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Back to Glasgow West War Story

Project Title: Glasgow West War Story

Exhibition: Health and Housing in Postwar Glasgow

The aftermath of World War II brought many changes to the provisions for health care and housing in Britain. As cities repaired their war damaged buildings, plans for new housing developments were also put into action creating improved living conditions for those previously housed in the overcrowded inner city areas. New housing was seen as the solution to preventing the spread of disease caused by overcrowding and rundown housing before the war. Perhaps the greatest improvements to living conditions came in 1948 with the establishment of the National Health Service (NHS) providing free access to health care for everyone. This exhibition explores the improvements to post war health and housing through the reminiscences of three Glasgow doctors: Dr Ross, Professor Grist and Dr Fairlie.

Assets in this exhibition:

Back court of tenement in Glasgow

Exhibition Image One

Description

This is the back court of a tenement building in Glasgow in the 1930s. Tenements were a common form of housing for the working classes in Glasgow in the nineteenth century and for part of the 20th century.

This tenement building is rubble-built, with ashlar dressings. The circular tower is probably a later addition, as the masonry appears different. It may have been added at a later date to provide piped water to every floor. Sinks are visible at the unglazed windows. There is apparently no back green, as people have hung their washing on lines attached to the back wall of the tenement. It is likely this little boy has no garden in which to play. As early as 1885, James Burn Russell, the second Medical Officer of Health for Glasgow said that children deprived of space to play would not develop into strong adults.

Many of the tenements, although well-built, degenerated into slums due to overcrowding, lack of money spent on upkeep, and the poor quality of services. After World War II many tenements were demolished and the working classes were re-housed.

Source

Date: 1930s
Location: Glasgow
Original Source: © National Museums Scotland. Licensor www.scran.ac.uk.


Collapsed tenement

Exhibition Image One

Description

A building collapse in the Gorbals areas of Glasgow.

Source

Date: 1951
Location: Gorbals, Glasgow
Original Source: © Newsquest (Herald & Times). Licensor www.scran.ac.uk.


Information on non-traditional houses

Exhibition Image One

Description

This is the first page of a leaflet on the opening of an exhibition of non-traditional houses.

Source

Date: 1946
Contributor: Corporation of the City of Glasgow - Housing Department


Information on Weir "Quality" Steel houses

Exhibition Image One

Description

Information on Weir "Quality" Steel houses from the Corporation of the City of Glasgow information booklet on the opening of three types of non-traditional house exhibited in Knightswood, Glasgow.

Source

Date: 1946


Weir steel house lounge and dining room

Exhibition Image One

Description

Lounge and dining room in a Weir house.


Weir steel house kitchen

Exhibition Image One

Description

Kitchen in a Weir house.


Weir steel house

Exhibition Image One

Description

Front of a Weir steel house


Diphtheria Immunisation

Exhibition Image One

Description

A child receiving the diphtheria vaccination.

Source

Date: c.1940
Location: Edinburgh
Original Source: © Lothian Health Services Archive. Licensor www.scran.ac.uk.