How the 1970s began for me and how I was nearly written off at the age of five
How the 1970s began for me and how I was nearly written off at the age of five Gerry Hassan Scottish Review, 22 June 2022 It did not start too well for me: the seventies. I was only a few months into primary school. Making friends. Finding my feet as a shy, sensitive only child used to being the centre of attention of my parents. I had many advantages. The school I attended had been built and opened to mark the completion of the new expansive council estate that I lived in on the outskirts of Dundee. It was filled
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Looking back on the Scotland of 1979 and past visions of the future
Looking back on the Scotland of 1979 and past visions of the future Gerry Hassan Scottish Review, 24 August 2021 Last week I was speaking to a close friend about some of the big things in life - family, childhood, growing up, parents – and the impact all these have on who you become and how you remember and interpret the past. I recalled a photo of myself aged 15 in my home in Edzell Court, Ardler, Dundee (see above) which I had used to illustrate an article in the past year. Sitting on my bedroom floor, I was happy
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Dundee and the Limits of Cultural Regeneration
Dundee and the Limits of Cultural Regeneration Gerry Hassan Scottish Review, April 17th 2019 Dundee is the talk of the town. The once forgotten city of Scotland – certainly in the eyes of the Glasgow and Edinburgh chatterati – is now widely celebrated and recognised. It is winning piles of awards and attention, the latest of which being named ‘Sunday Times’ Best Place to Live in Scotland, with Dundee High School-educated Andrew Marr stating that ‘Dundee is certainly a very good idea’. Dundee’s moment in the sun is well-deserved and has been a long time coming. There is an undoubted
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A Vision of the Future comes to Dundee: A Tayside Renaissance?
A Vision of the Future comes to Dundee: A Tayside Renaissance? Gerry Hassan New Statesman, October 12th 2018 Dundee is being talked about. This marks a big change for a city that traditionally has been ignored or presented in clichés - of jute, jam and journalism, the Tay Rail Bridge disaster, and William McGonagall. Now Dundee is on the map, and not just the Scottish and UK one, but internationally as a tourist and cultural hot spot, and a must-see destination. The major reason for this sudden interest is the opening of the V&A this month. It has been a
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2018 will be the Year of Dundee but whose Dundee will it be?
2018 will be the Year of Dundee but whose Dundee will it be? Gerry Hassan Scottish Review, February 20th 2018 2018 will be the Year of Dundee. There is excitement and expectation in the city. After years in the doldrums, Dundee has now been punching above its weight for over a decade. It is not just the anticipation of the V&A’s public opening on September 15th. The city has been picking up international attention and plaudits as variously ‘Scotland’s coolest city’ (Wall Street Journal), the ‘coolest in Scotland’ and undergoing a ‘renaissance’ (Condé Nast Traveller), ‘Britain’s coolest city’ (GQ magazine),
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Michael Marra: The Bard of Dundee and Modern Scotland
Michael Marra: The Bard of Dundee and Modern Scotland Gerry Hassan Scottish Review, December 13th 2017 Michael Marra – musician, artist and force for good – was a precious Scottish gem. He was unique in his art but also in his delivery and style; singularly understated, modest and often humble to the extent that at times he hugely underpromoted himself and his work. It is worthwhile celebrating that the writer James Robertson has contributed his time and intelligence to produce a biography of Marra - ‘Michael Marra: Arrest This Moment’. This is a fascinating book, and important beyond the subject
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Living the High Life and Post-War Dream in Dundee
Living the High Life and Post-War Dream in Dundee Gerry Hassan Scottish Review, June 28th 2017 In the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower tragedy tower blocks and social housing are everywhere in the news. Much of it has been ill-informed, instant commentary. People asserting that tower blocks aren’t suited to modern living or making sweeping statements about the failings of council and social housing, A large part of this seemed to be a displacement or discomfort of middle class opinion having to talk about a forgotten and neglected section of the country, and confront the living conditions of large numbers
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Dundee: City of Discovery and the West Dunbartonshire Question
Dundee: City of Discovery and the West Dunbartonshire Question Gerry Hassan Scottish Review, April 13th 2016 Dundee, Scotland’s fourth city is on the move. It is often forgotten about or even patronised by those in the Central Belt - ‘it is a place I have only passed through’ is a regular refrain I have heard over the years – and is still seen by many, as my astute Dundonian Auntie Betty observes, as a ‘Cinderella city’. In reality contemporary Dundee is a hive of energy, optimism and purpose. The V&A is coming, Malmaison is already making a mark, and there
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