Monday 31 October 2011


A scary tale for Hallowe'en...
I was told this story in the 70's from the girl it happened to, but to be fair, she was tripping on drugs when it occurred!
You remember how the 70's Overgate between Dixon's corner and Boots was often like a wind tunnel - well this one time, because of her hallucinatory condition, the scene had become really exaggerated, and so in her mind she thought she was battling against a powerful storm as she made her way through the passage.
She then spotted a hazy image of a guy in front of her, silhouetted against the light at the end of the tunnel.
As she got closer, she could hear a metallic jingling sound with every footstep he made, and this became louder and louder the nearer she got to him.
By now she had conjured up the image of a Frankenstein monster type of creature, one that had shackles & chains attached to his ankles.
Then when she got right up beside him, that's when she made her horrific discovery!
Here below is a recreation of what the poor lassie was going through - with the real explanation.
Sleep tight..!!!!!

Sunday 30 October 2011


Here's a couple of examples of public artwork that sprang up in the 80's, and both done by the same artist.
I took the top 2 pictures in 1985 in Brown Street near the junction of Miln Street.
They are the work of Stanley Bonnar, who is now more known for his sculptures.
The tree shadows were freshly painted when I snapped them but a quick glimpse at the same area on Google Street View shows that although the trees are still there, they have faded quite a bit and the wall itself is rather grubby now.
As for the dog, well it seems that has since been put down.
The bottom image is from a leaflet I have and lets you see what the place looked like when they were side by side.

Saturday 29 October 2011


If karate wasn't your thing, then you could always give wrestling a go.
Not sure who would have been involved at this event up at Menzieshill Community Centre - seems an odd place to have an "all-star" billing especially when the Caird Hall presented wresting quite regularly.
Anyway, not just all-star but all ticket for this do in '72.


One way you could get in shape to fend off bullies was to join a karate club.
This ad for Dempsey's Karate School is from 1972 and gives the lowdown on various aspects about the team and the club facilities.
My mate used to go to Dempsey's around 1969/70 and I remember going along with him one Saturday morning to watch a training session.
Afterwards, I got to muck about with some of the gear they had and this was the first time I had ever encountered a medicine ball. Blimey, I could hardly lift the thing off the ground, never mind throw it and catch it!


Some of you may remember ads like this cropping up in boys comics such as Rover, Tiger and so on, back in the 60's. They always depicted men rather than boys in them - another one for example was the body building ads for Bullworker. I think they were trying to make sure us boys grew up big and strong so we were able to defend ourselves when the occasion arose.
This one above is dated 1966 and was for a variety of books containing different courses to try out - things like Ju Jitsu, Self Defence, Karate, and a few others in that territory.
However, there are also a couple of courses in there that has got me wondering how they can help you when you are being bullied - books on Stamps and Typing?!!
Then again, I suppose if you chucked your Olivetti typewriter at your assailants noggin, it could do a bit of damage!!

Friday 28 October 2011


Here we have 3 shots taken in the early 70's showing the area around Charles Street.
Top image is the upper stretch of the Wellgate with Charles Street junction on the right.
Some of the shops around this location, such as Ken's Bazaar (far right) have called it a day and have the boarding up, while others seem to be hanging on in there just a wee bit longer.
The middle image is from the remains of Charles Street looking back over to the Wellgate. The street itself was connected to Idvies Street which would be further back behind the photographer.
The street sign visible on the building on the left is Charles Lane.
The bottom picture's view from the Hilltown reveals that the demolition work has nearly reached the corner of Charles Street, and so almost the end of its existence.
Photos by Gordon C.

Thursday 27 October 2011


This aerial photo is from the late 80's and shows the familiar layout of the central waterfront area our generation will remember it by.
Yes it soon will only be a memory as it's time to say ta ta to Tayside House, the Leisure Centre and other surrounding features because the zone is currently in the process of being redesigned and modernised with a flashy new look that's gonna dazzle us all!

Wednesday 26 October 2011


This creepy ad from 1988 is for Brahms and Liszt who were based in the Overgate.
They sold a mixture of greetings cards, posters and fun novelty items.


The Postern Gate was a pleasant wee arty gift shop in the Nethergate in the 70's & 80's, run by Edith Cunningham.
It had all sorts of craft styled goodies as you can tell from the advert.
I used to pop in quite regularly to top-up my art postcard collection!
The ad is dated 1977 and the photo was taken in 1985.
They changed the intrusive traffic light into a quaint lamppost for the illustration too!


Here's a couple of ads from the 70's for The Craft Centre in the Nethergate.
They specialised in arty gifts made from a variety of materials.
The basic top ad with just the shop name on it is from 1978.
The one underneath with the Beatrix Potter style mouse, is dated 1977.

Tuesday 25 October 2011


An ad from 1984 for computer dealers, Gate Microsystems, who were based in the Nethergate.
That typeface they used is called DATA 70, and still looks futuristic despite it being decades old!


This monster machine is the mighty PDP-10 DEC computer being installed at Dundee University in 1976, replacing their previous one, the Elliot (ICL) 4130.
The PDP-10 was not only able to cope with the demands of all the university departments, it was also part of a larger network connected to other Scottish universities.
Impressive for its time, but not as impressive as Batman's computer in the Batcave. That was able to digest clues then let Batman know which shop The Penguin was about to raid!

Monday 24 October 2011


3 views of the Cowgate area captured before all the demolition began - so 1970ish.
Top one is from near St Andrew's Street junction looking over towards the Wellgate side, with Walsall Conduits sign on show.
Middle image is a familiar view of the Cowgate featuring Wishart Arch.
The wooden business sign top-left of the photo is for Holland House Electrical Co, and the white building next door to it is Mitchell Car Hire.
The bottom picture would have been snapped outside Millett's probably, that's the Gaumont canopy to the right of the image, with the continuation of the Cowgate beyond and King Street curving off next to it.
The Wellgate side of the Cowgate has the Dundee Savings Bank on the corner, and you can just catch a glimpse of the Cowgate Carpets shop sign beside it.
No hint of any boarding going up yet, all premises seem intact and still doing biz!
Click on pictures to enlarge.
Photos from Gordon C.

Sunday 23 October 2011


An ad for The Workshop in the Nethergate from 1988, a place I know absolutely zilch about.
If any of you can do the biz on this one - the comments section is all yours.


I forgot Hugh Farquhar also had a place in Crichton Street - although they themselves seem to have forgotten to put Street in the ad!
I automatically think of the High Street salon anytime Farquhars name crops up.
Anyway, this one is from 1978.

PARR AD - 1974

This ad for Parr in the Ferry is dated 1974.
Sorry about the hair dye drips!


An ad for John Watson in Cleghorn Street dated 1971.
This was a ladies salon, which may explain why I don't know what posticheur is!
My old neighbour, Margaret, would know though because she used to do John's books back then.

Saturday 22 October 2011

JOHNALAN ADS - 70's/80's

The top Johnalan ad is from 1979 and lets you know the whereabouts of their salons.
You also may have noticed that the image is a merged photo of both John & Alan - John with the mouser, Alan with the beard.
I assume they didn't offer this look to their customers, but it does remind me of the time Jimmy Savile made an appearance on Top Of The Pops in the psychedelic 60's, with one half of his hair white and the other side black!
The middle ad is dated 1984 and just has their Crichton Street salon on it - but it does display their futuristic "Countdown" typeface logo which I've always liked.
As regards their outlandish third ad - well it's not often I'm lost for words on Retro but on this occasion, I'm completely dumbstruck!!
All I can add is that this bizarre creation was published, large sized, in the Tele in March 1977.

Friday 21 October 2011

RICKSONS ADS - 70's/80's

A couple of adverts for Ricksons in the Nethergate.
Top one is from 1979 and the one underneath, 1980.
Two well known local hairdressers who were doing their apprenticeship at Ricksons at the time of the '79 ad, were Graeme Merchant and Norrie McDicken - but in 1980 both moved to Salon 51 to finish their training there.
Norrie now has his super-duper place in Reform Street - Salonori.
No idea how long Ricksons itself lasted.

Thursday 20 October 2011

SALON 51 AD - 1984

Don't know if Eddie went here to be shorn, but this is Salon 51 in the Murraygate - going for it!
Ad is dated 1984.


This is the same Eddie as seen in yesterdays items, only this time modelling a totally different hairstyle, where he seems to have gone for a John Lydon kind of look.
I just put this image up to subtly flow from fashion to hair, and to kick-start a few days worth of retro salon action!
Photo by The Bear.

Wednesday 19 October 2011


Those of you who frequented places like the Centre Bar, Club Feet and other youthful dens in town in the 70's & 80's will probably remember (Fast) Eddie Donnelly.
Well after his first trade went bust, he opened up this fashion shop in the Perth Road, the clothing on the racks being stuff he imported from North America.
The shop may have been called Dan Rivers, not 100% sure, although that's a name that crops up on the funky interior design.
Eddies co-owner was George Craigie, and Billy Shaw helped out in the shop - this was sometime around the mid/late 80's period.
Photos by The Bear.

Tuesday 18 October 2011

NME FASHION ADS - 70's/80's

On the occasions when you couldn't always find what you were looking for in Dundee shops (which was quite often) and you couldn't always afford to go to London to indulge, then the mail order pages in music papers were a good alternative.
The ones above are all from old NME's I have, so let's tuck in...!!
The top ad is dated 1978 and features gear with a distinctly early 70's look - rugby shirt, cheesecloth shirt, embroidered kurta, loons and smock top.
The next 4 ads are all from 1981 and include a mish-mash of punk, new romantic, rock, new wave and soul boy gear, items such as - PVC breeks, denim jacket, bomber jacket, patch jeans, hardcore punk vest, jack boots (with the ad saying that they make Dr Martens look like ballet shoes!), stud belt & wristband, deck shirt, colonial shirt, Syrian scarf, cavalry shirt, regency shirt, leopard print trousers, stripy jeans, Bowie suit, pirate shirt, boating trousers, army surplus, Hawaiian shirt, tukker boots, and plenty more examples in amongst them.
The last one is dated 1985 and already there seems to be a bit of a retro thing going on in their ad with their mohair jumper, bondage trousers, gas cape, ski goggles, buckle boots, creepers and such like.
I'm sure some of you will have spotted your particular look!
I used to send for the odd item using this mail order route. One from around the 1981/82 period being a "Dread At The Controls" T-shirt. It was pertaining to Mikey Dread's radio show - and I wore that for years!!!
I remember Joe Strummer used to wear one too.
So anyway, it seems quite appropriate to include it here.
Click onto the ads to have a closer inspection.

Monday 17 October 2011


Here's a shop I never set foot in - Sturrock's in Panmure Street.
Ad dated 1972.
Not my scene maan!


I must admit, this is a shop I never even knew existed until I saw this ad.
Ozzie Boutiques in Exchange Street.
The ad is dated March 1977, so that should help jog your memory if you're struggling to recall it.
The latest fashions from London in '77 would have been either punk bondage clobber or shimmering disco gear, but their logo & typeface seems to hark back to the hippie 60's!
Well, if any of you have any memory of this boutique, feel free to pass on the info in the comments.


It was sale time at Alex Smith's in Commercial Street when this ad appeared in 1972.
For the gals there were things like skinny rib jumpers, mini skirts, mini jumpers and a clearance sale of satin & velvet hot pants (I didn't realise Smiths indulged!)
Amongst the guys stuff were car coats (remember them?), stretch nylon track suits, and it being '72 - good old Crombies!
Click on ad to enlarge.

Sunday 16 October 2011


Carhartt's appear to have ditched the Hamilton part of their name when this advert was published in 1986.
It's basically an invite to their factory shop in North Isla Street wanting you to go try out their range of jeans, casual gear and workwear.
Wonder how many people took them up on the offer?


Anybody who worked in the Levi factory, better look away - here's a picture of me wearing their rivals jeans - Wranglers.
This would have been 1973ish, having a game of shootie-in aroond the backies - meh turn to go in goal!


This ad dates from 1984 and is for the Levi factory up at Dunsinane, even although the address doesn't crop up in it....tele-communication only it seems!
A reminder that there is a photo of the factory interior in the October 2009 archives.
As you can see, Levi denim was so tough, even attaching them to 2 mules heading in the opposite direction couldn't rip them apart!
Staying with denim in the 80's - I remember in 1982 I visited the town in the South of France from which denim gets its name. Nimes - as in (from Nimes "de Nimes") - then shortened to denim.
The thing about it is though, being on the Mediterranean coast - it was far too hot to wear jeans, everyone just wore shorts!!

Saturday 15 October 2011


This ad from 1966 is for Whitfields' in Crichton Street, who were navy specialists.
Is that the only colour they had then - navy?!!