Each week, we will take you on a trip back in time with a selection of photographs picked from DC Thomson’s vast archives. This week, the focus is on John Menzies in Dundee.
Darth Vader swapped a galaxy, far, far, away, for Dundee’s Murraygate in 1984 when he opened its new department store.
Luke Skywalker’s old man was joined by Bertie Bassett to give the day a bit of buzz when John Menzies took over from Woolworths which had been there since 1924.
John Menzies moved across the road into these premises and everything was now on ground level including the computer section. This was the place to buy games for the Amiga, Commodore 64 and the ZX Spectrum and our picture shows sales assistant Stephen Marr at work in the department in November 1986.
John Menzies was a store which seemed to sell anything including Easter eggs which are being eyed up by four-year-old Alison Adam in this picture from April 1987. In the background you can also see the magazine section which stretched out for aisle after aisle and there was also the toys department and the extensive music department where many a Dundee teenager purchased their first album.
Who can blame Steven Coluille looking on in wonder in this picture from November 1989 at the collection of remote-controlled cars? The glory days of John Menzies in Dundee could rival Duncan’s Toy Chest in New York where Macaulay Culkin famously rocked up to the doors in a limousine in the movie Home Alone 2.
Fife rockers Big Country performed live in the store in 1994 to promote their first live album which was called Without the Aid of a Safety Net. The late, great, Stuart Adamson was joined in store by the classic line-up of Bruce Watson, Tony Butler and Mark Brzezicki to perform some of the band’s greatest hits.
Over 200 people packed into the Murraygate store in February 1995 to meet TV naturalist Sir David Attenborough, who was on a whistle-stop tour of Scotland’s cities to promote his new book, The Private Life of Plants.
The store closed in 1996 and the company now focuses on their distribution and aviation branches, having all but moved away from the world of retail.
But the John Menzies of old lives on in the memory of generations of Dundonians.