Saturday 30 July 2011


Not everyone had the opportunity to look down onto the tap o' the hull, but some of those who lived in Butterburn Court did, because the top image is a view from that particular block taken on 30th July 1985.
The bottom half of the photo shows the Hilltown clock junction, while the central part of the picture has the same wasteland area as yesterdays but from the opposite direction, ie - the Caldrum Street/North George Street location, and in the background are 2 of the Alexander Street multis.
The other image is of Carnegie Towers taken from Jamaica Towers, with a rather sparse play park in shot too.
Little did we know, that when the photos were captured, their time would be up a quarter of a century later, these being the multis that are due to come crashing down tomorrow.
Photos by Neale Elder.

Friday 29 July 2011


Love them or loath them, those of us who grew up during the 3 retro decades are the ones who lived with multis most. There were none before that period, and since that time many have come a tumblin' down into oblivion!
The ones in the photos here are the Derby Street multis, themselves due to be demolished next year.
The top picture makes a very satisfying abstract image to me and is of Butterburn Court, snapped on 2nd April 1985.
Middle photo was taken from the corner of North George Street & Church Street, and captured on 20th September 1984.
It features a hotchpotch of Hilltown housing, from the corner cottage at the front, to the derelict tenements on the right, with the multis at the back of it all.
Quite a lot of wasteland in-between as well, but one place that was active in amongst all this, was the cream coloured building - The Ladbroke Social Club.
The bottom picture is of the same area but from higher up, this being the view from Carnegie Tower on 30th July 1985.
You'll notice the rough bit of land beside the corner cottage has become modernised, and in fact wipes out half of Church Street.
The road running from the bottom-left with the empty tenement, is Caldrum Street.
It's good to view these Hulltoon humdingers on a grander scale, so to bring up the enlarged versions, just click onto the pictures.
Photos by Neale Elder.

Thursday 28 July 2011


Cruising on over to Charleston Drive, and this was the view when captured on 23rd September 1985.
The obvious change here being the 2 multi blocks in the background at Hillside Court and Gowrie Court, which have since bit the dust!

Photo by Neale Elder.


Traipsing further up along Lochee Road to the High Street, here's a reminder of how the scene looked on 6th July 1987.
Apart from the church, most of the buildings are still around today, although not necessarily as the same businesses that are in shot. For example the amusements have gone, the bank on the corner has changed and I'm sure there will be one or two others.
To zoom in and have a closer look, just click the pic.

Photo by Neale Elder.

Wednesday 27 July 2011


Stretching the full length of Lochee Road, the protesters march past Peter Flynn's fence down to the Marketgait and eventually arrive in the city square.
It was the Thatcher government who was in power at the time so needless to say they were the ones who brought upon the privatisation of the NHS, kick-starting these rallies in the first place - and still the battle rages today.
They'll be putting parking meters in ambulance depots next!
Photos by The Bear.

Tuesday 26 July 2011


Yes I know, there are a lot of photos to scroll through and I could have just plucked out a selected few to display instead, but I decided to post the whole caboodle because I reckon the people who crop up in them will not have seen them before, so thought I'd use this opportunity to include all the images I have for the participants and their families to see.
This NHS march was an "anti privatisation" protest that took place around 1986ish.
It starts off with the great gathering up at Dudhope Park (the DRI was still on the go back then) then from the Pleasance Bar on the corner of Gardeners Lane it snakes its way down Lochee Road heading for the city centre.
It was a good natured march with nurses leading the way, followed by fellow workers, unionists and family members. Even the police are smiling!
Some of the placards and banners are from the like of COHSE - NALGO - NUPE - TGWU etc...with a few home-maders too.
I will be putting a similar quantity up again tomorrow, so if you don't spot anyone you know in this bundle, perhaps you may have better luck with the second set.
To view the large versions, just give the pictures a click.
Photos by The Bear.

Monday 25 July 2011


The Radiant Health Centre was in the City Arcade in Shore Terrace, and here we have one of their posters from the 60's advertising some of the products they had on offer.
The items promoting healthy living were a combination of therapeutic goods, such as the kind used for rheumatism, pain relief, coughs etc, and the other variety were vitality concoctions such as health foods, diet aids, vitamin pills, bath salts and so on.
They were doing really well with their health-giving sales pitch, and then they went and ruined it by flogging home-brew kits that would leave you with cirrhosis!
I've posted it large size so you can zoom in and have a read.
Just give it a click.
Thanks to Brian Wilson.

Sunday 24 July 2011


One day in 1985, I went up to Camperdown Park with my camera with the intention of snapping some of the colourful autumn foliage on display. On my way there I passed this kids play area that I'd never seen before which seemed to be half adventure complex, half public art space.
The top picture has large ship shaped climbing frames in the background. I didn't discover until I read a Dundee guide book some time later that they represented the "Battle Of Camperdown". I've no idea who the 2 sculpted characters are supposed to be in the foreground but they look a bit on the depressed side to be in a kids fun zone!
Guaranteed to bring a smile though, were the leaping dolphin sculptures a bit further along - a couple of decades before the real thing started to re-appear in the Tay.

Saturday 23 July 2011


The jute industry was still going on in Dundee in the 80's, but it has to be said, it was nearing the end of its life.
Here was one vessel that was still supplying the foreign fibre back then - Banglar Robi.
This picture of the jute liner was taken on 24th December 1984 at King George V wharf.

Photo by Neale Elder.

Friday 22 July 2011


In February 1972, the Royal Mail brought out a set of stamps on the subject of British Polar Explorers, and needless to say, Robert F Scott was included.
I know he himself is not from Dundee or the Retro decades, but his name will always be linked to the city because of the return of the Discovery in the 80's, so I'm going to allow him a guest of honour spot.
Here he was, all dressed up ready to make an appearance on the Sgt Pepper album cover, but he just couldn't escape from that giant spider web in time!


From yesterdays royal visitor to the Tay, to todays royal worker on the Tay - the Tay Queen.
This ad, from a 1981 Courier, lets it be known that the Saturday evening cruise on this particular weekend, also included folk music.

Thursday 21 July 2011


Well I may not have had the exact year when the previous 4 photos on Retro were taken, but this one here is easy - 18th August 1966.
The car is whizzing along Dock Street with The Galleon in the background, the pub being on the corner of Dock St/Whitehall Crescent.
The VIP in the back of the car is Her Royal Hatness the Queen Mother on her way to the ceremony podium to give the speech that officially declares the Tay Road Bridge open.
Photo from Gordon C.

Wednesday 20 July 2011


Officially, this pub was called The Great Northern Bar, but the locals who drank there just referred to it as Bob MacKay's.
The photo was taken in the 60's at a location that no longer exists - the corner of Westport & North Tay Street.
For those of us (like me) who didn't socialise until a little later in the 70's, this spot here was the big car park space beside the Barracuda.
At the time of the photo however, it was the JM Ballroom that was just a few doors up from it, so needless to say, despite it being considered a bit of an old mans pub, the young set would often pop in for a couple of pints before nipping along to the JM.
The pub, along with the rest of corner area, was demolished in 1968.
Photo from Gordon C.

Tuesday 19 July 2011


What - no boarded up windows? That means this is a rare colour photo of the old Wellgate when all the shops were still open for business. Wowee!
This would have been taken around the late 60's then.
I can't name all the premises but going up from Boots on the right is - next door, Whyte's pub on the corner of the entrance to Bain Square. Massey's grocer and Hunter's household goods were in the next section up as far as the Kirk entry area, then up from that is British Relay and Watt's music shop. Can't really see much beyond that.
So crossing the road coming back down - I'm fairly sure that's a pub sign above where the 2 guys are - if so then that would be the Forester Arms Bar on the corner of Baltic Street. Can't make out the shops in the section down from it but that takes you onto Meadow Street with another couple of unknowns before it reaches LS Chalmers drapers and Malone Shoe Repairs. Coupar's Alley has Nelson Confectioner on the other corner and finally the bloke standing on the chair is outside the Wellgate Snack Bar.
If ever the phrase "A Trip Down Memory Lane" can be taken literally, then the old Wellgate is the place that does it best for me!
Click onto the image to enlarge and have a look around.
Photo from Gordon C.

Monday 18 July 2011


I don't have the exact year this scene was captured but this is what the view down Logie Street was like around the late 60s-early 70s, a lot of which has since disappeared.
The car in shot is a Ford Escort which were introduced in 1968 so the picture wouldn't be any earlier than that.
The Astoria Theatre can be seen in the middle of the photo but it's difficult to make out if it is still open for business or closed down. According to the Tele supplement I posted up 2 days ago, the Astoria shut its doors in 1971.
Ach well, at least the Logie Bar is still in the same spot today, so that's something that hasn't changed!
Photo from Gordon C.

Sunday 17 July 2011


The Plaza up the Hilltown was not a picture house I went to very often, once or twice in the late 60's/early 70's and that was about it.
In fact it had a rather patchy life after that, with it closing down in 1972, reopening in 1975 for around a year or so and closing down again - then like a lot of cinema buildings it changed over to being a bingo hall in the 80's before eventually closing for good in the 90's, leading ultimately to it's demolition.
This shot of the Plaza building was taken sometime in the 80's.
Photo by The Bear.

Saturday 16 July 2011


This page here is from a Tele dated May 1989 and is a feature about the history of Dundee's cinemas.
It coincided with the 10th Anniversary of the Steps Film Theatre who put on an exhibition to mark the occasion.
There are over 40 cinemas listed in the index panel, complete with addresses and dates, and there are also plenty of facts & figures in the main feature itself, some of which are quite amusing.
You don't need to be a serious film buff to enjoy the article, so if you fancy a wee read I've scanned it in large sized.
Just give it a click to bring it up.

Friday 15 July 2011


Here's a couple of Dundee big shots who were responsible for organising much of the entertainment in town during the retro decades.
Top one is Murdie Wallace, who, in the 60's when this photo was taken, owned the JM Ballroom, which later in the 70's became the Barracuda and then the Coconut Grove into the 80's.
Meanwhile back in the mid 70's, the Wallace family took over the Palais transforming it into Samanthas disco before it then changed into Bloomers.
So although we rarely saw the man himself, lots of us did spend quite a bit of dosh in Wallace owned nightclubs.
The other photo was taken in the 80's and is John McGuire, manager of the Caird Hall. So again, he would have been working away behind the scenes out of the publics gaze, booking all the acts who we all queued up to see perform live on stage.
He also managed a few local bands, Colossus being one I can recall, and I guess this must be the same John McGuire who showed up as one of the judges in a local talent contest that became known as the "Tiffany's Farce", which I've already mentioned on Retro in April 2009.
Incidentally, that's a photo of Doris Collins on Big J's notice board, and her act back then was "contacting the other side".
I can think of one or two bands who have died on stage!!
MW photo by DC Thomson.
JMcG photo by The Bear.

Thursday 14 July 2011

PETE HOOD & CO - 1980'S

There are quite a few examples of Pete Hood's work up on Retro because this is the guy who did the gig reviews and band interviews in Street Life magazine in the late 80's.
Here he is schmoozing with a couple of local celebs at Fat Sams.
The top one looks as if he's passing advice onto an aspiring young music journalist, but this is Terry McGregor who aint no would-be music journalist, she WAS one, although we all know her better as Toni Scott fae the Journal's Poparound page.
Most of you will probably recognise Pete's other companion by now, even if he is in his civvies, it's Lixx vocalist, Jo Doll.
Photos by The Bear.