Earliest memory of Glasgow? I was born in 1957. My parents were Irish, from County Monaghan, and they arrived in Glasgow as part of the big influx of Irish immigrants who came to Scotland for work in the 50s and 60s.

Which street did you live on? Crown Street in the Gorbals, just along the road from the George Cinema. When I was older, we moved to 353 Florence Street, overlooking Dixon’s Blazes. Once, a boulder crashed through our window during blasting work at the Blazes. If anyone had been sitting near the window, it could have been serious….

Phil Smith

Phil Smith

Describe your house: A top floor tenement, a room and kitchen with a toilet on the landing below, shared with two other families. There were nine of us in a room and kitchen. Where did we all sleep? I remember bunk beds…

What school did you go to? St Francis Primary. One of my classmates was Joe Coyle, brother of Owen, football player and manager. In 1968, when I was 10, I went to school in Pollok, when the Gorbals tenements were being demolished. We moved to a five-apartment, back and front garden, in Arden – a different world. I lived there until I got married in 1991. Now I live in Bishopbriggs.

Favourite local cinema? I loved the George – it’s where I saw all the Bond movies.

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Best thing about growing up in Glasgow? Playing in the backcourts, with rats scurrying about, does seem grim. But these were the happiest times. When my children were younger I’d tell them stories about my childhood and they called it ‘the black and white days’…

Happiest childhood memory: As each of my siblings was born in the house there would be a visit from the Green Ladies and I always got a wee bung. I looked out for the Christening piece which, when it was a girl was given to the first boy they saw. I made sure that was me. But I was happiest playing football in the street, getting told off by nosey neighbours and thinking it was an adventure when we travelled a couple of streets away.