A Zoom lecture by Dr Ailsa Boyd
When researching my own home in the Southside of Glasgow, I discovered that one of the first people to live in it had been the perpetrator of a fatal incident in 1897. After looking further into the family’s story, I discovered a fascinating tale of social mobility, from poverty in the industrial Gorbals to middle-class comfort in Pollokshields and a doctor’s surgery in the turreted tenements of Parkhead Cross. The Battersby family exemplify the social, economic and educational developments of the late nineteenth century, with six of the children, including girls, benefitting from a university education. But my semi-detached house is just one location in a network of built heritage across Glasgow. The architect was Robert Duncan (c.1840-1928), little known today, but architect of some of Glasgow’s most distinctive buildings. Not only did he build streets of terraces and tenements around Crosshill, but villas, churches, warehouses, a hospital, Cooper’s grocers and the building best known as the Locarno ballroom. People like the Battersbys and Duncan created the Victorian and Edwardian Glasgow still evident in the built heritage which we walk past every day. The houses we live in still have stories to be discovered, and I hope that the Doors Open Day audience will bring their own knowledge to my research.
Dr Ailsa Boyd is an independent writer and lecturer in 19th century art, design and literature, with a particular interest in the decoration of the homes we live in and imagined spaces.
Thursday @ 6pm
Duration: 1 hour