May 1938

Dundee Gets Gift of Fire Engine

Dundee has received a gift of a fire engine free of charge. It is not a present from a beneficent admirer, but from the Government as part of the air raid precautions equipment. Under their national scheme the Government pays the entire cost of appliances designed to assist in air raids. The machine has arrived at Dundee Fire Station and is a Dennis Trailer pump, which is capable of delivering 350 gallons of water per minute. The equipment of the machine is not quit complete, and several lengths of suction hose have yet to arrive.

Firemaster Mackay said that he had also received from Government sources ten lengths of hose and a supply of canvas buckets, asbestos sheets, picks, axes and hand lamps.

The Firemaster explained that the new machine could be hooked on to an ordinary motor car and conveyed to places, which, in the event of roads being blown up, might not be accessible to the heavier vehicles.

“While it is mainly meant to be used in air raid precautions” said Mr Mackay, “the department is quite at liberty to use it at any time in cases of emergency occurring in the ordinary work of the brigade”.

Mrs Jordan Pleads Not Guilty

High Court Trial
A plea of not guilty was made by Mrs Jessie G. Jordan, the Dundee hairdresser, to charges under the Official Secrets Act in the Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday.

Sheriff Principal Brown, before whom Mrs Jordan made a brief appearance, informed Mrs Jordan that her trial will take place at the High Court at Edinburgh on Monday May 16.

The public gallery of the sheriff court was crowded when Mrs Jordan entered the dock, and a jury occupied the jury box in readiness for a resumption of a trial adjourned from the previous day.

Addressing Mrs Jordan on whom an indictment was served in Edinburgh Prison, Sheriff Brown said, “You know the charge against you. Do you plead guilty or not guilty” and Mrs Jordan replied without hesitation, “I plead not guilty”.

After the plea had been recorded, Mrs Jordan, who was represented during the proceedings by Mr W. Steel Nicoll, S.S.C., was informed as to the trial and immediately she left the dock by way of the steps down to the detention rooms.

Mr T.G. Muir procurator Fiscal, represented the Crown.

Mrs Jordan, who was wearing a green felt hat, which showed her wavy blonde hair, a dark coat with heavy fur collar and carrying a large green cloth and suede handbag, appeared to be completely self-possessed though rather pale.

Three days – May 16, 17 and 18 have been reserved for her trial in the High Court. She will be defended by Mr A.P. Duffes, K.C, and Mr F.C. Watt, advocate. The crown has 42 witnesses.


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City Cinema to become a Music Hall

The deal for the purchase of the Palace Cinema in Nethergate for conversion into a first class music hall has now been completed.

The cinema will close down at the end of this month, and the purchaser will take possession on the 29th May.

The intimation that a deal was in progress was made exclusively in the “People’s Journal” a few weeks ago.

The principal promoter – a well known local gentleman - told me yesterday that the reconstruction work will start immediately he gets control of the building.

As was pointed out in the previous announcement, the building is to be entirely reconstructed and all pillars will be removed so that patrons will have an interrupted view. It is the intention to produce high-class variety turns and stage plays of popular variety. No cinema shows are to be given.

In its heyday the People’s Palace was a popular place of resort with Dundonians of an early generation, and its return as a vaudeville house will be warmly welcomed.

Why Jute Came to Dundee

An explanation of the coming of the jute trade to Dundee was given by Mr Dennis Chapman, of the psychology laboratory, St Andrew’s University in an address to Dundee Business Club.

This explanation, said Mr Chapman, was that, as jute had to be softened with whale oil before it could be spun, Dundee as a whaling port had an advantage over any other linen town.

But whale oil was a universal illuminant, available everywhere.

Jute trickled into an established industry. It was introduced as a substitute for hemp and as an adulterant of flax. In 1834 the flax crop in Russia failed and Dundee manufacturers, a little surreptitiously, introduced jute into flax. This lowered the price. Dundee’s first big order for jute bags was from the Dutch Government in 1838. A year later the town was allowed the privilege of direct trade with India, and this reduced the cost of jute.

Mr Chapman made the point that all efforts to utilise new fibre’s came in periods of bad trade.

Cup Final at Glenesk Park

The Harp-Violet Telegraph Cup final is to be played on Glenesk Park on Saturday week, in preference to Tannadice Park.

Willie Cameron, the Dundee United trainer, made a valiant attempt to have the game staged at Tannadice Park by making things easy for the junior body. But, as the contesting clubs were for the junior ground, the League decided in favour of Glenesk Park. Referee Nicoll will be in charge. It is good to see these honours going round.


All week – Grace Moore and Melvyn Douglas in “I’ll Take Romance” (u) with Stuart Erwin, Helen Westley; also “The Game That Kills” (A).

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Should Be Supported

Speaking at a Rotary Club luncheon on Thursday, Dr Greenhouse Allt, who is adjudicating at Dundee Music Festival, said the radio valve had changed our lives. But he added, “don’t let the time ever come when young people will be unable to make sounds for themselves”. The people who went to the music festival should sing and play and say their pieces should be supported most warmly. Mr D.K. Smith presided.

Girdle Tea Cakes

For these your require ½ lb self raising flour, 2 oz currants and sultanas, 2oz each margarine and lard and ½ a teaspoonful salt and milk.

Put the flour and salt into a basin and rub in margarine and lard. Add cleaned currants and sultanas and mix to a fairly thick dough with milk. Roll out fairly thin, cut into rounds and bake on a hot girdle. Serve hot this butter in the middle. Mrs Sturrock, Dundee.