Friday 31 January 2014

Conclusion to Photopolis series : Hawkhill

This photograph, concluding this series of the Photopolis photographic resource, shows the north side of the Hawkhill at the junction with Bellfield Lane at the left (in the west).

Alexander Wilson's Dining Rooms and Coffeehouse were at No. 167. One of the advertisements on the gable end are for the Dundee Select Choir's performance of Handel's oratorio "Samson" at the Kinnaird Hall.

The Dundee Directory lists the other shops as Mrs G. Harper, tobacconist, Mrs A. Boyack, draper, The Annandale Dairy Company, Isabella Miller, fruiterer, and Miss F. Sheriff, confectioner. Then comes Lowden's Alley.

Thursday 30 January 2014

Photopolis : Session Street

The original caption is misleading, as the photograph shows Dundee's Scouringburn, whose layout was incorporated into the new Hawkhill section of the city's inner ring road system in the 1970s, here seen leading westwards, Session Street to the right.

Mrs J. McManus, the general dealer, is first listed at No. 13 Scouringburn in the Dundee Directory for 1888-89. The 1893-94 edition has John Finnigan as the owner of the public house at No. 15, the Celtic Bar.

James P. Casey is described there as 'dealer in furniture, left-off clothing, antiquarian and general bookseller, and licensed broker'. Their advertisement says Mr and Mrs Casey will pay good prices in cash for any part of anyone's 'superfluous wardrobe'.

Wednesday 29 January 2014

Photopolis : Scott's Close

The Dundee Directory for 1895-96 lists two streets in the city called Scott’s Close. One is given at No. 97 Overgate, and the No. 6 Hawkhill.   It is impossible to say categorically which this is.

This photograph shows an alleyway between two tenement blocks, with a gaslight attached to the left-hand side.   The image is important, because shortly afterwards the buildings were demolished.

Tuesday 28 January 2014

Adult learning in the West End

The new Dundee City Council adult learning newsletter is now available and you can download it here.

The following courses are available in the West End :

Photopolis : Balfour Street Public School

A School Board was set up in Dundee in 1873 and under its direction a number of new schools were set up, including the Balfour Street Public School.

In 1894, there were 23 schools under the School Board, with accommodation for 21,000 scholars. 

By 1913, the School Board was employing 585 teachers in Dundee.

Monday 27 January 2014

Roseangle Playpark Campaign - Kids Movie Screening

Kids Movie Screening - The Aristocrats

When: Saturday February 1st at 1.30pm

Venue: The Hannah Maclure centre (Abertay University Student Centre)

A relaxed fun afternoon viewing a family film - The Aristocrats. 

Crafts and activities from 1.30pm with the film starting just after 2pm. We will have a number of play-park 'mood boards' on display so it will be chance for kids and grown-ups to share their ideas for the park.

Admission is free but suggested donation to the park- fund is £3 per person.

Food and drink is available to purchase from the other venues in the Abertay University Student Centre.

Due to limited spaces please book a place by clicking here.

Photopolis : Perth Road at Hermonhill

This photograph shows a section of Dundee's Perth Road's north side, looking to the west, with a no longer extant road at the righthand side.

The taller block is Hermonhill (numbered 21-27 Perth Road), the smaller one Hermonhill Terrace (1-6, disregarding continuous numbering of Perth Road). George H. Gibb, the town postmaster, lived at No. 21, Hermonhill House.

In 1895, the residents of the terrace included Mrs J. McCheyne (widow of the Rev. J. M. McCheyne, a [prominent Dundonian preacher), George A. Harris, an architect, and the undertaker William Scarlett, who had offices in Ann Street and Logie Street.

Sunday 26 January 2014

Dark Dundee website! @DarkDundee

I've recently been in correspondence with Stewart Heaton about his excellent new Dark Dundee website.   As the site suggests:
"Take a walk with us as we explore myth, legend and many a dastardly deed from the Dundee of old.  Who knows what you might find whilst investigating Dark Dundee?"
You can see the site at

Photopolis : Nethergate

This photograph of the north side of Dundee's Nethergate at the junction with Tay Street Lane dates from after 1891, after which point numbers in that section were altered after extensive building works. The image may date from shortly afterwards.

As there are no names on any of the shops, it is difficult to date the picture with any greater accuracy. The low building at the righthand side (and east) housed the galleries of J. Gonnella & Co., a family of Italian sculptors, several of them consuls.

The corner establishment was the wine and spirits business belonging to Peter Fenwick. Before 1891, he was listed at No. 97. Afterwards, it was No.103, although not long afterwards, No. 105a (a confectionery owned by A. C. Davidson) was added.

Saturday 25 January 2014

Solar Cities Scotland - West End Thermal Imaging Offer

Updates below from CĂ©line Moyes of Solar Cities Scotland who will be carrying out a free thermal imaging campaign in the West End in early February.  She is now inviting applications from local householders who would like to benefit from this exercise.   This is a fantastic opportunity for householders as the cost of an individual thermal imaging survey could be as much as £350 per property:

Photopolis : Tay Street

St David's Church, Tay Street, was originally a "Tabernacle" church built by the Haldane Brothers in 1800. It was purchased by the Town Council in the early 19th century. Large scale alterations followed. The church was occupied until May 1947.

It was purchased by J. M. Wallace who transformed it into a popular dance hall, the J M Ballroom, which first opened in 1954. It continued under various names until it burned down in October 1994.

Friday 24 January 2014

Photopolis : Tay Square

Tay Square is the present-day location of The Rep theatre. It stands to the west of South Tay Street, which runs north from Nethergate to the junction with Overgate to the east and West Port to the west.

It is impossible to date this photograph by Alexander Wilson as not only are there no visible names, but there was very little change of ownership over a considerable time span anyway. No 9. (the house behind the central tree!) was home to James H. Laing. 

No. 10 belonged to David Ogilvy, tailor, and No. 11 is listed in the Dundee Directory as Peter Steven FRCSE, a surgeon. The photographer set up in front of Tay Square United Free Church (ministered to by Rev. Robert Lang), looking north.

Thursday 23 January 2014

Photopolis : Logie House

The manor house of Logie was apparently in existence prior to 1660, but from 1722-78 extensive alterations were carried out.   The building was demolished in 1908.    

Cleghorn Street was named after William Cleghorn, manufacturer, who long occupied Logie House as tenant, and afterwards became proprietor of the estate of Logie.   Following the removal of Logie House, tenements were erected on the most of the lands.

Wednesday 22 January 2014

Photopolis : Blackness House

Blackness House was a picturesque 17th century mansion, demolished before World War II. It is shown on Ordnance Survey maps of the periods in extensive grounds, and a bowling green to the south side, the North Lodge House being on Blackness Road.

In 1867, J. B. Brechin published a list of paintings by the old masters in the Blackness House Gallery, which included Giotto, Bruegel, Gainsborough, Rembrandt, Raphael, Rubens and Titian.

In 1894, when Alexander Wilson took this photograph, Blackness House belonged to John E. Prain, listed in the Dundee Directory as a manufacturer. James Prain and Sons, spinners and manufacturers, owned Larchfield Works in Walton Street.

Monday 20 January 2014

Sunday 19 January 2014

Saturday 18 January 2014

Photopolis : Perth Road at Invercauld Place

This photograph shows part of Dundee's Perth Road, known as Invercauld Place, here leading eastwards towards the city centre.

No. 153 was Sarah Campbell, a fruiterer, and No. 151 John Farquharson & Sons, 'plumber, gasfitter, tinsmith & brassfounder'. George Christe, a grocer, had a shop at No. 149, and another fruiterer was at No. 145, John (later Mrs John) Peebles.

No. 143 was the grocer, David (later Mrs David) Sewart and, beyond Pennycook Lane, which led northwards to Hawkhill, was a butcher shop, which was probably what is listed in the Dundee Directory as John Birse, flesher, at No. 133.

Friday 17 January 2014

Getting things done ... Cleghorn Street

I have received residents' complaints about the state of the road surface of Cleghorn Street at its junction with Rosebery Street - see below:
I have reported this to the City Council's Roads Maintenance Partnership and asked for repairs to be carried out.

Photopolis : Windsor Terrace

This latest photograph of this short series of West End historical photographs is of Perth Road.   Although “Perth Road” is absolutely correct, residents of this section of the north side of Dundee's Perth Road preferred to have their mail addressed to Windsor Terrace.

Residents of the block in 1895 included David Dewar, the superintendent of police, James Walker, Professor of Chemistry and University College, George Haggart, a solicitor, and John B. Hay, a builder.

In 1905, three were still there: Haggart had been replaced by Henry William Rennie, a merchant. Mrs James Burdon [sic], a spirit merchant in 1895, has been replaced by Duncan Macnab Burden, a solicitor, at No. 2 by 1905.

Thursday 16 January 2014

Photopolis : Hawkhill, taken from West Port

This view of the Hawkhill in Dundee is taken from the West Port, looking west.

Thomas Aitken's public house, The Globe, is listed in the Dundee Directory as Nos. 57 and 59 West Port, and is still so named today. Behind it is Johnston's Lane.

No. 1 Hawkhill is listed in the Dundee Directory as John Mathieson, broker, which may have been the West Port Loans Office. M. Boland & Co.'s clothiery was Nos. 20 and 24 Hawkhill.

Wednesday 15 January 2014

Photopolis : Perth Road at St Peter Street

This Photopolis photograph shows Perth Road at St Peter Street.    

It shows the north side of Perth Road running eastwards to the right towards the city centre, with St Peter Street leading north to the left.

Alexander Sutton, The West End Supply Stores, was at No. 121 Perth Street. Notice the peculiar barrow in St Peter Street. Sutton lived at No. 4 Gowrie Street. The confectioner at No. 199 was David Kermack. No. 117 was George Pickles' West End Hosiery.

Alexander Thompson Watt at No. 115 was a butcher, with other shops at No. 4 Wellgate, No. 30 Victoria Road, No. 112 Ann Street and No. 40 Overgate. The tailor / clothier at No. 113 was George Pullar, and the bootmaker at No. 111 was David Fairweather.

Tuesday 14 January 2014

Photopolis : Perth Road at Springfield

This undated photograph shows the north side of Perth Road, Dundee, looking west and left from the south end of Springfield.

The hairdressing and shampooing rooms at No. 37 belonged to John Fisher & Son, listed as 'hairdresser and perfumer' specialising in ornamental hair. He lived at No. 56 Magdalen Yard Road. No. 41 was William Moffatt, bookseller, stationer and tobacconist.

Nos. 43 Perth Road was Mrs J. M. Robertson's West End Livery Stables, listed in the Dundee Directory as Nos. 45 and 57 too. She lived at No. 1 Strawberrybank. The company stables were at No. 32.5 King Street. D. D. Robertson lived at No. 45 Perth Road.

Monday 13 January 2014

Photopolis : Harris Academy in Park Place

Here's another fascinating West End photograph from Photopolis - the old Harris Academy in Park Place, that opened in 1885 but was replaced by the Perth Road building (currently being replaced) in the 1930s :

Sunday 12 January 2014

Poundstretcher car park - Lochee Road

A constituent recently expressed concern to me at the extremely poor state of the car park at the Poundstretcher store on Lochee Road - the photo (below) shows how broken-down the surface has become.
So many thanks to the Property Director, £stretcher, who promptly replied to my request for repairs, as follows:

"We are aware of the issues at the Dundee store and in the last couple of weeks have asked 3 contractors to price the car park works

This is a priority for us. We have received one very high quote, the second one due back today and the other contractor is attending site on Wednesday 

Both you and your constituents will be pleased to hear that the car park will be a complete resurface as we have continually carried out patch repairs for a number of years following our Landlord going into Administration (it was his plan to redevelop the entire site) 

We do need to manage the expectations though as it is ... the winter months and this is a large job, which we will need to have carried out at suitable times with frosts/ freezing conditions etc."

Photopolis : Hunter Street

This photograph from Photopolis shows a Hunter Street of old, hugely different to today's Hunter Street 'link road' between Old Hawkhill and the Hawkhill by-pass.

Saturday 11 January 2014

More from Photopolis : Perth Road

A superb photograph of Perth Road at Mid Wynd and Ryehill Church (now flats) from Photopolis.

Friday 10 January 2014

Councillor salary increase refused

Earlier this week, the Scottish Parliament passed legislation amending the Local Governance (Scotland) Act 2004 (remuneration) regulations 2007.  This confirms that Councillors have been awarded a 1% pay rise for 2013/14 and a further 1% for 2014/15.  The new legislation comes into effect on 18th February 2014.

I have advised the City Council’s Director of Corporate Services that I will refuse the increase in salary and I have asked for the money to be used to benefit Dundee good causes, just as I did with the previous councillor salary increase in 2009.

Having refused the councillor salary increase in 2009, I have maintained this stance every year thereafter.  Additionally, I never claim expenses - and have not done so throughout my 13 years on the City Council.

I will continue throughout the current council term to refuse any increase in councillor salary, accepting pre-2009 salary levels, and, as long as I am a member of Dundee City Council, I will never claim expenses of any kind.

I am privileged to serve the people of the West End on Dundee City Council.   It is not about remuneration - it is about getting things done for the people of the West End.

Photopolis : Perth Road

A fascinating photograph (below) looking west along Perth Road and with Roseangle to the south with what is now Dundee West Church prominent in the photo. The full Dundee City Council Photopolis collection is available at

Thursday 9 January 2014

Getting things done ... Logie Avenue

Residents have brought to my attention a bad pothole on the south carriageway of Logie Avenue at its eastern end - see right.

I have reported this to the Roads Maintenance Partnership requesting this pothole is filled in as soon as possible.

Photopolis : Living and Working in Dundee 1900–1925

Photopolis is a major photographic resource in Dundee City Council's ownership that I have, with the permission of the Leisure & Communities Department, featured photographs from in the past.

It consists of a significant selection of quality photographs from various collections in the Central Library and the City Archives that can be accessed via the 
City Council's website, allowing easy access to large numbers of historical photographs.

By popular request, during this month, I'll again feature some of the superb West End photos on Photopolis. As a start, pictured below is Grosvenor Terrace - 307-313 Perth Road - and to quote Photopolis :

"The residents in 1889 included the principal of University College, William Peterson MA, LLD, William K. Bruce, a confectioner who worked for the famed Dundee firm, Keillor & Sons, and W. A. Brown, of whom nothing further is known.

No. 1 was the home of Alexander M. Grimond of the jute spinners J. & A. D. Grimond, of Bowbridge and Maxwelltown Works, with offices in King Street, and great uncles of the prominent Liberal politician, 
Jo Grimond."

Wednesday 8 January 2014

Tuesday 7 January 2014

Sonic screwdrivers and tractor beams: from science fiction to real life

Don't miss Cafe Science Dundee's event tomorrow - Wednesday 8th January 2014 at 6pm.

Science fiction has come up with many fantastical tricks and tools to move objects without human touch; such as Star Trek’s tractor beam and Dr Who’s sonic screwdriver.

Local scientists have now turned this fantasy into reality with real-world versions of sonic screwdrivers and tractor beams that use ultrasound, albeit at a much smaller scale.  The science behind all this is that ultrasound can be used generate forces, pushing, pulling, or trapping objects, and this can be used on the lab bench or applied in the human body.

These research breakthroughs can develop real tools for a wide range of clinical and research applications.  Dr Mike MacDonald will talk about how we can harness these new technologies to improve diagnosis, to reduce the side-effects of cancer therapy, and for tissue engineering.

This event takes place in the relaxed atmosphere of Dundee Science Centre’s infusion cafe. 

Everyone is welcome.    Non-bookable.    Please arrive early to avoid disappointment.

Monday 6 January 2014

Temporary Traffic Order : Milnbank Road

From Dundee City Council :


THE DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL AS TRAFFIC AUTHORITY being satisfied that traffic on the road should be prohibited by reason of Scottish Water repair works being carried out HEREBY PROHIBIT the driving of any vehicle in Milnbank Road (from its junction with Polepark Road to Lawrence Street), Dundee.

This notice comes into effect on Tuesday 14 January 2014 for 1 day.

Pedestrian thoroughfare will be maintained.

Alternative routes for vehicles are available via Edward Street / Forest Park Place / Forest Park Road.
For further information contact (01382) 433168.

Mike P Galloway
Director of City Development
Dundee City Council

Sunday 5 January 2014

Saturday 4 January 2014

Getting things done ... Perth Road

Just before Christmas, residents reported to me that the litter bin on the north side of Perth Road near the Sinderins had been burnt out - see right.

I am pleased to say that, having taken up the matter with the Environment Department, I have received a very prompt response confirming that the bin will be replaced.

Temporary Traffic Order : Edward Street

From Dundee City Council:


THE DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL AS TRAFFIC AUTHORITY being satisfied that traffic on the road should be prohibited by reason of Scottish Water repair works being carried out HEREBY PROHIBIT the driving of any vehicle in Edward Street (from its junction with Brook Street to approx. 25 metres north), Dundee.

This notice comes into effect on Monday 13 January 2014 for 1 day.

Pedestrian thoroughfare will be maintained.

Alternative routes for vehicles are available via Brook Street / Polepark Road / Milnbank Road / Forest Park Road / Forest Park Place.

For further information contact (01382) 433168. 

Mike P Galloway
Director of City Development
Dundee City Council

Friday 3 January 2014

Recycling Christmas Trees

With the festive season drawing to a close, you can help the city's recycling effort by arranging a special collection of your real Christmas Tree by phoning the City Council's Environment Department on 433710 or 433677.

Alternatively, if you have a brown wheelie bin, the tree can be cut up and placed in it for collection, or it can be taken to council recycling centres, such as the Riverside Civic Amenity site.

Hawkhill to St Peter Street pathway

I have had complaints from residents that the pathway from Hawkhill to St Peter Street was overgrown with sharp branches protruding across the path - see below.
I have been in touch with the City Council's Environment Department regarding responsibility for maintenance here and the pruning was carried out very promptly.

Thursday 2 January 2014

Wednesday 1 January 2014