Mary Is Sixteen. She Works in a Bakery. She Has the Fancies and Foibles Natural to a Girl Her Age. She Dreams of Nice Clothes, Handsome Suitors, Happy Times. but Already Her Life Is Being Coloured by Her Surroundings. Already Futility and Frustration Stretch Ahead. Already Her Dreams Are Losing Their Battle against Reality - Picture Post, January 31, 1948
f d, lia n' ht y w nh calm that covers de of horrors. ,000 people live in the live four, six, eight to a room, avatory, 40 to a tap. They n's most abandoned slum. ht, of an early morning, the other poor area. Its flat, with flat-faced tenements. corner and an undertaker's almost every other block. red with chalk messages: cShane, Kilroy Was Here, and (fading now) Victory.
n - and for good reason.
get inside the tenements orbals is no ordinary poor area that provides a very slum problem.
u f o ast uri faeh n S ac lo ruir eh s g Sa the problem was one of ury ago, thousands of poor ive in Glasgow. They came fangled railways and the ey came for higher wages, hat they conceived to be a was possible in starving Scottish Highlands. acked themselves into 252 lyde, south from the city own as the Gorbals. rbals had been 'A Good uccessful lawyers, doctors ire to. But the speculators er the gardens and the hem quickly and cheaply, standards were far lower in the Lowlands. endants of those folk, and wcomers who have joined overty, squalor and in the be better in the afterlife.
i The air of a multitu Nearly 40, Gorbals. They l often 30 to a l live in Britain At first sigh Gorbals looks like any wide streets are lined There is a pub on every c(open day and night) in The walls are cover Love God, Vote For McIrish Border Must Go aCats are everywhere - It is not until you g that you realise the Goplace. It is, in fact, an special version of the In its beginnings, immigration. A centulabourers began to arrto work on the new-f docks of the Clyde. Thefor fuller plates, for whbetter way of life than Erin and the wasted A big proportion pa acres just over the Clcentre, in the area knoTill then, the Gor Address', a place for suand merchants to retibuilt tenements oveorchards. They built thto house folk whose than those prevailing And there the desce the thousands of newthem, live today in pohope that things will bOne of them, Mary, i She has the fancies and age. She dreams of n suitors, happy times. Buby her surrounding frustration stretch ahare losing their battle North of the Gorbal banks of the Clyde. Sothat spreads out from tdepot on Pollokshaws the ward has the han of Abbotsford Place aeastern end is bou mid-Victorian tenemWithin these bou some 40,000 shockinglypeople. The Gorbals haindustries, and few smwhere residents may fiSome local girls h "hair factory", the mestablishment in Balmost folk must go elseliving. The ward is simpAs a lodging-hou e wob o s d 16. She works in a bakery.
foibles natural to a girl her nice clothes, handsome ut already her life is coloured gs. Already futility and head. Already her dreams against reality.
ugh s o s nd n ue uy s m are the black, rat-ridden outh is the railway jungle the big goods and mineral Road. The western end of dsome classical terraces and Warwick Street. The unded by the lowering ents of Lawmoor Street. unds live y-housed no large mall ones, find work. have jobs at the mattress-making llater Street. But ewhere to make a ply a vast lodging-house. use, the Gorbals could We're one cat h mle us ll ep u ple live huddled together live in apartments that ark and dirty.
a hardly be worse. Peop281 to the acre. They are mostly small, daThey live five and sipart of some great slaseven or eight people imaybe eight or 10 in thThe windows are ofteThe stairs are narrowbefouled not only withthere is one lavatory fothe door off. p y ar i tn hew m o h ix in a single room that is ttern of a tenement, with the room next door, and he rooms above and below. en patched with cardboard. w, dark at all times and mud and rain. Commonly, or 30 people, and that with a Rents are low. The a av average is rather less than 10 shillings a week for a room, or PS4 for an eight-room house. But in some parts, particularly in the handsome westward section, it is common to find a single tenant will lease a whole house cheap and then sublet to other tenants, room by room, till even the kitchen and bathroom have a family living in them. …