harnesses etc, they got it started in the nick of time just as I was beginning to lose my grip. Not been on a carnival ride since..honest!"

    Does anyone know why it's called Gussie Park?

  5. Hi Bridie, yeh those dive bombers were very scary and primitive, glad you lived to tell the tale! Good question on the name Gussie park, be interesting to find out if anyone knows.

  6. When i was very young i wasn't allowed to go to the carniaval without my parents , but we used to find lemonade bottles and take them back for cash and go without them knowing, i used to think my mum was psychic when i got home , she'd clip me around the ear and say "That's for sneaking to the carnival" i eventually asked her when i was an adult why she always knew and who "grassed" on us , she just laughed and said "did you never look at the colour of your sannies" :-) PS the shop mentioned used to have their own stamp on their lemonade bottles as they were fed up taking everyone elses and paying out cash when the carnival was in town :-)

  7. About that jiving contest on the Dodgems floor. What I'd like to know is - did the dancers all bump into each other?

  8. wow, what a pic. some memories there. i remember goin to the carnival round about 1960. there was a wrestler, part human part fuck knows what. if u could last more than 1 3 minute round you won a pound. a tinky, who obviously hadnt had a wash in years went in the ring. the wrestler refused to grapple with him and just gave him the pound.