Posted in A to Z

E is for Easterhouse

Easterhouse
Easterhouse, Glasgow

When you mention Easterhouse to most people, an image of deprivation, unemployment, gang warfare, mugging, glue-sniffing and drugs is what will often spring to mind. Well, try living there.

I lived in the ‘Greater Area of Easterhouse’ – I won’t talk about exactly where today or I’ll have nothing to write about for ‘Q.’

Gang fights were rampant. Stabbings, theft, arson… All part of everyday life.

I never fit in and was always different to the majority of my peers.

I graduated from Uni in 1982 and, like many other Glaswegians of the time, was unemployed. I had to sign on the dole in Easterhouse, every two weeks. My sign-on time was quite early and the bus between where I stayed and the unemployment office didn’t start until later in the day so I had to walk the two or three miles to the office. Once I got there, I’d stand in my line and avoid eye contact. I remember once listening surreptitiously to a bloke tell his friend about how he had robbed his mother-in-law’s house the previous evening. I kept my eyes downward and said nothing.

When I got to the counter it was always the same clerk who processed my claim. I’d pass over my card, sign the proffered form, thank him and leave.

Several years later I was in a local working man’s club with my friend, Nancy. Who should I see at the bar but the unemployment benefit clerk. We recognised each other and had a wee chat during which I discovered that everyone in the office knew me as The Princess because I was the only polite claimant he had.

Being different can be a good thing.

 

 

Author:

Writer, photographer, creative fantasist.

10 thoughts on “E is for Easterhouse

  1. I always found Easterhouse a bit intimidating! I dated a guy from Easterhouse for about 6 months and always had to put up with loads of abuse walking from the train to his house…I was a wee skinny goth (had dreads at the time) so you can imagine! Didn’t get so much trouble when he was with me…he was a big softie but built like a tank 🙂

    C x

  2. If I had been doing an A-Z of Glasgow, I would- no doubt – have done something similar for Drumchapel – though my time there was not quite so …like yours.

  3. Nettie – I’m not surprised you made the effort to be polite. And I can’t imagine what it must have been like to try to keep your sanity and stay true to yourself in a place like Easterhouse. Such a powerful story!

  4. I live in Ruchazie now, another part lumped in with Greater Easterhouse, It’s fascinating reading your accounts of what the area used to be like. I recently passed my driving test and spent many many hours driving around Easterhouse and Queenslie Industrial Estate on my driving lessons so know the area pretty well now. I’ll keep reading 🙂

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