Friday 30 April 2010


A nice summer shot of the Overgate, taken on 6th July 1987.
If you click onto the large version, you may even be able to recognise someone you know in amongst the shoppers!
Photo by Neale Elder

Thursday 29 April 2010


An ordinary, everyday scene of folk going about their business along Reform Street on 3rd December 1983.
The most prominent shop sign on view is the one for Wimpy, who also have the "Restaurant Open" sandwich board on the pavement.
Some of the other shop signs down the left are - Sixty Minute Cleaners? (it says 2 hour on the sign!) - Elena Mae (cameras) and the Cairds canopy.
The Christmas decorations in the city square are up as well.
Across the road you can see the main entrance to newsagent R.S.McColl. This is where, in 1984, I started to indulge in a magazine called "The Great Artists". It was one of those which built up into an encyclopedic collection, featuring a different artist each week. I was on the dole during this period so it was a bit of a luxury item for me! I did, after nearly 2 years, complete the set, and surprise surprise, I still have all 96 of the magazines, a sample of which can be seen above.
Nowadays I can afford proper books!!
Reform St photo by Neale Elder

Wednesday 28 April 2010


Although Princes Street was a place I was very familiar with, it being on the bus route into town when I lived in Craigie, I completely forgot all about that Camping Store until I saw this picture. It's the largest premises there too!
I zoomed in to see if I could read any of the fly posters on the boarded up windows, but they are all just a wee bit fuzzy to make out when enlarged, however, I'm pretty certain the black & orange ones are for the Dance Factory.
On the way home from clubbing, having to trek back up Princes Street on foot, a popular stop-off place for some grub was The Hot Dog, run by Alec & Betty. Mince rolls, burgers and so on, with the place conveniently open till 4.00 am!
This is dated 18th September 1984.
Photo by Neale Elder

Tuesday 27 April 2010


This is how I remember Whitfield, the 80's being the last time I was there.
It's difficult to get a similar angle on Google Street View for a comparison, but I reckon this was probably taken around the Murrayfield Place area, looking over to the shops in Whitfield Drive. You can make out the building that is the Library & Learning Centre, just at the base of the tower block.
Not sure if the Whitfield Bar is in shot.
Most of the "flat roof" look has since disappeared or been redesigned. So much so that I've been told that some Whitfield residents now refer to it as being the West Ferry!
They must have redesigned the map while they were at it!!
Whitfield was also featured in a 1 hour TV documentary in Feb 1981, as its construction was under investigation by the Dept of Architecture at Dundee University.
This image was taken on 8th March 1986.
Photo by Neale Elder

Monday 26 April 2010


Another snowy scene from 30th November 1985, taken this time at the bottom of Pitkerro Road.
It's also another example of buildings in shot no longer existing.
The premises, front left, and the tower block, front right, have disappeared. As have the 2 multi's in the background.
From what I've established it's only the group of Fintry houses, top left, that remain, alongside that brown building (school? church?), which is nowadays out of view hidden behind trees.
If you click onto the large version, you'll see some kids sledging, centre of the picture.
Photo by Neale Elder

Sunday 25 April 2010


Beh goad, this is a pretty bleak image of Mid Craigie's Kingennie Terrace... and it's just how I remember it!
In the 70's, I used to visit friends who lived in Blacklock Crescent in Linlathen, which meant having to pass this part of Mid Craigie on my way up and down Pitkerro Road.
Words like grim, desolate, stark, scary, would spring to mind and I never really felt safe until I reached back onto the Kingsway, where I'd let out a big sigh of relief knowing that I made it without getting jumped by the Mid!!
This picture was taken on 30th November 1985.
None of the buildings in shot exist anymore, all gone, even the street name has changed to Kingennie Court, which now has individual houses with bonnie gardens.
Photo by Neale Elder

Saturday 24 April 2010


The Windmill Bar was located on the corner of Ann Street at 113 Hilltown.
Some of you may remember it as being a place with a reputation for being "a bit rough!".
Well this wasn't just based on hearsay, it was well earned, so much so that it was actually officially documented in city council and police files!
In 1984, the pub was refused a late license because of the amount of incidents there was there. And in one infamous rumble, a policeman was knocked unconscious.
In their defence, the pub owners put in a complaint to local MP, Gordon Wilson, about the "continuing police harassment".
So the place could get a bit lively at times!
On the flip side of the coin to it's Wild West image, the pub was equally known as a live music venue for local talent.
Remember Dundee group, Thynglechyme - well their drummer, Mick Rafferty, used to run the Windmill at one stage, and that lead to many a late night jam session with the likes of Brian Reid, Willie Hastie and many others.
It even became a bit of a draw for the alternative music scene in the early 80's, with bands such as The Junkies, Street Level, Megazones and so on, all playing there.
The black & white photo was taken in 1975 when the pub looked rather grubby.
The colour photo was taken in 1985 after it had a wee bit of a facelift.

B&W by Hes

Colour by Neale Elder


This fine old-school masterpiece was done using the ancient technique of "paint pot & brush"!
It dates back to the 70's, so it is an original from the gang wars era.
Actually, that should read was an original, we now need to talk about it in the past tense, because despite it having been there all that time, last year somebody came along and graffed over the top of it.
Tut tut..!!
Thanks to JG

Friday 23 April 2010


Here's a crackin' rare photo that's been hidden away for a few's Dundee punk band, Quick Spurts.
However, there is more to this picture than meets the eye.
Although the guys looked the part and played the part of being in a punk band for a few months in '77, this was actually Quick Spurts debut gig, one that took place in January 1978 at Dairsie Village Hall in Fife.
It doesn't seem like it in the shot, but the lads were shittin' themselves after being shamed into actually performing live!!
Who's who time - FORREY ROSSCRAIG is the singer reading from the jotter and wearing the latest PVC breeks from The Crypt. ABE McINTOSH (behind Forrey) is playing a bass he bought that very day and brightening up the stage with his yellow Teddy Boy drape jacket. DODE BARRY is on drums that were only a week old, and the leather clad guitarist is FANTA, who although he knew a few chords, is actually playing a borrowed guitar!!
Some of the songs in their repertoire were - "Never Smile At A Crocodile", "Laughing At Cripples" and "Sweeties", a track that was accompanied by Forrey chucking a bucket load of sweets into the crowd.
Also playing at this gig was Perth band, The Trendies.

Big THANX to Gordon Walker

Thursday 22 April 2010


Formed in 1981, Erasmic Superfoam had a base above the Tav in Hawkhill where they practiced their post punk mash-ups of well known tunes.
After their debut gig at Art College, and a couple of tweaks to the band line-up, they got themselves over to Wilf Smarties studios in Edinburgh to lay down this track "Donkey Riding", the traditional kids song. It doesn't sound anything like how we used to sing it in primary school mind you, what with it's spiky, fragmented guitar going on, in a Gang Of Four kind of style. In fact, you could say it quite literally kicks ass!!
The trio making the wonderful noise are - AL STRAKER guitar/vocal - JOHN BUTLER bass - DAVE FEHILLY drums.
The track did attract the attention of John Peel, and almost got them a record deal, but sadly, much to our loss, it wasn't to be, and the band all rode off into the sunset!
The B&W picture above was taken in the 70's at the donkey rides in Camperdown Park.
Thanx to Craig and The Captain.

Wednesday 21 April 2010


This is another shot of Skeets Boliver.
Guessing from the relaxed looking scene, I reckon this may be them in rehearsal rather than in full flow at a gig. Not 100% sure on that.
There appears to be a recording device or mixer on the chair.
Anyway, although there are a few Skeets items already in the Retro Archives, here's a reminder of the line-up in the photo - from left to right - CHRIS MARRA guitar - GUS FOY acoustic guitar - PETE McGLONE sax - BRIAN McDERMOTT drums - MICHAEL MARR bass - STEWART IVINS guitar.
If anyone can spot where about it is, drop the info into the comments.
The picture would have been taken mid/late 70's.
Thanks to Mike Gallacher.

Tuesday 20 April 2010


Last March, you may recall I put up the B-side of The Grip's single, a dubby instrumental called "Musicland Pt 2". Well here is the A-side, a catchy vocal track called "Keeping The Peace". This was released in 1982 by the way.
Band line-up reminder - RONNIE CHALMERS lead vocal/guitar - NEIL FORBES sax/percussion/vocals - DAN STEWART trumpet/percussion - JIM GRIEVE drums/percussion - ROSS RAMSAY bass - KENNY BLAIR keyboards.
There is some particularly fine trumpet work in this, in my opinion. Reminds me of Donald Byrd a wee bit.
Anyway, they were a great band live on stage. I remember on the odd occasion when the mood grabbed him, Jim Grieve (Sykes) would take over the mic and burst into some improvised old-school Jamaican "toasting", with a Dundee slant! The band would then really go to town backing him up with some mad dub effects and a percussion frenzy that would go on for ages!! A very entertaining way to end the set!!
Lots of band memorabilia from all over the UK to spot in the slideshow too.
Big thanks to DD.


Back in April 2009, I posted an item to do with a Scooby Doo protest that took place in Dundee in the early 70's.
I put it up as a pretend April Fool, but revealed it was an actual real event.
Although it generated lots of comments, all of us were a bit hazy as to how it came about and when it took place.
Now I have a few details about it.
February 1971 is when the city square / Tay bridge demo started up, organised by Jimmy Brown and his schoolmates.
It wasn't just Dundee either, word soon got out to the youngsters of Scotland and not only did big cities like Glasgow join in, many of the smaller towns got involved too, places such as Fort William, Keith and Lochaber.
The protests all ended the same way - sending petitions with hundreds of signatures, into the BBC.
2 months later, Dundee's Jimmy gets a message from the BBC - Scooby Doo will now be returning to the screens.
A rather satisfying victory for those pesky kids!
The article above was published on 8 April 1971.


A new variant of the V-neck jersey cropped up on the scene during the mid 70's.
It was referred to as a high waist jersey, or as us Dundonians called it "a heh waister".
The design was based on an extension to the size of the waistband and cuffs.
The really exaggerated ones would have the waistband go right up to just below the chest area with the cuffs nearly reaching the elbows.
These jersey's would usually have hoops around the waist & cuffs too which would emphasize the look, normally 4 or 5 bands, like the one in my graphic above.
But as you can see in the photo, this dude is wearing a whopping 6 banded beast!

Monday 19 April 2010

YOUNG'S AD - 1984

This advert for Young's in the City Square, dates from 1984.
I remember the shop, but does anyone know anybody who actually shopped there?
Nope, neither do I..!!


I've never heard of DAKS gear before, but then again, I'd only be aged 5 in 1963 when this ad was printed.
"The world's top trousers" must have been affy popular though, because it says they were available in 109 patterns!!
And yours for only 6 quid.
Click on ad to read.

Sunday 18 April 2010


A certain elite group of Dundee gang members (ie - those who could afford it!) indulged in wearing the above Prince Of Wales check pattern in their clothing. Suits, jackets and Crombie style coats mostly. They were expensive because you got them made to measure from places like Hepworth's in the Murraygate.
I can remember only a handful of Douglas guys at school who wore them.
It was a rather short-lived phase though, on the go in 1973/74, and then that was it.
I'm fairly certain this was just a Dundee thing, and not a fad that was wider spread, unlike the previous boot boy look which was a scene found all over UK.
It is a good example of posh cloth being hijacked by a young crowd and being turned into urban streetwear.
A more recent, and longer lasting example was the casuals with Burberry.


If ever there was a look that reminded me of my secondary school years (1970 to 74), then it would have to be the Harrington and Crombie wearing urban bovver boy style.
This was as much seen in school as it was out of school.
The most common sight was when the coats were worn smartly with Ben Sherman shirt, Levi Sta-Prest trousers and Doc Marten boots, as in the top image.
A slightly rougher/tougher look was when they were worn with jeans and gang jersey.
In the middle picture, the 2 charming chaps in their Harringtons are wearing exactly the same gear Billy MacKenzie is wearing in the photo of him aged 14, I put up a few days ago!
The guy on the left of the shot has a dress blazer, clip-on braces and a rather severe razor parting in his skinhead! He must have went to Sweeney Todd's!!
The Crombie was often topped off with a red hankie poking out the top pocket!
Yeah, the 70's boot boys...they were everywhere!!


Around the 1972 to 74 period, Skinners ultra white parallel jeans were worn as an alternative to stone white Sta-Prest. Like the Sta-Prest, they were usually worn halfway up your shin to show off your Doc Martens or hooped socks.
There was a bit of a thing going with some gangs who wore Skinners to get a Clockwork Orange look.
The ad above is dated June 1973 and shows they were available in blue denim and white, and it was the white ones that were most popular. The girls wore them as much as the boys.
Around the same time, I remember buying white braces out of McGills. The most common type were the clip-on design, I however, got the button-down variety, as above, but it wasn't until I got home that I realised none of my jeans or trousers had any buttons on the waistband, so I ended up sewing some onto my Skinners just so I could wear the braces!!

Saturday 17 April 2010


This ad for Hamilton Carhartt is from 1984.
With their factory based in North Isla Street, I think it's fair to say their denim products were aimed more at the workplace rather than the catwalk.
However, as you can see, they made a range called Huskie Jeans. Although I'm not familiar with these, I was wondering if they ever became the choice favoured by Dundee's young trendies, or were they the 80's equivalent of Johnny X'ers?!!

WILDCAT JEANS - 70's/80's

Here's an original badge from the late 70's for Wildcat jeans & jackets.
As well as their own denim products, Wildcat also had their own shops, and Dundee had one in the Overgate and one in Reform Street around the late 70's/early 80's.
The advert for their Overgate store is dated 1988 and highlights that they also stock Pepe denim products.


I forgot all about this fad until being reminded of it when I saw this feature in an old 1973 Popswop magazine I have.
Embroidered pockets on jeans.
I have a vague memory of it being a trend the older teens indulged in as I can't recall anyone from my age group (14/15) going about in these back then.
Anyway, some of the embroidered images shown are - a Monte Carlo scene, Camel Cigarettes, flowers and a Miami scene.
Click item to enlarge.

Friday 16 April 2010


These photos were put up on display at the Rep Theatre last year when the play about Billy Mackenzie "Balgay Hill" was running.
They were taken at Club Feet in the early 80's and were sent to the Rep by Tony Cochrane who used to DJ there.
The images above are a bit on the fuzzy side because they were just taken in the passing from the Rep wall using a mobile, so it's not the original photos that are blurry. They do give you a good reminder though of the kind of gear that was worn to the club.
At least some people made an effort!
That's Billy's bruv on the dancefloor in the top picture.

Thursday 15 April 2010


Here's 3 examples of black & white footwear I wore in 1970-73.
1970 - One thing I really enjoyed was getting home from school, chucking off my school gear and slipping into my jeans and basies. Perfect for just mucking about in. In fact I think I probably got through about 4 pairs of Baseball Boots in total!
1972 - I got a pair of Adidas Samba trainers originally for doing P.E. at school, however it wasn't too long before I started wearing them out of school. These were actually my first ever example of wearing trainers as a fashion item.
1973 - The Spats were pricey and my parents had a fit..."You can't wear them to school". I did though, once they calmed down!! Dead comfy, I wore them on my early morning rolls round, trekked up to the top of the Sidlaws on a school outing, and trudged through snow & slush at the 73 Cup Final at Hampden!!

Wednesday 14 April 2010


The top ad for Manifesto, 42 Whitehall Crescent, has a rather curious sales pitch.
Although referring to those who are diminutively proportioned is obviously light-hearted, it did get me wondering if their clothing by Retour, Replay, Verte Valle, Chipie and Chevignon, were actually available in small sizes?!!
You may need to click on the image to read the large version.
Next door at #40, was another boutique called Wardrobe, who also sold accessories.
Both ads are from 1988.

Tuesday 13 April 2010


There was a fad started up in the early 80's amongst UK's fashion conscious youth - wearing your gear inside out!
Fleecy t-shirts in particular were popular during the craze, showing off the chunky seams that would normally be hidden away on the inside.
They were also deliberately cut rough around the neck, giving them a homemade look, although chopping up t-shirts was something I used to do anyway!
This tag above comes from a fleecy t-shirt I bought in Edinburgh back in the early 80's. I kept it because it had a cartoon character on it I wasn't familiar with! The garment was made by the "Naughty Clothing Co" of London. The flip side of the tag is designed like a postcard and mentions "wearing the fluffy side out".
I also remember Dexy's Midnight Runners wearing their trousers inside out... well I didn't go as far as that!


A glimpse into what was on offer for the clubber in 1977.
This page of ads is from "Blues & Soul" magazine, so would have been aimed at disco dancers and soul boys.
There's the draw-string jacket, zipped sweatshirt, tab pocket shirt, Hawaiian shirt, zoot trousers, pleated denim bags, soul bags (40 inchers!), and a variety of shoes.
I remember having a pair of those round toecap shoes in 1975. I can recall the exact year because I went to my first ever Northern Soul night that year, when I was 17. This was at a place called Poulton-Le-Fylde, near Blackpool. All that swishing and swirling on the dancefloor was an amazing sight!
I also remember throughout the mid/late 70's, the Dundee soul boys setting off on their allnighters with their sports bags covered in patches like a well travelled suitcase - "Keep The Faith" - "Night Owl" - "Wigan Casino" etc.
It was easy to get hooked on this scene because the music was so powerful,.However, I never became a Wigan or soul devotee, mainly because I liked a variety of music styles and fashion trends.
Youth culture in general.
Click image to enlarge.

Monday 12 April 2010


Here's the entire list of Overgate's clothes shops taken from the 1974 Dundee Directory.
Some fashionable, some not quite so!
The ads above are just 3 examples of shops on the list and all date from the mid 70's.

Sunday 11 April 2010


This whimsical ad from 1981 for Groucho's shows a parade of folk wearing the kind of clothing that was on the go back then. Various fads and factions in the mix.
The shop was still in Perth Road when this was published.


Sid Gripple grapples with what's happening on the fashion front for Dundee in 1982, and comes up with a rather gloomy outlook.
The main problem being that High Street chain stores churned out clones and there were no individual fashion shops of note, leaving Dundonians lagging behind other cities.
An observation I agree with.
Shops that get a Cranked Up "thumbs down" are - Chelsea Girl, Top Man, Virgo & Nico.
Dundonians who get a "thumbs up" are - members of the band Waiter Waiter, and Morag from Alien culture.
Back then, I was basically just a jeans & t-shirt chap mostly, although I must admit, I did favour, and indulged in, the post punk anti-fashion trend. Youths deliberately shunning the main chain stores and choosing to rummage around charity shops & jumble sales instead.
As well as being a bit of a statement, this anti-fashion look, in an ironic twist, then became quite fashionable itself!
I would occasionally enhance the Oxfam look by adding some Millets chic to it!
There was also a certain "skint student" logic to it - that being, the less you spent on clothes, the more dosh you'd have for booze!!
Click item to read.

Saturday 10 April 2010


A couple of quirky images to end the MacKenzie sequence.
The top photo is from 1971, and has Billy standing alongside the St. Michael's under 15 football team.
He was obviously a bit streetwise at this young age, as he is wearing a black Harrington, Wranglers and bovver boots. A typical Dundee teenager look back then!
Finally, I'm not too sure what style the bottom picture is supposed to be. I can't remember the Russian goat herder look!!
Looks cosy though!


The top picture is the "image" Billy MacKenzie is most known for, the beret wearing, cultured European look. Although the photo is from the 80's, I've no idea where he would have got those slip-ons from back then - they are exactly the same kind I wore at primary school in the 60's!

Style magazine, The Face, got Billy to do a bit of modelling for a summer fashion feature in August 1982. This is him posing with fellow Associate, Martha Ladley, getting everyone in a holiday mood.

Funnily enough, I went on a 4 week tour of France for my holiday that year and did indeed travel around with my white breeks rolled up, as in the photo.
I wouldn't have worn a shirt like that one though!