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September 23, 2009

Local people have a story to tell

There seems to be growing interest, particularly from communities that have experienced a succession of regeneration initiatives, to try to capture some of that experience in local social history projects. One such project in Wester Hailes in Edinburgh is at an advanced stage and they are developing plans to link up with similar projects elsewhere. An example might be this one in Cranhill, in Glasgow

TENANTS are being invited to tell their own stories for a history project.

Housing organisation For All Cranhill Tenants (FACT), which manages homes in the area on behalf of Glasgow Housing Association, wants tenants and former tenants to contribute stories and pictures to build up a history of the area.

Famous sons of Cranhill include actors Gerard Kelly and Billy Boyd and footballing brothers Jim and Joe Smith.

Former resident Douglas McCreath, who moved to Cranhill in 1953 and left in 1969 after he married, is contributing to the project.

Mr McCreath said: “For many people, even if their families moved out of Cranhill, the emotional ties remain strong.

“My concern is that if the Cranhill Story isn’t told and written down, it will be lost for ever. The more we can all share stories of our past, the brighter will be our shared future.”

FACT wants as many people to get involved as possible.

Community housing manager David MacKenzie said: “There is a rich community history in Cranhill that has never been told by local people.

“What was it like when people moved into newly built houses after the war? How has the area changed over the years?

“Cranhill has changed from a once healthy population of over 6500 to less than half that today. For many children and newcomers to the area, open spaces and vacant land belies the fact many houses once existed that were built after the war at the time that Cranhill was effectively created.

“A great community spirit still exists today and past and present residents, together with other partner agencies, will work together to tell Cranhill’s story.”

The FACT housing office in Crowlin Crescent, Cranhill, is holding an open day every Tuesday from 10am to 3pm for anyone who wants to drop off photographs, and staff will record any stories visitors may have to tell.

For more information about the Cranhill project, call 0141 274 7065