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  • When I was just a kid, not yet old enough for school even, we lived on the first story of a Tenement building on Rutherglen road, overlooking the local park. We went to the local chapel, seen in this photo and my mother had friends who lived in the high rise buildings, also seen here.

    In high winds, anyone living above the fifth floor on those buildings watched as the whole structure swayed slightly. It was meant to do that, they said. They took elderly and infirm people and put them on the upper stories of those buildings. Plucked them straight out of their lovely wee houses that they had probably lived in half their life, tore them out of the community they had grown up in, wrenched them away from the friends and neighbours they had come to know and love, and cluelessly inserted them into these 'new, wonderful' high rise buildings. Places where not one of the architects nor city officials would ever live of course.

    When the elevators in the buildings broke down frequently, or were urinated in by drunks, the elderly people stopped going out. Who could walk up twenty five flights of steps lugging heavy grocery bags with them? In the city halls though, nobody saw, nobody cared. They were too busy patting each other on the back and telling each other what a good job they were doing.

    They did such a wonderful job that they went on to build more new houses. One of these was the infamous "Hutchie E" block housing. A modern development which was so riddled with asbestos, damp, mould and rats that those unlucky enough to be incarcerated there ended up with long term respiratory illnesses. Not one of the architects nor city officials ever lived there of course.

    Realising just how bad they were they decided to try and cover up their past mistakes, bury them beneath the promise of even more new housing, saying this time they'd get it right. That was almost forty years ago. Forty years after digging up an entire community of good, decent, law abiding people and uncaringly scattering them to the four winds in the name of their erroneous, belligerent perception of 'progress'..........they finally did something. Those who were the original masterminds would no doubt be retired by then. Or dead. Preferably!

    You wouldn't recognise the scene in that photo now. It's mostly all gone. The chapel, the houses, even the road. The high rises still stand, but only after numerous redevelopments and there has even been talk of pulling them down too. Forty years later, there is a new twisting road and some new pre-fabricated housing being built on the site. Sadly, they can never rebuild the sense of community that the people had there. That remains buried forever, only to return now and again to haunt the faceless, nameless 'suits' that continue to blight peoples lives with the stroke of a pen all in the name of justifying their own continued employment and exorbitant salaries!
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