Years of hard work have finally paid off for a bus enthusiast following the publication of his book examining the history of public transport in Dundee.
Derek Simpson, a trustee at the Dundee Museum of Transport, has spent the last three years researching and writing Dundee Buses: From Green to Blue, charting the journey of public transport in the city from the 1950s to the present day.
He said: “It is the story of what happened to public transport after the trams were broken up in 1956 and then when Dundee Corporation took over looking after the buses.
“I have been interested in buses since I was a kid, I don’t really know why.
“One of my earliest memories is waiting on the bus in Shore Terrace and it probably fans from there.
“Originally this was my hobby as I worked in a bank for 40 years and did talks at the museum on Dundee Corporation buses.
“But when I gave up work the museum needed a trustee so I applied, and the rest is history.”
Derek began researching the book when he left work three years ago and drew on a huge archive amassed by Sandy Strachan.
“He gave his archive to the city archives and there was a great level of detail in his writing so I built a lot on that,” said Derek
“I was 95% of the way there before the coronavirus lockdown and that gave me the opportunity to sit down and fully concentrate on it to make sure it was all in good working order.
“It has been a long time coming but I am delighted with it.”
The book also has 156 photographs from the past 70 years – many donated by members of the public after an appeal earlier this year.
Derek added: “There are 72 colour photos and 84 black and white photos – sometimes the black and white ones are more evocative.
“There was a collection of over 10,000 photographs so it was a hard choice which ones to pick but I think we have the right ones in the book.
“Many have not been seen before or are rare images covering as many parts of Dundee as possible.
“There’s nothing worse than looking at a book like this and finding all the pictures are from the High Street, so we have photos that cover the city centre, St Mary’s, Blackness, all the different areas people will expect to see.
“The pictures tell you something of the time as well because they go back to 1955 and you can see how Dundee has changed as a city over the years.
“It also shows the way society has changed too.
“For example, some were called ‘one man buses’ because it was always men who drove them, they were deemed to be too heavy for a woman to drive.
“But that has all changed now and you can see those social changes by looking at the history of the buses as well.
“I hope a lot of people will be interested in the book – they are not on sale yet but I’ve already had an order for 50 of them.
“It is a bit of nostalgia for people and it might tweak something in their memories.”
‘Dundee Buses: From Green to Blue’ will go on sale on Saturday at Dundee Museum of Transport, with all profits going back into the museum.