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> 120m Gorbals Regeneration Plan, Ambitious Plan Approved
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*marychristieson49*
post 6th Mar 2007, 10:08am
Post #16






I have just read thro the posts with great interest. I visited Glasgow a couple of weeks ago trying to track my Dads early years. I had information that his family lived at 49 Polmadie Road and was quite disappointed when a cabbie took us out there that everything was demolished. I could see some blocks in the distance that most of them boarded up and I asked the question could they not be redeveloped as they are such grand looking buildings and solid better than all the modern crap that is erected these days. Was Polmadie Road actually the Gorbals also Cubie Street where my dad spent most of his youth, was that the Gorbals also Centre street. He was living there in 20's and 30's. I never had the experiance of the Gorbals or even growing up in Glasgow but if my dad was anything to go by he was a fine individual who gave me a brilliant childhood and kind lovely man and to be honest my brief time in Scotland everybody is so warm and freindly.
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buntyq
post 8th Mar 2007, 04:37pm
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I found these posts very interesting. One of my neighbors is from Canada and when his Scottish parents visit they bring me Times Past, the supplement of the Evening Times. I dont have all of them but Part Fifteen - Rebuilding Glasgow was an eyeopener so I went back into these posts last night and reread them. I am very guilty of reminiscing for the "Old Glasgow" as I am sure many of us repatriates do, but it jolts you back to reality knowing how it really was for families who lived in the Gorbals. I agree that removing closeknit families into those high rise apartments was evil. Their whole pattern of living was changed. And moving people to those new towns created more problems that it solved.

As I remember (please correct me) the Gorbals initially housed families from Eastern Europe and for years it was a Jewish neighborhood. My mother once told me that Jews helped one another and eventually they moved out of the Gorbals. In her words, you will never see a poor Jew.

There were many poor Irish Catholic families in Possilpark. They had large families and many were on The Parish, as welfare was called, but the district was not a slum when I grew up there. It did change, however, and I can remember my father writing about the vandalism when people from other poorer parts of Glasgow were relocated into high rise apartments. They had a friend who tried to move but she couldn't get anyone to exchange with her because of the reputation Possilpark was getting. This was back in the late 60's.

When we moved to 16 Ardoch Street our house had gas lighting. My mother had to pay to have electricity installed and it was not taken off her rent.

I would never offend anyone so I write this as part of the discussion.
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glenafton
post 9th Mar 2007, 12:36pm
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buntyq,
The history of the Gorbals is very chequered and dates back to the 14th century when it was a very desirable area. It later became the area where Irish families fleeing from the disasterous famine settled. These poor destitute people were heaven sent for the unscrupulous landlords.
Exploitation at it's worst. Unfortunately taking advantage of the unfortunate in such a situation was regarded by some as quite proper. Needless to say no one bothered to ask as to how the people who were exploited felt. The were after all only working class and probably Irish to boot. So according to the lights of the time they did not count. Industry in the area at the time consisted mainly of the Little Govan Colliery and Dixons Ironworks,probably better known as Dixon's Blazes. Although these companies employed many people they could not give everyone a job so many families were reliant on what social services existed at this time,mainly what was known as the Parish or the Poorhouse. Dickens would have seen little change in the attitude towards the poor. I am always amazed at how some consider poverty to be a crime and the poor as something of a sub species of man. How I wonder would those who held,and in some cases,still hold the poor with disdain would manage if somehow all their comforts were taken away and the were forced by circumstance to live the life that some of the residents of the Gorbals had to endure. Somehow I think that they would fall by the wayside. You are quite correct buntyq,in that the Gorbals housed a large Jewish community for a number of years. As to the why they left I cannot in all honesty say. Historians have never to my knowledge documented why the Jews left the Gorbals. That in itself is a rather good area for discussion.
Poverty,lack of in many cases a sound education,the feeling of despair with no visible end to the misery that these people found themselves in naturally led to drink,crime and abuse. The answer to the "Not nice" people was condemnation. Not for the poor or destitute was the helping hand extended to bring them from their misery. But I must confess,abuse is cheaper than genuine aid.. Consider for a moment. We the "Civilised people of the world" who with our celebrated "Free" education and "Free" health services,we who have submarines that can destroy most of the world at the press of a button,we who spend countless billions on armies that can kill those that the bombs miss cannot lift our own people out of poverty. WHY?


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buntyq
post 9th Mar 2007, 03:55pm
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I have a question. How will they relocate the families living in those high risers? Where will they go? I am all for the regeneration but is there any way they can keep the old tenement as a part of the good history of the Gorbals (minus the boarded up shops). We visited the Tenement House in Garnethill but it was different from the homes I lived in, being for middle class families.because of the locked security doors in Ardoch Street I was not able to show my daughter our living conditions,

My mother's people came from the Garscube Road area. In fact 9 Grove Street was her address for years. My grandfather left his family many times so the lack of money was always a problem, so much so that my mother was taken out of school at eleven years of age and went to work polishing marble. The one consistency in her life was her education and she was the "Dux" of her school. That is the student with the highest marks. She could read Charles Dickens. The Pickwick Papers was her favorite book. She has been dead for many years but I owe her my belief in thinking out of the box and wanting to make my life better.

I may have opened up a Pandora's Box but I firmly believe that the Catholic Church should share the blame. They encouraged large families and the promise of a better life in Heaven. I dont remember the priests living in substandard housing or going without food.

No offence taking and I can understand if my comments are taken off.
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glenafton
post 10th Mar 2007, 01:41pm
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buntyq,
I cannot,and will not,comment on whether the Catholic Church must share partial blame for conditions in the Gorbals because the church advocated large families. In the first place I do not know and in the second,even should your comments be true,that is something between the Catholic Church and those that follow that particular branch of Christianity. What I do know is that all leaders of organised religions,do not and did not live in squallor or went hungry. Not for them,and we may as well add the rest of those so called pillars of society,was the horror of the slums. I do not suggest that those who were privilaged to have the comfortable lifestyle should have been dragged down to the level of the unfortunate "Have nots" That would have accomplished absolutely nothing. But surely in the name of their respective God,of whatever denomination,the so called leaders "Christian duty" was to raise the standards of the meanest family to a worthwhile state. Yet this did not happen. Was the problem too hard?. Were the words uttered by those who held the power empty rhetoric?. Or did they in reality ,not care?. It would be difficult I suppose for someone who had a nice smelling,warm and dry house with nice toilet facilities to understand what the less fortunate had to endure. Yet these were the ones that were supposed to eradicate poverty. I have a message for these people.. You failed miserably


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buntyq
post 10th Mar 2007, 03:56pm
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We will leave it at that, Glenafton. I would have no wish to offend anyone who was Catholic. Its enough that I have my own thoughts.

My Aunt Lizzie, who was retired from a job where she ironed shirts for a clothier in Gordon Street, lived in a single end in the Dobbies Loan area. Her only souce of income was her Old Age Pension but my mother would slip a half crown into her message bag and always made sure that she visited us often and at tea time. Now and then she would get help from The Boatman's Institute. I dont know anything about them (maybe someone else reading this post can provide information.) The view from her only window was the power station. It was a lonely little single end but the family next door kept their eye on her. The toilet was shared with two other families. Poor tenants, yes, but everything was clean.

Sometimes when she had to recuperate from an illness my mother would get a "line" from the Co-operative and she would go down to their home in Wemyss Bay for a couple of weeks. I think we could have a post just on the "Co".
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marydee
post 10th Mar 2007, 05:54pm
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While organised religion can be blamed for a lot of things I do not think we can lay blame for the poor living conditions that existed in the slum areas of Glasgow at the door of the Catholic Church. The slum conditions were not created because the Irish, Catholic immigrant was not allowed to limit his family they were created by greed and need for cheap labour. I have said before that the poorest of the Gorbal's tenements were designed to extract as much profit as possible for private investors and even if families had been smaller two or three would probably have occupied one house. The problem of large families was not only a problem for Catholics at a time when working class women had no access to birth control. My old Granny, born in 1888, had eleven children and she was a Protestant. The then Corporation of Glasgow only regulated the numbers living in these squalid conditions when it was scientifically proven that disease and infections thrived where overcrowding existed. It could be argued that the motive behind these regulations was more to protect the health of the middle classes than to protect the workers because Cholera was classless
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glenafton
post 11th Mar 2007, 02:17am
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marydee,
We could have an interesting discussion on your last post. It is a pity that I agree with your sentiments so we will just have to agree to agree. Since the concept of paying someone to work at a task was first used the "Haves" have exploited the "Have nots" and it unfortunately still happens to-day,though thanks to the working class receiving a much better education than of yesteryear the incidences are getting fewer because the people refuse to accept such condidions now. You are correct in that women,regardless of their religious leanings,or indeed if they had any such beliefs,had large to very large families. Whether this was from demands from uncaring men or as you say having no effective,affordable birth control,I will leave to others to decide. What is undisputable is that disease was often rampant in these substandard homes where there was no proper sanitation and no proper bathing facilities for small families never mind the large ones. How many out there can remember the Saturday night tin bath? That was a standard fitting in many Glasgow homes,but many homes did not even have this very basic facility. How many young women,and I suppose some young men,waited until everyone in the house was asleep so that they could have a strip wash at the cast iron sink without even the benefit of hot water. Small wonder that life expectancy was lower in the poor than was the case of the more affluent. My children and my grandchildren laugh when I relate these tales to them. They cannot understand how people could actually live in such conditions. Yet we did. Though in all honesty I must admit that my family,though we suffered hardships during the war years,were better off than others less fortunate. We had an enameled bath that was kept under the hole in the wall bed and we only shared a common toilet with 3 other families. How posh was that?
Yes,life in the hell holes that the Glasgow Corporation allowed to exist was an inhuman cruelty that should never have happened. Yet out of this misery there was a lesson that the more affluent SHOULD have learned. Those that lived in these slums had nothing but not only would they share what they had they were amongst the first to lend a helping hand when it was needed.


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buntyq
post 11th Mar 2007, 03:06pm
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Interesting thoughts and replies. Thanks.
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lindamac
post 12th Mar 2007, 02:04pm
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mellow.gif when I take a look at the photograph above it sorta looks sad dint it? sad.gif


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Ye Cin Take The Lassie Oota Glesga But Ye Cannae Take Glesga Oota The Lassie
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Catarina
post 13th Mar 2007, 05:16pm
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When I look at this photo of the children and their horrific surroundings, I was just wondering in what year this picture might have been taken.

I was raised in Nelson Street,which is in the Gorbals. I was born in 1937. I do recall a mixture of families living up our close,but the majority were clean immaculate people...One family of 7children were not well of,not very clean either, but nothing like this picture.
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jaybee
post 13th Mar 2007, 07:04pm
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Catarina, my guess would be late 30s to early 40s. Must have been playing in the muddy back court by the looks of it. Jaybee
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glenafton
post 15th Mar 2007, 10:26am
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Caterina,
Believe it or not,the photograph was taken during an eviction of a family of 11 children and 2 adult. It was taken in Shamrock Street in 1949


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glenafton
post 15th Mar 2007, 10:34am
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Attached Image

For a subject of abject misery I submit this poor unknown woman who existed somewhere in the Gorbals in 1910 must be a contender. I don't think that I have ever seen anyone who was so destroyed at heart


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glenafton
post 15th Mar 2007, 10:38am
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On a somewhat lighter note. How many out there were bathed like this?


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