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Mark McManus
Mark McManus

George Street Backcourt

Burrell Collection Photo Library, 1955 Survey

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George Street Backcourt

Two women in a backcourt at the east end of George Street, 1955. One of the women appears to be pushing a pram filled with clothes, and may be returning from a trip to the wash-house. To their left, two small children are playing in the yard and another child, centre right, is roller-skating. There are women at some of the tenement windows.

Such bleak backcourts were to be found in many working class areas of Glasgow. Along with streets and dingy tenement closes they provided the only places where children could play unless a municipal park was nearby. However, backcourt "playgrounds" had the benefit of being situated next to the family home, and mothers could keep an eye on their children while getting on with housework.

In 1955 Partick Camera Club set out to create a photographic survey of Glasgow. As the project progressed, other camera clubs joined and each was allocated a district of the city to photograph. Glasgow Museums exhibited the photographs at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and at the People's Place, and in 1956 the exhibition was shown at the Palace of Art in Bellahouston Park. The photographs are now part of Glasgow Museums' collections.

Reference: 1005.97.8 / OG.1955.121.[8]

Reproduced with the permission of Partick Camera Club

backcourts, children, Glasgow Photographic Survey 1955, laundry, roller-skating, slums, tenements, women

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