Dock Street Heading towards train station & Malmaison


Play Audio

Kevy: So we are walking along Dock Street with the V&A to your left and then the Bird and Bear Public House ahead. This has been a public house for about two hundred years. This whole area was previously docks, of course.

Anna: Yes, this is all reclaimed land, isn’t it? We’re now walking past what is the Malmaison Hotel but when it was first built it was actually a temperance hotel and in fact, the whole of Dundee was dry. That’s why Broughty Ferry became popular – because people could go there for a drink – many stayed.

Kevy: Saturday nights were very quiet in Dundee, until the temperance movement fell out of fashion. If you stand and look up at the Malmaison doorway, you’ll see there’s a stone face above you. That’s James Travesty, who also popularised the temperance movement in Dundee.

Anna: The idea was that James would be staring down at you to remind you that being drunk was a sin, and that you didn’t need to be drunk to enjoy Dundee. But a lot of people seem to have forgotten that now.

Kevy: For many years, Dundonians would make sure that when they walked past the image of Travesty that they would not appear drunk.

Anna: It’s interesting that when you compare Dundee to say, Paris, at this time, it was the fin de siecle and where Paris was all party, party, party – Dundee was quietly tea party.

Kevy: People did move to Dundee for that reason. Quite a small amount of people.

Anna: Such as Winston Churchill, renowned temperance practitioner.