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353 Kingsway

A Category B Listed Building in Dundee, Dundee

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.4842 / 56°29'3"N

Longitude: -2.9868 / 2°59'12"W

OS Eastings: 339323

OS Northings: 732891

OS Grid: NO393328

Mapcode National: GBR Z81.M2

Mapcode Global: WH7RB.28ZZ

Entry Name: 353 Kingsway

Listing Date: 8 June 2004

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 397503

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB49863

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Dundee

County: Dundee

Electoral Ward: Strathmartine

Traditional County: Angus

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Description

W. Curtis Green, circa 1929. Semi-detached T-plan 2-storey house set back from road. Harled. Swept eaves. Listed for 3 cartoons by Dudley Watkins on wall of upstairs bedroom.

FRONT (S) ELEVATION: 3-bay elevation; gabled bay to left extended to a catslide roof over single-storey garage to outer left. To ground floor to centre bay, timber-panelled door with cantilevered canopy above.

REAR (N) ELEVATION: 3-bay elevation; advanced gabled bay to right; modern timber and plastic single storey lean-to structure to right of advanced bay.

GLAZING etc: predominantly multi-pane timber casement windows to ground floor; PVCu windows to 1st floor.

INTERIOR: to 1st floor, to SW room: to S facing wall, 3 paintings in mixed medium applied to lining paper. Painting 1 (approx 2'6'' x 2') depicts the nursery rhyme The Old Woman that lived in a Shoe. Painting 2 (approx 1'6' square) depicts the nursery rhyme Little Jack Horner. Painting 3 (wallpapered over) depicts a life-sized sunflower surrounded by elves, dragonflies etc.

Statement of Interest

This building is listed due to the presence of 3 unique Dudley D Watkins wall paintings. Dudley D Watkins was the celebrated cartoonist who created and drew nationally and internationally famous cartoon characters such as Desperate Dan, Oor Wullie and The Broons. Watkins is known to have lived at 353 Kingsway during the early years of his employment with D C Thomson (it is likely that the house was part of D C Thomson's employee housing stock).

353 Kingsway is part of a Garden Suburb development, centred on Clive Road, Bruce Road and Kingsway. The development was promoted from 1929 by Sir Herbert Ogilvy and was designed by W. Curtis Green (of London) with G F M Ogilvy (Sir Herbert's brother).

Dudley D Watkins was born in Manchester in 1907, although his family moved to Nottingham shortly after his birth. He showed early artistic talent and in 1924 won a scholarship to the Nottingham School of Art. When Watkins was 18 his family moved to Scotland and he continued his studies at the Glasgow School of Art, where he was recommended to a representative of D C Thomson & Co. Ltd, a successful Dundee-based publishing firm which aimed its papers, comics and magazines at the lower classes. Watkins was given a temporary six-month post as an illustrator ' however, he remained with the company until his death in 1969. Although he was initially held a relatively lowly position in the drawing office, he was gradually given bigger and more important strips to illustrate as his talent was increasingly recognised. In 1936, D C Thomson launched a new 'Fun Section' in the Sunday Post. This included 2 full page comic strips drawn by Watkins, Oor Wullie and The Broons. The huge success of these strips encouraged D C Thomson to publish a weekly comic to be sold throughout Britain; this comic was the Dandy which was first published in 1937, and which was followed by the Beano in 1938. Watkins illustrated features in both of these comics.

The success of Watkins' work was recognised in 1946 when he became the only artist at D C Thomson allowed to sign his full name on his work. At the time it was very rare for artists to be allowed to sign even their initials, and so Watkins became increasingly famous. He died in 1969, still working as an illustrator for D C Thomson.

It is known that there was also a family tree of The Broons painted onto wallpaper in the same room as the cartoons now visible; however, this cartoon was destroyed during redecoration. The house, having undergone recent and thorough redecoration, is not thought to contain any further Watkins work.

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