This grainy pic of gridlock early 20th Century style will probably be instantly recognisable to anyone who knows or has lived in the City of Dundee. I took it today in the recently opened Dundee Transport Museum and anything wrong with it is down to me and I get that you may want to wince if you’re skilled in photography! But it was the location which caught my attention. It’s taken from what is today City Square but at that time was the location of Dundee’s Adam designed Town House – known as the Pillars. The name survives today in a nearby pub in Crichton Street but this beautiful architectural gem was demolished in order to build the Caird Hall at the behest of the Caird Family Dundee Jute Barons. Suffice to say Sir James Caird like his fellow Jute Barons wasn’t short of a million or ten and helped finance Captain Scott’s Antarctic Expedition on RRS Discovery built in Dundee.
And while it is true that we have needlessly destroyed heritage in the past that has changed dramatically I think and we’re much much better at preserving it now. Dundee Transport Museum is a good example. Through much hard work and commitment a team of volunteers and enthusiasts have restored and preserved for exhibition a large swathe of our fascinating transport heritage in this part of the world including a horse drawn tram from earlier than the ones in the pic – late 19th Century no less!. It had been sitting in a garden in Perth for years! Not only that Dundee Museum of Transport has plans to expand and develop from their current location in Market Street to a permanent home in the old Maryfield Tram Depot. Where perhaps some of the cars in the pic sailed out on silver lines towards the silver river! Watch this space.