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Children, the Gorbals, Glasgow'
1958. 14 February (taken) 1989 (print)
Gelatin silver print
National Galleries of Scotland
Acc. No. PGP 193.5, © Roger Mayne
(Curatorial caption, accessed 23 November 2014)
Children are the trickiest of human subjects to photograph, because of their energy and restlessness. Yet Roger Mayne established his reputation during the 1950s and ‘60s as one of the most sophisticated street photographers of children. This vivacious photograph was taken in the Gorbals in Glasgow, a predominantly working class neighbourhood on the south bank of the Clyde with a reputation for roughness and high crime rates. Traditionally, the area housed a large number of Irish immigrants, and the name comes from ‘Gort a' Bhaile’, or ‘famine of the farm’. Slum clearances in the nineteenth century did little to improve the area, but more recent efforts, including the demolition of the infamous Queen Elizabeth Square flats, have lowered crime rates and increased property value.