Once Upon a Crime in Glasgow, Amazing Gang Photo From 1914 Discovered

Eyes Through Time takes a look at Glasgow in 1914.  This never before seen picture was found in the old archives of the Mitchell Library It looks like a scene in the crime hit series Peaky Blinders.

The black and white photograph depicts the gang from the Bridgeton area of the East End who ruled that part of the City.

The gang posed for this photograph behind an ice cream parlor in Colbert Street Calton.

New crime book out on Amazon this week

During the 1920s and 1930s, Glasgow gained an unenviable and enduring notoriety as Britain’s gang city – the ‘Scottish Chicago’. Out of the most dilapidated and overcrowded tenements in Britain stepped young men and women dressed like Hollywood gangsters and their molls. On the city’s streets, they took center stage in dramas of their own making, fighting territorial battles laced with religious sectarianism and running protection rackets modelled on those of the American underworld.

Drawing on fifteen years of original research, Andrew Davies, author of the acclaimed The Gangs of Manchester, brings to life the reign of terror exerted by gangs like the Billy Boys, the Kent Star, the Savoy Arcadians and the South Side Stickers.

He reveals the fascinating role played by the media in creating myths of the underworld. During what the Daily Express described as ‘The War on the Gang’, Glasgow’s police were led by Chief Constable Percy Sillitoe (who later became head of M15), determined to maintain his image as a tough, gang-busting cop forged in Sheffield during the 1920s. This dramatic story, played out against the backdrop of the most volatile of Britain’s cities, provides a new window onto the most turbulent period in modern British history and a timely reminder of how deprivation, unemployment and religious bigotry are a toxic cocktail in any era.

 

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