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Tam Trauchle's Troubles (clip 1)

Life in a single-end tenement flat in the 1930s

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This film is one of a series of fundraising appeal films produced for the Glasgow Necessitous Children's Holiday Camp Fund to raise money to help send poor children on a holiday during the summer break. The film promotes the benefits of the Holiday Camp to children and parents alike and provides an insight into what life was like for Glasgow children during the great depression. A collection tin would be passed around after showings of this film at the cinema.

This clip shows the conditions in a 1930s Glasgow single-end tenement flat including the recess bed, stove and eating area all in the one room. The film is introduced by Sir Charles Cleland - Chairman of the Fund; the Trauchle family is introduced with Tam Trauchle and his sons Sam and Robert at home in their single-end tenement slum flat in the Gorbals. The boys read about the camp at Tantallon and dream about going there. To cheer up the boys, Tam sings "There's no place like home".

Tam struggles to keep house in order while his wife is in hospital. A woman from the Education Authority calls about the boys' application for camp and informs them that they have a good chance at being accepted.

Questions & Activities


  • Who and what are Tam Trauchle's Troubles?
  • What was your impression of the street where Tam Trauchle lived?
  • What impression do you get of what life was like for the children living in a crowded tenement?
  • Tam Trauchle says he hasn't worked for seven years - how have the family managed to get by?
  • What Scots words do you hear being spoken?


The boys play at being miners under the bed. Why do you think this is? Make a list of the imaginative games and role play that children might play today.

Compare persuasive techniques used in this film with modern charity appeals (e.g. Children in Need)

Does child poverty still exist in Scotland? Plan, storyboard and make a modern day version of this film.

The children in the film are undernourished. Why? Why is it important that we eat a varied and balanced diet?

Compare what people in 1930s Scotland did for holidays with what people do today.

Transcribe the dialogue of the Trauchle family (Dad, Mum, Sam and Robert). Find out what the Scots (Glaswegian) phrases mean and then write the script in English. Perform the script to the class and notice how different it sounds. Script the scene in your local dialect or in Gaelic.

This is an early sound film. Compare this film to 'Sunny Days' and comment on the sound. Research silent films and find out what sounds or musical accompaniment went along with the film.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-000-051-C
Resource Rights Holder National Library of Scotland
Project Ref 0253
Date 1934
Genre Documentary, Drama Doc, Charitable
School Subject History, Modern Studies, Home Economics, Scots, English, Media Studies, Drama, Social Studies
Subject Matter Language
Who Glasgow Corporation Education Department (sponsor), Pathe Pictures Ltd (production company)
Where Glasgow, North Berwick, Tantallon Castle
Event Holidays
Attributes Black and White, Sound
Clip Length 8:44
Film Length 40:00