Work / Working Life

The Dairy

My grandparents ran the Dairy at 6 Shepherds Loan. When they moved there as a married couple in 1906, they were cowfeeders i.e. they had cows in milk and sold milk round the doors. Then they had a byre and then "larries" and his brother had a dairy in Strathmartine Rd., with the first milk lorry in Dundee a model T Ford, I could write a lot more and have done so in my series of "Poems and Stories". My other grandfather was stage manager at the Palace and at the King's Theatre in the 1914-18 war.

Submitted by Trawler Bill


Can ye mind o' Burndept-Vidor
West Kingsway Industrial Estate
Clockin' in-an-oot each day
At the battery factory gate

Can ye hear the soond o' the Can Press
Thumpin'-oot cans week-by-week
Presses makin' sae much din
Ye'd tae shout tae try tae speak

Workers a' the time
Conversin' in sign

Did ye ken the man shovelling Black Mix
Wha was striken-doon ae day
Wi manganese poisonin
(He was paid "hazard" pay)

Rows o' inspection lines
Quality Control
Inspectors in white jackets
In their important role Read more......

Submitted by Anna MacDonald

Watson and Philip

Spending a most enjoyable and comfortable evening in Queen's Hotel on Friday 15th November 2013 with former employees of Watson and Philip (Food Importers, Dundee) I only recognised one person there - ME - my reflection in the cloakroom mirror. Years have rolled. After all 1951-1953 were the years I was in the firm's employment. It was my second job after leaving Rockwell High School at the age of fourteen-and-a-half. Read more......

Submitted by Anna MacDonald

Verdant Works

Silently echoing thro' Verdant Works
O'er granite and flint cassies
Hooves clatterin' - cairtwheels rattlin'
As lads eyeup the lassies
In the eighteen-hundreds
Workers wrought a twelve-hoor shift
And wove textile heritage
Wi' toil and thrift Read more......

Submitted by Anna MacDonald

Bonar Long

Re Ian Robertson's memories of his time spent working at Bonar Long, I worked there as well from 1957 to 1960 and remember the Test Department. The foreman of the test was Frank Spalding. An apprentice was electrocuted I remember in the test bay. I remember Douglas Berry (research) Roy Macdonald Factory Manager and Ronnie Anderson (Assembly - Frank Herschell (Winding) and a guy called Franklin who was managing director. I now live in rural Manitoba, Canada. but have many happy memories of my time spent at Bonar Long.

Submitted by Linda

Born during the hard winter of 1947

Born during the hard winter of 1947. I lived in Park Avenue until I moved to Forfar 25 years later. My mother was a jute weaver at the CWS works in Morgan Street, most of my fathers working life was on the Tay Ferries (The Fife'es) in local dialetic.

My Schooling was Glebelands and Stobswell Boys. Our playground was the surrounding traffic free streets then when older Baxter Park & Stobbie Ponds or even sneek into the TA grounds at Rodd Road where we could spend hours playing on an old rusting Brengun carrier. Read more......

Submitted by Magnus Walker

The Auld Steeple Clock

I used to wind the Auld Steeple clock every week. I was apprenticed to Wullie Reid who was responsible for maintaining many of the citys' turret clocks in the mid 50s. Later, around 1957-9 I wound the clock at the Royal Arch. The West Station clock was also refurbished by Jack Knight and I. We worked for Rattray the Jewellers at that time. Great memories of these years.

Submitted by Ken Kyle

Albert's Memories

Born 23 Hilltown 1926. The Progie Dance Hall, Norries Pend, the Wellgate Steps, always plenty action. Owned the Silvery Tay. Chipper in Menzieshill before moving to USA. My dad owned a chip shop at 21 Hilltown in 1926. I remember Andy Reekie the seven foot cop and Dirty Joe selling roasted chestnuts at the end of Dudhope Street.

Submitted by Albert Rizza

Bonar Long

I also started my apprenticeship at Bonar Long in 1969 served my time and was there until the factory closed. I remember Ian Robertson well especially when the factory was split into power and distribution transformers. It was a good place to work. Sadly all gone now even the building.

Submitted by Old Sparkie

Ashludie Research Project

Conditions in Dundee at the time when Lorna contracted Tuberculosis

Background to the interview with “Lorna” who was 100 years of age in May 2011. Visit Lorna's Memoirs page to find out more.

 Read more......

Submitted by Mari Phillips
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