Modern architecture at Kidston Place, Gorbals

This morning I collected guest from central Glasgow and embarked on an ancestry themed tour of the Gorbals region with emphasis on Jewish ancestry in the early part of the 20th century in the Gorbals and Hutchesontown region.

The morning was characterised by persistent rain.

Although now transformed, the Gorbals region was a socially deprived area which attracted large numbers of penniless immigrants and refugees.

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries the Gorbals was home to a sizeable Jewish community with synagogues and supporting infrastructure. However, due to a combination of self-help and education the Jewish community progressively moved away, mainly to Glasgow Southside. There is no longer a Jewish community in the Gorbals region.

The Gorbals/Hutchesontown district was transformed in the second half of the 20th century with residents benefiting from new housing stock and enhanced  environment. However, the rebuilding entailed removal of many of the old streets which presented a challenge to us as most of our target, Thistle Street no longer exists. Our researches were aided by a 1912 street map.

Thistle Street, Gorbals, c.1912.

Tower block, Gorbals, Glasgow

We spent time driving around the Gorbals/Hutchesontown region with stops at the Southern Necropolis (burial ground),  Rose Garden (burial ground) and Gorbals Street. The latter stop proved very instructive as we saw the last remaining tenement from the ‘old’ Gorbals and by pure chance encountered a local gentleman with a long memory of the region dating back to the time of the Jewish community. We also encountered a plaque and image of the famous Scottish-American detective, Allan Pinkerton who was born in Muirhead Street in 1819 (died in U.S 1884.) Roy, David and Gary Pinkerton are descendants of Allan Pinkerton still residing in Scotland.

Southern Necropolis, Gorbals.

Rose Garden Burial Ground at Gorbals.

Chance meeting with local at Cleland Street Underpass.

Allan Pinkerton with Abraham Lincoln at Cleland Street Underpass

‘Old’ Gorbals Tenement

Next, we moved on to Glasgow Cathedral and Glasgow Necropolis burial ground). At latter we visited the Jewish section.

Jewish section at Glasgow Necropolis.

Inside Glasgow Cathedral

Finally, we drove around the Glasgow waterfront where, in days past, passenger liners plied their trade.

At end of tour guest was deposited at Glasgow Central Station for return trip to Edinburgh.

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