The year is 1939; war had broken out, the Wizard of Oz was box office gold and Billie Holiday was top of the charts.
It was also when Verdant Works volunteers Lily Thomson, Earl Scott and Ian Archibald were first introduced to the world.
Since then, the three Dundonians – who have clocked up fifty years of volunteering at the restored mill between them – have seen the City of Discovery change beyond recognition.
At a surprise party thrown by their fellow Verdant Work volunteers to mark their eightieth birthdays, Lily spoke about how she had gone straight from school to work in the jute industry.
She explained: “It was dirty working in the mills, you had just left school and you got woken up by working there.
“With the noise and the smell, I took bad to it but it was just life as I knew it because I had no option – my whole family were mill workers.
“But I learned to love my machines when I was working on them.”
The changes to the city in her lifetime have been monumental and Lily admits there are times she doesn’t recognise the new landscape.
Lily, who was brought up in Westport, said: “The biggest change I have seen is the Overgate, I had the old one, there was the Angus Hotel and now we have the third one.
“Dundee also used to be jute, jam and journalism but we are not that now.
“We are now the city of three ts – tourism, technology and teaching. We have moved up the alphabet.
“I have never had a computer or a car either but you have to change with the times and that is what Dundee is doing.”
The former mill worker now takes pleasure it helping others find out more the history and their city and their ancestors through her work at the mill – where she has volunteered for 23 years.
Lily added: “You get a pleasure out of this for sure.
“You get people coming from all over the world looking to learn about their ancestors and what they worked on and you can tell them all about it.”
Lily was joined at the celebration by fellow long-time volunteer, Earl, who spoke of his pride Dundee is being seen as an up and coming city.
Earl, who has also volunteered at the mill for 23 years, explained: “I’ve tried to promote Dundee over the years I have been here.
“The waterfront development is a knock out and there is a lot more to happen which is good.
“Dundee has three shipyards and that was a big business so they should have something dedicated to that – and hopefully I will be around to see it.”