On May 20th 1980, the press made a plea to the ‘underworld’ to help solve the murder of Dr and Mrs Woods.

Reported in the Glasgow Herald, Detective Chief Superintendent James Cameron appealed to thieves and housebreakers in the area as the motive for the murders was thought to be theft. He hoped that local thieves would also abhor the terrible violence of the murders and be willing to give over information that would help them solve the crime.

We now know it was indeed a man, Henry Gallacher, with a history of burglary and theft, but it wasn’t information provided by other local thieves that got him caught, read about his story on the murder pages.(link to murder page)

See the full article below.


Dundee’s Royal Arch was erected in 1853 to commemorate the Royal visit of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1844, the first visit to the city by a monarch since the 17th century. The Queen often visited Dundee which was on her way to Balmoral. The Arch was commonly known as Victoria Arch to Dundonians, and sat between King William IV Dock and Earl Grey Dock on the south side of Dock Street between the junctions of Castle Street, and Whitehall Crescent. At over 80ft wide it was an imposing landmark on the waterfront and the grand structure was loved by locals and visitors alike.

aerial photograph of dundee's royal arch in 1933


In the 1960s, it was decided the Arch should be demolished to make way for the new road bridge slip roads, and finally on 16th March 1964 the Arch came down.The arch was dynamited, and the rubble thrown into both the King William IV and the Earl Grey Docks. Afterwards, the docks were land-filled to accommodate the slip roads for the new road bridge. In the opinion of many dundonians this was one of the worst decisions in Dundee’s planning history, and there have been many.

The Arch still resonates today, and the recent discovery of some large slabs during work on the waterfront development, and the work of the McManus museum staff in locating the original stones may well lead to the restoration of the Arch, or at least some of it. If you want the Arch reinstated support the petition by Lost Dundee and see the comments on the petition page for just how strongly Dundonians remember and want to see the Arch back again.

Whether any of the parties were found guilty, we don’t know, having not looked at the court records. But back in the 1980s there were just as many suspicions, and likely backhanders and deals going on. So much of the corruption and greed that went on from our elected officials we will never know, but occasionally our councillors and MPs are taken to trial and questioned, as with this case where two councillors and an ex Lord Provost of the city were accused of corruption. It still took 16 years to come to trial, when the original deal was alleged to have taken place back in 1964, with this report in the Glasgow Herald from 1980:

political corruption trial in dundee

It is the party season, and while family gatherings can be joyous occasions, sometimes we don’t get on with our family. Things can quickly take a turn for the worse when alcohol is involved, and on this day in 1974 Daniel Flanagan was sentenced for the culpable homicide of his brother, and assault for stabbing his nephew following a family party.

The article below is from the Glasgow Herald, 7th December 1974:

1974 homicide brother

Found this video online from The Courier’s YouTube channel of the moment the roof collapsed under the weight of the snow at RG Consort, a garage in Dundee, on this day in 2010. Disaster! It was also this day in 2010 when the snow caused my holiday to be cancelled before it had begun – after spending the day retreiving the neighbours tree which had fallen over the wall onto the road (narrowly missing the car we were to drive in to the airport), and making a treacherous drive to Edinburgh through fife as the A90 was closed!

We’re sure there were lots of other incidents around Dundee around that day which brought huge snowfall that stayed for weeks.

Everyone prepared for winter this year??

The Glasgow Herald ran this story on Nov 25th 1989, in the midst of the Gordon Johnston murder trial, where Ryan Monks and Paul Mill stood accused. http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2507&dat=19891125&id=2DNAAAAAIBAJ&sjid=UFkMAAAAIBAJ&pg=4317%2C2186038

News report mid-trial during the Gow gun shop murder. http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2507&dat=19891125&id=2DNAAAAAIBAJ&sjid=UFkMAAAAIBAJ&pg=4317%2C2186038


On this day in 1983, Dundee textile spinner James Townsley stood for the first time in the dock at Dundee Sheriff Court, charged with the murder of 26-year old, mother of two, June Weston. She was found dying from multiple stab wounds in her home in Kilbride Place, Whitfield, Dundee on the afternoon of Thursday 10th November. No plea was made and the case was continued for further inquiries.  The newspaper clippings are courtesy of the Glasgow Herald, who ran the story on 12th and 17th November 1983, and yes, we did notice they called it “Whitefield” in their larger article, but we’ll forgive them just this once.

james townsley appears in court


James was apprehended after police took the unusual at the time step of naming and showing a photograph of the suspect in the local papers, amid reports that he may be “armed and dangerous”.  These newspaper articles are available to view online.



An unusual story in Dundee’s papers about a woman who died on 27th October 1912, warning readers not to fall foul of the same fate – and to watch out for false teeth! Full story below:

Warning from a Tragedy

A Lochee woman met her death under tragic circumstance on Tuesday, expiring after swallowing her artificial teeth. The wife of Michael Reekie, timekeeper at the Linoleum Works, Mrs Janet Wood or Reekie, was seated at dinner with her husband shortly after one o’clock, when, along with a piece of morning roll and a spoonful of broth, she accidentally swallowed her top set of teeth. Complaining of acute pain, she requested that she should be taken to the Royal Infirmary, and this was immediately done. At the Infirmary the coin-catcher was tried without avail for over an hour, and later Mrs Reekie, after being x-rayed, was taken to the operating theatre to have her throat opened. Before receiving chloroform, however she died. On Monday it was noticed that her teeth were loose, the upper set falling out altogether. A resident in the district for many years, Mrs Reekie was well known, and her cheery temperament made her a popular tenant. She was in her fifty-eighth year.


On this day in 1861, newspaper ‘The Gleaner’ published a story about a Dundonian woman who visited Egpyt and was made an ‘interesting’ proposal! Read the story below to find out more. We wonder who this lady was?