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Gallimaufrey – A Cumbernauld Poem

A vision of a new town

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A wry poetic look at the ‘improvement’ in lifestyles in new towns compared with the tenement life of Glasgow. The footage from this short feature for a TV magazine show includes a nice shot of the old village, cutaways of motorways and high rise flats as well as shots of some of the local people.

Questions & Activities


  • Where are all the people?
  • Try to find out what the word 'gallimaufrey' means, why do you think the poem has that title?
  • What do you think the poet's attitude to Cumbernauld is?
  • Why do you think the poet is shown on screen at the end? Do you think the poet likes Cumbernauld and do you think his observations are accurate?
  • Do you think it would be good place for a child to grow up?
  • What is the effect of shooting this film on a sunny day?
  • What rhetorical techniques is the poet using?


English: Analyse the text of the poem and discuss how the images support the narrative. How does the film play with shapes, lines and comparisons with the old city?

Geography (new towns): Discuss how your ideal town would look and what it would contain. Compare this film to the earlier film 'Tenement Warden' and discuss what creates a community.

Modern Studies: Look into contemporary regeneration projects and investigate how they try to involve people in the design process.

Business Studies / Art and Design: Design a community brand that reflects the character and ambitions of your area.

English / Moving Image Education: Write a positive or critical poem about your area and make a film or digital story about your own neighbourhood using imovie or moviemaker.

English: The poem mentions the titles of two novels, Nineteen Eighty Four and Brave New World, find out as much as you can about these books. Why do you think the poem mentions these books?

Moving Image Education / Media Studies / Citizenship: Create your own film poem about your school or local area. You could record this on film or use still photographs (or drawings) with narration. Before you start try to look at both the good and bad before deciding how to form your narrative.

Science / Technology / Business Studies: Find out why so many buildings in the 1960s and 70s were made from concrete and why this is no longer the case. Was it a question of fashion or are there underlying economic reasons for this change?

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-000-409-C
Resource Rights Holder Courtesy of Scottish Television
Project Ref T2151
Date 1970s
Genre Documentary, Tv Doc, Magazine Show
School Subject Modern Studies, Geography, Social History, English, Business Studies, Moving Image Education
Who Scottish Television (production company)
Where Cumbernauld
Attributes Colour, Sound
Clip Length 0:00
Film Length 02:37
References The Jeelie Piece Song by Adam MacNaughton.