BBC documentary revisits the Glasgow storm of 1968

The demolition of tenements and their high-rise replacement shown in an undated photograph from Hutchesontown which is adjacent to the Gorbals district in Glasgow. Image provided courtesy of Nick Hedges

The storm that hit Glasgow in January 1968 leaving 21 people dead and more than 2,000 people homeless has been recounted in a documentary on BBC Scotland this week.

Around 250,000 homes were damaged when 100-miles-an-hour winds tore through the west coast from the Atlantic amid devastating scenes.

The ferocious storm also resulted in deaths in Kirkintilloch in East Dunbartonshire, Lugton in East Ayrshire and Cambuslang in South Lanarkshire.

However, the programme also tells of Glasgow’s resurrection as the storm “inspired a rethink” about the city’s tenements.

The programme states: “For 100 years, the city had been destroying unfit houses for new ones – but it wasn’t solving the problem. It took the storm, a group of young architects and some strong-willed residents to save their city from the bulldozer. And it brought forward the transformation of Glasgow – from Britain’s biggest slum to the cultural capital of Europe.”

The Storm That Saved a City is available for a limited time on the BBC iPlayer.

In response to the documentary, Scottish Housing News is seeking contributions to an upcoming feature about Scotland’s tenements. Was your Housing Association involved in the regeneration of Glasgow which took place in the aftermath of the 1968 storm? Was the role of Housing Associations effectively portrayed in the programme? What lessons can be learned from the approach taken and what challenges exist today to rehabilitate rundown tenements in Glasgow and beyond?

Please contact our Editor at kieran@scottishnews.com for more information or to be involved in the feature.