The Anniversary Cover Painting

Our home city was always going to be the cover feature of this week’s Anniversary issue.

We had Willie Shand on the case, bringing together the stories of the city’s past, present and future as deftly as he always does. And the obvious choice for the illustration was, of course, our very own Meadowside office.

When I began work for the “Friend”, the team was based in huge offices up on the outskirts of town – the Kingsway. It was only a couple of years ago, after extensive refurbishment, that the Meadowside building was ready to welcome back all the staff from the Kingsway and once again become the beating heart of the company.

The company had operated out of premises in Bank Street – only a minute’s walk from here – until Meadowside construction began. The shot below was taken in 1905.

Illustrations Ed. Sarah and I spent a few hours exploring different angles of the building exterior to find the right cover shot. Sarah tried around a dozen variations before we were able to settle on the right shot and send it away to artist Margaret Macleod.

Changing Times

It’s been the centre of our business for well over 100 years now and has seen almost as much change as the “Friend” has. Above is a snap of when King George V and Queen Mary visited the city in 1914, just before the outbreak of World War I. The photo at the very top of this piece was taken in 1938, just before the beginning of the next World War.

Aside from the great hats in the 1914 picture, what really captures my imagination about this one is the view of Dundee’s city hill, the Law, in the background. Then it was just a bare hill. Now it’s the site of an enormous war memorial – but those days were yet to darken the country.

Given the heritage of this office, it was lovely to be able to share it with you on the cover. We’re very proud to work here, at the heart of a city that is on its way up once again.

We do hope you enjoy this issue, and do let us know what you think of it. Read more about our anniversary content.

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.