Glasgow City

Located south of Springburn Park, to the north of Glasgow city centre, Balornock developed in the 19th century in response to the housing needs of those working at the Springburn St. Rollox Railway Works. Like nearby Sighthill, Cowlairs and Colston, it predates the settlement of Springburn. Extended in the late 1930s by Glasgow City Corporation as a garden suburb and again with pre-fabricated Swedish timber houses in 1945. Much of the earlier Victorian housing was replaced in the 1960s. The infamous Red Road Flats were constructed 1964-69 and comprised eight massive high-rise blocks, designed to house more than 4700 people. Opened by Secretary of State for Scotland Willie Ross in October 1966, six of these blocks reached 31 storeys and were said to be the tallest is Europe at the time of their construction. Subsequently the flats became known for their poor-quality of construction and for social problems. In the 2000s the flats were used to house asylum-seekers, with tragedy striking in 2010 when a family of disillusioned Russians jumped to their deaths. The suggestion that the blocks would be demolished as part of the Opening Ceremony for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow was derided by former residents, and they were finally brought down in 2015. However, the explosive charges did not quite do their job and the upper sections of two of the blocks survived intact and had to be manually removed.

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