Online Questionnaire Responses 

Early last year we launched an online questionnaire to find out more about what it was like to live in high rise flats in Glasgow. Below is a selection of the responses. 

What do you think? Did you live in any of these blocks? Do you have your own memories that you'd like to share? If so, you can also complete our short questionnaire

 

Mitchellhill, Castlemilk 

 

Source: Mitchellhill flats (late 1970s), Castlemilk History facebook page © Jim Richardson

 

Emma Palmer

When and where did you live in a high flat?:

1998/2005.  Mithcehill flats castlemilk 14 up

Between what ages:

1 and 8

Did you move there from somewhere else? If so, where? What affect did the move have on you?:

No

What were your early impressions? Describe the flat if you can:

The best house in castlemilk

Did you grow up in a high flat? What are your memories of your childhood? Where did you play? What games did you play?:

Yes wee played in the park at the back of the flats and in the shop at the bottom of our flat and sometimes ride the elevator up and down all floors

Did other members of your family live nearby? How often did you seen them? If no, where did they live? When did they visit? Did you visit them?:

Yes holmbyer and ardmaleish visit everyday

What were your neighbours like: In your block? In the wider scheme/area? Did relations with your neighbours change over time?:

The neighbours were great

Looking back, are you happy that you lived in the high rise flats, or would you have preferred to have lived somewhere else?:

Yes high rise was a lot better than the house wee are in today

 

Jackie muir

When and where did you live in a high flat?:

Lived in mitchellhill flats as did all my family from babies I was 1 year old when my mum and dad moved in so that was 1963 we were the first family to move in and our pictures in books and the peoples palace all my brothers and sisters were born there grew up and stayed there.I even got married moved away then back again and eventually moved out in 1992 we were there when the flats were demolished

Between what ages: See above

What were your early impressions? Describe the flat if you can:

Loved the flats the times we spent there were the best of my life happy memories we only had 2 rooms and a living room and there were 5 of us kids and mum and dad when I was older I got the room that was called the boiler room as a bedroom with a curtain round the boiler and a single bed in it I thought it was amazing

Did you grow up in a high flat? What are your memories of your childhood? Where did you play? What games did you play?:

I remember my brothers playing dreepy where they would climb the balcony at side of flat and dreepy down to the next one what were they thinking of we all played rounders ball doctors and nurses and went in and out of each other's houses no doors locked in those days I only thing I hated were the lifts I used to shout eight flights up to our windows when I got older so my dad would come down in lift to get me

Or were you a parent looking after children at the time?:

After I got married and had my first daughter I moved back to the flats that was in about 1985.


Did other members of your family live nearby? How often did you seen them? If no, where did they live? When did they visit? Did you visit them?:

All of my family stayed in the flats and went on to have their own children so we saw each other every single day at one point we 2 of us stayed on the one landing there were six houses on the one landing

What were your neighbours like: In your block? In the wider scheme/area? Did relations with your neighbours change over time?:

Neighbours were amazing when we were younger so much so I still see my next door neighbour who turned out a good friend of my mums and I call her my nana she's now 82 we had one gate adjoins the two houses and we used to leave our doors open to go to each other's houses we would shout yoo hoo it's me lol when I went back years later it wasn't really the same


Looking back, are you happy that you lived in the high rise flats, or would you have preferred to have lived somewhere else?:

I was the happiest I've even been living anywhere else the sense of community spirit and friendliness was second to none it doesn't happen nowadays no matter where u luve nowadays u couldn't leave ur door open I would go back to living there again in a second

 

Maureen Henry

When and where did you live in a high flat?:

Mitchellhill flats 1985 - 2000

Between what ages:

22 - 37

Did you move there from somewhere else? If so, where? What affect did the move have on you?: moved from parents home ....still near to parents so was a good move.

What were your early impressions? Describe the flat if you can:

2nd storey 2 bedroom flat with balcony ...fire escape door in 1 bedroom led to back stairs

Did you grow up in a high flat? What are your memories of your childhood? Where did you play? What games did you play?: N/A

Or were you a parent looking after children at the time?: N/A

Did other members of your family live nearby? How often did you seen them? If no, where did they live? When did they visit? Did you visit them?:

Yes, all family stayed in Castlemilk

What were your neighbours like: In your block? In the wider scheme/area? Did relations with your neighbours change over time?:

Good place at the start but as time went on and houses were being left empty it became quite isolating

Looking back, are you happy that you lived in the high rise flats, or would you have preferred to have lived somewhere else?:

I have good and bad memories but I am happy that I lived there

 

Isabelle Hunt

When and where did you live in a high flat?:

Lived in 3 Mirchellhill Road 16 th floor from when they first opened around 1964 if I remember

Between what ages:

I was 12 I lived with my parents and left when I was 18

Did you move there from somewhere else? If so, where? What affect did the move have on you?:

We moved from Ardencraig Street I hated it so did my mother the isolation made her ill

What were your early impressions? Describe the flat if you can:

The flat seemed lovely it had underfloor heating instead of a fire it was a good size with a spectacular view but you never met anyone unless in the lift which were always breaking down I loathed it it was total isolation

Did you grow up in a high flat? What are your memories of your childhood? Where did you play? What games did you play?:

Played on Cathkin Braes with my friends from Ardencraig St but when they went home I was heartbroken can't tell you how much I hated that flat

Did other members of your family live nearby? How often did you seen them? If no, where did they live? When did they visit? Did you visit them?:

My brother and his wife lived in Gavanhill and visited on a Sunday but that was it

What were your neighbours like: In your block? In the wider scheme/area? Did relations with your neighbours change over time?:

Hardly ever saw neighbours high flats are lonely places not like the tenements where you met people all the time and a lot of people in those days were scared of the height and the lifts if they broke down it was 16 floors to climb with your shopping

Looking back, are you happy that you lived in the high rise flats, or would you have preferred to have lived somewhere else?:

No I look back on it as a time of depression it made my mother Ill she had a breakdown and there was no one's door to go to I could my wait to leave and got a flat at 18 my parents moved shortly after to Bogany it was so good to see them come down like a bad chapter closing

 

George Inglis

When and where did you live in a high flat?:

Between 1970 and 1992 at Mitchell hill Road Flats, block 7.

Between what ages:

1 and 23

Did you move there from somewhere else? If so, where? What affect did the move have on you?:

Moved from Maryhill. Didn't no anything about it as I was a baby.

What were your early impressions? Describe the flat if you can:

Earliest memories are of being able to see right across Glasgow from my veranda, as we called it. Flat had 2 big bedrooms, large living room, kitchen, bathroom and boiler room along with a long hall.

Did you grow up in a high flat? What are your memories of your childhood? Where did you play? What games did you play?:

I did and remember being fairly happy  as could play out in the swings, roundabouts and climbing frames as well as make dens in the big woods. As ever we sometimes got bullied by the older boys but that is the same everywhere. Used to play football, cricket, tennis and all the usual games like British bull dogs.

Or were you a parent looking after children at the time?:

No a child.

Did other members of your family live nearby? How often did you seen them? If no, where did they live? When did they visit? Did you visit them?:

At one point a member of my family lived in each of the 5 blocks of flats in Mitchell hill.  Seen at least one of them everyday and my Granny looked after me after school as my Mum and Dad both worked.

What were your neighbours like: In your block? In the wider scheme/area? Did relations with your neighbours change over time?:

The neighbours in our landing were generally very good, looking out for each other and helpful. The block was fine too. Got the usual numpties that you just tried to avoid if you could. As time went by block got more run down as folk changed and seemed to care less about looking after it. Area could be rough and during the eighties there was a lot of gang fighting but you just avoided them too as much as you could.

Looking back, are you happy that you lived in the high rise flats, or would you have preferred to have lived somewhere else?:

I enjoyed my childhood in the flats. We had loads of space and areas to get up to 'mischief' but it was probably the fact that my Mum and Dad looked after me so well that made it happy.

 

Susan McAdam

When and where did you live in a high flat?:

I lived in Mitchellhill Flats, Castlemilk from 1964 until 1987

Between what ages:

From a few months old until I was 23

Did you move there from somewhere else? If so, where? What affect did the move have on you?:

We were the first family to live in that flat

What were your early impressions? Describe the flat if you can:

It was all I knew and we were happy there. The rooms were a good size. It had 2 bedrooms, a lovely kitchen ( my mum and dad put in), under floor heating, which was fantastic but expensive. It had metal windows and the condensation was terrible in winter.

Did you grow up in a high flat? What are your memories of your childhood? Where did you play? What games did you play?:

We were on the fourth floor of a 19 storey building and there were five buildings. We were lucky the flats were right at the bottom of the Cathkin Braes and spent a lot of time there. We played tennis at the garage area in summer,ball games against the walls(outside) And I remember huge games of 'kick the can' with other children from the flats.

Did other members of your family live nearby? How often did you seen them? If no, where did they live? When did they visit? Did you visit them?:

My aunt lived on the same floor, I had a gran on the 1st floor and one on the 16th and my aunt, uncle and cousins on the 2nd floor! We had other family come to visit with tea and pancakes on a Sunday afternoon or a plate of mums home made soup!

What were your neighbours like: In your block? In the wider scheme/area? Did relations with your neighbours change over time?:

You got to know a lot of people. I remember my mum and dad had a group of good friends and house parties were all the rage. Castlemilk had a tough reputation but I always felt safe coming in from a night out.

Looking back, are you happy that you lived in the high rise flats, or would you have preferred to have lived somewhere else?:

It was all I knew and I had a happy childhood. I was thirty one by the time a got a garden and then realised how lovely that could be. Our family were near by and we had lots of friends, I dont feel I missed out on anything.

 

Queen Elizabeth Square, Hutchestontown/Gorbals

 

Source: P. Jephcott and H. Robinson, Homes in High Flats, (Oliver & Boyd: Edinburgh), 1971, Plate 16

 

Alex Mclean

When and where did you live in a high flat?:

16 queen Elizabeth square
b block, 7th floor 14 stories up

Between what ages:

One of the 1 st born 1965 until approx, 1983

Did you move there from somewhere else? If so, where? What affect did the move have on you?:

Moved to maisonettes in commercial court. 
Missed QES but lack of maintenance was leaving houses in poor state.

What were your early impressions? Describe the inside of the flat if you can. What was the block like?:Loved it. Played on corridors until a certain time when we were called in. Only in poor weather otherwise we were out n about. Corridors 2, 4 and eight were strict and not much play allowed. Fewer children on these floors. Great at new year, most floors doors open and walk in parties.

Did you grow up in a high flat? What are your memories of your childhood? Where did you play? What games did you play?:

Chap door runaway was great. Start at number nine and work our way down stairs to the bottom. Some crafty tenants realised and got lift to 3 or 4 and waited on you coming down and kicked yer arise. Played in large verandas when not windy. Used to stand on concrete vent on outside of verandah 14 stories up. Fearless, couldn't do it now! Played football, had subbuteo league as well. Played in corridor. 

Or were you a parent looking after children at the time? Where did your children play? If you worked who looked after them?:

Neighbours looked after us or fed us at dinner times if parents working. Sisters looked after kids and got them ready for school.  

Did other members of your family live nearby? How often did you seen them? If no, where did they live? When did they visit? Did you visit them?:

Grandad walked from govanhill then castlemilk every morning for mass and get us up for school. 
Family from Easter house, Royston or castlemilk visited for parties.

What were your neighbours like: In your block? In the wider scheme/area? Did relations with your neighbours change over time?:

Most neighbours all looked out for each other and minor disagreements were forgotten. A few quieter neighbours sometimes complained about kids, noise but all looked out for one another. Always ran errands for all. Changed when long term tenants moved out and strangers moved in. My mother decorated and wallpapered loads of houses for neighbours free. 

Looking back, are you happy that you lived in the high rise flats, or would you have preferred to have lived somewhere else?:

Loved it, open doors, sleepovers, tapping sugar, teabags, sharing, parties, camaraderie. Knew everyone from different floors. The lift was the meeting place and hub for everyone. Until someone let off! Drunken dads getting off at wrong floor and walking into wrong house and sleeping on their couch. No one cared. 

 

Patricia Malloy

When and where did you live in a high flat?:

I lived in Queen Elizabeth square floor 8 between 1966 and 1985

Between what ages:

1 and 19

Did you move there from somewhere else? If so, where? What affect did the move have on you?:

I did but I was only a baby

What were your early impressions? Describe the inside of the flat if you can. What was the block like?: The flat was big. Our bedrooms were downstairs. There used to be ice in the inside of the windows in the winter. We had great views. It always seemed to be windy. We had access to a big verandah. Great big cupboards which we used to hide in. 

Did you grow up in a high flat? What are your memories of your childhood? Where did you play? What games did you play?:

We played ropes and beds outside in the verandah. We used to slide down our stairs on a mattress. We used the cupboard in the corridor as a den. We also had the swings and the jumps and actually we could roam quite a big area without crossing a busy road. We also played in the Rose garden and the southern necropolis. We also played ball games and Chinese ropes. At school we played singing games and can't remember what it was called but all it was 2 big lines and we all ran at each other to break through to the opposite side lol

Did other members of your family live nearby? How often did you seen them? If no, where did they live? When did they visit? Did you visit them?:

Most of my family all lived in Castlemilk but we visited them every week or they visited us. My great gran lived in Ballater st. We saw her every day as she watched us when my parents were working

What were your neighbours like: In your block? In the wider scheme/area? Did relations with your neighbours change over time?:

Neighbours were great. We knew everyone that stayed in our corridor. Although we probably knew everyone in the block  to see. The corridors started off very clean and people took pride in them but gradually this changed over time. Relationships changed as people moved out to the other flats around us. There was also a rent strike in 1986 due to the condition of the place
Looking back, are you happy that you lived in the high rise flats, or would you have preferred to have lived somewhere else?:

I was always scared going in a lift on my own but I did like it.  When I got older I was embarrassed to bring boyfriends to the house as the lifts were dirty with urine and spit

 

Margaret Glencross

When and where did you live in a high flat?:

I lived in Queen Elizabeth Square, gorbals from 1968,I was born in the bedroom I slept in with my 2 sister's until 1986.

Between what ages:

Birth to aged 19. 1968 to 1986.

Did you move there from somewhere else? If so, where? What affect did the move have on you?:

No.

What were your early impressions? Describe the flat if you can:

The flats were very modern n spacious. There were 2 large cupboards in the hall,one of which you could fit a single bed,it was often used as most people were overcrowded. The corridors were long and spotless, each neighbour taking a turn of cleaning it. The houses had underfloor heating which was too expensive to run. There was damp n mould and beetles that flew. The story being that the council had bought cheap cement, don't know how true that was. The verandas were huge,with 4 families sharing it. Your washing would blow away in high winds.

Did you grow up in a high flat? What are your memories of your childhood? Where did you play? What games did you play?:

Yes,we used to bump down the concrete stairs on an old mattress, many people lost their lives on these stairs. It was a good place to grow up in my early years,a real sense of community. We used to play shops in the corridor until the jannie Mr Mellon chased you. I used to draw beds (hopscotch)  in the veranda and play there. We had swings and the glasgow green to play in too.

Or were you a parent looking after children at the time?: No


Did other members of your family live nearby? How often did you seen them? If no, where did they live? When did they visit? Did you visit them?:

My great granny lived across the road on Ballater st, she was in our house every day to look after me n my 2 sister's while my mum worked in the nautical college as a cleaner. My other grandparents lived in a high rise in castlemilk (they previously lived in gorbals). They visited us every Saturday and we visited their high flat every Sunday.

What were your neighbours like: In your block? In the wider scheme/area? Did relations with your neighbours change over time?:

The neighbours were nice enough. The woman mostly ruled the corridors with an iron rod on our floor. The kids just got on with it,usually all playing in big games around the bottom of flats and surrounding area. Every one new of everyone in the Gorbals. Things changed around late 70's early eighties, there was the drug problems and housing was not maintained the same so neighbours started leaving,the others withheld the rent. We left because of the junkies.

Looking back, are you happy that you lived in the high rise flats, or would you have preferred to have lived somewhere else?:

At the time,in my early years,I knew no different and enjoyed it but a pal lived in the maisonettes across the road and I always wanted to stay there. Drugs ruined the Gorbals.

 

 

Red Road

 

Source: P. Jephcott and H. Robinson, Homes in High Flats, p. 80

 

James Little

When and where did you live in a high flat?:

I moved from a slum tenement in Maryhill to the brand new high rise flats at the red road. It was 1969 , I was 4 then .I lived in the same flat until I was 19 then moved to another one then  another until I was 40

Between what ages:

4...40

Did you move there from somewhere else? If so, where? What affect did the move have on you?:

from Maryhill.This move made me

What were your early impressions? Describe the inside of the flat if you can. What was the block like?: the smells ,new paint,. plaster, wood,putty, soft putty which I scraped from the window frames leaving the marks of my fingers for as long as the flats stood. As I was only 4 I cared not at all what the house was like . I slept there and woke up smiling,an that was good enough for me and Bobby Mcgee.

Did you grow up in a high flat? What are your memories of your childhood? Where did you play? What games did you play?:

Iplayed around those flats like a monkey. I smashed windows Ibroke lifts,I sprayed paint any where paint was not wanted.I was a proud vandal,I still am thank god. I HAVE THOUSANDS OF MEMORYS OF THOSE FLATS IF YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE ASK. I WONT SAY NO.


Looking back, are you happy that you lived in the high rise flats, or would you have preferred to have lived somewhere else?:

ABSOLUTELY

 

Linda Romeo

When and where did you live in a high flat?:

Flat 10/3, 93 Petershill Drive from the age of 2 until 21 (or 22) then
Flat 27/1, 123 Petershill Drive until 2001

Between what ages:

2 - 36
Did you move there from somewhere else? If so, where? What affect did the move have on you?:

Yes, moved from Townhead, 

It had no effect on me as I was too young to notice

What were your early impressions? Describe the inside of the flat if you can. What was the block like?:

there are no early impressions as too young to have an impression when first moved in.

But from memory, the inside of the flat at 10/3, 93 Petershill Drive was 2 large bedrooms, and "L" shaped all, bathroom, large livingroom with the kitchen just off it.

The 93 block was like a community in itself, as during the summer months most, if not all, the mothers would be out playing with all the kids.

Did you grow up in a high flat? What are your memories of your childhood? Where did you play? What games did you play?:

Yeah grew up in the 93 block.  To us it was the best block as all the neighbours would be out during the summer months playing with all the kids.  We would play water flights, british bulldog, red rover, hide n seek, 2 man hunt, skipping ropes, chinese ropes (with elastic bands), football, kerby, riding our bikes, skates, skateboard etc etc.  There was a swing park that sat near the 63 block but there wasn't much in it, so us kids made our own entertainment.  We had no concierge or intercom system at the beginning and if you wanted anything from the house you had the choice of going "up" for it and then coming back out or shouting at the top of your voice in the hope that your mum heard you and threw whatever you wanted out the window, i.e. football, doll, or even a piece n jam (see you can throw a piece out a multi-storey flat)

Did other members of your family live nearby? How often did you seen them? If no, where did they live? When did they visit? Did you visit them?:

My grandmother lived next door (Flat 10/1) so we saw her everyday.  Other family members lived nearby but we weren't that close of a family


What were your neighbours like: In your block? In the wider scheme/area? Did relations with your neighbours change over time?:

mostly we had great neighbours and most still say nearby and still see them on a regular basis around where we stay.

However in later years (when I had my own flat in 123 block) relations with neighbours was very different indeed.  There were a lot more breaks in (my house was broken into once and there was an attempted break in while I was in the property) prompting me to leave the flats.  You didn't know most of them and tended to keep yourself to yourself.


Looking back, are you happy that you lived in the high rise flats, or would you have preferred to have lived somewhere else?:

Having no memory of staying elsewhere, I can honestly say I had a very happy childhood while growing up in the red road

 

Lincoln Avenue, Knightswood 

 

Source: Lincoln Avenue, Glasgow ©Douglas MacGregor 

 

Brian Massey

When and where did you live in a high flat?:

1964 - 1975, 'Ben' Arthur, 240/176 Lincoln Avenue, Knightswood, Glasgow G13

Between what ages:

11 - 21

Did you move there from somewhere else? If so, where? What affect did the move have on you?:

36 Crawford Street, Partick, Glasgow G11
I was distraught as it meant my final year of primary schooling was away from the school and friends I had been with since I was 5 years old.
What were your early impressions? Describe the inside of the flat if you can. What was the block like?: Everything smelt new, was new. The walls were all white and as straight as I had ever seen. There was no vermin. There were lots of windows so it was bright, airy, and 17 floors up, the view was breathtaking. We had a living room with two verandahs. Electric fire and underfloor heating. We had a separate kitchen area for all utilities and a dining table. Instead of mum, dad, brother and I in one little room my brother and I enjoyed a good sized bedroom of our own, and likewise my mum and dad had their own large room. We had an inside toilet with a wash hand basin and a bath. The other room was like a storeroom with electrics and water tanks (Hot and Cold). The block was like a giant tenement, but new and shiny. There was a common room on each floor for waste disposal (a chute) and an electric powered drying cupboard for clothes (you put old pennies in the meter). In the beginning the lifts to alternate floors ran smoothly. There where common drying areas on the 20th floor and ground floor with reinforced glass panels which gave almost 360 degree views. A fire staircase ran from top to bottom at front and rear of the block. The proximity of neighbouring blocks magnified any wind into fierce gales.

Did you grow up in a high flat? What are your memories of your childhood? Where did you play? What games did you play?:

Up until I was 11 years old I lived in Partick West in what I later knew as slum housing. But, I felt secure and happy as a pig in shit there. This was pre video games etc, even TV was new. It was overcrowded, decaying, with poor sanitation (one common W.C. per floor). Only cold running water, we added a gas geyser later on. My brother and I were bathed in the sink and then in a zinc bath when we outgrew the former. Vermin were everywhere, inside and outside. It was for me an adventure playground. Small and large scale street games filled your day. We lived next to a railway line and goods sidings, complete with a bridge, buildings and dark tunnels. Behind this lay the Clyde. Old bygone shipyard slipways formed breakwaters like at the seaside. Ships churned up and down the river and there were also the river ferries. In the back courts we had middens to explore and plunder. Dykes to climb and jump from. Old wash-houses as forts and sunbeds. Back court industries. We had a metal fabricators, a garage, a bakery and other little lock ups. There were also two gap sites in my street which I had been told were a result of bomb damage during the war. Street games were quite standard - Kick the Can, Twenty One Man Hunt, Hiding Seek, British Bulldog, Moochie Freeze, Cigarettes, Statues, Best Falls, Football, Soldiers or cowboys and Indians, bogey making, den building, muck fights, playing games with girls and their play with balls, ropes, Chinese ropes, houses, shops. My dad was a dairyman for Ross's and his stable was across the road in Beith Street. We were always in the stables with the horses. Clydesdales, cart horses, even young racing horses. The smell was amazing with hay,oats treacle, pee and horseshit. The latter was deposited in a walled corner. When it was quite full we used to jump from the wall into it as it was bouncy, except when it had rained heavily, yeugh. See below for comparison.

Did other members of your family live nearby? How often did you seen them? If no, where did they live? When did they visit? Did you visit them?:

No, we were on our own. Our old block included Crawford Street, Beith Street, Sandy Road and Dumbarton Road. Many of our extended family lived within this block or nearby in other blocks. You saw them and were seen by them all of the time. Sorry if it sounds sexist, I don't intend it to be, but most of the grapevine of who was doing what originated from female family members who were on the streets, shopping, visiting, going to the steamie. In a way it functioned as an intelligence unit for families and of course it crossed over to other families. We returned to Partick every Saturday for shopping and congregated at an Aunts in Hayburn Steet. We saw significantly less of other wider family members.
Knightswood was alien to that culture.

What were your neighbours like: In your block? In the wider scheme/area? Did relations with your neighbours change over time?:

A cultural void developed in the flats you knew people by sight mostly. Personal friendships were fewer and possibly formed as a result of children interacting. There were 6 flats per floor, four corner family homes, two pensioners flats. Old practices of washing floors maintained some contacts with neighbours but some paid others to do it. As I grew older I spent less time in the area, visiting friends locally, getting a job and finally leaving home. Laterally, neighbours came and went, those who were housed from slum clearances remained or went back. Backgrounds of newer tenants were less well known. A vertical village of many neighbours who were strangers.
As a child in Partick I recall living at only two places. One as an infant, then to Crawford Street where my neighbours were constant with one exception.

Looking back, are you happy that you lived in the high rise flats, or would you have preferred to have lived somewhere else?:

I have a mixed response to the question.
I resented being torn out of my childhood area where I had been bread and buttered. I would not see some of my old school friends for a year when we met again at secondary school, others I never saw again.
The new place had nothing to offer but grass, a park and pond, a burn, a golf course, and football pitches. I settled for 10 years and did all sorts of things that my imagination and sense of adventure took me into. Trees to climb, a pond to paddle and snorkel in, a burn to dam, a canal to sail and until all the flats were completed a building site to play in. New games of running up and down stairs meant we kept fit as did climbing from the ground up to the 19th floor via verandah railings. I got us into a row when I was reported for throwing burning and exploding model airplanes out the window. I made do. There were few local shops. Co-op 'strips', no corner shops. A plus was the ice cream van. Strangely enough, I was more afraid on the streets at night, often returning from a friends on a dark night, alongside a dark park area, I walked in the middle of the road with a big stone ready to smash someone's window should I ever be attacked. I did not have that fear in Partick.

 

Catherine Bradley

When and where did you live in a high flat?:

I lived in Lincoln Avenue flats knightswood, old Kilpatrick block from 1964 to 1973

Between what ages:

I was 4 years old when we moved there and moved to a house when I was 13

Did you move there from somewhere else? If so, where? What affect did the move have on you?:

We moved from 100 McLean street in govan.. I can't remember much of the tenements except it was a single end.. Well I was really small but I do remember it was exciting but I couldn't reach the lift buttons for years to get up or down .. As we lived on the 17th floor so I used to walk 17 flights of status or stand and wait for someone to come and press the buttons..

What were your early impressions? Describe the flat if you can:

The flat was really nice I think.. It had two bedrooms underfloor heating, bathroom without window.. My fave part of the flat was the huge cubby hole that my mum turned into a huge toy room for me..


Did you grow up in a high flat? What are your memories of your childhood? Where did you play? What games did you play?:

As I said it was a huge mission to get the lift as I couldn't reach the buttons for years.. I had a lot of friends and we would play outside ballgames although it said no ball games., there was a huge grassy area with long grass and we would play in the grass hiding.. We also used to use the long pathway that led to knightswood cross for roller skating.. We also played skipping and rode bikes..

Did other members of your family live nearby? How often did you seen them? If no, where did they live? When did they visit? Did you visit them?:

There was no relatives nearby. My family would travel or we would travel over the city to visit them.

What were your neighbours like: In your block? In the wider scheme/area? Did relations with your neighbours change over time?:

I think I was too small to really notice.. But I had loads of friends..

Looking back, are you happy that you lived in the high rise flats, or would you have preferred to have lived somewhere else?:

I was happy living there for the length of time we stayed.

  

Royston

 

Source: P. Jephcott and H. Robinson, Homes in High Flats, plate 6

 

Claire Kelly

When and where did you live in a high flat?:

We moved to Charles Street Flats in Royston Road Glasgow N1

Between what ages:

 I was around 9

Did you move there from somewhere else? If so, where? What affect did the move have on you?:

We used to live in Barlanark.   I hated the lifts and it seemed everyone was really isolated from their neighbours.   I only had a few friends and they were mainly from school and seldom went "out to play".

What were your early impressions? Describe the flat if you can:

Felt as if we were up in the sky with the birds.  Had a great few when the sun shone.
The rooms felt quite boxy but the windows were big.  We had a verandah but being on the 18th floor it was a bit scary looking down.

Did you grow up in a high flat? What are your memories of your childhood? Where did you play? What games did you play?:

Sadly I felt really islolated and didn't go down to play much.  There was a small swing park opposite out flats but didn't really know anyone.

Or were you a parent looking after children at the time?:

No I was "the wean"


Did other members of your family live nearby? How often did you seen them? If no, where did they live? When did they visit? Did you visit them?:

Living in Royston Road we had family in Townhead as that's where we originally came from.

What were your neighbours like: In your block? In the wider scheme/area? Did relations with your neighbours change over time?:

We only knew our immediate neighbours on our floor.

Looking back, are you happy that you lived in the high rise flats, or would you have preferred to have lived somewhere else?:

I didn't like the high rise flats and have much happier memories of living in Barlanark and even where my Granny and sister lived in the older part of Townhead.

 

Angela Oliver

When and where did you live in a high flat?:

1968-1982
Roystonhill
20 Rosemount Street

Between what ages:

1-15

Did you move there from somewhere else? If so, where? What affect did the move have on you?:

I was too young, but my mum is still alive and would likely be interested in being involved also.

What were your early impressions? Describe the inside of the flat if you can. What was the block like?:

A 2 bedroom flat with an amazing view.
A small bathroom with no window and a decent sized kitchen. Livingroom was also a reasonable size with a long hall where all rooms led off from. The windows opened out with a push and could be turned all the way around, so dangerous when I think of it now.

Did you grow up in a high flat? What are your memories of your childhood? Where did you play? What games did you play?:

My whole chlildhood was in a flat. In my early years it felt like a community. We had the picture bus that came and took us kids to the cinema in Dennistoun. We also had our annual trip to Saltcoats, 3 large buses full. I had loads of kids to play with, we would play block tig, balls, chinese ropes on rainy days and on dry days we'd play with a skateboard, bikes, at shops, british bull dogs, tennis tournaments, kick the can, hide n seek, beds, two man hunt, kiss cuddle torture! I was a bit of a tomboy and would play with a football also. I always recall that there weren't many trees and the ones that existed were trying to grow with cages around them. The tar would melt in the roads and pavements in the summer which would be promptly dug up. You'd sometimes feel the block sway slightly in stormy nights. We mostly played around the block but we'd wander around the whole of Royston and Sighthill. Lots of freedom although my mum was strict about my time to get home so she'd shout my name from 14 floors and I'd hide! 
From the age of 11 myself and my friend who lived underneath me and whom I am still friends today, worked in the local chipshop, we'd work 3 nights a week. We'd earn our own money and on a Saturday we'd head to town to Jack the Lad shop to buy clothes, we'd always buy Marks and Spencers chocolate and crisps. It was a happy childhood but there was also the times were people would be sniffing glue in the landing or drinking and then later taking harder drugs. The lifts were often broken so that would be quite scary. Sometimes you'd have to walk up in pitch black as lights were out also and boys would pee down the bannisters, disgusting sensation. There was a religious divide, it was mostly a catholic area, I am not a catholic, there was also  knowledge about certain young men being in the IRA and the Provos, one of their dogs was called Provo. Quite often the huge bins from all 3 multi's would be rolled onto the road to stop the buses coming up the hill and there would be tricolours flowing from windows in the houses and flats, people would paint them in walls etc. I never quite understood what was fully going on at the time. The idea of a family taking on all sorts of forms wasn't new to me although my parents were married and stayed together, there was a real mix of people with every type and personality possible in amongst those 3 flats. Sometimes we'd go to Crossmaloof for iceskating, that felt like a big day out across the city.


Did other members of your family live nearby? How often did you seen them? If no, where did they live? When did they visit? Did you visit them?:

My granny stayed in the Gorbals then moved to Govan sheltered housing. My mum was close to my granny we'd see her a lot she'd also watch me some days and get me back to school after lunch. We saw my parents families often, they'd visit or we'd visit. My dads sister stayed in Stepps, a lovely bungalow with a garden, it always felt posh, I loved staying over with my cousins, we'd go to chapel on a Sunday as my aunt had married a catholic and became a catholic herself. My aunt still stays there.  My mums family mostly  lived Gorbals and Govan. My mum and dad would have to work early so for a time I'd go into the next door neighbours Maureen, a single parent with 3 sons and a daughter. Id sleep in one of their beds then get up n get ready for school.

What were your neighbours like: In your block? In the wider scheme/area? Did relations with your neighbours change over time?:

It was a community in the early days, my parents were sociable and they'd have ir go to house parties. They'd all have to sing a song. Us kids would play, it was great fun. People started moving away when I was around 8-10 but I was first to leave at age 15 around my friends. The lady next door passed away and a younger guy moved in, there was parties and trouble. Seeing a man holding the terraza doorstep up ready to pummel someone with was very scary. You could feel it was changing, it felt less safe. I still worked in chippy after I moved. Guy that owned chippy  would give me a lift back home at end of night he lived in Crossmaloof, I could see it was radically changing. I stopped working there from age 17.

Looking back, are you happy that you lived in the high rise flats, or would you have preferred to have lived somewhere else?:

Looking back there were lots of good points and I've lots of happy memories. It's all I knew so hard to jusge what it might have been like. It gave me life experience and made me who I am. I'm now a lecturer in a College so it maybe took me longer but I don't believe it held me back. But maybe thats more down to my solid upbringing as I saw all sorts that you knew were wrong. I'm lucky I was strong and didnt fall prey to influences and some experiences around me. 

 

Sighthill

 

 Source: P. Jephcott and H. Robinson, Homes in High Flats, plate 6

 

Julie Magill

When and where did you live in a high flat?:

From 1979 to 2000, I lived in Sighthill, Glasgow.

Between what ages:

From birth to 21 years old.

Did you move there from somewhere else? If so, where? What affect did the move have on you?:

No.

What were your early impressions? Describe the inside of the flat if you can. What was the block like?:

The first flat at 3 Pinkston Drive was a 2 bedroom.  There was an L shaped entrance hall off which there was a large cupboard opposite the front door (which later became my older brothers little tiny bedroom when he got too old to share with me and my sister.  I think this was fairly common in those flats).The livingroom bathroom and both bedrooms were off the hall and the kitchen was off the living room. At the time the block was pretty safe to play in etc and I remember that my parents didn't lock the door when we lived there.  
When we moved to 16 Pinkston Drive (3Bedrooms) when i was about 10 i remember the door being locked. This flat was the same sort of layout, just bigger.The block was newer, I remember that the lifts in this one stopped on every floor rather than the older blocks which had an odd and an even lift.  And you had a drying room on every floor as well.  But no clothes drying cupboard like the older blocks had.

Did you grow up in a high flat? What are your memories of your childhood? Where did you play? What games did you play?:

I enjoyed playing in the blocks because you felt like you were out but you were still inside, it was like having a massive play area.  We used to play with balls under the bottoms of the flats until those were blocked off.  I remember the wind whipping through the bottoms and nearly knocking you over when I was little.  
Chap the door run away was a favourite (still pretend to my mum that I didn't play that!),
used to draw with chalks on the paving stones and in the stairs.  One time in my teens we had a screaming contest to see who had the best horror film scream (yes, i know).  Not realising how the sound would echo up the stairs we were sitting in we got a fright when about three men came bursting out of their landings to see what was wrong.  And got a right shouting at  :o)

Did other members of your family live nearby? How often did you seen them? If no, where did they live? When did they visit? Did you visit them?:

Pretty much most of my family.  My parents were among the first to move in when they were kids.  They lived in the next blocks to each other (2&4 Fountainwell Terrace) grew up and married and settled in Pinkston Drive.  So my maternal grandparents and auntie, and my paternal grandmother, great-grandmother, auntie and cousins all lived in the blocks when I was growing up.

I remember their blocks power going off a lot and being sent to the chippie for fish suppers for them.  Then having to walk up to 17 & 19 high to deliver.

What were your neighbours like: In your block? In the wider scheme/area? Did relations with your neighbours change over time?:

Initially everyone seemed to be the same, families out working hard and keeping the blocks and landings nice.  Over time you noticed a lot of drug addicts and alcoholic types moving into landings and the place did start to go downhill.  We always used to do the elderly neighbours turn of the cleaning the landing for them in our floor but I had a paper round customer and it was a shame as she had a few on her floor that didnt bother and she used to knock herself unwell trying to do it all. It go that the clean landings were few and far between towards the end of my time there.  It was a pity as I had good memories of the place and it just seemed to go downhill badly.

Looking back, are you happy that you lived in the high rise flats, or would you have preferred to have lived somewhere else?:

I think it would have been nice as kids to have a garden and not be stuck away up high.  But as a kid I didn't know any better to be honest and I can't say I regret the upbringing I had in the flats.

I think it's a pretty common feeling among a lot of my peers from the flats that it is ok for those of us who lived in the scheme to talk it down but to get annoyed to hear it from anyone else.  Who are they to judge it?  I wouldn't change the fact I lived there, I think it helped shape the person I am today.

 

Broomhill

 

 

Thomas Cook

When and where did you live in a high flat?:

Lived at 154 Broomhill Dive from 1971 to 1999

Between what ages:

0-28

Did you move there from somewhere else? If so, where? What affect did the move have on you?:

No, was born there

What were your early impressions? Describe the inside of the flat if you can. What was the block like?:

I remember the walls in the stairs being wet whenever it rained from floors 3 to Ground.

We used to go on expiditions round the drying room, when our mum used it to hang up the washing, we always remembered the rooms at the end being locked up and all secretive. 

Another memory was there were no lift doors at 17.

Did you grow up in a high flat? What are your memories of your childhood? Where did you play? What games did you play?:

We played in the stone play area on the stones as well as we went up to 174 Broomhill drive to play on the chute but always got chased away

Did other members of your family live nearby? How often did you seen them? If no, where did they live? When did they visit? Did you visit them?:

No, nearest relative live in Spateston.

We visited every week, and they came over on Xmas day

What were your neighbours like: In your block? In the wider scheme/area? Did relations with your neighbours change over time?:

We knew all the neighbours on our floor, 13, the lady in 13c was like a wee granny to us, looked after us when mum and dad were at work or when we cut ourselves.

The couple in 17c always had a new years eve party and we went up just after the bells, usually stayed there until 3am. 

We knew some people in the other blocks but not many, over time as the old neighbours died/left the new ones werengt quite as friendly

Looking back, are you happy that you lived in the high rise flats, or would you have preferred to have lived somewhere else?:

Yes, i loved staying there as i can say 'im a tower block kid', we had good times and bad times, i lost my mum at 16 and her last weekend was at home, my dad moved out in 2014, and that was hard seeing the family home for the last time, remembering all the birthdays, christmases and fun times, knowing they were gone

 

Toryglen

Source: M. Glendinning and S. Muthesius, Towerblock (London: Yale University Press, 1994) p. 236

 

Colin White

When and where did you live in a high flat?:

I lived in 99 Prospecthill Circus, Toryglen from February 1967 until September 1986.


Between what ages:

I was 9 when I moved in and 29 when I moved out.

Did you move there from somewhere else? If so, where? What affect did the move have on you?:

I moved from a single end tenement flat with an outside toilet in Rutherglen Road, Oatlands, Glasgow. I had to change school and move from established friends. This was a big wrench and although having more than one room in the house and an inside toilet and bath were big improvements, it was very strange being on the 18th floor.

What were your early impressions? Describe the inside of the flat if you can. What was the block like?:

The block was 22 storeys high. It was very noisy when there was a strong wind and you felt that you could sense the flat swaying. The single glazed windows were poorly sealed and it was very draughty.  I did like the comparative space though, with the lounge and two bedrooms on the left of the hall and kitchen, bathroom and small cloakroom on the left. Quite a view though: Goatfell on a clear day and the city lights at night.


Did you grow up in a high flat? What are your memories of your childhood? Where did you play? What games did you play?:

I played at the bottom of the flat and on the wasteland which ran across to Aikenhead Rd. There were several deep ponds which were eventually filled in after a child drowned. The scheme in general and the flat in particular started to go downhill around 1970. It almost seemed to be deliberate policy. I started to feel ashamed of where I lived around then.  I didn't want to ask friends over.

Or were you a parent looking after children at the time? Where did your children play? If you worked who looked after them?:

N/A

Did other members of your family live nearby? How often did you seen them? If no, where did they live? When did they visit? Did you visit them?:

I lived with my parents. No other family members stayed nearby.

What were your neighbours like: In your block? In the wider scheme/area? Did relations with your neighbours change over time?:

Initially neighbours were ordinary families and working people. Relations were good. Within about three to four years there seemed like be a deliberate policy of filling the block with anti social tenants and it became a nightmare. The lifts didn't work, the stairs and lifts were used as public toilets and for shooting up drugs, crime in the block became a big problem as did noise and the fabric of the building deteriorated quickly. They installed a secure entry system which lasted a week before it was destroyed. To use a modern phrase, it was a completely toxic environment.

Looking back, are you happy that you lived in the high rise flats, or would you have preferred to have lived somewhere else?:

The only positive feature of my experience was the view. This was really something special. Can't think of anything else. I took my newly retired parents with me when I finally bought a house. It was an impossible place to get out of and they didn't deserve to end their days there.

 

Mount Florida

 

 

Patricia Greene

When and where did you live in a high flat?:

1967 - Present Day. Mount Florida.
Cathkinview Place.

Between what ages:

moved in with Mother & Sister when I was 14urs old.

Did you move there from somewhere else? If so, where? What affect did the move have on you?:

moved from Abbotsford Place due to the area getting demolished because of the 'new MW.'

What were your early impressions? Describe the inside of the flat if you can. What was the block like?:

19 floors high. Very bright. Great views.

Did you grow up in a high flat? What are your memories of your childhood? Where did you play? What games did you play?:

As in my teens didn't 'go out to play'

Did other members of your family live nearby? How often did you seen them? If no, where did they live? When did they visit? Did you visit them?:

Family yes in the Gorbals then they moved to Cathcart & Hutchisontown.  Friends moved tomToryglen & St Andrews Drive.

What were your neighbours like: In your block? In the wider scheme/area? Did relations with your neighbours change over time?:

nice 
Unfortunately over time, the last few years people have changed & some do not like to take care of the place.

Looking back, are you happy that you lived in the high rise flats, or would you have preferred to have lived somewhere else?:

Yes very,  views very good. 
When I stRted driving you could park anywhere. Now it is very difficult. 

 

Maryhill

 

 

Catherine Clark

When and where did you live in a high flat?:

1970-1980
71 Glenavon Road Maryhill

Between what ages:

24-34

Did you move there from somewhere else? If so, where? What affect did the move have on you?:

North park Street Maryhill
It was the first time in our married life that we had an inside toilet and a bath also a seperate bedroom for the kids.

What were your early impressions? Describe the flat if you can:

Missed my old neighbours,everything was so strange. A large storage heater in the livin room.  I was terrified of the windows and the kids I had a fear that they would manage to open the windows and fall out.

Or were you a parent looking after children at the time?:

A parent looking after my children. The children go priority at the childcare because they lived in a flat. There was a playground and when the children were old enough to go out on their own they had a wonderful time. If it was the cricket season they would play cricket, football,tennis etc.  Like Billy Connolly said it was like a vertical village!

Did other members of your family live nearby? How often did you seen them? If no, where did they live? When did they visit? Did you visit them?:

All my family moved to Australia,mum,dad 5 brothers also my sister and her family. 
My husbands family visited occasionally. We visited my husbands sister often, (she looked after him from he was 6 when his mother died). His sister lived in the Red Road flats.

What were your neighbours like: In your block? In the wider scheme/area? Did relations with your neighbours change over time?:

I became very friendly with my neighbour who was a few years older than me.  I moved to Australia in 1980 but still keep in touch with neighbour by the occasional letter,Christmas card and always visit her when I come back on holiday.
When I first moved into the house we had an elderly neighbour who's face fell when she first met me and the kids,but over the years  I became a bit of a carer for her.  Used to wash her sheets ,do a bit of shopping etc.
I will never forget a few weeks before I migrated I was down on my knees when she patted me on my head and said"oh Cathy what ami going to do without you?" Sadly she passed away two weeks before I left.

Looking back, are you happy that you lived in the high rise flats, or would you have preferred to have lived somewhere else?:

I guess it was an experience and we did meet lots of lovely people,if I had a choice I would have loved a house with a garden.