Thursday, 11 February 2010


I have 2 items linked to Whitehall St coming next, but before I do these, I thought I'd put up a wee reminder of how the street itself looked back in the day!
Here is the lowdown on the shops in the photo, taken in May 1978.
DRAFFENS dept store takes up the full length of the street down the right. The wee shade structure above the door on the far right has "Restaurant" on it. You could use this stairway to take you straight there without having to trek through the shopping departments.
On the left, starting at the Crescent corner, is - STORK CORNER, babywear - HYDRO ELECTRIC BOARD - LARG'S, musicsellers, with the clock above the entrance - the 2 stripy canopies next to each other are NICOLL & SMIBERT, bakers/restaurant and FISHER & DONALDSON, bakers - then MATHIESON SHOE GROUP - and the one chopped off at the far left corner is THE DESIGN SHOP, household goods.
There were also quite a few dentists in the premises above the shops.
Back then, Fisher & Donaldson sold brilliant strawberry tarts, but only during the summer season. A pricey luxury item available around June to August, then when they disappeared, you'd have another year to wait before you could indulge again!
A wee bonus in the picture is the reminder of the Wullie Low carrier bag. A design that resembled the "Keep Britain Tidy" logo, but in red & white.
Click image to have a nosey around.
Photo by DC Thomson.


  1. Prior to being a shoe shop Mathieson's was John Menzies and before that, McGregor's Bookshop I think.

    My very first album (Pinky and Perky's Greatest Hits) and very first single (The Monster Mash by Bobby Boris Pickett and the Crypt Kickers) were both bought in Largs.
    Hmmmm....this ages me somewhat!

  2. Brought back happy memories, worked in Largs photo department in the 60's

  3. Your mention of dentists trawled up long-forgotten memories. My dentist in the 1960s and 70s was upstairs in Whitehall Street, above Largs, I think. Mr. Black, lovely man, glasses. Though I think my memories may be corrupted by the semi-narcotic gas I was given (at age 10!) called 'Twilight Sleep'. Having the inevitable fillings, I was completely stoned and remember being fixated on the plaster cornice that surrounded the Victorian room that served as a surgery. I vividly remember seeing a lion's face poking out of the (innocent) cornice. At least 10 years before I took drugs for 'fun'! Mr. Black, what did you start?

  4. In the distance is The Toy Shop - to the left of Gilfillan Church.This was a recent topic in Retro if younger readers are still trying to place where it was.It is now Your Move the property people.
    Re. Mr. Black the dentist. He used to be seen floating about the Ferry in a beautiful E type Jaguar (probably after he retired).

  5. When I was really wee I bit Mr Black's finger and wouldn't let go. He refused to treat me after that. I remember after one visit to him, getting gas and singing drunkenly and loudly all the way home on the 1B bus. My mum was black-affronted! I was at the dentist's all the time...rhubarb wi' a bag o' sugar every day during summer didn't help.

  6. Goodness me!
    How many Mr Black's were practicing as dentists in Dundee?
    I went to Mr Black (of MacPherson and Black) in Union Street where there was, two doors down, another dentist called Mr Black.

  7. Doonstairs in largs was the Musical Instruments, most importantly ..... guitars, I could never afford a Fender Stratocaster or a Gibson Les Paul, but there werent many Saturdays I wasnt down there buying a plectrum or strings and staring for ages in the glass cabinet at the really expensive guitars. I got my Strat eventually, but it had to be the 70's version with the big headstock like I used to dream about in Largs! They had posh organs upstairs I remember.

  8. I also worked at Largs in Lochee for a few years before joining the RAF, used to cycle to work from Fintry every day. Great shop it was, I worked in the photo department which also sold musical stuff, guitar strings and the likes. Mangager at the time was Sid Simpson. Just before I left it got taken over by Clydesdales the carpet people, another good reason to join up.

  9. That photo could have been taken yesterday. It still looks exactly the same, all the buildings still standing without any major modifications.