Tuesday, 31 August 2010


The top item is an ad for the Rollerama (as it was generally referred to) a roller skate rink which was part of the Aristocrat Leisure Centre.
The Rollerama opened on 1st April 1982 - (the advert here is from summer 1982) - and the building was in North Lindsay Street.
I didn't visit it very often, just the odd occasion for a drink in between pubs or when there was a band on. I never found time to venture onto the roller rink itself unfortunately.
I do recall one time when I had wee nosy inside the place. I was passing the building on the other side of the street and I heard them blasting out a D-Train disco track through the PA, so I couldn't resist crossing the road to find out what was going on! I was on my way to the Sands at the time so couldn't stay, but the dance music they were playing did put me right in the mood!
I have some old footage (below) of a roller disco (USA not Dundee) when it was "craze of the year" in 1979.
So in my cheapskate bid to recreate that very visit to the Rollerama, I have stuck a snippet of the same D-Train track on from around '82ish to accompany the clip - and hey presto - my Dundee Rollerama simulation is complete!!
Well apart from one thing - I don't quite remember seeing fashion in Dundee like the skaters in the film are wearing!! 
Since posting the Rollerama item at the top, I have managed to find a roller skate advert to accompany it.
The reason I've decided include it here is because, in the "comments", the subject of roller blade skates cropped up, which lead to the opinion that they didn't appear on the scene until the late 80's.
Well here's the reminder that they were indeed available in the UK the same time as the Rollerama ad, as the "new concept" TRISKATE ad is dated November 1982.

Monday, 30 August 2010


Here's the Dundee Street Freaks out on one of their cruises through the city centre.
The picture was taken around the 1978/79 period.
Dundee Street Freaks was a local car club for those who liked to indulge in customising their motors.
This fine example above was owned by Ralph Seiffert from Muirhead. It's an old 50's model Ford Popular which had been impressively modified. As well as it's eye-catching bodywork, it had a 2.5 litre Daimler v8 engine, Vauxhall front suspension & steering, and Jaguar rear suspension. It has also been exhibited at numerous custom car shows around Britain.
The Vauxhall coming into shot from the left was driven by Stuart Clumpas, who was a student at the time. He later went on to run the Dance Factory gigs at Fat Sam's in the 80's, and more recently, organise the T In The Park festivals.
Big thanks to Angus.

Sunday, 29 August 2010


And so we reach the moment the Tay Road Bridge officially opened.
The event, which was broadcast live on TV, took place around midday on Thursday 18th August 1966.
Below is a film clip showing some of the ceremonial palaver.

Saturday, 28 August 2010


The last couple of ads has the Modern shop in Dock Street, getting a bit carried away with their sales pitch hype. According to them their shop was "One of the wonders of the Road Bridge Terminal", then go on to claim it is "The shopping experience of a lifetime".
Wow! Amazing!! Out of this world!!!
Bringing us back down to earth again, however, is McGill's - selling souvenir rugs for 6 quid!

Friday, 27 August 2010


Continuing with the adverts in the 1966 Bridge Souvenir Supplement - here's another 2.
I reckon Larg's missed a good opportunity to have a bit of fun with the wording in their caption, and could have related more appropriately with the images of the musical instruments.
They opted to say "The new bridge is another link in our chain of contacts...". To me, that makes them sound like ironmongers!
How about something like "Larg's - in tune with progress". Much better, and I won't charge a fee for that one!
Smith Brothers department store, on Murraygate/Commercial St corner, saw themselves as a city attraction that would get everyone flocking across the bridge to visit them!
They did have the Globe Restaurant I suppose.
Can anyone remember what their Mannequin Parades were like?
You'll need to click onto the Smiths ad to read the large version.

Thursday, 26 August 2010


Many of the adverts in the Souvenir Supplement I posted yesterday, incorporated the new bridge into their sales pitch.
Here's a couple of examples...
Timex manage to use the idea of "modern engineering and design" to relate it to their own product.
Winter's, in Shore Terrace, go for a bit of witty word play in their ad with the phrase "The Modern Approach To Printing" going along the side of the bridge.
Having all that machinery on the roof looks a bit dangerous mind you!!
Click on images to enlarge.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010


To celebrate the opening of the Tay Road Bridge, the Evening Telegraph issued a couple of souvenir supplements.
The one above is the 2nd of them which came out on Wednesday 17th August 1966, the day before the official opening.
Inside it has lots of information about the building of the bridge, technical details, a bit about the guys who built it, the workers who died and an optimistic outlook for how Dundee would prosper in the future.
There are also loads of local ads, some of which I'll put up next.
The face on the front of the supplement is one of the men who worked on the bridge, Tony Curran of Inverkeithing.
It also features some of the Fifie workers who would be losing their jobs at Craig Pier's Ferries, but were given work on the bridge as toll collectors, patrolmen and so on.
You can see on the film clip below, some of the construction work being done.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010


During the early to mid 60's period, before the Tay Road Bridge had been completed, the Dundee public were given occasional glimpses into the future as to how the new bridge would look. Most often it would be artists impressions showing the slick design, other times we would be shown images of models like the ones above.
This item about the bridge comes from a 1964 DC Thomson publication called "Dundee and round about" and has on display, models of the twin columns and the inner ring road approach. This was 2 years before the bridge opened, so it was all looking very modern at the time of course!
These were the actual models that were used during the planning stage when it was work in progress, and you can see these very models crop up in the short film clip below, showing the bridge design team in action!
Click image above to read the enlarged version.
Thanks to Neale Elder for the above items.

Monday, 23 August 2010


Not quite the 7 weekies, but my wee break was enjoyable just the same.
Time to get back into Retro mode again though!
Talking of summer breaks, here's a neat little poem on the subject of school holidays called "Seevin Weekies", written by local journalist & author David Phillips. He used to write using the Dundee tongue in publications such as Peoples Journal and Scots Magazine. DP also published a few books in his time, with this poem taken from a 1972 book of his titled "Oor Dundee".
7 witty verses to make you smile.
You should be able to read it ok as it is, but if you're you're struggling, click on the image to ENLARGE.