THE backcourts of Glasgow's old tenements might not always have been pretty but they provided safe if unsanitary playgrounds for generations of city kids.

Whether playing 'tanner ba' against the outhouses and bin shelters, raking in the middens looking for 'treasure' or dreeping off walls with their pals, all it took was the sound of a back window opening and a shout from one angry neighbour to send the marauding hordes of weans back to the dimly lit gloom and the safety of their own family closes.

This pockmarked, puddled and crumbling Gorbals backcourt might look like Hell to you, but in the vivid imaginations of the local kids it could pass for anything from the dusty plains of the Wild West to the forts and castles of medieval Scotland.