Glasgow Photo Library
- Gorbals


Glasgow's rapid growth as an industrial city in the 19th and 20th centuries created a legacy of poor, cramped housing, with frequent bouts of high unemployment. The social problems were probably at their worst in the Gorbals area, just south of the river Clyde. This is where Glasgow got its reputation as "No Mean City" (the title of a book set in 1930s Gorbals) and gang fights with open razors as weapons.

After the Second World War, attempts were made to rehouse those in sub-standard tenement blocks by moving them to new estates on the edge of the city - though the sprawling local council estates of Castlemilk, Easterhouse, Pollok and Drumchapel created just as many social problems. In the Gorbals, the old buildings were demolished and new high-rise flats arose in their place - as filing cabinets for people. The old community spirit of the area was thus largely destroyed.

In recent years, some of the high-rise blocks have been demolished and rows of modern low-rise flats are being built. Hopefully, this second attempt at regenerating the Gorbals will be more successful. The picture here is of the artwork "Gorbals Guardian" which is located on the edge of the area, amongst some of the new housing.

Go to the next Glasgow location: Govan Parish ChurchGovan Parish Church
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