'She Settles in the Shields'

'She Settles in the Shields' - oral history project 

(Pollokshields, Glasgow, Scotland)

The Glasgow Women’s Library/ Pollokshields Development Agency project explored the experience of female migration to Pollokshields, a suburb to the south of Glasgow. The story which unfolded showed that some of those women had little choice but to follow their husbands, whilst knowing very little about Scotland other than that learned in their geography classes. Coming to Glasgow was therefore sometimes a traumatic journey, particularly for those leaving behind their families for the first time. Others found it frightening yet exciting, and looked forward to starting new lives in Scotland.

Their personal narratives shed light on many areas of immigrant lives, where they lived, studied and worked, and, importantly, how they influenced social, economic and cultural changes in Pollokshields and beyond.

She Settles in the Shields - the book

Authored by Dr Sue Morrison, our oral history consultant to the project, She Settles in the Shields provides a unique opportunity to meet the women who travelled to Scotland from all over the world, in search of family, love and security.

Told in their own words, the women reveal a fascinating story of hope, isolation, warm welcomes, cold weather, racism and the quest for acceptance and integration. Many of these women have made significant contributions to the Pollokshields community, witnessing major changes along the way.

Featuring a wealth of photographs, the book explores the migrant women’s early lives before coming to Scotland, and charts their feelings and impressions on arrival, and their experiences of education, work and community. It also provides an intimate insight into family, intergenerational differences, and, on a more light-hearted note, of food, fashion, relaxation and celebration.

The story of Pollokshields’ migrant women is one of hope and despair, challenge and success. It is the story of the women who have created and raised a whole generation of ‘new’ Scots. It is therefore part of the ever-intriguing story of Scotland.

The book costs £9.95 plus postage & packing – you can also buy the book at the Library.





Oral History Research & Training Consultancy
Oral history heritage professionals serving Scotland and the UK