February 1983

£305,753 for Sports Project

Building WorkDundee District Leisure and Recreation Committee decided to spend £305,753 on the Kirkton Park Sports Hall project some 20% more than the £250,000 allowed in the estimates. The lowest tender amounted to £292,866 and the balance of the last is made up of fees and electricity services. Mr Michael Duff, convener said everyone was well aware of the need for a sports hall. Dundee must be the biggest local authority which did not have an indoor sports facility and that was shameful.

Dr Robin Vaughan moved they did not accept but that the project go out to tender again. He said he was very unhappy about the way the matter had been handled. The committee approved the project by 20 votes to 5 and their decision will be considered by the district council tomorrow evening.

Jobs Axe at Bottling Plant

More job losses were announced in Dundee yesterday with Coca-Cola Bottlers (Scotland and Northern Ltd) closing their plant in Clepington Road. A total of 19 staff will be made redundant when the plant closes on April 11 as a direct result of lower consumer spending.

A spokesman at the company's Headquarters in London said they regretted having to take this action but have been "compelled to close" because a shift in demand in the soft drinks market. The spokesman stressed that the coca-cola sales depot, next to the bottling plant was not effected by the closure and will continue to operate.

£2½m to Build - Soon £½m to Rent

Rents go up and up and sometimes local authorities are on the receiving end. When Tayside Region first leased their Headquarters from Ravenstone Securities in 1977 the initial lease was £280, 000 per year. This year's financial documents show the figure is now £315,000. The allowance to be made for next year is £500,000. There are 140,000 square feet of floor space in the tower block, which was estimated to have cost  £2½m when built. Before the region moved into Tayside House the alternatives being discussed were building on a greenfield site in the Carse of Gowrie or modernising and adapting part of Maryfield Hospital buildings.

Dundee Air Service Hits Heights

The summer service between Dundee and Isle of Man operated by Air Ecosse is already proving popular with the first flights of the Dundee holiday fortnight fully booked 5 months in advance. Sales Manager Annette McIntosh said "We are absolutely delighted with the way business is picking up for this service. We will take a waiting list of passengers who find the flight they want is fully booked and if the numbers are sufficiently high we would consider putting on extra aircraft".

The company operated the route last year but had not been able to advertise it in advance since they only obtained the licence about a week before the first flight. This year brochures with details of the service have been made available to the public. The service starts on May 21st and will operate every Saturday until September 17th.

Pictish Art Lecture

The main lecture theatre of Dundee University Tower Building was packed last night for an illustrated talk on Pictish art by Professor Charles Thomas. Given to the members of Abertay Historical Society, it was funded by the society of Antiquaries of Scotland who made it possible for Professor Thomas to travel from Camborne where his is director of the Institute of Cornish Studies. Miss Liz Thoms, Assistant Curator of Dundee Museums proposed thanks.

Ringing in the Year of the Pig

There was no black bun or shortie in evidence but there was food-a-plenty as Dundee's Chinese Community celebrated their New Year in the Olde World Inn, Seagate last night. Over 200 men, women and children were ringing in the Year of the Pig in style, courtesy of the Reo Stakis owned Chevalier. A comprehensive buffet and free champagne meant everyone entered into the party atmosphere being fostered by a magician (ostensibly for the children) and a disco for adults later.

In the enviable position of being able to enjoy a New Year's celebration twice in one year was Lord Provost Gowans accompanied by his wife, who had been invited to meet some of the Chinese community at the festivities.

Downfield May Lose Landmark

One of the best-known landmarks in the north end of Dundee is likely to disappear. The board at Balgowan Boys' School have asked for permission to demolish the main building at the school in Downfield as it is surplus to requirements.

Last week the Scottish Secretary announced he was drawing the schools certificate and the decision to have the school demolished is aimed at saving money. The building costs a lot of money every year to keep open, so because it is never used we have asked for it to be pulled down said a spokesman yesterday. "Of course the other parts of the school will remain - the gym, school block and residential wing - but we just don't need the extra room. We would like to see the joining of Balgay and Balgowan schools eventually and so far there has been no firm refusal of this suggestion".

Dundee Dockers Stay Out

Dundee Harbour was at a standstill for the second day yesterday. Dockers at the port went on strike on Tuesday over settlement of a pay claim. This dispute is preventing the discharging and loading of several vessels, including jute, salt and grain carriers, plus the numerous oil rig supply vessels which operate out of Dundee. A spokesman for the men's employers, Dundee Stevedores and Porters Ltd, said yesterday they were hoping for a resumption of work today.

Pools Wins for Dundee Workmates

Two Dundee workmates have each won over £85,000 on Littlewoods Pools. Both men are pipefitters with Kestral Marine the Dundee based offshore company and they scooped £88,981 each from one first dividend and 16 minor dividends. Neither man, one from Dundee and one from Angus wants any publicity and have asked for their identities to be kept a secret.