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New History of Gorbals and Oatlands

Hi folks, there are four books about Gorbal's and Oatland's due in the shops soon

Not cheap but if your into Gorbals, its for you
Ron started off my interest in Gorbals 1994? he was great help in allowing me to take copies of old photos of Gorbals from the early 1960s which appeared in the book The Gorbals an Illustrated History
I have contributed a number of photos for the books

Author – Ronald P A Smith
Publisher – Stenlake Publishing
Publication Date – 13 November 2014
Prices - £16 each
This is a comprehensive new history of the Gorbals and Oatlands, written about a century after the
last, and extending to a total of 472 pages. Published in four well-illustrated soft back volumes, it
covers the transformation of the original Gorbals village into Glasgow’s first major southern suburb,
going on to describe the resulting character of the area in the years before World War II, then the
1960s redevelopment and more recent regeneration for the 21st century. Housing, social and
economic conditions are considered in detail, as are the area’s changing ethnic composition,
schools, places of worship, transport, industries, planning, architecture and public art. The relevant
volumes explore controversial failures in redevelopment and housing renewal, before giving the
author’s detailed first-hand account of the story behind the award-winning Crown Street
Regeneration Project and subsequent regeneration projects in Hutchesontown, Laurieston and
Oatlands. The overall work is illustrated with over 500 photographs, maps, plans and drawings.
Volume 1 – The Gorbals of Old
The first volume of the series recounts the early history of the Gorbals,
describing its transformation from a small rural village into Glasgow’s first major
southern suburb with 90,000 inhabitants, 1,100 shops and 140 pubs. Local
industries and transport links are examined in some detail and a
comprehensive account is given of social, housing and economic conditions in
the period up to World War II. Some of the topics covered include the area’s
changing ethnic composition, public health, children’s play, illegal gambling,
theatres, cinemas and dance halls, and the book explores and puts into
perspective the Gorbals’ reputation for gang violence. Detailed maps of the
area in 1858 and 1910 are included.

Volume 2 – Redevelopment and its Aftermath
This volume reviews conditions in the Gorbals during the early post-war period
and portrays the area’s comprehensive redevelopment between the late 1950s
and the mid 1970s. The success or failure of each element is assessed in
some detail, particularly with regard to the notorious case of the
Hutchesontown ‘Area E’ development and the local authority’s various failed
attempts to further redevelop the site. The book then describes the Gorbals’
rapid decline as interest in the 1960s showpiece waned, but ends on a hopeful
note as the scene is set for the more sensitive kind of regeneration more fully
described in Volume Three. In common with the rest of the series, it is well
illustrated with old and new photographs, many published for the first time.

Volume 3 – An Example to be Followed
This book takes the reader into the latter part of the 20th century, continuing
the story with a portrayal of the ground-breaking Crown Street Regeneration
Project which quickly became considered as an exemplar for urban
regeneration, laying the foundations for the area’s further redevelopment
schemes in Hutchesontown and Laurieston, also described with the aid of
many photographs and plans. A related chapter is devoted to the public art
which is such a conspicuous feature of the Gorbals today. Also included in this
volume is a history of education in the Gorbals and Oatlands, as well as a
description of the area’s many and varied places of worship over the years.

Oatlands and General Conclusions
Volume Four is mainly devoted to a closer look at the history of the Oatlands
neighbourhood, including the controversial failure of the area’s principal
tenement refurbishment scheme. There follows the author’s first-hand account
of the story behind the area’s current regeneration, describing events before
and after work on site began in April 2005. The text is lavishly illustrated with
photographs showing Oatlands before and after redevelopment, together with
numerous maps and plans. The book also contains the author’s concluding
reflections on the history of the Gorbals and Oatlands, especially in recent
years, and ends with a brief statement of his hopes for the future of the area.

Author’s Biographical Information
Ronald P. A. Smith is a retired town planner who worked for nearly 30 years on the design and
implementation of the award-winning regeneration of the Gorbals and Oatlands in Glasgow. He
was born and brought up in Fife where he was educated at Buckhaven High School. After
graduating from Heriot-Watt University, his first planning job was in Lanark, followed by the move to
Glasgow City Council in 1984.
He has also written about local history in Glasgow, with books already published on the Gorbals, He has also written about local history in Glasgow, with books already published on the Gorbals,
Pollokshields and Queen’s Park, and he was a contributor to the six Gorbals web pages on He is a co-opted director of the Oatlands Development Trust and, in his
home town of Linlithgow, he has been involved for many years with Linlithgow Civic Trust, writing
and editing local history publications. At the time of writing, he is chairman of Burgh Beautiful
Linlithgow, an award-winning community campaign  with the aim of enhancing the town’s character and appearance, and encouraging civic pride.

More widely, he was responsible for the compilation and publication of nearly a hundred hand drawn street maps of cities, towns and villages throughout Scotland, from Dumfries to Thurso
Ron is a keen walker and photographer and he is married with two grown-up children. Forum Index -> Events and Recommendations
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