Wildfires, storms, Brexit – 2020 had all the early signs of being a tumultuous year.
But no one could have predicted just how much our lives were about to change when news of a new virus emerged from China.
Although coronavirus has dominated headlines, other things have happened in 2020.
Here, the Tele takes a look at some of the most important, emotive, funny, strange and popular stories of the year.
A tall tale emerges in Arbroath
Two months before the pandemic hit the UK, Arbroath provided an amusing “tall tale” with a difference.
The Tele sent its own little and large team to investigate the myth of a cash machine for giants.
The ATM had been baffling bank customers for years but the story hit social media and quickly went viral.
And so reporter Matteo Bell and his diminutive sidekick Kenny MacDonald made a visit to the seaside town to figure out the Royal Bank of Scotland mystery machine at Brothock Bridge.
Kenny struggled to see the screen, but with a bit of help from colleague Matteo and a traditional “punt up” he managed to punch in the keys.
He said: “It’s crazy. I could not see the screen properly but I am only 5ft 6in and had to stretch a bit to put my card in the slot.”
Matteo, at a towering 6ft 1in, said: “It was no bother for me, but I can see why it causes problems.
“I was able to help Kenny up, but it was a struggle as he has put on a few pounds, if you pardon the pun.”
An RBS spokesman said: “We don’t want to ‘come up short’ in offering our customers access to cash. However, we recognise that in this case it’s a bit of a stretch and that’s why we offer another ATM at a lower height just around the corner.”
Australia faced one of its most devastating wildfire seasons, as fires continued through January, burning 47 million acres and killing at least 34 people.
A move to bring a lap dancing bar to one of Dundee’s busiest streets met with strong objections from locals and other businesses.
The Tele revealed that landlord and Inverness Caledonian Thistle chairman Ross Morrison had submitted an application to the city council seeking permission to operate an adult entertainment venue from the former Industry nightclub on Seagate.
‘Bullying’ video sparks police probe in Angus
A video released on social media sparked a police probe into bullying at Carnoustie High School.
Worried parents withdrew kids from the school while Angus Council stressed it took all incidents of alleged bullying seriously.
WHO announces deadly virus has emerged
The World Health Organisation announced on January 9 that a deadly virus had emerged from Wuhan, China, but the UK considered the risk to the population here as “low”.
Harry and Meghan’s surprise announcement
Prince Harry and his wife Meghan surprised the nation – and the royal family – when they announced they were stepping down as senior royals.
Concerns over drugs service referrals
Experts expressed concern about the rate at which changes were being made to Dundee drug services.
The Dundee Alcohol and Drugs Partnership (ADP) presented its long-awaited action plan to elected members in the city, outlining how it aimed to improve services over the next two years so vulnerable people received the help they need.
Vigil in city centre to mark departure from the EU
On January 31, pro-European Dundonians marked the UK’s departure from the EU with a candlelit vigil in the city centre.
They gathered in City Square to mark the end of the 47-year-long membership, while Dundee City Council lit the Caird Hall, Seabraes, Dundee railway station, and Slessor Gardens blue in solidarity with the EU.
Pusscat Dolls’ visit to Dundee delayed
Don’t cha wish The Pussycat Dolls were coming to Dundee? Well, we had some good news…which didn’t quite work out.
The chart-topping American girl group announced they were coming to the city in the summer to wow the crowds at Slessor Gardens on the Waterfront as part of their UK comeback tour.
The pop group – featuring singers Nicole Scherzinger, Ashley Roberts, Kimberly Wyatt, Jessica Sutta and Carmit Bachar – were due to take to the stage on July 26.
However, in July, after weeks of speculation and tickets remaining on sale, promoters called off the gig.
Council leader John Alexander previously said the local authority was a “third party” in the decision, but as owners of Slessor Gardens, the council would have to follow Holyrood advice if it was deemed unsafe to hold the concert.
A third case of coronavirus was confirmed in the UK and the virus claimed the life of a UK national abroad – a man quarantined on the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
Care home closure sparks angry response from families
Controversial plans were unveiled to close Turriff House Care Home in Downfield and reopen it as a short-stay rehab centre.
The decision infuriated families of residents at the Dundee City Council-owned home.
The chief executive of NHS Tayside publicly apologised to patients, family, and staff for failings laid bare in an independent inquiry into mental health services in Tayside.
Dr David Strang’s Trust and Respect report identified 51 recommendations to be implemented to improve services in the region.
Storm Ciara hits Dundee hard as floodgates fail
The month entered the record books as the wettest February since records began in 1862, helped in no small part by Storm Ciara, which battered Dundee with 52mph winds.
An investigation was launched into why floodgates were left open when the storm hit Dundee, allowing water from the Tay to seep past a multi-million-pound flood barrier and on to Riverside Drive where vehicles were submerged up to their wheels.
Strange bones on Angus beach leave people puzzled
Experts were stumped about the origin of a mound of bones that were unearthed on an Angus beach.
The skeletal fragments were first discovered by dog walker Graeme Christie who spotted them sticking out of the soil between Westhaven and Craigmill Den.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that he and his partner Carrie Symonds were expecting a baby.
Tele breaks news that Tayside Covid-19 case is first in Scotland
Given Covid-19’s dominance of news across the globe, it was always going to be big news when Scotland became one of the nations affected by the virus.
On March 1, the Tele broke the news that a Tayside patient who returned from Italy was confirmed as the first coronavirus case in Scotland.
It seems like a lifetime ago that we were writing the words: “Ministers have acknowledged that the case is likely to be the first of many in the country, with at least another 35 positive cases across the rest of the UK.”
Tragically, more than 6,000 people who tested positive for the virus north of the border have since died.
Student nurses called to help on the Covid-19 front line
Student nurses across Dundee answered the call to work after health bosses appealed to trainees in their final year of study to don their scrubs early and finish their qualification in hospital at the Covid-19 front line.
Professor Lynn Kilbride, Dean of the Dundee University’s School of Nursing and Health, said: “I cannot praise these students enough.”
Five decades of tyre production finishes
Five decades of tyre production at the famous Michelin factory in Dundee came to a premature end, as Covid-19 forced the closure of businesses and the postponement of major sporting events.
Michelin bosses had initially planned to pause production until April 13, when they intended to restart manufacturing until the factory’s eventual closure in June.
But the company said the growing challenges caused by the Covid-19 outbreak meant that resuming production was unviable and unwise.
The decision was taken in agreement with the Unite union and all employees were paid at their normal rate until the end of June.
Flagship Waterfront office costs council £23,000 in upkeep
It emerged that Dundee City Council had spent more than £23,000 maintaining the Earl Grey building – a “flagship” Waterfront office block – which was still lying empty, despite opening to great fanfare last year.
The building was later announced as the home of the new Social Security Scotland employees in September.
UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said every resident aged over 70 would be told to self-isolate in the coming weeks for a “very long time” to shield them from Covid19.
This prompted Dundee Pensioners’ Forum to raise concerns.
Alex Salmond acquitted of all charges at High Court
Alex Salmond was cleared of sexually assaulting nine women when he was Scotland’s first minister.
Giving evidence, he said the claims made about his alleged conduct were “deliberate fabrications for a political purpose” or “exaggerations”.
And he said had “never attempted to have non-consensual sexual relations with anyone in his entire life”.
The jury returned not guilty verdicts on 12 charges and returned a not proven verdict on a charge of sexual assault with intent to rape.
The complainers alleged the assaults took place over a six-year period while he was in office.
The charges spanned a period between June 2008 and November 2014, with an allegation of sexual assault from a tenth complainer dropped against him during the trial.
Dundonians take part in first Clap for Carers
People took the streets to hold the first Clap for Carers which went on to become a regular Thursday night event.
In a gesture of thanks to the frontline healthcare heroes, everyone across the nation was invited to join a mass round of applause from their doorsteps, windows and balconies on Thursdays at 8pm.
Readers share their colorful ‘selfie isolation’ creations
Hundreds of readers also sent their ‘selfie isolation’ pictures to the Tele in March.
The rainbow, a sign of hope, adorned the windows of thousands of houses in Dundee.
To see first two galleries, click here.
Prime Minister announces he has Covid-19
Boris Johnson announced in March he had coronavirus.
On Twitter, BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg said Mr Johnson, 55, had “mild symptoms” and would self-isolate in Downing Street.
The Prime Minister has tested positive for Corona virus. He has mild symptoms and will self-isolate in Downing Street. but he will still be in charge of the government's handling of the crisis.
— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) March 27, 2020
He was the second very famous person in the UK to be diagnosed with Covid-19, after Prince Charles was confirmed to have the virus the week before.
Feelgood Feed launched to keep spirits high in Tayside
With the UK lockdown being announced in March, DC Thomson decided to launch a new blog called The Feelgood Feed, aimed at bringing some good news to people at a time when many of us felt lost.
A number of celebrities appeared for a virtual interview, including Dryburgh’s most famous son, Kyle Falconer, frontman of the View.
He discussed his time with The View, his most recent release – a five-track EP featuring covers of songs by Fleetwood Mac, Shania Twain, Tina Turner and others – and life on lockdown.
Fans were even treated to a brief rendition of the Oasis classic Live Forever (see above).
And we were not alone. Members of the public were left scratching their heads when a colourful dinosaur started roaming supermarket aisles in Dundee and Angus.
It was later revealed to be Debz Rafferty, a security consultant and counter-terrorism student from Montrose, whose costume lifted the spirits of everyone during lockdown.
Angus designer creates Covid-19 tartan as warning of pandemic
It also brought out the creative side of many, including Steven Patrick Sim from Arbroath, known as The Tartan Artisan, who said he was so fearful of the pandemic that he designed a Covid-19 tartan as a public health warning.
Scots medical chief resigns amid holiday home controversy
Scotland’s chief medical officer Catherine Calderwood quit her job after intense backlash for breaking her own travel rules, when she twice visited her holiday home in Earlsferry.
Bus firm creates fun quiz
Xplore Dundee tried to cheer up the public when the bus firm created a fun game to test people’s knowledge of the City of Discovery.
The company tweeted a list of 10 landmarks or places in Dundee using emojis, asking people to guess them all.
The Tele printed the answers – why don’t you click on the link below and see how many you can get?
Queen sends out first-ever Easter message
Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to hospital with Covid-19, while the Queen gave her first Easter message to the nation saying “coronavirus will not overcome us”.
Dundee Law lights up for frontline workers
Despite the darkness brought by Covid-19, a myriad of lights shone from the Law as a tribute to residents, the NHS, and frontline workers.
Two technicians from AML Event Hire, a Dundee-based entertainment company, staged the spectacular rainbow- coloured show for people across the city.
New temporary hospital built as coronavirus back-up
Scotland’s new temporary hospital NHS Louisa Jordan was constructed to receive Covid-19 patients at a cost of nearly £31 million.
Eden bringing unique attraction to City of Discovery
In a year marked by adversity brought on by the pandemic, Dundee was given a major boost with news that Eden Project Scotland had earmarked the city for a major new attraction.
A feasibility study to identify suitable locations for the biodome site got under way, with a view to opening the attraction in 2024.
Sir Tim Smit, co-founder of the Eden Project, said: “We want to make a wonderfully creative exhibition of something which is unmistakeably Dundee.
“The city has a very good university, a cultural background, it has become a tech hub. I’m very excited about Dundee, it has all of the ingredients to make magic sauce.”
Sharon turns life around following three-decade battle with drug addiction
Poverty and drugs are, undoubtedly, two of the biggest problems the City of Discovery faces.
The two are closely associated, with hundreds of people trapped in a cycle of addiction which can last years – or even decades.
But one Dundee woman proved recovery is possible, and showed how she had transformed her life – and appearance – since previously appearing in the Tele.
Sharon Low was 13 years old when she first started smoking cigarettes. She soon progressed to sniffing petrol and by the time she was 18 she was taking Valium, methadone, Temazepam, nicknamed ruggers, and “anything” she could get her hands on just to get through the day.
In her desperation, Sharon would even steal from her mother, Betty, in order to buy drugs.
But Sharon, 51, took her first steps on a different path after being contacted by Fintry man Andy Young, who faced his own battle with drug addiction.
After struggling with drug services in Dundee, Sharon accepted a position at Victory Outreach in Liverpool and is now on the road to recovery.
Read the full, incredible story here.
Lockdown protest fails to have large impact
A lockdown protest at Balgay Park turned into a bit of a “damp squib” after the mass gathering failed to materialise.
The Saturday demo in Dundee was one of many organised by the UK Freedom Movement across the country,
However, only a few dozen people attended to listen to protester Daniel Clark.
Furlough scheme extended by Westminster
It was announced the UK furlough scheme would be extended until October. A quarter of the UK’s workforce – 7.5 million people – was covered by the scheme, costing £14 billion a month.
A further extension was later announced in December.
Dundee girl Imogen raises charity cash
A four-year-old was joined by Dundee’s very own band of superheroes to raise money
Imogen Elder from Menzieshill raised almost £1,500 after only two days of her scootathon challenge for The Cleft Lip and Palate Association.
New coronavirus symptoms identified
Loss of smell and taste were added to the list of known symptoms of Covid-19.
Captain America attracts attention in Coldside
Passers-by clamoured to take pictures beside an NHS-inspired artwork of Captain America in
The mural, painted by artist Paco Graff on the walls of Alexander Decorators on Fairfield Street, showed the Marvel superhero equipped with an NHS-etched shield.
Dominic Cummings, Boris Johnson’s senior adviser, faced calls to resign after it was revealed he had travelled 260 miles from London to his parents’ home in Durham during lockdow
BLM movement attracts worldwide attention after death of George Floyd
The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has also made major headlines worldwide this year.
The mission of the movement is to create a fair and balanced society, regardless of race – with the death of black man George Floyd in the United States in May a huge catalyst for the public outcry and support for BLM.
Mr Floyd was an unarmed black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes as he told them “I can’t breathe”.
In Dundee, less than three weeks after his death, inflammatory posters calling for white people, police officers and MPs to be killed sparked fury.
The flyers were discovered by a shocked dog-walker, who was strolling through Baxter Park.
Among the messages on the posters were “kill a white on sight”, “if they don’t stop kill a cop”, and “all white MPs should hang from trees”.
However, Joy Gansh, a local BLM activist, believed the display was created by people trying to discredit the movement.
She said: “Things like that, after what happened with the George Floyd mural being defaced, I think that’s something that a white supremacist would put up to discredit us.
“Nobody that I’ve seen advocating for the BLM movement would think that that is appropriate.
“My personal opinion is that this is people being framed. This is a way to make us seem in the wrong.”
A massive fire that burned a factory to the ground caused damage estimated at more than £1 million.
The former Wood Group building, at Baldovie Industrial Estate on Forties Road, was razed to the ground in the blaze.
Smoke and flames could be seen for miles around as firefighters fought to contain the fire.
Keir raises thousands for the NHS with one million steps
Keir Malloch did it – he completed his one million step challenge in just over a month and raised thousands for the NHS.
Keir, 32, from Monifieth, aimed to raise £300 but ended up raising £6,268 for health workers battling Covid-19 at the front line.
Madeleine McCann murder suspect investigated
German prosecutors said they believe Madeleine McCann is dead and investigated a 43-yearold German convicted sex offender, identified as Christian B, on suspicion of murder.
City bus firm Xplore vowed to rely on “polite reminders” to reinforce the message that masks should be worn on public transport after passengers in Dundee voiced fears over a lack of face coverings and social distancing.
A major incident was declared in Bournemouth after thousands of people arrived on beaches and other stretches of the Dorset coast, ignoring requests to stay away.
The combination of the warm weather and loosening of lockdown restrictions also brought sunseekers in their droves to Broughty Ferry waterfront, prompting safety warnings from councillor Craig Duncan.
Sunny Dundee masks launched in City of Discovery
Wearing face coverings became mandatory in shops in Scotland.
Dundee City Council launched its own line of Sunny Dundee masks, following on from the successful sunglasses.
Stinging jellyfish invasion leaves beach-goers in fear
As city residents flocked to the shops for the first time in months, a large invasion of stinging jellyfish arrived at beaches on the east coast, prompting safety warnings to visitors.
University of Oxford vaccine deemed safe
Clinical trials of a Covid-19 vaccine developed by the University of Oxford, were deemed to be safe and effective.
Batman raises cash by walking from Arbroath to Dundee
While he may have wished for superhero powers to speed up his journey, Dundee’s determined Batman John Castle, 52, donned his prized costume to raise hundreds of pounds for charity by walking 16 and a half miles from Arbroath to Dundee.
And his secret ingredient? A packet of wine gums.
Two-week quarantine for travellers from Spain
Following a rise in Covid-19 cases in Spain, the Scottish Government announced travellers would be required to quarantine for 14 days on return.
Man in USA sends vile message to primary school kids via ‘Wink’
A mum from Charleston, Emma Hann, was horrified to discover a man, who she believed to be in America, was using the Wink app to send “vile” content to her daughters, aged 11 and nine.
The creators of the social media app said they would work with police to resolve the issue.
Fitness industry staff feel ‘forgotten’ amid coronavirus closures
Indoor fitness groups across Dundee said they felt like the “forgotten industry” due to a lack of guidance from the Scottish Government.
Gyms and sports clubs, which shut in March, had received no indication of when they would be allowed to reopen, despite other businesses being given the green light.
Laura Nisbet, owner of the Addicted 2 Dance studios on Balgowan Avenue, said: “We’ve just been forgotten, it’s like we’re not being taken seriously.”
Pubs reopening sees ‘onion bargy’ outside Dundee watering hole
With lockdown coming to an end in July and many desperate to feel the taste of a proper pint again, it was perhaps a little too much to ask for every reveller to be on their best behaviour.
In a bizarre tale, two men were seen rolling about outside a city watering hole – with a sack of onions one of the casualties.
Bags of messages were strewn across the road as the men scuffled.
Staff at the Town House Bar confirmed there had been a “misunderstanding” indoors which had moved out onto the street before the door was closed.
A spokeswoman said that there had been an “incident” inside the pub. She said: “It was a misunderstanding and the situation has now been resolved for all parties involved.”
Police Scotland said they were not aware of the incident.
Singing sensation visits Forfar McDonald’s
Hold me while you wait…for your Big Mac and fries.
Staff at the Forfar McDonald’s on the A90 got a huge shock when award-winning Scottish singer Lewis Capaldi made a surprise appearance at the restaurant on a sunny summer Sunday night in July.
The 23-year-old, famous for his smash-hit single Someone You Loved, took the time to pose with staff, who were “shocked but very excited,” according to one worker.
Jodie Henderson, from Dundee, who has worked at the fast-food restaurant for three years, said: “He came through our drive-thru for his order, then went and parked in our car park to eat his food.
“One of our managers went out to see if it was him, he was so cool about coming in to get a photo with us.”
The singer happily obliged – making sure he adhered to social distancing and hygiene measures.
Mental health services ‘falling short’ in Tayside
Campaigners were hugely critical of a damning review into mental health services across Tayside which found the region was “falling far short” of what is needed.
The report, published in mid-July by Health Improvement Scotland (HIS), found “significant concerns” with adult mental health community services, which are managed by NHS Tayside and health and social care partnerships.
Phil Welsh, who has been campaigning for a 24/7 crisis centre since the suicide of his son Lee, said: “The review, specifically in regard to immediate crisis support, still leaves the region far short of what is needed – namely a non-referral 24 hour crisis centre.
“What is offered in the report exemplifies that no real change will be forthcoming.
“While the review goes on to acknowledge that the partnerships and NHS Tayside recognise that they are struggling to provide the appropriate levels and quality of crisis response – but what is really alarming is the vagueness and empty gesture that `steps are being taken to address this’.
“The public have a right to understand `what steps` will actually be taken. This review does nothing to assure the people of Tayside that mental health provision will change. Will we as a region suffer more preventable suicides until these ‘steps’ are put in place?”
An NHS Tayside spokesman said at the time: “We will now ensure that the actions and recommendations set out in the report are progressed through the improvement work already under way across mental health services Tayside”
Eat Out Help Out scheme launched to help struggling restaurants
The ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme was launched in August, aimed at reviving the hospitality trade after a hellish time for pub, café and restaurant owners.
Launched on August 3, it allowed sit-in eateries to offer food at up to 50% off their price and have their losses compensated by the UK Government.
The scheme lasted throughout August; available on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, and savings were limited to £10-per-person.
It proved popular with both customers and restaurants, with one businesswoman describing it as “brilliant” and much-needed after months of uncertainty due to the lockdown.
Karen Martin, owner of the Tartan Coffee House on the Perth Road, also praised the plan.
“I think it’s a great incentive for people who have suffered through lockdown with a loss of earnings,” she said.
This compared to 14% in Edinburgh and 8% in Glasgow. Aberdeen’s footfall fell by 3% due to its local lockdown at the time.
The UK average increase in footfall was 8%. with Dundee’s footfall rise ranked fourth in the UK with Bournemouth leading the table.
Second car careers into Dundee couple’s garden
A couple were cursing their luck after a car crashed into their front garden – for the second time.
Loraine and Amgad Taha were in bed when an Audi came careering into their property on Pitkerro Road.
The couple, who have lived near the junction with Rennell Road for more than 14 years, had just had a section of the wall rebuilt after a vehicle crashed into the garden in March last year.
Man sells 11-year-old chocolate bar for £50 in sweet deal
A city man enjoyed the sweet taste of success after selling an 11-year-old chocolate bar online for £50.
Eli Toy could not believe his luck when one bidder on eBay offered to pay the sum for a dusty Mars Delight.
The 26-year-old found the bar – which went out of date on in 2009 – while he was carrying out a “deep clean” at the Co-op on Claypotts Road.
The BBC ended free television licences for the over-75s.
Train tragedy in Stonehaven leaves three people dead and others injured
A train derailment killed three people near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire, caused by heavy rain triggering a landslide.
Mary Quant exhibition is newest to open at V&A Dundee
The Mary Quant exhibition finally opened in Dundee – with a key player in the Swinging ’60s fashion scene on hand to cast an eye over the V&A’s latest show.
Heather Tilbury-Phillips was Quant’s global PR director from 1967-80 and was one of the first through the doors as the museum reopened after a five-month hiatus.
Vote of no confidence in Eduction Secretary John Swinney amid exam results criticism
Scotland’s Education Secretary John Swinney faced a vote of no confidence at the Scottish Parliament amid mounting criticism over the downgrading of pupils’ exam results.
The Tele helps out shielding students at city halls
After signs urging people to ‘send food’ were displayed on the windows of the Abertay University student halls at the centre of a coronavirus outbreak in the city, the Tele decided to step up to the figurative plate and help out.
With 500 students quarantining at Parker House, after a number of them tested positive for the virus, residents began displaying comical signs on their windows asking members of the public to send food and drink – amongst other things.
Tele reporter Amy Hall headed down to the accommodation armed with a shedload of noodle pots and the hope that she might be able to lift the spirits of those stuck inside.
In addition to the 500 packs of noodles, Amy and her helpers also distributed blank newspaper bills, so that students can write more messages and stick them to their windows.
Tele editor Dave Lord said: “For many of these students, it hasn’t been the easiest start to their university education.
“We hope that our delivery cheers everyone up and lets them know that we have been thinking about them and hoping that they’re OK.”
Angus Mini railway makes tracks after 85 years
The owner of a once-popular family attraction in Angus called it a day, after dwindling visitor numbers forced its closure.
Kerr’s Miniature Railway on West Links Park, Arbroath, made its last run after 85 years. Owner John Kerr said it was the “most awful decision” he had made in his life.
Internal Market Bill causes contention between Holyrood and Westminster
The Internal Market Bill was passed by the UK Parliament.
The Scottish government said a Westminster “power grab” was under way, because any responsibility which is not specifically reserved should automatically come to Holyrood.
But the UK government says what is happening in January represents “the biggest transfer of powers in the history of devolution”
NHS Spitfire brings joy during Tayside flypast
Dundee and Perth residents enjoyed an aerial treat, as the NHS Spitfire flew over local hospitals in tribute to key workers.
The historic plane, which has the words “Thank U NHS” emblazoned on its fuselage, travelled the country on a mission to show public appreciation for the effort key workers put in during the pandemic.
Law of six comes into play amid fears of more Covid-19 deaths
The new “rule of six” law came into force in Scotland and the prospect of a second lockdown was met with fear by some Dundonians and grudging acceptance by others.
New sports arena could bring thousands of visitors to Dundee
A new dedicated esports arena in Dundee could attract thousands of tourists from far afield, according to a European gaming venue.
The Tele reported on proposals to potentially build a 4,000 seater esports arena on the Waterfront, with hopes it will cement Dundee’s reputation as the gaming capital of Europe.
Social Security Scotland to become Earl Grey Building tenants
It was announced Dundee’s controversial Site 6 building at the Waterfront would become the new headquarters for Social Security Scotland.
Cabinet Secretary for Social Security, Shirley Anne Somerville, visited Dundee to reveal the organisation had taken on a 20-year lease to become the first tenants of the Earl Grey building.
Wedding venue reimburses gutted cancelation couples
The owner of a Dundee wedding venue refunded thousands of pounds to couples who had their ceremonies cancelled.
The Tele previously reported would-be brides and grooms had been locked in a stalemate with the Taypark House hotel on Perth Road for months, after learning their ceremonies would not be going ahead the way they had planned due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Couple go to city cafe to buy dishwasher – and end up owning whole business
A couple who only intended to buy a second-hand dishwasher from a closed city cafe ended up snapping up the entire business.
The Selkie – which was named Simpson’s Café before closing during lockdown – welcomed its first diners on Exchange Street in October.
Owners Kelly and Paul Fairweather said that despite Covid-19, lower overheads made them decide it was the perfect chance to open a new venue.
The couple already run the Scarlet Bakery in Newport-on-Tay, but brought daughter Sophie and son-in-law Robbie Jack onboard for the new family venture.
Terrified family left trapped at top of big wheel
A terrified family said they feared they would die when they were trapped at the top of Dundee’s big wheel and it started to roll backwards.
The McGovern family were stuck on the Slessor Gardens attraction for more than an hour after it ground to a halt.
MP suspended for breaking coronavirus travel rules
Margaret Ferrier, MP was suspended from the SNP after travelling from London to Scotland after being confirmed positive for Covid-19.
She lost the party whip after admitting making the rail journey.
Driving test cancelled after car dubbed ‘too dirty’ by examiner
A driving instructor was left “gobsmacked” after an examiner cancelled his client’s test after deeming the car wasn’t clean enough.
John Giel, who has been a driving instructor for more than 20 years, was left with a client “in tears” after a test was cancelled due to Covid-19 guidelines.
Brexit talks ‘over’ announces Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson warns Brexit trade talks with the EU are effectively “over”, and the UK should “get ready” for arrangements with the EU to be “more like Australia’s” from January 1 2021.
Five-level coronavirus system could spell the end for Dundee pub
Nicola Sturgeon confirmed Scotland was to enter a new five-level system of coronavirus restrictions, with many city publicans feareing their business would go to the wall with Dundee being placed in Level 3.
Among them was Paul Rae, owner of the long established Albert Bar in Stobswell, who said he was unlikely ever to reopen the pub, even when measures are eased.
Meanwhile, Broughty Ferry publican Debbie Findlay, defaced her own boozer – the Eagle Coaching Inn, on King Street – with anti-Sturgeon slogans on her boarded-up windows.
Covid cases in the UK top 1 million
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK surpassed the one million mark at the end of October, according to UK Government figures.
Ghoulish garden in Dundee brings in the crowds
A Dundee woman created a “spooktacular” display in her front garden for local families to enjoy.
Clare Stansfield’s ghoulish garden, on Old Craigie Road, had already got locals in a frightful state with Halloween just a fortnight away.
Lords reject Internal Market Bill
The internal Market Bill was rejected by the House of Lords.
Peers voted overwhelmingly to remove a section of the bill that would allow ministers to break international law – by 433 votes to 165.
Sex toy and filthy conditions put couple off staying at Tayside holiday resort
A clean room, working shower, and a lock on the door – not much to ask for when you pay for a trip away.
But one disgusted couple’s birthday trip was left in ruins after they discovered a sex toy amid “filthy” conditions at a Tayside holiday resort.
Michael and Avril Grieve booked into Piperdam Leisure Resort in Fowlis, just outside Dundee, for a four-night stay in November but ended up leaving early.
When they were let into their room they were appalled at the condition it had been left in, and their stay went from bad to worse when they discovered a sex toy that had been left behind.
Michael, from Kirkcaldy, a regular customer at Piperdam, said he and his wife had paid £380 for four nights to celebrate Avril’s 60th birthday.
He said: “This is the worst-case scenario anybody could expect, especially right now during the pandemic. The sex toy was clearly visible.
“We wanted to get a break from work and from everything going on but ended up desperate to get home.”
Mr Grieve said the firm did apologise and sent staff to conduct a two-hour deep clean.
However, a foul smell coming from the drains put yet another dampener on the holiday and they cut short the trip after two nights.
The Tele contacted the resort’s parent company, Copper Green Leisure Resorts, and made several attempts to contact the resort directly, but neither responded.
Dundee FC manager ends up in the dock
Dundee Football Club manager James McPake was cleared of making homophobic remarks to two Dundee United-supporting students in a city pub in November.
A sheriff found McPake, 36, not guilty of abusing Drew Rumgay and Owen Kane, both 19, on October 6 2019 at The Braes, Perth Road.
Forfar Athletic player Gary Irvine, 35, was fined £250 after he admitted headbutting one of the men during the same incident.
McPake stood trial in connection with the allegation where it was claimed that the Dark Blues boss called the men “fairy p*******.”
Irvine, who spent six seasons at Dens Park, admitted headbutting one of the complainers to his left cheek which caused bruising.
The court was told that a raging Irvine, a first offender, lashed out following the remarks made about an injury to McPake’s knee, which ended his playing career.
Gary McIlravey, defending Irvine, said his client was “totally appalled” by his behaviour, adding that the attack was “out of character”.
Sheriff David Clapham said he had reasonable doubt over whether McPake made the remark and as a result found him not guilty. Irvine was fined £250.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak extended the government’s furlough scheme to the end of April 2021.
Dundonians make the effort for Christmas after miserable year
After everything 2020 had thrown at us, many people across the city went full-steam ahead to make this Christmas a cracker.
Before the bonfire dust settled on Guy Fawkes night, people delved into their attics – and their wallets – to decorate their homes a considerable number of weeks earlier than usual.
Reports in the national media indicated a 238% in Christmas decoration spending.
Holyrood bans travel from Denmark due to Covid-19 fears
The Scottish Government imposed a ban on non-UK citizens arriving from Denmark amid concerns over a new coronavirus strain being spread from mink to humans.
West End resident David launches crowdfunder to take council to court over e-bike installation
City resident David Mulligan thanked the public for their financial backing as he prepared to take Dundee City Council to the Court of Session for approving an e-bike rack outside his Blackness Avenue home.
David added: “I’m amazed just how much has been raised so far, the council think people are just going to give-up and not contest these decisions because of the cost involved, I’m prepared to fight this.”
Former BHS owner given six years in jail for tax offences
Dominic Chappell, the former owner of BHS, was sentenced to six years in jail for tax evasion.
Joe Biden elected the 46th president of the United States
Members of the US electoral college affirmed Joe Biden’s presidential election victory in December, after his victory the month before.
The Democrat won November’s contest with 306 electoral college votes to Republican Donald Trump’s 232.
Under the US system, voters actually cast their ballots for “electors”, who in turn, formally vote for candidates weeks after the election.
Despite this process, President Trump was not expected to accept the result.
Heartless thieves ransack Dundee food larder
Dundee Thegither was left devastated after “despicable” thieves ransacked its food larder store at the Cutty Sark Bar on Kingsway East.
As well as stealing food provisions from Dundee Thegither and causing damage totalling about £1,000, the thieves snatched a Willy Wonka wheelbarrow that brought smiles to the faces of hundreds of city kids during lockdown.
Covid-19 bubbles announced but later reduced due to outbreak fears
The leaders of the four UK nations agreed on plans to permit up to three households to form a “Christmas bubble” during a five-day period from 23–27 December, allowing them to mix in homes, places of worship, and outdoor spaces.
Brexit agreement reached on Christmas Eve
In some ways 2020 looked to be ending the way it started – with the UK no nearer to securing a Brexit trade deal with the European Union.
But then, on Christmas Eve, there was a surprise announcement – an agreement had been reached one week before Britain left the EU’s laws.
Ninewells staff nurse is the first person in Tayside to receive coronavirus vaccine
The UK became the first country in the world to approve and distribute a Covid-19 vaccine.
Mary Cavin, 74, who runs the Golden Oldies Cinema Club, described the breakthrough as a “ray of hope” in an otherwise “devastating” year for elderly people.
Soon after, Ninewells staff nurse Linda Smyth, a trained vaccinator, became the first person to receive the Pfizer jab in Tayside.
Food is Free garden organisers gutted as fire burns project to the ground
Organisers of the Food is Free garden in Carnoustie were devastated after flames burnt the community garden project to the ground.
But less than 24 hours later, the local community had rallied and raised more than £3,000 to help rebuild it.
A 16-year-old girl was later charged in connection with the fire.
This Christmas was going to be the “best-ever” for a Dundee schoolboy and his family.
Garvie Winter was just seven years old when he was forced to spend Christmas in hospital after being diagnosed with leukaemia.
Following a rollercoaster three years during which his mum Haley admitted she feared she might lose her son on several occasions, Garvie rang a bell at Ninewells Hospital to mark the end of his chemotherapy.
Dundee fashion designer takes global company to court and wins
A Dundee fashion designer took on a global company – and won – after customers discovered her work was being stolen.
Deborah Breen, founder of Wilde Mode, mounted a legal challenge after it was revealed fast fashion e-commerce platform Shein had copied a design and her signature style.