- THB 33
Tayside Health Board
24 results directly related Exclude narrower terms
Tayside Health Board
Ashwell & Nesbit Ltd
Blairgowrie and Rattray Districts Cottage Hospital
Part of Photographs of Dundee
Dundee Institute of Architects
Dundee Royal Infirmary
Henry Pearce Robbie
Part of The Dundee Oral History Project
00:00 - 05:43
He was born in London in March 1938. He is the youngest of eleven children. His father was 65 when he was born . He grew up during the blitz. He was too young to really notice what was going on. The houses behind his were destroyed and many other buildings around his house were destroyed. He remembers going to air riad shetlers. He would play in the bomb sites. He had a good relationship with both of his parents.
05:43 - 09:05
School: He went to primary school in Tottenham and then went to Tottenham Grammar School. There were many eccentric teachers there. Many teachers stayed on past retirement because of the war. One art teacher would not allow certain pupils into his class if he did not like the look of you. It was a very strict school and physical punishment was often used.
09:05 - 14:28
At first he had no idea what he wanted to do after he left school. His father thought he should get a job with the council as soon as he could because it was a well paid job. He got a job with the council in the town clerks department and then the housing department. He then saw a job as an architectural assistant. Worked in a toy shop and in a dance hall for the five years that he did the course. He studied at North Polytechnic in London. The course changed his life. He got a grant from the council for £125 a year. He had not done art at school. He finished with an honours diploma with distinction and then did a year of professional practice. He first met his wife, who comes from Dundee, while on the course.
14:28 - 21:39
First job after he qualified was with a firm called Schindler and Risden. Before going to the office though he worked in Norwich making a model for an architectural achene in Ipswich. When he came back he was given a major alteration job by Schinlder and Risden. It was for an office which needed serious alterations. He also did a lot of small jobs, some of which were for betting shops. He was able to acquire a lot of experience by doing lots of small jobs. Then worked for another firm called Erdy and Rapsen. He did work in a motel in Oxford. There were lots of jobs going at the time. With an architectural qualification you could get pretty much any job you wanted. He left Erdy and Rapsen about the time he got married.
21:39 - 26:51
He kept in touch with a guy who was working in Denmark. He and his wife moved to Demark which was the best place for architecture at the time. They could not afford to live in Copenhagen so they moved to Helsingor (Elsinor). He received Danish lessons but his wife felt quite isolated. He heard about a postgraduate town planning course at Edinburgh University and decided to do it. He lived in Edinburgh while he did his course and his wife moved back in with her parents in Dundee. After the course he got a planning job at Dundee City. He then got a house on Long Lane, Broughty Ferry but later moved to Newport and then Coupar.
26:51 - 28:45
The Danes were very much into their natural materials and they still are today. He also learnt that they take a very simple approach towards things. While in Demark he took part in an economic development group visit to Aarhus which ran a scheme for wayward kids. They got them to make expensive things, such as silk ties and duvets, to give them a sense of accomplishment.
28:45 - 38:31
In Dundee in 1966, when he first arrived, everything seemed to be about building as many houses as possible. The old Overgate work had started in 1963 but the last bit was not finished until 1968. When he arrived they were in the last phase but he was not aware of the objections to the work at the time. There was a real appetite for new and proper homes at the time. Although Dundee was not as badly affected by the war as some other cities had been it still had some of the worst homes in the UK. He recalls a time when a prefab was made in Mid-Cragie and people were charged one crown just to take a look at it. There were huge queues just to go and see it. The first efforts to regenerate Dundee were to improve its outer areas. This resulted in there being many old and empty houses in the centre. There a real need to change things but it turned into a bit of a political pawn. There was a mania to build new houses.
38:31 - 41:40
He thinks it was a dreadful design and was quite grim. It was popular when it first opened however. Many of the local shops were replaced by chain stores. He thinks chain stores are quite vulnerable. Even if the store in your area is successful, problems higher up in the company can still cause it shut down.
41:40 - 51:14
In many cities at the time there were many instances of malpractice among council workers. There were times when planning conveners would fix things with local firms. He first found evidence of this when he and a colleague came across a letter from a planning convener to a local firm saying he would be able to fix things up for them. He and his colleague then made several copies of this letter to ensure that they were not the only ones who were aware of this. He was working on a project in the Hilltown which involved the use of a certain stone. He was called up into the office of his superiors about this because he was not doing things his way. He was told that he would not have a job after restructuring. There was a terrible atmosphere at the time. The police eventually got hold of the files exposing the corruption. Many of the people involved left the country.
51:14 - 56:52
Interviewer says at time Dundee has been accused of committing "civic vandalism" by getting rid of some of its old buildings, such as the Royal Arch and the old railway station, and asks if it was right for these things to go. He thinks that it is important to understand that if there is a lot of economic activity things will happen. He takes the differences between East and West Berlin as an example. As Dundee developed it changed. He says the growth in car ownership had impact on how Dundee changed. Dundee's location with a river on one side presented a challenge for how the road system would work. Commercial Street was put in and it originally cut through the medieval part of the city. It was put in to help transport material from the harbour.
56:52 - 01:04:30
There is a question with the civic trust over how you fill up the floor space of the regeneration to get it developed. There is a question, which was first raised in the 1970s, of if Dundee has too many shops. For example the development of the Wellgate took away from the original Overgate. When the Overgate was redeveloped this then took away from the Wellgate. There is a question as to how much retail Dundee can support? He thinks that shops on the Kingsway have taken away something from the town. Online shopping has also greatly affected the retail industry. The interviewer asks if it is difficult to bring shops to Dundee, such as John Lewis. He says that the company needs to know if there will be enough people to support a shop. People today often shop in other cities, whereas they could not in the past, as this has affected how shops have been brought into the city. Reform street has changed a lot since he first arrived in Dundee. Many of the banks have now left as well. He has his doubts over whether Dundee would be able to support a large music venue. He thinks Dundee has a lot going for it for a town of its size. It has as many cinema screens now as it did in the 1930s but fewer cinemas.
01:04:30 - 01:07:00
The people of Dundee are often its biggest enemy but this is the same for many towns. The situation is not helped that the west coast press is often not positive towards Dundee. He thinks that often people do not know their own town.
01:07:00 - 01:17:13
Multistory Flats and current developments: The first multistory flats had an office at the bottom with a care taker. These were taken away from later flats to save money. He thinks however that the office is essential to these buildings. He metions that there similar instances of corruption in other regions of the country. He thinks that the standard of housing today is better. He thinks that the V and A will be a nice building.
University of Dundee
Ninewells Hospital and Medical School
Professor George Howard Bell
St Andrew's Episcopal Church, Brechin
Royal Dundee Liff Hospital
Part of The Dundee Oral History Project
00:00 - 07:30
He was born in Newport-on-Tay in 1954. His Dad worked for Bett Brothers in Dundee and designed many houses. His dad later became a lecturer in architecture and moved with his family to Khartoum, Sudan. Stewart lived there with his family from age five to eleven. He feels that this time in Sudan as a child greatly informed many of the views he holds today. During his time in Sudan he often slept on the roof of the house. He also went to school six days a week but these were half days. His mum was a primary school teacher and set up a school in Khartoum. This was a post British colonial time for Sudan. There was a degree of segregation in Sudan but there was no formal apartheid like in South Africa. For example there was a white and a black side to a church. He remembers his parents choosing to sit on the black side of the church to send a message. At the university where his dad worked the academic staff were predominantly white and the students were mostly black. It was a time of change for the country. There was violence and a military coup in 1966 after which his family swiftly left the country. He is still in touch with a few people he met during his time there.
07:30 - 10:06
He was interested in architecture as a child. He went to Madras School in St Andrews and then on to Strathclyde University. He worked as an urban and regional planner. He stayed in Glasgow for seventeen years. He then did Community Education and then a management qualification. He worked at the Glasgow Council for Voluntary Service.
10:06 - 13:30
He moved to Dundee in 1990. A friend of his from Glasgow encouraged him to apply for a job at Tayside council. He then became the Regional Community Education Organiser for Tayside. His job involved supporting community centres, youth work and area strategies. The boundaries for this region north of the Tay and south of the Nairns. It incorporated Perth, Dundee and Angus. At this time Tayside region was bigger than Lichtenstein. There were a number of reasons why the region was broken up into different areas. According to Stewart it was partly to improve election results for certain political parties. Urban and rural communities have differing political views and the separation of them could change who was elected to represent the region. The other reason was that some people from different areas resented all being lumped together in the one region.
13:30 - 16:36
Tayside Region disbanded in 1996. He had to apply for his job again and decide which region he would like to work for, Perth, Dundee or Angus. He stayed in Dundee and worked in the Neighbourhood Resources and Development department. He was the manager for area regeneration. This role involved developing deprived areas and and setting up programmes of investment in these areas. During this time there was the creation of the Communities Department which brought together the arts, heritage and neighbourhood resources departments. He was appointed the director of this department.
16:36 - 18:32
He is asked what he thinks were the biggest mistakes that the government made when they built new schemes after World War Two. He thinks the biggest mistake was that they broke up communities. The schemes built in Dundee were all on the fringes of the city and this broke many of the communities who lived in the tenements in the city centre. The residents lost that that community feeling and they no longer knew their neighbours. Many missed being near the city.
18:32 - 24:40
The V and A came about because certain people at the University of Dundee became interested in bringing a new cultural centre to the city. The V and A were also looking to move out of Kensington and have at least one second base somewhere in the country. The first discussions took place around 2005/2006. Stewart at the time was writing the city's cultural strategy and was writing how Dundee would benefit from a new cultural centre. The director of the V and A, Sir Mark Jones, had previously worked in Scotland and was familiar with Dundee. The principal of the university at the time also had aspirations for it. Mike Galloway, head of city development at the time, was also very interested in the project. Many people at the time were doubtful. The V and A were very keen on Dundee however because of its location and its size. The site in Dundee would make the V and A a really prominent part of the city. All of this made the V and A a very serious project. Dundee is often described as a "Goldilocks" city because it is just the right size and in the just the right location. Stewart also thinks the city has a can-do attitude which greatly helped the V and A project.
24:40 - 26:25
Funding for the V and A was split through various funding bodies. Some of it comes from the government - from different branches Scottish, UK and local. It was also funded though funding bodies such as the lottery. It was also funded through the private sector. People in the city generally have confidence the museum The McManus Gallery, over 150 years previously, was community funded and had the confidence of the people behind it.
26:25 - 28:45
There was an international competition for the design of the V and A. After a shortlisting process the applicants were given a grant and asked to build a model of their design.
28:45 - 30:20
There were challenges throughout the whole process of building the V and A. It was originally intended for the museum to be stretched out over the river. However it was discovered that the sand was too soft and the power of the river would make this too difficult and too expensive.
30:20 - 33:48
At the time of the approval of the building's design the technology to build the structure did not exist. The technology which led to the creation of the building had to be created itself. The buildings is made up of two inverted pyramids, which is not the most stable of shapes. The building is one complete structure ram packed with steel. It is a master of engineering.
33:48 - 39:06
Leisure and Culture is about people looking for a good quality of life and the place where they live can offer them. Leisure and culture is important for both residents and tourists. The city needs to offer activities which can be done indoors and outdoors. It is also important for leisure and culture facilities to have a mixture of things which are free and others which you have to pay entry. There are many new things he would like to see come to the city. Currently there is a gymnastics and sports centre being built in Caird Park which is due to open in October 2019. He would like to see a second ice rink built next to the current one to make Dundee a centre for ice skating in Scotland. He also wants to see more outdoor facilities.
39:06 - 43:25
The department he works in became a charity in 2013. The charity was set up to try and get external funding which would not come to the council. It was also to reduce the rates it would have to pay. It meant it was more affordable to pay for regional facilities. Dundee generally carries the financial burden and it made sense for the Dundee not to have to pay the bigger rates. Leisure and culture projects are there for the community so it makes sense for them not to pay rates. Charity also has its own independent board separate from the council. It still relies of the council but it still has its own independence. Relationship between the two is really strong.
43:25 - 49:17
Dundee was unsuccessful in its bid to be city of culture and then it was removed from the competition to be European capital. These were both huge disappointments for the city. The European capital bid in particular was disappointing as the city had been planning it for around ten years before the Brexit Referendum. Stewart had been working in Glasgow in 1990 when it was given the status of European capital of culture. He saw first hand the benefits it had and how much it developed the city. There are many deep links between Dundee and Europe which have been around for many years. He thinks removing Dundee from the competition was a mean spirited act. However he received many messages from European partners who showed their sympathy and disappointment. He felt Dundee had a good chance. The connections with Europe however continue. In addition to this Dundee is the only city in the UK to have the status of UNESCO city of design.
49:17 - 53:53
The librarian profession has changed more than any other profession over the years. The librarians of today are managers of creative hubs and places where people can meet. However libraries are at risk and are often seen as something they can get rid of. Libraries are places for everyone. The Dundee Central Library is the busiest public library in Scotland and is a very innovative library. A challenge for Dundee today is for it to decide whether to keep Central Library in its current location or to move it somewhere else.
53:53 - 57:45
Stewart is most proud of the people he has worked with over the years. He is also proud to have featured in an addition of the Beano. When asked to describe Dundee in one word he says "cute" or "canny".
Sunnyside Royal Hospital
University of Dundee
Mr W. S. Howe