LGBT History Month: Glass Bucket, Dundee

Guest blogger Bob Cant describes his discovery of gay Dundee in the 1970s.

Submitted by Nicky on 08-02-2016 11:23:14

The Glass Bucket, Dundee

I discovered the Glass Bucket by chance. I’d just missed a bus from Dundee bus station and I walked up St Andrews Street looking for a pub. It had a slightly anonymous atmosphere which marked it out from other pubs back in the Seventies.

Far from being local, it was full of people, like myself, hoping that they wouldn’t have to wait too long until they could catch the next bus to their own smalltown. But some customers were in no hurry to leave. These men – and they were all men – were giving off the signs of being interested not just in each other but in all the new men who walked through the door. I realised that I had inadvertently stumbled on to one of central Dundee’s gay meeting places.

I was living in London and I went back there over the next few years when I was visiting my family. I always sensed the same vibes; suppressed expectation; no body contact; no ostentation; no music; sometimes the atmosphere could be rather sombre. One night I overheard a conversation between two men who had clearly not seen each other for a while; one of them was explaining that he wouldn’t be able to get together again now that he had a wife and bairn; the other one didn’t like this but he understood; that was just the way things were.

I left and went to catch the Letham bus. 

A graphic of a multicolour circle with the words "lgbt history month SCOTLAND"

Bob Cant is the editor of Footsteps and Witnesses: lesbian and gay lifestories from Scotland and the author of a novel, Something Chronic

Do you have photographs or memories of the Glass Bucket in Dundee that you'd like to share?

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