Memories of Dundee - Part Seven

1939 was also a remarkable year for me personally. My parents were Good Templars, i.e they did not drink alcoholic beverages and were staunch members of the Independent Order of Good Templars in Dundee or simple ‘the Lodge’ as they termed it, since every branch was a lodge with a particular name and number. My first recollections are of them being members of Camperdown Lodge, which met on a Saturday evening in Camperdown Masonic Hall which was situated in a corner of a square, up an outside stair from which access was gained by way of a pend in Barrack Street. However this closed, due to lack of members in 1938. My parents them transferred their allegiance to Rescue Lodge which met on a Tuesday evening in St Salvador’s church hall in Church Street. There were other lodges which met on other evening's throughout the city; The Home of Peace, The Pioneer of Peace and The Perseverance are the ones I remember.

Every May the association organised a Temperance Queen event. This took form of floats, horse-drawn carts decorated with tissue-paper flowers etc. With appropriately dressed children carrying banners stressing some theme like Faith, Hope and Charity for instance. The float carrying the Queen, her maids, pages and heralds, drove through the town with the rest terminating in City Square where the Queen alighted and went to be crowned. She then emerged accompanied by her maids and pages carrying the train whilst her heralds blew a fanfare. They didn’t really, since they only had toy trumpets and simply went through the motions. The real fanfare was sounded by the two BB boys from a bugle band, who were hidden behind the pillars. I was one of the page boys dressed in green and yellow silk. I was chosen because I was about the regulation height. I had to attend a tailoress in a workshop attic at the top of Crichton Street to have fittings.

This event was a way of publicising The Temperance Movement in Dundee, I think I was therefore one of the last page-boys. There was a whole lot of publicity and pictures in the following Saturday’s People’s Journal.


Submitted by Walter Blacklaw