Glasgow's growing pains

LAST week we focused on the earliest part of the 'land grab' by Glasgow, which came as the city grew, swallowing up outlying parts such as the Gorbals (in 1846) and Kinning Park (1905).

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In between these two came the 'great annexation' of 1891, when the burghs of Hillhead, Maryhill, Pollokshields East and West, Crosshill, Govanhill, Kelvinside, Possilpark and Springburn were all absorbed - as were the districts of Mount Florida Langside and Shawlands.

A century ago in 1912, and just a few years before the start of the Great War, came Glasgow's second great expansion. This list was just as impressive as 1891's.

Glasgow was desperate to hold onto its Second City of the Empire title - and one way of achieving this would be by expanding its boundaries to include some populous, thriving areas.

Govan, Partick, Temple, Shieldhall, Pollokshaws, Anniesland, Scotstoun, Shettleston, Tollcross and Cathcart all lost their independent status.

The loss was felt deeply in the Burgh of Partick, the provost handing over his robe and his chain of office as a lament played.

Govan, meanwhile, was the seventh most populous place in Scotland. Many Govanites were of the opinion that Govan should have absorbed Glasgow, not the other way around. But the expansion went ahead.

In 1926, the year of the General Strike, the villages of Scotstounhill, Halfway, Cardonald and Crookston were annexed.

Fast-forward to 1975, and it was the turn of Rutherglen - the oldest Royal Burgh in Scotland, and a rival to the Johnny-come-lately Glasgow in the Middle Ages. Now it was just a suburb.

More recent boundary changes have relocated some of the aforementioned places into Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, or East Dunbartonshire.

These alterations have reduced the City of Glasgow's population by a third, but the total for the metropolis of Greater Glasgow is still well over a million.

city grows by absorbing busy suburbs

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