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Accidents and Disasters in Scotland in the 19th & 20th Centuries

Glasgow's Forgotten Disaster of 1905 Death in a Lodging House

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17 November 2005: PRESS RELEASE
Glasgow's Forgotten Disaster of 100 years ago
Watson Street Model Lodging House Fire

*****New Book *****
Death in a Lodging House

ISBN 0 9528575 8 8 36ps Published 19 November 2005 by William Cross 58, Sutton Rd, Newport, Gwent NP19 7JF Cost 4.50 ( including UK postage only )

This Saturday, November 19th, is the centenary of a Glasgow disaster that is more ignored than forgotten. It was a horrific, ferocious fire. The destruction of property amounted to a pitiful 500; but the loss of life was enormous, 39 individuals died of suffocation from smoke and flames and a further 24 were seriously injured. Over 300 others escaped with their lives.

The catastrophe does not feature in any history or web-page about the great City of Glasgow, nor in any book, or compilation or article. There is no memorial or dedication to the event to mark its 100th anniversary. Yet, in the league table of fire disasters in the UK this tragedy ranks as deadly as The Glen Cinema catastrophe at Paisley in 1929 with 70 victims, the Summerland Leisure Complex Fire on the Isle of Man in 1973 with 50 fatalities, the Bradford City Football Stadium blaze of 1985 with 56 dead, or the fire at London Kings Cross Underground in 1987 with 31 victims.

All the casualties were men. They were inmates of a Model Lodging House at 39, Watson Street situated a stone-throw from Glasgow Cross in a street connecting the Gallowgate and Graeme Street. Safety was not something that was much regarded by those who owned or regulated institutions like Model Lodging Houses. However, despite the high death toll the Glasgow authorities of the day rose well to deal with the fire and its aftermath.

William Cross FSA Scot, author of a series of booklets on Accidents and Disasters in Scotland, well known in family history circles has written a 36 page booklet on the disaster based on coverage by newspapers at the time, as a tribute to the men who died exactly 100 years ago this week and to those who showed great courage and heroism on the day, including the inmates of Watson Street, and the fire, police and medical services. It is a remarkable tale of bravery and courage. A very Limited number of copies are available.

For More Information Contact

William Cross
58 Sutton Road, Newport, Gwent, South Wales NP19 7JF
Telephone : 01633 779731 e-mail

Notes for Editors

William Cross is the author of 7 books on Accidents and Disasters in Scotland in the 19th and 20th Century. Further information can be found at this web site

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Scottish Disasters