Wednesday, 11 May 2011

The Lochee Gangster

Throughout the early 1950s a thick set bespectacled man with wavy dark reddish hair wearing an olive green suit and a white open necked shirt would stand just by the Dundee Pasteurised Milk shop at the junction of Bank Street and Lochee High Street. His trousers were kept up around his substantial girth by a wide brown leather belt. As I remember he was a man in his late 20s or early 30s. He always seemed to be there whenever my friends and I went down from Clement Park to the shops to do some messages for our mothers. He never spoke to anyone and he always carried a lit cigarette in his left hand which he would occasionally puff. We always gave him a wide berth. We knew he had a gun hidden under his suit jacket, tucked into his belt. He was the Lochee gangster. How we came to know that is lost in the mists of time. Maybe it was one of those bits of information that 8 or 9 years old boys pass on to the next set of 8 or 9 years old boys.
Anyway he must have been a pretty smart gangster because I know for a fact that between the years of 1950 to 1957, when I lived in Lochee, the police did not catch him for he stood outside the DPM shop day in and day out and was never apprehended.
It seems amazing to me now that we never heard of any bank robberies taking place in Lochee at that time.
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