Dundee In Pictures Through The Decades

February 25’s People’s Friend cover feature is on the City of Discovery, Dundee. Once a thriving industrial area, it’s now undergoing something of a renaissance and becoming a real cultural hub, with a new waterfront development and stunning V&A museum showing off a whole new side to this wonderful Scottish city.

While we were working on our feature we discovered lots of images of Dundee through the decades in our archives, so we thought we’d publish them here for anyone feeling nostalgic for the city as it used to be – before its glamorous makeover!



The Dundee skyline in 1966 is captured in this shot taken from the Abercraig ferry as it makes the crossing from Fife over to Dundee. The ferry was the regular way to cross the River Tay, but it ceased operating after the Tay Road Bridge’s opening in 1966. The famous Caird Hall is visible near the waterfront, and Dundee Law dominates the skyline in the background.


H228 196x-00-00 Tay Road Bridge from Fife (C)DCT

This beautifully clear image features the city of Dundee in the background and, in the foreground, the new road bridge spanning the River Tay between Fife and Dundee. This photograph was taken in 1967 when there were far fewer cars on the road than there are today!


H238 Broughty Ferry 1970-72 1971-07-00 00_05 (C)DCT

A lovely summer day in 1971 sees Dundonians enjoying the sunshine at Broughty Ferry beach. Nestling on the outskirts of Dundee, Broughty Ferry lies on the banks of the Tay, and is famed locally for its beach which offers panoramic views, making it a popular place to visit during the summer months, with many large groups of friends and family meeting there.


H259 Hilltown 1966-1969 1967-06-00 00_16 (C)DCT

This picture of the Hilltown from 1967 clearly shows how this area of Dundee earned its name! The changes to the city centre and the Wellgate area are very noticeable when compared with modern day Dundee. Famously the Hilltown makes for a pleasant stroll into the city – but a much more challenging uphill climb to get home again.


H288 1963-04-09 Tay Road Bridge Dundee (C)DCT

It’s hard to believe now that this shot from 1963 is of the view out from Dundee city centre! The city’s Royal Arch, which gave access to one of the port’s main docks, was one of the most well-known landmarks of the time, but the amazing structure was sadly demolished in 1964 to make way for the construction of the Tay Road Bridge.


H259 Perth Road 1969 1962-10-17 00_01 (C)DCT

Caught on camera in 1969, this is a stunning view of the Perth Road in Dundee’s West End, looking out towards Perth and the Carse of Gowrie. On a clear day you can still stand anywhere on Dundee’s waterfront and see the hills of Fife and Perthshire. The university buildings featured in the foreground remain to this day, as does the beautiful Dundee West Church.


H259 Murraygate 1969 1962-09-03 00_09 (C)DCT

This photograph of the Murraygate in Dundee city centre was taken in 1962 and illustrates just how much the city has changed. The much altered shops and restaurants are packed with smartly dressed shoppers and diners, and the street – now pedestrianised – features wonderful examples of the most popular cars of the day. These were the days when parking wasn’t a problem!


E28 Berry Picking 1963-08-00 00_09 (C)DCT

One popular way to spend the summer holidays was to go berry-picking in the fields of Perthshire and Angus. This shot from 1963 shows some young lads who look like they’re taking the whole endeavour very seriously indeed.


E173 Jute Weaving Girls at Work 00_07 (C)DCT

Here we see inside Camperdown Jute Works and a group of ladies hard at work. The city became famous for ‘the Three Js’ – Jute, Jam and Journalism – so it featured many of these mills, before they gradually closed during the last few decades of the twentieth century. Nowadays there are very few reminders left of the city’s rich industrial past, but the wonderful historical visitor attraction Verdant Works is a fantastic insight into life in a Jute mill.


H261 1956-07-25 City Churches and Nethergate (C)DCT

This shot of the city centre from 1956 shows just how dramatically the landscape has changed in 60 years. The wonderful churches remain but most of the other buildings have been replaced with modern shopping centres. Our eye was drawn to the fabulous city bus and the tram – sadly no longer running – which was a hugely popular way to travel around the city

We hope you’ve enjoyed this nostalgic look at Dundee as much as we have – it’s been fascinating leafing through our archive and noticing just how much a city can change over the decades.

All of the images featured in our stroll down memory lane (and many, many more) are available to browse and purchase from our photoshopscotland website.


Alex Corlett

Alex is the "Friend's" Features Editor, working with the talented Features Team to bring you everything from cryptic crosswords to financial advice, knitting patterns to international travel and inspirational real life stories. Always on the hunt for a new feature idea, Alex also enjoys cycling and loves a good tea room.