Listen to Broomielaw:
A place of coming and going.
While Ronnie tells us about the old Clyde Navigation Trust (now Clydeport), it’s worth reflecting on the ebb and flow of human traffic in and out of the Broomielaw. Many thousands of people left Scotland from here between 1840-1940. Seeking new lives, they mostly headed for America and Australia.
Revolution in transport increased the flow. Steamships cut travelling time across the Atlantic dramatically, from around six weeks in the 1850s to just one week in 1914.
Not all migrants were desperate, however. In the 18th century Glasgow’s Merchant City was built on the wealth brought home by ‘sojourners’ who set out with the aim of getting rich from slave plantations.
Stephen Mullen, author of It Wisnae Us, The Truth About Glasgow and Slavery, explains why the Commonwealth Games is an opportunity to come to terms with uncomfortable truths from history. Many athletes from Jamaica have Scottish names. “They are coming home”.