Signs of the times


Some nice old addresses at the bottom of old Dundee tenements. James Rankin agents for United Alkali are listed in the Dundee directory 1908-1912 at a different address from the one where this picture was taken.

John Bruce started out as a textile manufacturer but lost all his money in the collapse of the Western Bank 1857. To get out of debt he became an architect and in the 1880’s the firm became John Bruce and Son. Bruce and Sons were the architects of the Speedwell Bar in Dundee, still standing and apparently a fine example of an Edwardian Bar. It’s a bit out my way but I might nip in someday for a Guinness and a wee picture for you all.

When the Western Bank collapsed in 1857 it was Scotland’s second largest bank with 101 branches the shareholders lost all their paid up capital of 2 million and had to provide an additional 1.1 million to meet the banks liabilities. Pay those liabilities off in today’s money and it’s going to cost you just over 105 million pounds according to the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street’s converter.





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