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Re: [dundee-history] Dundee characters from bygone ages

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  • Alastair Smith
    last one, you ll have to view in original size to read, covers quite a few of the early 20th century town characters.... ... From: Edmund Raphael
    Message 1 of 10 , Nov 9, 2011
    last one, you'll have to view in original size to read, covers quite a few of the early 20th century town characters....

    --- On Wed, 9/11/11, Edmund Raphael <edmundraphael@...> wrote:

    From: Edmund Raphael <edmundraphael@...>
    Subject: Re: [dundee-history] Dundee characters from bygone ages
    To: dundee-history@yahoogroups.com
    Date: Wednesday, 9 November, 2011, 16:38


    Oh, gosh, I am very flattered, Michal. My father's family had a long connection with Dundee, my grandfather having given a confirming report to the "Dundee Courier & Argus", which he joined in 1870. My grandmother's family were china merchants for decades but earlier generations are listed as "chaise and horse letters."
    For as long as I can remember, I have been much engaged by the ways of idiosyncratic folks of all sorts, who have stood out from the rest, for reasons of need, want or due to some form of harmless eccentricity. Until modernity established firm hold,  life from the end of World War II took several decades to completely alter, thus allowing for those possessing outstanding but natural characteristics the continuence of uninterupted existence. Sadly, I rather doubt if today's society would be understandingly tollerant of those specific individuals so, for those of us who were priveledged to share our formative years with 'local worthies', who brought true colour to our lives, it is indeed wonderful to be able to reflect on that bygone era.
    As a fierce opponent of so called, ''political correctness''  (erroneous by definition) and the more fantastic insinuations of ''data protection'', I'm not too terribly sure if it would be permissable for one to air  personal opinions about those he/she considered to be worthy of noteable difference.
    I'd give it a go, no less.
    Edmund Raphael
    ----- Original Message -----
    Sent: Tuesday, November 08, 2011 9:55 PM
    Subject: Re: [dundee-history] Dundee characters from bygone ages


    It is a good point from Edmund. And it seems that Edmund also has a lot of unique memories - I wonder if he would consider writing them down or even taking part in an oral history interview?

    I know a lot of history gets lost over the years because it has never been documented - there were tales from my parents about their experience of Dundee from the late 1940s onwards. My father was Polish, my mother English - I remember my mother wondering what a "half lippie o' tatties" was - and also about how the buses stank of jute (I think the whole city did) - Dundee in the 1940s and 1950s was an alien place in many ways to anyone from far afield.

    Up until recently history has belonged to the articulate and literate - something that oral historians have tried to counteract by giving voice to ordinary people of varying educational backgrounds. I hope that somehow the sorts of things mentioned by Edmund - the people and places - can be recorded so that they will not be forgotten completely as the generations change.


    Please consider the environment. Do you really need to print this email?

    >>> Alastair Smith <alastair_smithuk@...> 08/11/2011 17:33 >>>
    Somebody should, i did have a copy of Old Dundee Worthies from the 1930s, full of vivid descriptions of the town's characters, better than history books, an insight into real people of the era.

    --- On Fri, 4/11/11, Edmund <edmundraphael@...> wrote:

    From: Edmund <edmundraphael@...>
    Subject: [dundee-history] Dundee characters from bygone ages
    To: dundee-history@yahoogroups.com
    Date: Friday, 4 November, 2011, 11:46

    I do wonder if anyone has thought of briefly documenting the popular Dundee and Broughty Ferry characters, who were an almost daily sight.

    From "The Ferry", the two ex-servicemen, who sat near Broughty Ferry station, with their limited exhibition of "All my own work", is one example. They had been brave men but now were homeless, amputees, who lived in the Scottish Military & Naval Veteran's Residence, "Rosendael", Victoria Road, West Ferry. A penny or two from each passer-by put a smile on their faces and made their uncomfortable walk to central 'Broty.', worthwhile.

    Other Ferry characters must include the area's heaviest man, Bill Dorward, who at thirty-two stone, caused any double-deck bus to tilt, when he boarded. He was a night watchman, employed to set out paraffin warning lamps, where there were roadworks. He spent his night just inside his makeshift tent, with a coke-fueled fire on which he made copious amounts of tea, brewing up in his Tate & Lyle syrup tin. As young boys gathered around his fire, in awe. After helping Will to set out the lamps and having examined the old steam-rollers and other pieces of road repairing kit, Will would relate stories of his days on whalers and all sorts of other adventures from his youth.

    When I worked for a brief spell in Caird's, Ashton Works, I well remember characters such as Jess 'Carrots', a barrow woman of mature years, who was addicted to snuff. Unlike other snuff-takers, Jess opened her pewter box and sprinkled her "Kendal Brown" from her elbow to her left thumb, taking no more than one second to sniff the lot.

    Bill Webster was the batching house manager, who constantly chewed large lumps of tobacco, with his few remaining, black teeth. If roused, he would march through the entire mill, methodically spitting to left and right, as he gained step on his way to the general manager's office.

    The sellers of the Evening Telegraph were other well known faces (perhaps voices)as they advertised their stock, whist standing on their street corner pitches.

    And does anyone remember the lines of Pakistanis, who walked, single-file, from their jute cargo ships, the length of Dock Street, on their search for clothes. Of course, they were not patrons of Draffen & Jarvie, D.M. Brown or G.L. Wilson, as their pockets could just afford to buy from Jean Sinclair and other old widows, who sold second-hand clothing from their pitches in the Craig Street Market.

    This might provoke quite an interest, so do let us all hear of thos characters you remember.

    Edmund Raphael

    The University of Dundee is a registered Scottish charity, No: SC015096

  • Anne Ide
    Regarding the buses stinking of jute.   I always loved the smell of jute.   Passing along Victoria Street four times a day on our way to and from primary
    Message 2 of 10 , Nov 9, 2011
      Regarding the buses "stinking" of jute.
      I always loved the smell of jute.
      Passing along Victoria Street four times a day on our way to and from primary school, we always lingered at the open doors of Baxter's works to inhale deeply!
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