Last weekend, I headed up north to Dundee, a Scottish east coast trading port once known as the city of “jute, jam and journalism” and – of course – the home of The Beano and Dandy comics.
I know this won’t be of interest to many readers, but I was delighted to find an old school InterCity 125 taking us from Glasgow to Dundee.
Street art by the station.
The town was also the location of one of the worst rail disasters in British history, the Tay Bridge disaster. The first Tay Rail Bridge was opened in 1878 and collapsed some 18 months later during a storm, sending a passenger train into the waters below with the loss of 75 lives.
Above is the replacement Tay Bridge which was completed in 1887.
Who would have thought that a cafe with a name as wholesome as Aunty Betty’s Cafe would get closed down after a “seedy game of spin the bottle with a salt shaker”? Read more here.
Any idea what the hell this thing is?
United Alkali Company Limited was a British chemical company formed in 1890, employing the Leblanc process to produce soda ash for the glass, textile, soap, and paper industries. It became one of the top four British chemical companies merged in 1926 with Brunner Mond, Nobel Explosives and British Dyestuffs Corporation to form Imperial Chemical Industries.
Low winter sun.
Memory of Time Clock in the High Street, Dundee, above Robertson and Watt’s Shop.
The Pillars Bar at 9 Crichton Street is an old school, traditional Scottish boozer.
Dundee Contemporary Arts hosts two contemporary art galleries, a two-screen cinema, a print studio, a learning and public engagement programme, a shop and a café bar.
Solid local architecture.
The omnipresent ‘T’ for Tennent’s lager, which is Scotland’s best-selling pale lager, with around 60% of the Scottish lager market.
Sculpted by Angela Hunter these five penguins located at City Churches even have their own Facebook page.
Desperate Dan, hero of DC Thomson’s ‘The Dandy’ comics, is cast in an 8-ft tall bronze statue in the city centre alongside his ‘Dawg’. Below you can see Beano character Minnie the Minx.
The sculptures were created by local artists Tony and Susie Morrow and unveiled in 2001.
Dundee art gallery and museum.
DC Thomson head office. The Scottish publishing and television production company are best known for producing The Dundee Courier, The Evening Telegraph, The Sunday Post, Oor Wullie (statue below), The Broons, The Beano, The Dandy, and Commando comics.
Poster for our show. I photographed the angel during a visit to Bristol’s beautiful Arnos Vale cemetery in the snow in 2018.
We were playing the Beat Generator venue and had a proper local welcome with a platter of products from Scotland’s famous Tunnock’s bakery, the 20th oldest family firm in Scotland still in operation.
The snare drum came with all sorts of strange symbolism.
Walking through the town before the show.
Captain Scott‘s restored RRS Discovery occupies Craig Pier. A barque-rigged auxiliary steamship built for Antarctic research, and launched in 1901, the Discovery . was the last traditional wooden three-masted ship to be built in the United Kingdom.
Disused tram lines. The last tram ran in October 1956.
We were fortunate to have two great support bands, with Cathode Ray opening and local band Stoor going on before us.
Backstage booze up!
It was a pleasure to hang out with the bands and the splendid folk from Beat Generator – it’s a fantastic venue.
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Join the forum discussion: Dundee is delightful