Wednesday 30 September 2015
The photograph below shows the junction of Reform Street, here seen running northwards to the High School, and Bank Street, which runs westwards, parallel to the Overgate, towards Barrack Street.
The pianoforte & music saloons, 'sole agents in Scotland' for Bechstein and Steinway, were Paterson, Sons & Co. Pricelists in Dundee Central Library's Lamb Collection (Box 29(19)) list other stores in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Ayr and Dumfries.
Next door at numbers 42-46 were the clothiers and men's mercers, J. D. Adams & Company. No. 48 were the bootmakers, Miller & Smith. Alexander Miller lived at Edenbank, Downfield, a village at that time on the north western edge of the city.
Tuesday 29 September 2015
The photograph below shows the western end of Dundee's Dock Street, with the Greenmarket to the right and east, and Dundee West Railway Station to the left.
The rear of Gilfillan Memorial Church is impressive to the left, while nextdoor is the 'public warehouse', which was occupied by various salt merchants and fruiterers. Around the corner is 'The Weigh House', another salt store.
Among the salt merchants, the Cowan family were pre-eminent. Members of the dynasty included George C.'s brother, Edward, who was Town Clerk of Broughty Ferry, and his father, James, who was a harbour trustee and member of Dundee Council from 1877-1982.
Monday 28 September 2015
The photograph below shows the corner of Dundee's Seagate running from west to east left to right and St Andrews Street leading northwards at the righthand side. The area was cleared for St Andrews Buildings, which bear an inscription dated 1894.
The corner building here housed John D. Bruce, solicitor, and John Findlay jun., a house-agent who lived at Floralbank in Broughty Ferry. Nextdoor, at No. 114 was the saddler, Robert Sim, who lived at No. 112. J. Hendry is listed there in 1891-92.
No. 108 was occupied by Fairweather and Sons, tobacco manufacturers, George Livie, boatbuilders, and the home of Joseph Jaffrey, broker, whose business premises were at No. 146 Seagate.
Sunday 27 September 2015
The Alexander Wilson photograph below shows the eastern portion of Dundee's City Churches, with the south at the centre, the Steeple to the west and left, the east at the right.
The Mercat Cross (a 16th-century column surmounted by a replica of Scott Sutherland's Unicorn) stands inside the railings. Today it is slightly further west, midway between the Old Steeple and the current Overgate shopping centre.
The carriages are at a 'cab stance' (the precursor of the taxi rank), which started at the north end of Union Street (which led south to Tay Bridge and Dundee West railway stations). Fares were in units of sixpence, varying by zone.
Saturday 26 September 2015
The photograph below shows the Post Office which stood at the junctions of Dundee's Meadowside and Euclid Crescent, with the fence and bushes in the grounds of Dundee High School to the right.
The postmaster in 1902, shortly before the area was redeveloped for D. C. Thomson to plans by to plans by Niven & Wigglesworth, a London company, was George H. Gibb, who lived at Hermonhill in Perth Road.
On weekdays the office was open from 6.45am until 9pm, with the sale of stamps continuing until 11pm. In its role as a savings bank, business was carried out between 9am and 6pm. Postal business was also available on Sundays from 9.30am -10.45am.
Friday 25 September 2015
D.M.Brown's department store in the High Street (below) was a landmark for many generations of Dundee's citizens.
David Millar Brown the son of a Lochee coal merchant served his apprenticeship as a draper with various Lochee and Dundee shops.
D.M.Brown set us his own business at the age of 24 employing 3 people. The business was so successful that by 1938 D.M.Brown employed 400 people.
Thursday 24 September 2015
The photograph below - strictly speaking - shows St Andrews Place, Dundee, where Cowgate and King Street meet; the trees behind the wall with railings are in the grounds of St Andrew's Church.
Fleming Brothers' City Clothing Warehouse at No. 16 dominates the corner of the scene, nextdoor to David McLardy & Co.'s domestic machinery warehouse. Fleming Brothers also had a Household Furnishing Co. at No. 15 and another shop in Lochee High Street.
McLardy's advertisement in the 1904-05 Dundee Directory lists mangels, wringers, sewing machines, etc., ice cream freezers and all kinds of household furniture, and drapery and boots - in other words, they sold just about every for the home.
Wednesday 23 September 2015
Although, to date, I have featured West End Photopolis photographs, I’ll now feature some City Centre ones. This Alexander Wilson photograph - below - shows the Dundee West Station (the third building on that site) with its distinctive clock tower in red sandstone. The goods yard stood to the south of the main station.
To the right of the picture is Mathers' Commercial Hotel, Whitehall Place, built in 1898 to plans by Robert Hunter. Previously Mathers had had a temperance hotel in Whitehall Street, but increased trade required a bigger building.
The Caledonian Railway's carting department was run by Wordie and Co., who were also agents for the Dundee and Arbroath Joint Railway at Dundee East, and the London and North Western Railway at Dundee West.
Tuesday 22 September 2015
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'.
Monday 21 September 2015
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 - see below - 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.
Sunday 20 September 2015
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 - see below.
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.
Saturday 19 September 2015
The photograph below 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, the prominent Dundonian preacher), George A. Harris, an architect, and the undertaker William Scarlett, who had offices in Ann Street and Logie Street.
Friday 18 September 2015
This photograph of the north side of Dundee's Nethergate at the junction with Tay Street Lane (below) 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 right hand 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.
Thursday 17 September 2015
From Sheena Wellington :
Saturday 19th September, Cappuccino Concert at the Wighton Heritage Centre in the Central Library
Dr Karen McAulay, Scotland’s music expert, Friend of Wighton member and harpsichord player, will explore the Jimmy Shand volumes in the context of the Wighton. A chance to learn more about our treasured music books and to hear some of the music they contain!
Karen has been Music and Academic Services Librarian at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland since 1988. She previously completed a research Masters at the University of Exeter in 1981, and was awarded PhD in Music from the University of Glasgow in 2009.
Her book, 'Our Ancient National Airs: Scottish Song Collecting from the Enlightenment to the Romantic Era', was published by Ashgate in March 2013.
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.
Wednesday 16 September 2015
Following the successful launch of a Friends Group for Broughty Ferry Library, I asked libraries staff if a similar initiative could be considered for Blackness Library.
I am very grateful for Leisure & Culture Dundee's positive response and staff would be grateful for your views. Please print off & complete the survey below and hand into the library - many thanks!
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 below 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.
Tuesday 15 September 2015
The manor house of Logie (below) 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.
Monday 14 September 2015
Blackness House (below) 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.
Sunday 13 September 2015
From the Curator of Museum Services at the University of Dundee :
To accompany our hugely popular exhibition in the Lamb Gallery, Jim Petrie: Minnie the Minx and More, we will be hosting this special free event:
Comics and the City
Wednesday 16th September at 5.30pm
Baxter Room 1.36, Tower Building, University of Dundee
The statues of Desperate Dan and Minnie the Minx in the city centre are a tangible reminder of the importance of comics to Dundee’s heritage and identity. In this event, four guest speakers will discuss this unique legacy in a series of short talks.
Dr Chris Murray (English, School of Humanities) will speak about the history and future of comics in Dundee. Phillip Vaughan (Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design) will discuss the links between comics and Dundee’s new strengths in animation and gaming.
John Gray (Dundee City Council) will describe the public art projects in the city that have drawn on DC Thomson’s comic creations. Finally, Prof Deborah Peel (Town & Regional Planning, School of Social Sciences) will discuss how the city’s branding past and present has drawn on this comics legacy.
We hope you will be able to join us for a fascinating evening.
Saturday 12 September 2015
From Dundee City Council :
Dundee City Council is pleased to announce that businesses in Dundee and Angus will now be able to apply for grants of up to £3,000 each to boost their broadband, as announced in the recent budget.
This comes as part of the UK Government’s broadband connection voucher scheme, which is to be extended for a further year. Each voucher covers up to £3,000 of installation costs but businesses can also apply as a group to connect bigger or more complicated premises. Once installed, businesses pay the line rental and VAT.
More than 25,000 vouchers have already been issued to businesses in other cities around the UK. The scheme, which helps SMEs get connected to superfast broadband has seen a huge surge in demand in recent months. The Government has made £40m available in 2015/16 for the scheme, and the vouchers are being issued on a “first come, first served” basis. Funds have not been ring fenced for individual cities, and the Government is encouraging all eligible businesses to apply before the available funds are exhausted.
From 1st April this year, small businesses in an additional 28 cities including Dundee and Angus, are eligible to apply.
The benefits to businesses of improved broadband connections include:
• Increasing profits by offering better services to more satisfied customers.
• Improving customers’ experience with quicker communication and faster file-sharing thanks to higher upload and download speeds, especially for large files.
• Reducing software and hardware costs by helping businesses switch to online data storage solutions.
• Enhancing the way businesses communicate and collaborate through online video conference and cloud-based information sharing.
Applying for a broadband grant is easy - after 1 April 2015 all Dundee and Angus businesses have to do is enter their postcode at www.connectionvouchers.co.uk to check eligibility, choose a supplier and fill in an application form or pick an off the shelf deal with no forms to fill in. Charities, not for profit organisations and commercial landlords can also apply.
A free information event will be held on 14th September from 11am-12.30pm within Committee Room 1, City Chambers, City Square, Dundee, DD1 3BY. There will be presentations and Q&A session from the scheme administrator with local suppliers. Please come along, you can register here.
Friday 11 September 2015
Last month, I updated residents about the bus changes across the city insofar as they affect the West End.
With the changes affecting National Express Dundee starting on Sunday (now to be branded as Xplore Dundee with launch event today) the City Council has produced a helpful city-wide schematic map that represents all the new routes.
Thursday 10 September 2015
A number of constituents in Logie have contacted me expressing their concerns about the replacement street lighting in parts of the local area.
I raised the concerns with the City Council's Street Lighting Partnership Manager, who advises :
"I can confirm that we are currently in the process of replacing some of the lighting columns in the Logie area as part of our agreed capital replacement programme. The existing concrete columns in that area are now in the region of 50 years old and are beyond their expected service life and despite appearing to be robust from the outside are no longer serviceable. Their replacement is with our standard residential column and lantern arrangement which provides the best economical and lighting output.
Street lighting is not a planning issue so there is no requirement to consult with members of the public when replacing existing lighting schemes and indeed it is not standard practice to do so. I am sure you will appreciate that with 25,000 lights to maintain in the city this would be an enormous strain on resources should we have to consult every time we need to replace a column and is simply not possible.
Historically, columns were placed at the front edge of a footpath (in the days of fewer vehicles) but over the years experience has shown that it is advisable to position them at the rear of the footpath in order to afford them some protection from accidental damage due to vehicles whilst at the same time maximising the available footpath width for wheelchairs and buggies which need to pass. Obviously this is dependent on suitable planting depth being available below ground and hence why we sometimes have to deviate from this rule.
I appreciate that the result of this is that it does bring the light source closer to properties and that this can be a concern for some (and yet is welcomed by others). I would state however that the new modern optics contained within the street light are far better at controlling the output of light to where it is needed (i.e. onto the footpaths and carriageway) and away from properties than those previously installed. Nonetheless, it can still be an issue for some residents and in those cases we would always seek to find a compromise position (e.g. the installation of a shield if necessary) with the householder.
We are always happy to discuss such issues and assist where we can."
This photograph below 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.
Wednesday 9 September 2015
Temporary Traffic Order - Forest Park Place, Edward Street, Brook Street, Brewery Lane, Lower Pleasance and Douglas Street
From Dundee City Council :
Dundee City Council proposes to make an Order under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 for the purpose of facilitating works for the Scottish and Southern Energy 33Kv Cable Installation Scheme. The Order is expected to be in force for 7 weeks from 21st September 2015. Its maximum duration in terms of the Act is eighteen months.
The effect of the Order is to prohibit temporarily all vehicular traffic in (1) Forest Park Place between Forest Park Road and Edward Street, (2) Edward Street between Brook Street and Forest Park Place, (3) Brook Street between Edward Street and Milnbank Road, (4) Brewery Lane between Brook Street and Lower Pleasance, (5) Lower Pleasance between Brewery Lane and Douglas Street, and (6) Douglas Street between Lower Pleasance and West Marketgait (Phase (i) – Lower Pleasance to West Hendersons Wynd, Phase (ii) – West Hendersons Wynd to Blinshall Street, Phase (iii) – Blinshall Street to Brown Street and Phase (iv) – Brown Street to West Marketgait).
The closures are planned to be on a rolling programme and proceed as follows: Forest Park Place, Edward Street, Brook Street, Brewery Lane, Lower Pleasance and Douglas Street. More than one road may be closed at a time. The terms of the one-way order relating to Douglas Street between Lower Pleasance and Brook Street will be revoked for the duration of this Order.
Alternative routes will be available via (1) Forest Park Road, Milnbank Road, Brook Street and Edward Street, (2) Forest Park Place, Forest Park Road and Milnbank Road, (3) Brook Street, Guthrie Street, Horsewater Wynd, Hawkhill, West Marketgait, Lochee Road and Polepark Road, (4) Polepark Road, Lochee Road and Park Street, (5) Brewery Lane and Park Street and (6) (i) Ash Street, Brewery Lane and Lower Pleasance, (ii) Blinshall Street, Lochee Road and Park Street, (iii) Brown Street, Miln Street and West Hendersons Wynd and (iv) Blinshall Street, Miln Street and Brown Street.
Please forward any comments you may have regarding this proposal to the Network Management Team, City Development Department, Dundee House, 50 North Lindsay Street, Dundee DD1 1LS, no later than five working days prior to the commencement date. If you have any queries please contact 433082.
This latest photograph of this short series of West End historical photographs (below) 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.
Tuesday 8 September 2015
This view of the Hawkhill in Dundee below was 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.
Monday 7 September 2015
This Photopolis photograph (below) 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.
Sunday 6 September 2015
I raised residents' concerns recently about pedestrian safety near the Roseangle playpark since the playpark was improved and footfall is very significantly increased.
I have contacted both the City Council's Head of Transportation and the Road Policing Unit at Police Scotland, asking if a speed survey could be carried out.
The council’s Head of Transportation has now advised :
“With regard to parked cars on Riverside Approach near the railway overbridge a site inspection was carried out but there were only vehicles parked on the south side of the build out for this particular visit.
I will arrange for further inspections and from the observations I will arrange to include this location for consideration in the next batch of locations in the variation to waiting restrictions traffic regulation order programme.
From previous site inspections there were no high speed vehicles observed but I will arrange for Riverside Approach to be added to the next list of locations for a traffic speed survey.
With regard for the possibility of a pedestrian crossing on Riverside Approach linking Magdalen Green and the play ground, initial observations are that the pedestrian and cycle count and traffic flows are too low to justify a pedestrian crossing at this particular location.
I will however arrange for the vehicles and the pedestrian count crossing survey to be carried out and advise you of the results from the survey.”
I will, of course, keep residents updated once the results of the survey are known.
This undated photograph below 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.
Saturday 5 September 2015
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 re-built) in the 1930s :
Friday 4 September 2015
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 :
Thursday 3 September 2015
Wednesday 2 September 2015
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 here.
Tuesday 1 September 2015
Last month, I raised residents' concerns with the City Council that, after just weeks of operation, the lift at the new Seabraes Bridge had broken down.
In advance of this week's official opening of the bridge, I paste below the reassurances about the (now repaired) lift - from the City Engineer :
"The lift was brought back into operation that same week that you raised it with the lift manufacturer carrying out a full service and inspection of the lift and all its components. The lift will be serviced by the manufacturer every month during the defects period, when teething problems/bedding-in issues are most likely to occur.
I understand that the fault was due to excess grit surplus from the bridge surfacing finding its way into the door carrier mechanism rather than a lift "over-use" issue. Vacuum cleaning the deck to remove the excess grit should have solved the operational issues.
A full breakdown service is in place and members of the public should contact the emergency call out number 0141 882 9946 (this number is staffed 24/7, 365 days/year) to report a fault. Signage will be installed on-site to highlight this to ensure that if any breakdown occurs the lift is quickly repaired and back in operation as soon as possible.
The lift has been designed and manufactured by Stannah, a recognised leading lift supplier and is considered appropriate for its environment and frequency of usage."
Photopolis is a major photographic resource in Dundee City Council's ownership that I have, with the permission of the Communities Division of the council, 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."