Dundee Independents’ Day today

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VisitScotland – Dundee Visitor Information Centre

A constituent recently contacted me to say:
 
“Over the last six months I have personally guided three separate groups of visitors to the VisitScotland office in City Square.   Directions are sparse to say the least.   
 
Two groups had arrived by train and one by bus.   Driving past the train station I often see folks emerging with clearly no idea of which way to turn – never mind find their way the VisitScotland office.”
 
I took this up with VisitScotland as its a very reasonable and pertinent point.    I have since received the following helpful response from VisitScotland :
 
“I was sorry to hear that some visitors were experiencing difficulty finding the Visitor Information Centre (VIC).
 
The issue of way marked signage is one that we are aware of and we have been in talks with the Local Authority to improve signage across the city. However, this matter has been complicated due to the on-going redevelopment works within the city. I have passed your email onto our Area Manager and they will see if there’s anything temporary we could do to sign post visitors to the VIC.”

Photopolis : Dock Street

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.

Photopolis : Seagate

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.

Photopolis : City Churches

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.

Photopolis : Meadowside and Euclid Crescent

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.

Photopolis : Cowgate

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.