Source: P. Jephcott and H. Robinson, Homes in High Flats, (Oliver & Boyd: Edinburgh), 1971, front cover. Image © Miss D. Foy credited in the book as the artist
In Pearl Jephcott's original study Homes in High Flats, conducted between 1967 and 1969, a 5 per cent sample of families living in high flats were interviewed by market researchers and 1,066 questionnaires were completed. At this point there were 163 high rise blocks in Glasgow.
Alongside the questionnaire Jephcott chose to 'concentrate on a limited number of estates' as this would 'enable staff to make sustained relationships with individual households'. The five areas chosen, Castlemilk, Wyndford, Albion, Red Road and Royston, were thought to be 'not too 'untypical' of the estates as a whole'.
Mitchellhilll in Castlemilk, which comprised of five 19 storey multi-storey blocks was chosen as a result of its position on the edge of a large postwar council estate. Jephcott notes that 'The semi-rural setting was judged very favourable for the child living in a high flat (once he was old enough to go out by himself) and Castlemilk was selected for special study largely for this reason' (p. 28).
Wyndford was chosen as it was close to a busy shopping street (Maryhill Road). This estate, which consisted of 16 multistorey blocks over 8 storeys and also low-rise flats, was (and is) situated on the site of an old barracks and was surrounded by 'a high and handsome wall' which meant that it was 'visibly self contained'. Jephcott states that 'socially it is believed to be settling down rather well' and this along with the fact it was built and managed by the Scottish Special Housing Association (SSHA) were the main reasons for its selection for in-depth study (p. 28).
Albion, an estate which no longer exists, consisted of three 19 multi-storey blocks, it was near the docks and 'hemmed-in' by an arterial road, Ibrox football stadium and a greyhound track.
Red Road, which has become an iconic representation of high rise living in Glasgow, was chosen by Jephcott because although it was only two miles north-east of the city centre 'it was curiously cut off from the main stream of city life'. At the point of her study only two of the eight 'massive blocks' (around 31 storeys high) had been occupied but both 'were already showing signs of social problems since the lifts were proving most inadequate'. There was also 'a high proportion of child-users'. The high proportion of children in these blocks were of interest to Jephcott (p. 30).
Finally, Royston was selected as one of Glasgow's 'earliest ventures in high flats'. The three 20 storey blocks had been completed in 1961 and Jephcott thought 'the novelty of this new type of home should have long worn off' which 'might make it a useful contrast to the city's high flats in general' (p. 30).