In yesterday's post I mentioned going up to Dundee Law for a look at the view over Dundee, but nothing else of what I'd done that day.
In the late 19th and early 20th century Dundee was known for three J’s - Jute, Jam and Journalism. The jam was marmalade, invented by Janet Keillor in the 17th century as a way to use up bitter Seville oranges, and turned into an industry by her son. Journalism is represented by the publishing empire of DC Thomson who produced The Beano, The Dandy, The Sunday Post and the People’s Friend and introduced characters such as Dennis the Menace. Another character is Demon Dan from the sculpture pictured in my previous post.
I learnt about the significance of Dundee's jute industry at Verdant Works which is a former mill that has been turned into a living history museum. It was very quiet so I got a personalised tour from the “works manager” and from George, a volunteer, who looks after the machinery, some original and some scaled down models. A lot of the equipment reminded me of visiting the Castlemaine Woollen Mill as a kid, I guess the principles are the same.
Today was a big cultural/tourist day starting with a visit to the V&A Design Museum. I saw the Ocean Liner (paid) exhibition first. Comprehensive and very interesting, particularly the decorative elements. They had a deckchair from the Titanic which brought to mind the term “like rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic” which I think means doing something futile.
The Scottish Design gallery was full of fascinating objects, everything from fashion to medical technology. The building is stunning but bizarrely it seems smaller on the inside than expected. Not that the inside spaces are small, the entrance, cafe and shop area are very large and open, it’s just that I thought there’d be more than just the two gallery spaces. Maybe there are, just not on public display.
Discovery Point, home to, and history of, the Royal Research Ship Discovery which was built for Scott’s three year trip to the Antarctic. The ship is now permanently docked in Dundee, having spent many years on the Thames as the home to Sea Scouts among other things. Another very interesting exhibition with lots of displays, videos, and interactive elements.
The McManus, a combined museum and art gallery, mainly focusing on Dundee and Scotland. I enjoyed the story of the two women journalists who were sent on a world tour by the publisher DC Thomson to report on the life of women around the world. The exhibition of portraits was also very good and I learnt that well-known companies such as Timex (watches) and NCR (cash registers and ATMs) had significant operations in Dundee..
Finally, Dundee Contemporary Arts which I visited mainly because it was open after 5pm and thus was a good way of filling in time before it was late enough for dinner! My accommodation here in Dundee is great but it’s just a bit out of the way (and uphill) to want to come home in the afternoon, knowing that I would have to go back to town for dinner and there doesn’t appear to be anywhere to eat nearby.
It's going to be extra cold tonight and tomorrow morning. So far the temperature has mostly been around 6C which is fine when I'm rugged up in my coat, scarf and thermals although my nose is usually cold. It's already down to 2C and expected to go to 1C overnight. Tomorrow's top for Glasgow, where I head late morning, is only 3C! I might have to add in the second coat I think.
What's happening here?
I'm off on an adventure to Europe, on my own for 12 days and the remaining 3 weeks with my 17 year old daughter. This is where I'm going to share my adventures.
On the map
See a bird's eye view of the trip on Tourbuilder
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