November 1938

Railway Men Go Back To School

At least one organisation is not dependent on a crisis to speed up A.R.P. work. Training, started in earnest many months ago among railway employees, is still going ahead at full pressure.

Dundee has certainly played its part in the intensive training coursed devised by the railway authorities to get as many men as possible prepared in the shortest time.

Already over a thousand workers, drawn from all sections of the railway in Dundee and district, have attended a four-day course in gas warfare training.

During the course the men are relieved of all other railway duties, and classes last from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The course, which normally would take several weeks, is packed into four days, with a stiff written examination to finish up with.

Training the men in the well-equipped Mobile A.R.P. unit at East Station has been Sergeant Farey, or the railway police.

Since he came to Dundee Sergeant Farey has passed several hundred men through the course, and is well pleased with the enthusiasm among his students.

He can boast an almost one hundred per cent record of passes.

Classes will continue for some time yet. In the Dundee area, which stretches from Anstruther, Fife to Arbroath, are about 3000 railwaymen.

The mobile coach at Dundee, with the addition this week of a gas chamber, is one of the best equipped units in the country.

Every branch of gas warfare can be demonstrated to the students, while a comfortably fitted classroom enables the men to hear lectures by the instructors.

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Law Tunnel as A.R.P. Shelter

Met a man the other day who takes a very keen interest in air-raid precautions work.
He suggested that the local authorities should take immediate cognisance of the fact that they have “the finest air-raid shelter in the country practically ready-made” – the Law tunnel.

The tunnel, which was formerly part of the Dundee and Newtyle railway is in perfectly good condition. As it was used for a time for growing mushrooms, the tunnel may be a bit dirty, but that is a small matter.

The tunnel is almost a quarter of a mile long. It is 12 ft. high and 10 ft wide. It is estimated that anything from 6000 to 7000 people could be accommodated there in times of emergency.

Most comforting thought of all is that above the tunnel there are between 60 and 70 ft. of solid rock, more that enough to render any bomb innocuous. It would be a simple matter to run electric light through the tunnel. The passage is fairly well ventilated as it is, but with 6000 or 7000 people filling it some extra ventilation might be required.

My informant, who has studied the question, said it would be a feasible and inexpensive business to bore a few ventilation shafts.

Embrasures could be let into either side of the tunnel to accommodate more people or to provide rooms for ambulances and other services.

The width of the tunnel would allow for planks to be fitted for seats.

One entrance is at Dudhope tennis courts, at the top of Constitution Road and the other is in Law Crescent at its junction with Lawton Road. At each entrance (or exit) there are large housing schemes, and at the Constitution Road end there are several fairly congested areas in close proximity to the tunnel.

Another fact which makes the tunnel ideal as an air-raid shelter is that Rockwell School is quite a short distance from the Lawton Road end.

“The whole thing could be put into shape at very little cost,” said my informant, and I am surprised that the authorities should ignore such an ideal place”

“There are few towns in the country that have such a ready-made shelter at their disposal”.

The matter certainly warrants the attention of the A.R.P. Committeee. The proposition looks good.


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Dens Attraction

By Unomi
We should see a right stirring contest at Dens Park this afternoon when Airdrie supply the opposition. In past years when the clubs were first division rivals many great games were served up.

Airdrie are right in line for promotion. They have lost two games, and strangely enough both were to Stenhousemuir. Their successive victories over Leith Athletic and Alloa brought the Broomfield lads right up amongst the leaders, and they will be bout to hold their position against Dundee.

Dundee’s team was uncertain until late in the week owing to McGillivray being unfit. However, the centre-forward has passed a test and will be included. Willie Cook will again be at outside-right. Sneddon will move over to left-half to make room for the junior pivot.

I expect the game to be keenly fought, with Dundee just getting home in front of the Broomfield men.

Potato Scones

Try these sometimes for a change. They are very tasty.
Take ½ cold potatoes, ½ oz butter, 2oz flour, ¼ teaspoonful salt.
Mash potatoes with butter and a little milk, beat up a few minutes with a wooden spoon, and add flour and salt. Roll out very thinly, cut and place on a hot girdle, bake for three minutes on each side, and cool on a towel.

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Brush Up on your Gaelic

Dundee folk “exiled” from their native Highlands and enthusiasts anxious to keep the Gaelic tongue alive have been responsible for an unusual “boom” at night classes held under the auspices of the Education Committee.

No fewer than 30 students, several of whom have long since forgotten their school days, want to learn Gaelic this winter.

Two classes are being held in St John’s High School on Tuesday evenings – and advanced division for those who already have a knowledge of Gaelic and a junior class for beginners.

Teachers are Mr Roderick Macdonald and Rev Alex. Macrae, both of whom hail from the north.

Renewed enthusiasm dates from the visit of the Gaelic Mod to Dundee last year, and many of those attending the class are members of the Highland Society.

Several sing in the Gaelic choir, and are attending the “night class” to brush up their pronunciation.

Average age of students is about 30, and men and women are (numerically at least) equal.

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Baths “Breakfast” – City’s Strangest Party

Six o’clock in the morning. More than likely you were sound asleep. Not so with 20 Dundee swimming enthusiast, who last Sunday were guests at one of the city’s strangest breakfast parties.

Scene of the celebrations was Central Baths, where members of the “Twenty Club” had met to say good-by until next spring.

For three years, the swimmers – butchers, clerks, grocers &c – have attended the baths on Sunday mornings at six o’clock for their weekly dip.

Last week the baths closed on Sunday mornings for the season.

Surprised bathers who knew nothing of the celebrations planned by the 20 “regulars” were amazed to find tables set on the edge of the pond in readiness for the repast.

About 40 swimmers in addition to the honoured guests were invited to take part.

The meal, “good things” for which were gifted by the 20 swimmers, comprised half a dozen plum puddings, sandwiches and a large birthday cake baked by a chef member of the “club” on which burned three candles.

Toasts were drunk with numerous bottles of lemonade!

Guests dressed in swimming costumes sharpened their appetites between the various courses with “length-of-the-baths” swims!

Highlights of the festivities came when dozens of apples were thrown into the pond and the guests besported themselves at an old Hallowe’en game, up-to-date!

By nine o’clock, closing time for the baths, the party was over. Taxis conveyed the guests on their homeward journey just as Dundee was preparing to rise for church.