Streetwise: Whale Lane

Name Plate

Obtained its name from the fact that several of the principal offices connected with the whaling industry were located in this thoroughfare. At one time the main whaling ports on the east coast were Hull, Dundee, and Peterhead and a successful year’s fishing meant a large bonus to each member of the crews.

This industry like several others, has expired. Several reasons have been given for this catastrophe: one is that whale bone is no longer used for many purposes, having been supplanted by other devices, and another is that mineral oil has now replaced the whale oil which was used for diverse purposes. It is also said that the use of steam as a motive power has caused the whaling grounds to be over-fished, beyond the natural increase of slow-growing whales. In any case this once important occupation no longer exists.

Adapted from: ‘Glimpses of Old and New Dundee’ – A.H. Millar, January 1925