Dundee (East) Station Facade

The day to day working of the Caledonian Railway Company, including its constituents and successors.
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Niall Ferguson
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Joined: Mon May 27, 2013 10:23 am

Dundee (East) Station Facade

Post by Niall Ferguson »

Having decided to use Lockdown to finish my long-neglected book about the Dundee & Arbroath Railway, I am having trouble getting the date of a fairly basic piece of information. In the late 19th/early 20th Century the public façade to the Station had a curved top to it and a glass upper storey that could best be described as "like a tracery window". By its closure the end end had square stepped gables and tall rectangular windows. The roof glass was removed at the start of WW" for safety reasons but I can find nothing in the Minutes or the local newspapers for when the major reconstruction of the façade took place - can anyone help?
Graham R
Posts: 97
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:44 am

Re: Dundee (East) Station Facade

Post by Graham R »

Hi Niall,

I do not have a date I'm afraid, but judging by the aerial photos on britainfromabove.org.uk, it must have been rebuilt between 1938 (neg SPW060075) and 1948 (neg SAW019530). I have an indistinct view from 1943 culled from the Internet somewhere, which is attached, but as luck would have it the angle is just to the wrong side of the frontage!
Dundee East station aerial view 2 Jul 1943.JPG
Dundee East station aerial view 2 Jul 1943.JPG (100.52 KiB) Viewed 1914 times
Regards
Graham
Jim Summers
Posts: 1000
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:54 pm

Re: Dundee (East) Station Facade

Post by Jim Summers »

I can't help with that query, Niall, but just thought I would thank you for the good news that a book on the D&A is under way.
Much needed, as it was a fascinating enterprise.

JimS
DFORSYTH
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2020 6:29 pm

Re: Dundee (East) Station Facade

Post by DFORSYTH »

Hi Niall,
That aerial photo was taken from a Spitfire of 66 Squadron RAF. The aircraft was flying at 500ft using an oblique camera with a focal length of 14”.
I believe that the sortie was photographing the Tay shore line. In 1943, 66 Sqn were based in the Orkneys.

Have you approached the National Collection of Aerial Photographs held at CANMORE in Edinburgh to see what other Aerial photos they have of the Dundee area.
CANMORE have these items for Dundee East Station in their collection:
1. Catalogue Number AN5265PO, News cutting showing a general view inscribed Dundee (East) Station, Dundee and Arbroath Joint Railway, 1920
2. Catalogue Number AN5266PO, Rev H.D.E. Rokeby Collection, general interior view 18/8/1958
3. Catalogue Number H82577S General View.

They might have other photographs, not specifically of the station but showing it in the background etc
Also ascertain when the work was done, try and find out the company that did it. Perhaps they are still in business and might hold some records of the work done.
DFORSYTH
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2020 6:29 pm

Re: Dundee (East) Station Facade

Post by DFORSYTH »

For 500ft read 540ft
DFORSYTH
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2020 6:29 pm

Re: Dundee (East) Station Facade

Post by DFORSYTH »

Ref: 2 July 1943 aerial photo
To me, it looks like the end facade has a curved top I.e the original built one with the beautiful windows
Ground photographs from the 1950s now show a stepped arch with just plane windows. It looks like they put back the original clock though.
There was a nighttime raid on Dundee on 22 May 1944 with no casualties. There must have been bomb damage and perhaps the ordinal glass was smashed by a blast during this raid?

Records were kept of all the bomb damage throughout the UK in WW2. These are held at the National Archives, Kew, London.
Sub series within HO198 - Raid Summaries refers.

With austerity both during and after the war, they certainly wouldn’t have reconstructed the original windows. A basic repair job, just as we see in the 1950 pictures.
Just a thought!
Graham R
Posts: 97
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:44 am

Re: Dundee (East) Station Facade

Post by Graham R »

I consulted a friend who was a schoolboy in Dundee in 1939. He told me he was evacuated to Kirriemuir in 1939 to stay with relatives, and when he returned to Dundee in 1942, the East station frontage had been altered. His opinion is that it was done at the start of the war because of the danger of bomb blast damage, at the same time that the roof glass was removed. He recalls there were two bombs which fell on Dundee during the war: one demolished a house in the West End, the other fell in Dalkeith Road but without causing significant damage.

So that narrows it down a little more, but still not to a precise date.

It is indeed very welcome news that the D&A will finally have a book to itself.

Regards
Graham
John Duffy
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Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:02 pm

Re: Dundee (East) Station Facade

Post by John Duffy »

No help whatsoever with the Dundee East question but the west end bomb damage was 17 and 19 Rosefield Street. Obvious even today;
23_Rosefield_St_-_Google_Maps.jpg
23_Rosefield_St_-_Google_Maps.jpg (137.64 KiB) Viewed 1831 times
The raid was 5 November 1940, killing two people.

John
John Paton
Posts: 232
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:50 pm

Re: Dundee (East) Station Facade

Post by John Paton »

Hi Niall,

Great to hear that you are continuing your writing on the history of railways in the Dundee area.

I cannot help with a date of the rebuilding of the East station frontage, and I have always assumed that the LMS took the glass out as a wartime precaution.

They may well have been motivated to reconstruct the frontage after the war due to a photo of the old frontage making un unwelcome appearance in the book "Building Scotland" published by the Saltire Society in 1944. The book was very influential - its forward was written by Tom Johnstone, Secretary of State - and it castigated Victorian and Edwardian architecture, promulgating instead what later became the modernist movement which led on to the later 'brutalist' style. It probably took until the 1970s before the influence of the book began to wane and the architecture it so thoroughly trashed was looked at in a more positive light.

I attach the page that features the 'ludicrous and sordid' Dundee East station!

There is a painting in the City of Dundee collection entitled "Opening of Dundee & Arbroath Railway" by George MacGillivray. See it at https://www.artuk.org/discover/artworks ... 1838-92673

It would make a valuable addition to the book if you got their permission to use it.

With best wishes,

John
Attachments
Building Scotland.jpg
Building Scotland.jpg (49.48 KiB) Viewed 1823 times
DFORSYTH
Posts: 41
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Re: Dundee (East) Station Facade

Post by DFORSYTH »

Why would they go to all the trouble of taking all the glass down? Why not just board it up? As far as I am aware, glass roofs etc at other stations were not removed during the war. During air raids, people would have gone to the shelters.
Dundee East Station had its own air raid shelter. NRS RHP36116 Plan of shelter for passengers at Dock Street Dundee East Station (London and North Eastern Railway) refers.
University of Dundee, Museum Services extract ‘July 1940, Dundee Docks were targeted that same month and the city itself was first bombed in August’
All damage during air raids was censored for fear that publishing such information would provide the enemy with valuable intelligence on the accuracy of their bombing. That is why such data was held centrally by the Government and is now in the National Archives at Kew
The eye witness said that the old facade had gone in 1942 - so perhaps the station was damaged in July 1930?
DFORSYTH
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2020 6:29 pm

Re: Dundee (East) Station Facade

Post by DFORSYTH »

Slip of the finger - for July 1930 read July 1940
Niall Ferguson
Posts: 78
Joined: Mon May 27, 2013 10:23 am

Re: Dundee (East) Station Facade

Post by Niall Ferguson »

Thanks to everyone for their replies. The roof glass was removed at the start of the war
It was replaced in 1947 BR/SRO/LMLN/1/12 of 15/4/47 and that minute states it was "removed during the war for safety".
Niall
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