April 1983

Sit-in Not Ruled Out at Timex

Angus HotelThe unions have not ruled out occupation of the Milton of Craigie Timex Complex in Dundee as a possible escalation of opposition to compulsory redundancies. That was the message yesterday from shop stewards' convener Mr Gordon Samson in the wake of meeting at the plant in the morning.Shop stewards met first to discuss 197 letters intimating compulsory redundancies which will have gone out to the Milton employees by tonight. They also discussed the outcome of talks earlier this week in Glasgow in which engineering union general manager Gavin Laird pledged national executive baking for action by Timex employees.

Following the shop stewards meeting there was another, of workers from the affected areas by the redundancy notices. Mr Samson said around 700 employees from  Milton and the block in Dunsinane Avenue attended. Indications are that management and union representatives will meet again on April 19 - the day before the redundancies are scheduled to become effective.

The initial rush for volunteers for redundancies has largely dried up and although some employees are still coming forward most are not having their applications processed. Management have said that to accept all the volunteers, although achieving 1900 total the company is seeking would create an imbalance of skills among the 2300 workers remaining. Unless the issuing of the compulsory redundancy letters provokes another rush of "acceptable" volunteers, the target is unlikely to be met by April 20.

The Camperdown plant in Harrison Road will not be included in any action by the unions.

Wedding Reception in the Library

Coldside Library at the five-ways junction in the north end of Dundee is taking on a new life. After refurbishment the staid library building is now to become a venue for functions and dances. There may even be wedding receptions there.
The actual library has been renovated with new shelving, counter and carpeting. There is more space and casual seats. The former television studio upstairs is now a meeting and activities room with kitchen facilities and seating for about 120. The room is versatile enough to cater for any type of function, is equipped with audio-visual aids and can be adapted for receptions, displays and exhibitions. A section of carpet can be rolled back, giving a floor area suitable for dancing or gymnastics. Mr John Ramage, the Chief Librarian, will take enquiries about lets.

The building was built on a site donated by Lord Provost Barrie early this century. Its £7610 cost was donated by Andrew Carnegie. The reading room, opened in October 1908 and the lending library in April 1909. It now houses, 16,000 books and the improvements will allow more to be displayed to better advantage.

Keyhole Lounge

On holiday?
Going on a bus trip?
Then why not come into the Keyhole for your lunch or even just a quiet drink.Full meals or snacks - hot or cold. Served form noon to 2.30pm and 5pm to 8pm.
See you there..The Keyhole, 80, North Lindsay Street, Dundee.

"Hazzard" at Lunchtime

Dundee city centre's lunchtime traffic was a degree more "hazardous" than usual yesterday, when "General Lee" roared into town as part of a Scottish tour sponsored by the Classic Car Owners Society. The distinctive red car from the American TV series "The Dukes of Hazzard" was due to park in front of John Menzies store in the Murraygate at 1pm. However when the throngs of young children and onlookers saw the "star" arriving, they rush across Commercial Street, blocking the road and cutting off access to the Murraygate.

The solitary police officer on duty, completely overwhelmed by the thousand strong crowd, was helpless to control the over-enthusiastic spectators. After a delay of several minutes the "General" found a gap in the human wall and eventually made a detour to dodge the jam, entering the shopping precinct from the Wellgate end. Afterwards Superintendent David Binnie admitted the police had underestimated the expected turnout. As soon as the problem became apparent though it was quickly brought under control he added.

Mr John Bone, assistant general manager of John Menzies, was delighted with the success of yesterday's venture - although numbers were overwhelming. The "General" was helping in a collection for the Strathmartine Home for Children, as well as a raffle courtesy of John Menzies.

Marathon Fever Hits the City

Marathon fever stepped up yesterday as Tayside folk began the last lap of preparation and started registering in the Marryat Hall for the Dundee People's Health Marathon tomorrow. Any runner who has not yet registered should pop in today or sometime before the start tomorrow.

First over the line for registration yesterday was Ian McCluskey (21) of Mill field Road Arbroath. "I was surprised I was the first one of only two waiting for the door to open" said Ian. Ian may have been the first to register but he didn't see himself being first across the finish line tomorrow.

As for the weather tomorrow, there was bod news from Leuchars Met. Office. The marathon runner's old enemy the wind, could prove a problem with a moderate to  fresh wind forecast. With scattered showers of rain expected, conditions would be not too bad for marathon running if it weren't for the wind.

Jobs Secure in Dundee

A new family of radial tyres to be launched on the British market next week will assure the long-term security of over 900 jobs at Michelin factory at Baldovie which will eventually devote 90% of its production to the new tyres - the MX series - and will be main producer of them in Britain. Mr Bob Moss of the company's public relations department said that although automation is generally reducing the number of jobs in the tyre industry they were confident that the new series would guarantee stability of the present workforce in Dundee.

Lucky Strip

Fintry have received a new set of strips from their sponsor, Hugh Farquhar, the Dundee hair stylist. But they will not be wearing them in the North of Tay cup final at Dens Park on Thursday. "We will be wearing our usual all green outfit in the final" explains Fintry boss Jim Fyffe. "We're undefeated this season in this strip and were superstitious to that effect. However we are grateful to Mr Farquhar and we'll certainly be wearing them next season.

Weight of the Whale

The 100 year old skeleton of a whale was put on a weighbridge in Dundee yesterday to check that it is not too heavy for hanging from the ceiling of its new home Barrack Street Museum. The skeleton of the male humpback was harpooned in the Tay in 1883 and is being moved from the Central Museum.

"Pickets" in Dundee

Fan of close harmony singing from golden oldies to rock will be delighted to hear that leading exponents "The Flying Pickets" will be performing in Dundee tomorrow night. The six man line up will be appearing at the Bonar Hall at Dundee University.