Courtesy of Moving Image Archive, National Library of Scotland
By 1935, Glasgow had established a public transport network to rival that of any modern metropolis, as this silent educational film elegantly demonstrates. Glasgow Gets to Work is an early production by SEFA, the Scottish Educational Film Association.
1. The city streets begin to stir to life.
2. A mounted police officer keeps an eye out for signs of rush hour road rage.
3. The film offers tantalising glimpses of the city’s glorious turn-of-the-century architecture. Squint and we could be in New York or Chicago.
4. Although out in the suburbs, the views aren’t quite as alluring.
5. For many of those travelling a significant distance into town each day, commuting by train is the most efficient option.
6. We’re squarely in the golden age of steam railways here, years away from an electrified overground network.
7. Meanwhile new suburbs and satellite towns had to make do with transit by bus.
8. Within the city itself, the Glasgow subway makes hopping around a breeze. Opened in 1896, it’s the world’s third-oldest underground train system, after the London underground and the Budapest metro.
9. Kelvinbridge, depicted here, is one of 15 stations served by the system’s 6.5-mile-long loop.
10. The subway tunnels have a diameter of just 11 feet, even smaller than the London underground’s deep-level lines.
11. Traffic crosses the River Clyde towards Jamaica Street via the Glasgow Bridge.
12. Glasgow’s thriving shipping industry at this time makes bridging the river unfeasible in some locations.
13. Many commuters, young and old alike, are therefore reliant on passenger ferries.
14. More substantial vessels are on hand to transport vehicles across the Clyde.
15. A pair of equine passengers seem eager to disembark.
16. A car emerges from the Glasgow Harbour Tunnel, which was constructed in the 1890s and closed in 1986.
17. On days when extremely high traffic is anticipated, police and transport officials join forces to make special arrangements.
18. Football fans queue outside Hampden Park. It was at one time the biggest stadium in the world, reaching a peak capacity of 150,000 in the 1930s.
19. That’s a lot of people in need of a ride home once the final whistle blows.
20. A well-dressed gent looks back at those he’s left behind, before throwing himself onto the nearest bus.
The film and stills on this page are taken from Britain on Film, a digital archive of UK places that mean the world to you. 10,000 film and TV titles from 1895 to now will be digitised and can be watched for free on BFI Player.
Britain on Film is funded by the National Lottery funding and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.
Glasgow Gets to Work is courtesy of Moving Image Archive, National Library of Scotland