Dundee, as most of us know, contains a very rich industrial heritage with industries ranging through the obvious such as jute, jam and journalism. However most people forget the other industries Dundee contained such as shipbuilding, whaling (being a thing of its time) and heavy industry.
These industries, except journalism are all but extinct from Dundee now, and one may view this as gloomy but a lot of industry has been replaced by modern day successes.
For example, having grown up in the seventies in Dundee I caught the very tail end of the jute and shipping industries and can remember the docks as being very populated.
Additionally, because we lived relatively near to the jam production, in this case, marmalade, we used to watch the trains coming in to the Keillor’s factory loaded with oranges for production.
Additionally, in our previous business in the packaging we were involved in supplying the last two or three surviving jute mills; indeed I remember six or seven years ago the last ever shipment of flax coming into Dundee for conversion to jute — end of an era.
While Dundee had a very rich demeanour about it, the wealth as usual was not evenly distributed and I can remember as a young child all the streets of tenements, many derelict, prior to the upgrading projects of the mid –1970’s.
Moving into the town, I am too young to remember the development of the old Overgate but I do remember the new Wellgate opening; I believe that Dundee has now got the balance of both ends of the town right and while it may have lost most of the old industry, this has been replaced by different types of business.
Dundee’s teaching hospital, Ninewells, is, I believe, the largest in Europe and attracts a variety of researchers and medical staff from all over the world, bringing with them a wide variety of cultures and resulting in Dundee becoming ever—- more cosmopolitan.
Ninewells, in conjunction with Dundee University, is at the forefront of pioneering treatments for a wide variety of ailments, not least cancer.
The University of Dundee has expanded incredibly and together with the University of Abertay, has swollen the student population incredibly throughout the last twenty years.
Socially Dundee has become a cultural oasis in that it has a very progressive theatre and contemporary arts centre, which regularly has showings of films from all over the world.
On the industrial front, while the traditional industries have all but vanished, there has been a huge increase in bio sciences and computer games manufacturing in the city, creating employment of a different kind.
With the reintroduction of the Discovery ship to Dundee, and the planned waterfront development, Dundee has inarguably become one of the most attractive cities around;
I can say this with a certain amount of authority and knowledge as my role in our last business was largely to drive all over the UK doing presentations to procurement departments to win contracts and I can tell you Dundee is a breath of fresh air compared to many cities I have been to.
Lastly, with our new business, I am constantly told by people I meet coming here for business how beautiful it is whilst driving along the riverfront.
Why don’t you visit and find out for yourself the delights Dundee has to offer?