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Issue 101 - Dundee's Bright Future

Scotland Magazine Issue 101
November 2018

 

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Dundee's Bright Future

This city on the Tay has come far since the days of jam, jute and journalism

As a Perthshire boy that spent his awkward teenage years living just outside the Fair City, Dundee was a regular feature of my life. This other, larger city on the Tay was a place of parental shopping days, school trips and long Saturdays spent kicking around the central shopping district with friends - doing nothing in particular. I was always fond of the statues of the DC Thomson comic characters, Minnie the Minx and Desperate Dan, swimming at the nowdemolished Olympia pool, and walking the waterside promenade by the RRS Discovery. When I was a little older, I dropped by a few times to visit friends studying in the city, which has become well known for its vibrant academic community, but, as the years went on, Dundee became a city that I drove through rather than to.

Unfortunately, this was part of a larger pattern for Dundee. Despite being home to a number of great attractions and providing a superb base from which to explore both Angus and northern Fife, there was little draw for tourism - be it domestic or from overseas. The opening of the new V&A Dundee changes that story entirely. The first V&A site outside of London and Scotland’s first design museum, this striking cliff-like edifice, dreamt up by renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, put the city on the map again as the entire nation waited with baited breath for its opening. Just one part of a £1 billion redevelopment of Dundee’s waterfront, which will open up opportunities for 7,000 new jobs, this very visible sign of the city’s transformation sits opposite a brand-new train station.

Shedding greater light on this story, Neil Robertson has penned our regional focus on Angus and Dundee. Downriver, Keith Fergus has dropped by Broughty Ferry to take in the harbour and its imposing castle. After that, he passes southward to explore the delights of the Fife Coastal Path. Back in Angus, Charles Douglas has visited Hospitalfield House, a spectacular mansion that doubles as a residential art collage, before looking in on the birthplace of writer J M Barrie. Meanwhile, Roddy Martine has met with printmaker and illustrator, Kelly Stewart and the restaurant entrepreneur, Carina Contini. Christopher Nicholson has taken a trip to the Scottish Lighthouse Museum, John Hannavy has gone in search of the Picts, and I’ve done a little winter wildlife watching. Author Dan Smith has delved into the origins of Sherlock Holmes, while James Irvine Robertson has tracked the history of Clan Fraser and shared the legend of clan bard Iain Lom.

Finally, I am delighted to share the results of our annual Scotland Magazine Photographic Challenge. Congratulations to the winners! 

 

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