Douglas puts us in the picture about Cranhill

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.

Loading Comments
Share
Print
  • Douglas McCreath collected hundreds of pictures for his book Cranhill: Looking Back On Yesterday
    Douglas McCreath collected hundreds of pictures for his book Cranhill: Looking Back On Yesterday
  • Douglas McCreath collected hundreds of pictures for his book Cranhill: Looking Back On Yesterday
  • Douglas McCreath collected hundreds of pictures for his book Cranhill: Looking Back On Yesterday
  • Douglas McCreath collected hundreds of pictures for his book Cranhill: Looking Back On Yesterday
  • Douglas McCreath collected hundreds of pictures for his book Cranhill: Looking Back On Yesterday

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."

angela.mcmanus@heraldandtimes.co.uk

Arts and Entertainment

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on Evening Times on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

137889

Have you got a story?

Contact the news desk on 0141 302 6520 or email news@eveningtimes.co.uk
Janice Bell

Janice Bell

You Couldn't Make This Up

The secret world of the wheelie bin.

Times Out

Entertainment

Lifestyle

TV Advert
Michelle McManus

Michelle McManus

Columnist Michelle McManus is Sussed in the City, and loves to chat about anything and everything.

A weekly round up of social highlights

A weekly round up of social highlights

Cat's Eyes on Glasgow

I get my cheer on for Scotland’s euro qualifiers, sweat in bikram yoga and head to an enchanted forest.

Gail’s Gab

Gail’s Gab

Gail Sheridan is a mother-of-one and wife to Tommy and she likes to get political with the hot topic of the week in her column Gail’s Gab.