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Modern Times: 1950s to The Present Day

Everyday Life

The Home

By David Page

George Street Backcourt The dispersal of the population from the city accelerated post-war, fuelled by expansion of provision and space for the motor car. With the continuous exponential growth of private estate extensions to the suburbs north and south of the city, the birth of satellite New Towns around the city edges and new so called peripheral estates within the city boundary, home could not have seemed more different from the often bathroom and kitchen-less inner city tenements left behind.

Elliston Drive So-called slum clearances further added to the choice of house as these tenements were replaced by towers marking new inner city modern estates, vertical apartments with all mod cons, super closes of over a hundred families. It took a quarter of a century to realise that neither could the city expand forever to give everyone a house and garden and the right to drive a car, nor that hundred-family closes would ever work around the lift core. That realisation, that the city needed to look creatively at its remaining tenement stock and find clever ways to clean off the facade of grime, fit the kitchen in and take the bathroom off the stair and out of the back court, said to have come when the storm of 1968 took off the city's roofs and forced a rethink before it was all lost.

High Street Tenements City living then became a positive possibility again, not that folk in the more privileged areas of the west end or south side had ever doubted it, and since then flats and apartments have sprung up all around the inner city, both for rent and sale, by housing associations and private developers, offering pleasing city living options against further population dispersal. Now on the horizon, whilst little box houses still grow like clones, the towers remain, bowed like the tenements before them, ready for the sentence, a curious "slabbic" skyline, going, going ........

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