WHEN famous stage and screen star Steven Berkoff was an actor with the Citizens Theatre back in the 60s, he spent his days off photographing the surrounding streets.

The resulting collection of images is a snapshot in time, capturing an area already changing as locals moved out and demolition teams moved in.

Steven Berkoff: Gorbals 1966 is at the Lillie Art Gallery this month.

Like many photographers Berkoff was drawn to slums and decay, “because these are the areas in which I was brought up,” he says.

In an interview with the Evening Times’ sister newspaper The Herald last year, when the exhibition first came to Glasgow, he said: “The Gorbals was kind of a no-man’s land. It was in the process of being pulled down, and I spent days going round this bizarre and slightly nightmarish surrealist landscape that reminded me of the east end of London where I’d spent a lot of my youth. That area wasn’t only in decline. It was dying. The Gorbals was somewhere in between.”

He had already begun to capture the old Jewish East End in London, so his Gorbals photographs became a very apt echo.

“One of my favourite places in Glasgow was The Barras market on Sunday morning, such a lot of fun,” he recalls. “I actually acted in the small space next to The Citizens, called The Close Theatre, which I found quite wonderful to work in and I used to spend a few hours there in the afternoon after my sojourns around The Gorbals, to cook up my supper, which was a steak I bought from the butcher’s opposite.

“There was a lovely man who was a caretaker at The Close, who used to sing a particular song every afternoon, which I have never ever forgotten.

‘Oh, I’d like to have a home of my own/Sitting by my own fireside/And if you’ve only got a table and a chair/It’s all yours and you’re welcome there.’”

Berkoff is best known as an English actor, author, playwright and theatre director. He was born in Stepney, London in 1937. After studying drama and mime in London and Paris, he entered a series of repertory companies and in 1968 formed the London Theatre Group.

He has adapted and performed in many classics for the stage, including Kafka’s Metamorphosis and Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher, and is famous for her film roles in Octopussy, Beverly Hills Cop and A Clockwork Orange.

Berkoff’s London photographs are captured in the book ‘East End Photographs’, edited by Lucy Bell.

Councillor Billy Hendry, East Dunbartonshire’s Convener of Place, Neighbourhood and Corporate Assets, said: “This is a fascinating glimpse back in time, showing a world which was already starting to disappear when the photos were taken.

“I hope as many people as possible get the chance to see these works of art for themselves.”

Steven Berkoff: Gorbals 1966 runs until April 4 at the Lillie Art Gallery in Milngavie.

*Do you recognise the Gorbals of these photographs? Send us your memories to Ann Fotheringham, Evening Times, 200 Renfield Street, Glasgow G2 3QB or email ann.fotheringham@heraldandtimes.co.uk