The Common Thread

Women made up the majority of the work-force of Glasgow’s prosperous and pioneering textile industry. Nurses made astounding contributions to medicine; in particular in reducing infant mortality rate at the Royal Infirmary Hospital; fighting against malnutrition of children living in tenements at the Glasgow Medical Mission in the Gorbals and addressing gaps in health provisions for the poor by setting up charities like the ‘Gorbals Group’. Despite these significant contributions, there are few traces of their stories left in the Glasgow we see today. These Maps show historically significant places for women, queer and non-binary people through-out history – those marked in red no longer exist and the few that remain have almost all changed uses. A clear and unsurprising pattern emerges; these marginalized groups tended to inhabit periphery spaces in the City – in Glasgow this is explained due to its involvement with Trans-Atlantic trade and the all-male work force who worked  in the commercial warehouses in the City Centre – in close proximity to the ship-builders at the Docks. The male perspective dominates the mainstream historical narrative of Glasgow but it also dominates the urban fabric. These pivotal parts of Glasgow’s history have been erased but not forgotten, so what can we do to remember these contributions and make space for marginalized groups to shape our City in the future?

These Maps show  information gathered from the Glasgow’s Women’s Library ‘Women’s Heritage Walks’.

Key Themes: Community, Lost Places, History