December 1957

On With The Lights in City Square

City SquareChristmas comes to Dundee City Square on Friday evening with the "switch on" ceremony of the lights on the civic tree. There will be an hour's recital of organ music by Mr James Hinchliffe, the City Organist, ending at 7pm. A short service follows - conducted by Rev H.T. Donaldson. The lights will be switched on by Mrs Ben Forbles, wife of the Rotary Club President. Rev H.O. Douglas will take the closing part of the service.

Jumping the Queue for Corporation Houses

About ten per cent of people who get new corporation houses in Dundee are jumping the queue. Newly-weds are moving into freshly completed housing schemes with all mod.cons., while couples with growing families are forced to remain in old property that doesn't even have an inside toilet. And there is not much that they can do about it.

The queue jumpers are on what the council Housing Department call its emergency list. When a house in privately factored property is destroyed by fire, the corporation is not legally bound to rehouse tenants rendered homeless. But it normally accepts the moral obligation. So somebody jumps the housing queue.

The gable of a private tenement block in Campbell Street took on a dangerous bulge and cracked, in a strong wind the building actually shook. When a housing inspector visited the tenants he found them in what he described as "an abject state of terror". It was decided that the "earthquake tenement" be demolished. The corporation was forced to allocate new council houses to the 16 evacuated families. And 16 other home-hungry families found themselves pushed further down the list.

But the bulk of queue-jumping in housing arises from the decision to halt the city's spread out. New tenement blocks will go up into the air instead of out into the country. And they will be built on central sites recommended by the city's town planners. Such sites lie between Hilltown and Dallfield Walk, in the St Mary Street section of Lochee Road and the Whorterbank area of Lochee. When private properties in this sort of development area are taken over by the town council, a list is drawn up of sitting tenants. The tenant continues paying his former rental - but this time to the corporation. As soon as arrangements for demolition are complete, he and his family must be rehoused in one of the new perimeter schemes. And some more of those patient souls on the normal lists find they must wait a bit longer.

Skiffle in the Woods!

If you'd gone for a stroll on Christmas Day in Camperdown Wood you would have found a camp fire to sit at and the "Satellites" Skiffle Group to listen to. The young skifflers are really keen. They get the Blackshade Community Centre hall to practise in, and they play at the teenage dance on Saturdays. But that isn't nearly enough for them, so they practice round a camp fire at the edge of the woods. "I suppose we could stay in each others houses sometimes, but we'd make an awful noise," grins the leader, 14 year-old Pete Brymer, who lives at 200, Camperdown Road.  Pete play one guitar and Lawrence Ireland (14), 106, Harrison Avenue play another. Their bass is 14 year old Charles Young, 136, Iona Street and Gordon Glass (12), 194, Camperdown  Road, is wash-board expert.

After Santa's Visit...

The "Journal" cameraman called to see the 1½ year old McDonald triplets at 41, Balmoral Avenue and the 2 year old Taylor triplets at 12 Dryburgh Place on Christmas morning. He found the three McDonald boys giving their parents a serenade on their trumpets. Wee motors, filled with sweets weren't far away and the drums and other toys which Santa left were only getting temporary rest. "It's going to be noisy around here" laughed Mum "They usually play with the same things at the same time, so we hope they don't choose the drums too often."

Life was a bit more peaceful for the Taylors. Their triplet girls each got a soft doll, so their 7 year old sister Teresa is as pleased as they are - as they were always pinching hers before. "They got some books and balls and other toys" said Mrs Taylor. "But the dolls are the favourite. They grabbed them as soon as they wakened this morning".

Jimmy Shand, Jun

For his first stage appearance which will be at Perth on December 27, the 20 year old son of  accordionist Jimmy Shand is to use as a stage name "Jimmy Shand, Junior" although his name is Erskine Shand. Erskine prefers to be called Jimmy and is called that by his work mates in the Dundee garage where he is a motor mechanic.

Erskine has been playing in bands since 1954, and started playing the accordion at the age of twelve. After his national service, which begins in March, he intends to take up music full time. Dad thinks he can make the grade - if he works hard enough.

The Perth concert will be in aid of the Glasgow Mod fund, also appearing on the programme are vocalists Calum Kennedy, Anne Gilles and Alistair Gillies.

Xmas Pies

Christmas Pies, 4d each
Wallace, 'Land O Cakes'
8, Crichton Street, Dundee

The Christmas Tree

We've bocht a muckle Christmas tree,
'Tis staunin' ben the hoose.
Its parcels tied wi' tinsel,
'Tis lookin' mighty spruce.
An' shinin' thro' the windy
The fairy lichts sae braw-
Crimson, green an' gowden,
Mak' a carpet ower the snaw.

- Marion Findlay, Lanarkshire.