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Bad housing in Scotland, 1880-1939
During the period 1880-1939, more and more Scots lived in cities. By 1900, more than one fifth of the population lived in Glasgow, and by 1940 this had risen to one quarter. People lived in overcrowded conditions in all Scottish cities. Some lived three to a room, many in single ends or two room tenement flats. Toilets were usually outside and living conditions were often dirty and sometimes infested with vermin. The introduction of public laundries, or steamies, was of some help, but by the 1930s many of the aging tenements had begun to decay.
The clip can help introduce the issues facing many Scots who had to live in bad housing. This could be compared to the changes brought by council housing and modern housing conditions. Students could discuss what the benefits and disadvantages of different types of housing are. Classes could consider what they think are the essentials and the luxuries we look for in our homes.
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