WHEN Douglas McCreath looks wistfully at a photograph of the Glasgow East End housing estate where he grew up, he likes to think it was taken on a Tuesday.

That was his mother's washing day, and the laundry billowing on the line in Cranhill back in the 1950s could well be her freshly laundered sheets, he says.

The retired geography teacher is flicking through a book of old photographs.

A lifetime in the making, he has collected hundreds of rare pictures for Cranhill: Looking Back On Yesterday to tie in with the 60th anniversary of the final stages of construction of one of the city's first housing schemes after the Second World War.

Published with the help of Glasgow Housing Association, the book is packed with photographs from newspaper and city council archives, as well as pictures and memories submitted by residents and former residents, with contributions from as far afield as New Zealand and Spain.

"I was brought up in Cranhill when the scheme opened in 1953. It was my mother and father's first house of their own, and I went back and taught in Cranhill Secondary," says Douglas.

"I always felt the story of Cranhill was not told; it is a bit of Glasgow's history that might just slip away and be forgotten about.

"I always harboured the hope I might do something, so I gathered stories and pictures in the hope that one day I might get it published and the story would be told."

Douglas, who grew up in Bellrock Street, says his favourite photograph is the aerial shot taken when the scheme was in its heyday.

"There is another picture that strikes a chord with a lot of people: a hairdresser who ran Barney's Bus," he says. "When there were no shops or facilities, Barney had a hairdresser's in a bus.

"I think the picture was taken in 1957 when many people went to Barney for a short back and sides.

"There is another picture I particularly like of the 150th Glasgow company of the Life Boys.

"For a spell my father was the leader of the Life Boys and I think he took this photograph."

Although Douglas now lives in the South Side, he is still a regular visitor to Cranhill, where he is a community volunteer working on projects ranging from arts group to plans for a mountain bike track.

"One of the reasons why I wanted to tell this story is because the Cranhill I knew has all but disappeared," he says. "There has been so much development, the western part of Cranhill has totally transformed.

"All of the tenements that were there have been replaced by housing associations with new style houses. The place is unrecognisable from what it was."

Gordon Sloan, chairman of the Glasgow Housing Association, says the book is a fantastic example of the rich community history in Cranhill told by local people and how the area has changed over the years.

He says: "Projects like this are a great way of bringing past and present residents together to tell the story of a place."

The book was used to give pupils from Cranhill and St Maria Goretti primary schools a history lesson with a difference.

Youngsters toured the streets of Cranhill comparing old photographs from the book with the way their area looks now.

A lifelong landmark in the area has been the tall water tower, which at one time was surrounded by green space, but that space is now filled with housing.

"Cranhill was a really great place to grow up," says Douglas. "It was like living in the country, full of green space and new houses.

"This is an opportunity to focus on the positive things about Cranhill. If people can look back positively, they will be able to look forward and make their area a better place."