11 October 2007


What makes my neighbourhood special.....well I live here for one thing (just kidding!!) My town is over 800 years old and has a pretty remarkable industrial history. Famous in the past for "jute, jam and journalism" - think of the covered wagons carrying pioneers across the United States - the covers are made of jute from Dundee, think of Dennis the Menace and famous old comics such as the Beano (first published in 1938) and the Dandy (first published in 1937) which are still being published today and introduced such characters as Dennis the Menace, Desperate Dan, Minnie the Minx (see yesterday's post), Beryl the Peril and the Bash Street Kids.

Skills developed in the construction of boats for the whaling industry allowed the skilled craftsmen of Dundee to build the RRS Discovery (Royal Research Ship) which carried both Ernest Shackleton and Captain Scott to the Antarctic. Using the techniques required to strengthen boats sailing through cold waters to catch whales (we don't do it anymore I promise) the Discovery was the first research ship to be built in Dundee in 1901 and the last 3-masted wooden ship to be built in the UK. It spent 2 years trapped in the ice in the Antarctic!!

The ship returned to Dundee in the late 1980s and Discovery Point was built as a museum to the ship and the bravery of the Antarctic explorers she carried.

The Space Shuttle Discovery is named after the RRS Discovery and now the city's slogan is "Dundee: City of Discovery". We are however, working towards discoveries of other kinds - with the Wellcome Trust Biocentre housing hundreds of scientists working on cures for some of the world's worst diseases - cancer, diabetes, heart disease, African sleeping sickness etc.

There are of course other things that make this place special for me: Friends - many who I met here no longer live here but they helped to shape my experience of the City and to make me happy living here. And I apologise to all my friends for using their photos here - I think they are all great photos!!


Louise said...

In an introductory speech at a conference in Dundee last week I learned that marmalade was invented here...apparently outside of the whaling season they sent the ships down to Spain to load up with oranges, and marmalade was born.

We were also told how Dundee has become the city of the 3 B's rather than the 3 J's these days - biochemistry, biotechnology and bio-something else. Now I must get back to the bench for some more groundbreaking research haha!

j said...

what an interesting post!

boat building is an industry in my town, too.

I loved the post you had about the dolphins playing in the bay; makes your city rather special, too.

nice photos of your friends.

Anne said...

This is an interesting post and now I can claim that I learned something today. I envy you for living by that lovely sea, with all of it's history.

chik austin said...

Very informative post! Looks like a great place to live!

Anonymous said...

those are great pictures!

Raine K said...

I'd never even heard of Dundee - so much history and such a cool future.
And good friends are what make anyplace special!

greenolive said...

i love how everything in the UK has such history, not the case over here.