Saturday, 30 October 2010


1st pic - This was the main entrance to the original Rep Theatre in Nicoll Street. It had been here since 1939 until a fire in May 1963 completely destroyed the interior, forcing the Theatre Company to move into new temporary premises in St Columbus church in Lochee Road, a picture of which can be seen in the January 2009 Retro archives.

2nd pic - This is part of a mural commissioned by the Rep and painted by the guy in the photo, Richard Demarco. It's called "The Spirit Of Culture Descending Upon Dundee" and features a selection of local landmarks compressed into a kind of semi abstract skyline of the city.
This was actually thought "lost" in the 63 blaze, but apparently it was rescued and stored away until as recently as 2004, when it was rediscovered!
Whether it is still in storage or out on display somewhere, I've no idea.
Perhaps one of you could clarify that.
Photos by DC Thomson.
Thanks to Neale Elder.


  1. I love that description of Richard Demarco as "the guy in the picture". There is an online archive of his work hosted by Dundee Uni, but this does not seem to be in it. Perhaps you should contact them to let them know about your photie?

  2. In the early 80's I used pay regular visits to Edinburgh's Fruitmarket Gallery, then nip along to Demarco's Gallery, just to keep up with what was happening in the visual arts.
    I've been in the Demarco Gallery when "the guy in the photo" was in, and to say Richard had the gift of the gab, really is an understatement. He was hyper enthusiastic about everything, with a large dose of charm thrown in. You couldn't help but find him endearing.
    Bet he sold loads!!

  3. He was excellent as himself inThat Sinking Feeling!

  4. He used to go to The Gateway Exchange (run by a famous Glasgow murderer/writer/scultpter Jimmy Boyle and his wife/Lawyer)and get artworks from the 'rehabees' there and sell them for them in his far more up market gallery which made them more dosh. I met him when putting up an exhibition of photos from the Dundee Photographers Workshop (which was based in the DRCU), he seemed friendly enough but a bit manic, talked even more than me scary ;)
    the bear

  5. The old building "Foresters Halls" looks like it had a bit of history. The B-listing description states it was "Dundee Institute of Technology Annexe" at the time of listing (1995). Has anyone here ever been inside? The listing says the interior was "entirely reconstructed", presumably after the fire.

    StreetView doesn't show any sign of occupation at the Nicoll Street side, but there's a solicitor at the Rattray St end.

    The other posts on here mention a few other halls. There must be a lot of these scattered around the city, some still in use. I was in the Park Avenue one recently.

  6. There are still many hidden halls in Dundee. A simple door hides many. What about St Savids Halls hidden away behind the Nethergate. Not sure if it's still there.