PEDESTRIANS scurrying between trams, sooty tenement buildings stretching for miles, steam rising from low-level railway stations…these are images of Glasgow in its industrial heyday.

Now, in what might be the only book to explore the “beauty” of heavy industry in urban landscapes, author Cedric Greenwood has uncovered some fantastic shots depicting long-lost areas of the city.

Dockland, Smokestacks and Slums shows the poverty, pollution and industrial decay of a time when Britain led the world in engineering, shipbuilding and commerce.

Glasgow Times: A police officer on point duty on Trongate in 1961A police officer on point duty on Trongate in 1961 (Image: Mortons Books)

Cedric says: “Much of the late-Victorian industrial architecture was a credit to our townscapes, but most has now disappeared almost without trace, converted, redeveloped and sanitised beyond recognition.

“Many people will have no conception of how the face of their town or city has changed, with mills, railway termini and banks replaced by car parks, shopping centres…and restaurants.”

The book is full of vivid descriptions and historic photos.

Glasgow Times: The Gallowgate in 1962The Gallowgate in 1962 (Image: Mortons Books)

Recalling his first visit to the city in 1956, Cedric writes: “We entered Glasgow in traditional style, peering through the tall, soot-stained windows of the front vestibule on the top deck of an archaic standard tramcar, built in 1901 and structurally unaltered since 1928.

“The whole interior was like a museum of Victorian patterned woodwork and brass. There was a smell of soot and leather seats. Traction motors groaned under the floorboards and the woodwork creaked as the car rocked along.

“We became gorged into this notorious and fantastic city in the tramcar along Gallowgate, a long gloomy corridor of soot-black, stone-built, featureless tenements four storeys tall.

“From the windows of the tenements, wind-tousled heads – the ‘window-hangers’ of summer days – watched the ubiquitous tramcars go by…we saw cloth-capped old men sitting on the sidewalks asleep outside the taverns and toddlers in ragged clothes, some barefoot, playing in the street.”

Glasgow Times: Dockland, Smokestacks and Slums: In the Shadows of British Industry by Cedric GreenwoodDockland, Smokestacks and Slums: In the Shadows of British Industry by Cedric Greenwood (Image: Mortons Books)

In one picture, a Glasgow Corporation tramcar rumbles along Dalmarnock Road, at Davidson Street, on March 8, 1962.

Cedric writes: “The streets were paved with granite…the canyons of stone tenements …stretched for 13 miles from east to west…The tramways and hardwearing granite setts have been lifted, all the buildings in this view have been cleared…and this scene is now a semi-urban desert.”

Glasgow Times: Dalmarnock Road, when tramcars and trolleybuses were a common sight in the cityDalmarnock Road, when tramcars and trolleybuses were a common sight in the city (Image: Mortons Books)

In another Dalmarnock picture, taken on May 27, 1961 “all the characteristic features of the greater Glasgow street scene were here: the four storey tenements, the tramcar, the triple golden ball sign of the pawnbroker and the Red Hackle Scotch whisky billboard on the railway bridge.”

Glasgow Times: Dalmarnock Road in 1961Dalmarnock Road in 1961 (Image: Mortons Books)

He adds: “All the buildings, shops, industries and smokestacks have disappeared and what was the centre of Dalmarnock is now a desert of fences, wasteland, trees and the odd red brick building…”

An image of pedestrians crossing between the trams on the Finneston loop, at the junction of Finnieston Street, shows how different this streetscape was in the 1950s.

In another shot, taken in 1962, the Tolbooth steeple can just be seen through the steam of a freight train passing on the nearby railway bridge.

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“The bridge carried the City of Glasgow Union railway from Pollokshields to Springburn, the first railway to cross the Clyde,” writes Cedric.

“There was a Gallowgate station here on the right, on Molendinar Street, for passenger trains that ran between Springburn and Govan or Renfrew, and between Edinburgh and St Enoch or Ayr.

The bridge remains, but almost everything else in this picture has changed, with car parks on either side and shops in the railway arches.

A white-coated policeman is on point duty and steam is rising from Glasgow Cross low-level railway station in a view of Trongate from the top saloon of a tramcar emerging from London Road on December 21, 1961. The station has gone, along with the trams, trolleybuses and steam trains.

Cedric visited Glasgow several times between 1956 and 2012.

“The city changed radically in that time and the east end is unrecognisable; a strange ghost town with virtually no industry, shuttered shops and isolated blocks of restored old sandstone tenements among new red-brick houses and stark post-modern buildings in ghastly bad taste, creating a bleak environment I find far more depressing to visit than the old Glasgow ever was,” he writes.

“For the stranger, a walk or tram ride through Glasgow in the mid-20th century was an awesome and memorable experience … I found Glaswegians to be the most human, genuine, friendly and co-operative people I have ever met.

“Also, it is the only place where I have selected newspapers from a rack outside a shop and inside, the shopkeeper has banged the papers against the counter to shake off the SOOT!”

Dockland, Smokestacks and Slums is available to order from Mortons Books.