The Duke, The Mines and the Black, Black Coal

Modelling and living on the edge of Scotland’s rural south, I found this a really interesting read. It covers land ownership issues, industrial development and decline particularly in the South West. Land reform will probably be critical to any regeneration of the area.

Radical Independence Dumfries & Galloway

By Alistair Livingston

While a few dukes and industrialists made their fortunes on the back of Scotland’s industrial revolution, their wealth flowed from the low wages paid to the workers who mined the coal, forged the iron, built the ships, engineered the locomotives and who were crowded into cheap houses built amidst the soot and squalor. First the Lowland then the Highland Clearances drained the life out of rural Scotland to create the industrial workforce, but the conditions they experienced were so appalling that two million Scots fled abroad while another million left for England. The Industrial Clearances of the 1980s marked the final end of Victorian Scotland, but its legacy endures in the continuing loss of young people from rural Scotland. Radical Land Reform is advocated as the way to repopulate the Highlands, but will it work in the rural south, home to the Duke of Buccleuch, the largest…

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