WELCOME TO CALTON
WHERE IS IT: Halfway along Abercromby Street, where it meets Millroad Street, near St. Mary's Parish Church
Little is known about the original cheery mural, which was painted by children from nearby St James Primary School. Unfortunately, it fell foul of tagging; the word “Tongland” etched across the globe a reference to Calton’s nickname, so-called after the violent gang of the 1960s known as The Tongs.
The gang were so notorious that the phrase “Tongs ya Bas” was synonymous with Glasgow in that era. The Tongs featured heavily in Giles MacKinnon’s fictional feature film Small Faces. If the legend is to be believed, the name of the gang derives from them viewing the Hammer horror film The Terror of the Tongs, as does one of their member's nicknames, Terror McCabe.
Calton has seen some improvement as development spreads east from the city centre along Duke Street, although as of 2012 the area still had the worst life expectancy rate for men in all of Europe, standing at an average of 53 years.
In trying to put its troubled and violent past behind it, the original mural has been painted over, replaced with one that depicts the area’s historic ties to the weaving industry. Just along the road, various weavers who were the first to launch industrial disputes are buried in Calton Burial Ground.
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