This is a wonderfully colourful and deeply poignant memoir of growing up in a 'single end' - one room in a Glasgow tenement - during and immediately after the Second World War. Although young Robert Douglas's life was blighted by the cruel if sporadic presence of his father, it was equally blessed by the love of his mother, Janet. While the story of their life together is in some ways very sad, it is also filled with humorous and happy memories. "Night Song of The Last Tram" is a superb evocation of childhood and of a Glasgow of trams and tenements that has long since disappeared.
This ebook edition contains the full text version as per the book. Doesn't include original photographic and illustrated material. This oral history of Glasgow spans most of the last century - a time of economic downturn and eventual renewal, in which the many communities making up the city experienced upheavals that tore some apart and brought others closer together. It tells of the beating heart of no mean city in the words of the people who made it what it is. Piers Dudgeon has listened to dozens of people who remember the city as it was, and who have lived through its many changes. They talk of childhood and education, of work and entertainment, of family, community values, health, politics, religion and music. Their stories will make you laugh and cry. It is people's own memories that make history real and this engrossing book captures them vividly.
Italy's declaration of war on Britain in June 1940 had devastating consequences for Italian immigrant families living in Scotland signalling their traumatic construction as the 'enemy other'. Through an analysis of personal testimonies and previously unpublished archival material, this book takes a case study of a long-established immigrant group and explores how notions of belonging and citizenship are undermined at a time of war. Overall, this book considers how wartime events affected the construction or Italian identity in Britain. It makes a groundbreaking and original contribution to the social and cultural history of Britain during World War Two as well as the wider literature on war, memory and ethnicity. It will appeal to scholars and students of British and Scottish cultural and social history and the history of World War II.
We left Robert a long way from home, a sixteen-year-old recruit in the RAF. Now, we follow his escape from the Forces (until National Service a few years later!), his return to Glasgow and life down the pit. Once more, Robert's fantastic memory for people, places and anecdotes, combined with an ear for individual voices and the brilliant ability to evoke a bygone sense of community, will enchant his readers and sometimes appal them with the brutality of conditions he experienced.
Glasgow, 1971. The old way of life is under threat for the tight-knit community in Dalbeattie Street, Maryhill. The shadow of the wrecker's ball looms large over their homes, and they must face the choice of moving to a new estate or dispersing throughout the city. But powerful friendships refuse to be broken. These characters have gone through too much together to be destroyed by some measly planning scheme. They'll face this with the same inimitable Scottish humour and strength of spirit that have carried them through other tough times. Douglas' vivid portrait of Seventies Glasgow recreates, in glorious detail, a particular time and place, but at its heart are the universal themes of love, friendship and community.
In the final instalment in his autobiographical trilogy, Robert Douglas takes us through the sixties and into the eighties with his memories of life as a prison officer, and, at the end of his career, as an electricity chargehand driving around the Yorkshire Dales. He tells us of his prison experiences, with anecdotes about many of the most famous criminals in British history -- the Krays, the Richardsons, the Great Train Robbers, Soviet spies and many more. Told in the same endearing and fascinating voice that readers of LAST SONG OF THE NIGHT TRAM and SOMEWHERE TO LAY MY HEAD first fell in love with, this volume continues the story of Robert's remarkable journey of self-education, introducing us to larger-than-life characters on both sides of the bars, and evoking a strong sense of social change as Britain emerged from the post-War gloom into the bright lights of the Beatles years.
This is an utterly charming story about twelve families and their tightly knit street in 1950s Maryhill. Following the end of the war, the close rebuilds its ties and the strong sense of community and friendly neighbourhood bonds are soon back in place. There is young love for Rhea and Robert; a surprising new start for James; a change of direction for George; and all overseen by the matriarch of the street - Granny Thomson. And of course, all buoyed up by a big helping of Scottish humour and strength of spirit. Yet it is all not perfect in their world: the families have to deal with poverty, religious bigotry, racism, heartbreak, lies, violence and death. But the powerful friendships cannot ultimately be broken. In Robert Douglas's first novel, he recreates a time and place particular to Glasgow but to which everyone will relate.
Glasgow 1961. It is ten years since we last visited the close at 18 Dalbeattie Street in Maryhill. The stalwarts are still there...Ella, Drena, Rhea and 'Granny' Thomson (86). Irma the German war bride speaks fluent Scots nowadays. Well, 'Fluent' if you were brought up in the same close as the Broons and Oor Wullie. Glasgow's beloved trams still run on the Maryhill Road. But not for long. There will not be a tramcar left in Glasgow by the end of next year. The new tenant, Frank Galloway knows all about this - he's a driver. The other new arrival is Ruby Baxter who impresses no one with her attitude - as Granny Thomson says 'She's no better than she ought to be, that yin!' Robert Douglas brings his usual blend of laughter and tears to this latest novel and his many fans will not be disappointed.