1 ALICE Cullen was the formidable Gorbals MP who refused to stop fighting for her community. Born in 1891, she fought and won seven general elections, dedicating her career to improving living conditions for the people she represented.

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2 Due to her tireless efforts in Parliament over the decades, more than 60 acres of slums were demolished and, by the 1960s, were replaced with modern housing and flats. At the official opening of the new high rise blocks, Cullen insisted the Queen view an old single-end. Apparently, her Majesty reacted: “Is this all?” While the families loved their new kitchenettes and indoor bathrooms, many missed the old camaraderie of the tenements and many years later, the blocks were pulled down.

Glasgow Times:

3 Cullen was the first Catholic woman to enter the House of Commons when she won the 1948 by-election. In her maiden speech, Gorbals housing was her subject. “Even if I were a great orator,” she said at one point, “it would be quite impossible for me adequately to describe the slum conditions of my constituency. She appealed to the Scots Secretary “from the bottom of my heart” for him, together with the local authorities, to find “a site on which a block of flats might be erected. I ask him to make a start in the Gorbals, which is the greatest slum menace that I have ever known.”

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Glasgow Times:

4 She was well-regarded by politicians at home and abroad – her family still have her Christmas card from Harold and Mary Wilson, and a black-edged postcard from Jacqueline Kennedy in response to a letter from Cullen, in which she expressed her condolences on the death of her husband John F Kennedy in Dallas in 1963.

Glasgow Times:

5 She died, aged 77, in 1969. At her funeral, attended by the Secretary of State and other dignitaries, Archbishop James Donald Scanlan told the congregation that Cullen was “a woman, the likes of whom Glasgow will never see again”.