Sunday, 2 May 2010


When Dundonians of my generation talk about the Bowling Alley, it's usually on the subject of drunken nights out at the Tech Students Union disco, or discussing the bands we saw play there, but it's sometimes forgotten that the reason it was called that in the first place is because the premises was once an actual Tenpin Bowling Alley.
You can see in the photo above, taken in the 60's, that the original Bowling Alley premises was in the exact spot as the Students Union we used to visit in the 70's & 80's - the same doorway and stairwell on the corner of Guthrie Street.
The advert showing the interior, appeared in the Tele on 18th August 1966, a significant date because that's when the Tay Road Bridge opened, hence the references in the ad.
From the image, it seems to have been a popular place in its time, and although I have not been to this version of the Bowling Alley, I guess that it could be the same floor space which later became the disco dancefloor in the 70's.


  1. The Historian2 May 2010 at 11:51

    Classy joint but prefered it when the punk bands were on! Looks like this was the room where the long bar and disco was. I heard there was another bowling alley in Dundee back in the day but was very short lived, any ideas where it was?

  2. .
    In the previous thread concerning this building, "Malcolm Macnotellin" provided a fair bit of info about the Union in the 90s:

    He also did a sketch of how he remembered the layout at the time. This can be found at:-

    I must apologise to Malcolm for not responding to his posts and leaving them hanging - work work busy busy - and time just flies.

    Onnyhoo, if you look at his sketch, things might fall into place.

    There were two sets of lanes in the Skyline. One was in the area of the hall that was regarded as the main band hall in the 70s, marked on Malcolm's drawing as Back Hall/"Downstairs". The lanes here ran roughly east/west. The other lanes were right round at the other end of the building, in the area (on Malcolm's sketch) from 'The Pit', towards the north, with the lanes running, roughly, north/south.

    The pool room was roughly where the 'lassies' bogs' and 'Bar area' were, with the eight lane 1/24th slot car racing track immediately to the north of it. Across from the slot car track were wall mounted juke box and pin tables. There was also somewhere to buy soft drinks etc but I can't recall where it was; somewhere on the middle section between the two bowling areas.

    I remember building a 1/32nd Porsche and taking it there one Friday evening in 1967 for live testing. I had been a tad generous with the '3-in-one' and when it got to the end of the first straight, it gave up the ghost with oily smoke evidence of a shorted motor.

    It was a great place for a night out though. The most popular records on the juke box that year were,
    Hole In My Shoe by Traffic
    Baby You're A Rich Man by The Beatles
    San Francisco by Scott Mackenzie


  3. I remember as a kid my older sister and her then boyfriend taking me there when I was a kid, about 6 or 7-years-old I think. I have a vague memory of a mini slot machine alley for kids. I tried Brian's link to the plans but couldn't get to the page so don't know if they are mentioned on that or if it's the newer plans of the union.

  4. .
    I've just highlighted the link and dragged it up to Firefox's tab bar - it loaded fine in a new tab.

    Incidentally, I forgot about the other classic that was always playing on the juke box in '67 - "See Emily Play" by Pink Floyd.