Coatbridge is a town in North Lanarkshire, Scotland. It has a rich history of industry, particularly iron works, at one time being the world’s largest producer of pig iron. Products made on the Clyde from Coatbridge Iron helped build the industrialised world, and by extension, empire. The history of the town is a patchwork of divides; poverty, greed, industry, technology, heritage.
Sometimes known as the Iron Burgh, Coatbridge went from a single house on a fork in the road, to vital centre of the industrial revolution, to struggling post-industrial town in less than 150 years. It is also my family’s hometown.
Bairds of Gartsherrie is a piece in two parts: reflections on the weight of the town’s history as well as personal histories within that narrative. They consider the global impact that Coatbridge has made, whilst remaining largely unknown to those out-with the central belt of Scotland.