Sunday 4 December 2011


A couple of publications I'd have been lost without during the course of doing Retro, were the old Dundee Directories and old street maps.
The directories have been particularly useful because they list all the shops, pubs, schools, businesses and so on - a very handy aid for fuzzy memories!
I have 3 in my collection, 1966, 1970 and the 1974 one in the photo above, which was the final year of their print run.
Having said that, despite the fact that many of us depend on such official publications for research and fact finding, I've discovered you can't always totally rely 100% on what they print.
Take for example, the street map in the photo dating back to the beginning of the 60's. When I was having a wee look around my old stomping ground - Craigie - I couldn't help notice what appears to be a spelling mistake. The road connecting Aboyne Avenue to Balerno Street, I've always known as BANCHORY Road - but they have it down as ARNCHORY Road, as you can see by my red arrow. They also have it listed in the map index as Arnchory as well.
Forward wind 2 decades to their 1983 map and by heck they still haven't sorted it out properly - now they've printed it out as BARNCHORY Road..!!
Looks like the Geographia Cartography office would have benefited by employing a Dundee taxi driver to help them out!

Since writing the above caption, the entire map has been scanned in and pieced back together again.
So if you want to download the 1960 map for your own research, here is the link... 1960 Dundee Map
It weighs in at 20MB and is good enough quality to zoom in and view all the detail up close.


  1. The directories were done by Burns & Harris and I worked on them as a temp job in 1972. I didn't deal with maps, just the listings. They had a team of people, mainly students, who went out during the day to verify the names of the householder and the next day we had to check them against the previous year, deleting and adding, as required. It was the easiest job in the world and possibly the most boring too.

  2. I lived on Aboyne Avenue.



  3. Primo who had the Fish 'n' Chip Shop in the Craigie shops originated from Dudhope Street where he and his family had a shop from before the Second World War. My fathers immediate family lived at no 33 Hilltown and so Primo's was well used until they knocked down that bit of Dudhope Street in the early 60's. As an Art Student in the 60's I worked at Xmas time on the Posties and was sent to Craigie to deliver mail. That is from Xmas '66 to Xmas '69. Imagine my surprise to deliver mail to Primo's each year and to chat to him about the "good"old days as he remembered my dad and his brother George and Auntie Liz.

  4. I think map makers left in the odd deliberate mistake to prevent copying and re-using. Certainly A-Z London maps used this method.