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Glasgow's Docklands

A portrait of 1950s Glasgow

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A film about Glasgow's docklands; its workers, transportation and daily life. Filmed by Enrico Cocozza for Educational Films of Scotland this is a excellent film about Glasgow life in the 1950s featuring several traditional songs, including children's rhymes.

Notable sections include shots of: a tug on River Clyde, boats and cranes; a cargo ship being unloaded by crane and stacked by dockers; a passenger ferry crossing river; shots of Kelvingrove Park; a man with horse and cart; children playing in a slum; and a girl dressed up in her mother's shoes.

Questions & Activities


  • When do you think this film was made and which audience was it made for?
  • How are sound and image used to convey mood? What kind of mood is conveyed?
  • How would you describe the feel and pace of the film?
  • Spot how many different types of transport you can see and compare with the transport of today.
  • Discuss the saying at the end of the film "The Clyde made Glasgow but Glasgow made the Clyde"€.
  • Do you think the narrator is from Glasgow? Discuss his accent.


hide the image on screen and play the opening music sequence. Discuss what kind of film this might be. Compare your expectations with what you see.

Research when horses ceased to be used for work.

Research why Glasgow was such an important centre for trade. Find out what kinds of goods were imported and exported into and out of the docklands.

Write down the words of the some of the songs you hear and make a modern version.

Strip away the soundtrack and record your own version of the traditional songs and rhymes to accompany the film.

Record your own voice-over replacing the positive narration with a more critical commentary.

Make a film or slide-show that shows Glasgow's docklands in the present day.

Compare and contrast the images seen in the film with Glasgow'€™s docklands of today. Look at games, transport, people that you see and how the river was used. Present your findings using creative writing, multimedia presentation or film.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-000-163-C
Resource Rights Holder National Library of Scotland
Project Ref 0938
Date 1956
Genre Documentary, Educational
School Subject History, Economic History, Social History, Geography, Modern Studies, English, Music, Media Studies
Subject Matter Rivers and Coasts
Who Educational Films of Scotland (sponsor), Enrico Cocozza (director)
Where Glasgow
Attributes Black and White, Sound
Clip Length 10:42
Film Length 10:42