Norfolk Court, Glasgow is due to be demolished and the final ‘safe’ day near the building is this week. The Gorbals is/was a notorious area of Glasgow. During the industrial revolution, many people came to the area from the Scottish Highlands, Ireland and also Italy.
The industrial era area became overcrowded and dangerous. Because of unsanitary conditions, the area was demolished. Tower blocks were put up but the area remained dangerous – overcrowded, large homeless problem and poor health.
Some of the towers put up in the 1960s were demolished in the early 1990s. Norfolk Court shown here is the last remaining block to come down – ending three generations of famously squalid, poverty stricken and extremely tough living. I’m a little cautious in describing the area. I know it by reputation, second hand stories and legend. I’ve read about people growing up extremely proud to be from here – although no one says it was a holiday in the Bahamas.
Home made football
Anyway, exploring the area, I found a home made football. It was very well made, and has a certain beauty of craft about it. To me it seemed like a fascinating metaphor for how poor the area was/is – that you have to make your own footballs.
It’s made out of possibly polystyrene centre, plastic shopping bags and a quantity of insulating tape. It had a surprisingly good kicking weight to it, but you definitely wouldn’t want to header it as you’d need a head like a brick, because it was a little on the firm side. Maybe there’s some Glaswegian laughing at me thinking I’m a soft Southerner for not heading the hard ball.