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Livin’ it up in the Barras

September 10th 2015

The Glasgow Word on the Street team, supported by photographer Angela Catlin, spent time documenting the city’s iconic Barrowland Ballroom and Barras Market, immediate neighbours of the Lodging House Mission, the day centre where they meet. Amongst neglected buildings and unloved shop fronts, they found people proud of their neighbourhood, and others helping rebuild it.

In the Barras

By the Glasgow Green, where the wealth has once been,
The common people squeeze in to a pulp, and begin to blur,
Truly living it up to the tunes of the ball room at the Barrowland.
But just outside in the cold the shutters of shops stay shut and paint flakes on the floor.
It’s where the criminal cops pounce and pronounce you must only be here for the drugs.
Just like the Barras of now.

Jason Kelly

The Barrowland cityscape is decaying and dying. Now city pidgeons make it their home, roosting in the rooftops. Once it was teeming with people looking for a bargain. It was the place to go to buy and sell and hear the Glasgow patter. Now there are just big, empty spaces.

Caroline McCue

They are building again in the Barras, restoring St Luke’s Church after 40 years of its falling into dereliction. The Barras' getting better. Well, just across the road at the Lodging House Mission, I’m getting better now too. Having unhooked from my legal high I can stop looking down and start look up to the sky. It’s looking good now; there’s hope in view.

Steven McLauchlan


Sep/Oct 2015



Birthday wishes!

Soup run stories

Need to know: 10 years on

Looking at the horizon

Livin’ it up in the Barras

Girl; looking for home

Bin deaths concerns

Stop and search targeted

Tent protestors face jail

Welfare reforms investigated

Right to buy ‘needs re-think’

See Me? I’m a prisoner

Smoking is a middle age issue

More families forced from city

Anti-begging poster outrage

Sex workers ‘need protection’

Fast food snub

Opinion: the Pavement has an important message


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