East Kilbride town centre

East Kilbride, Scotland's first new town, is 60 years old this month. To celebrate South Lanarkshire Council are putting 4 films about its development online (follow the SLTV link, then the Highlights tab). The first, Town for Tomorrow is a belter - a promo from 1954 which shows the values that it was built on. It underlines the optimism and innovation that went into it - the Development Corporation were trying to improve the way people lived and came up with a number of sensible, considerate ideas that still seem to be working 60 years on - lots of green space around houses and flats; 4 main housing areas equidistant from the town centre; different types of housing for couple/families/older people; schools and smaller shopping centres within each district. That's just for starters. It often seems like new towns have been written off as failures en masse but there's a lot to celebrate here.

For the last 3 years my daily routine has been going through it on a bus twice a day and as I start a new job this week this is one thing I'll reallly miss. There's something very ambient about the whole set-up that makes floating through it on the top deck a good way to clear the head and start the day - clean lines; lots of light and space; muted colours; roundabouts; a mixture of standard housing stock (the models for houses, flats and cottages are more or less consistent throughout the whole town) broken up by more innovative buildings like the funky modernist churches. It's familiar but different at the same time, and whatever it is that some people find soulless is soulful to me. Happy birthday EK.

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hiya, cumbernauld town centre is fifty this year too! there's an exhibition of photos at the college. about the three doors...could it have something to do with the location on the footpaths in relation to the car ports? i think i read something about a plethora of doors in reference to another new town, and how fantastic it was that if one was walking one didn't have to walk straight into the living room with muddy boots but through the other (and slightly lesser) door to the kitchen, and guests could enter into the living room. maybe. if the house was in a terrace then it kind of makes sense.

Hi Jessica - the doors thing sounds feasible. They are on terraces although there's no carport. I'm sure I saw something similar abpit Span houses and it was all about using the space at the back of your house better so the kitchen was at the front.

Dear Anne
I grew up on a council estate in London's Green Belt. My house was built in 1954 and had two doors. One door led to a coal bunker area. I guess that it was practical to deliver coal direct to it. Needless to say, the Hyacinth Bouquets were quick to convert their in-house coal-sheds . Breakfast rooms! Good luck with your new job

Thanks for the info Peter, and for your good wishes.

I used to live in a house with two doors just like that in West Mains. The left hand door was used all the time (as it goes to the kitchen) and the right hand door only for when visitor's knocked on it!

Weird, I've never thought of it as anything other than normal since I'm used to seeing them all over East Kilbride!

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