The History of Leith

June 19, 2004

Slum Living

For anybody who thinks of Scotland in terms of shortbread, kilts, whisky,couthy highlanders, Brigadoon and what the Scottish Tourist Industry tells us is the image of Scotland. The picture below could come as a shock and may change your idea or mental image of Scotland.

However it was the reason many Scots left Scotland for Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA to escape bad wages, poverty and slum housing in Scotland and to create a better life for themselves overseas. This is a Leith slum probably about 1920. It was conditions like this that forced working men and women to combine into Trade Unions to fight for better wages and living conditions in the 19th century. Which came to fruition in 1948 in the many Acts of Parliament changing the Social Landscape in Britain for ever. The slums of leith are now gone but they remain in the memory of many people still living today

Some Text