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A Trip ‘Doon the Watter’ during the Glasgow Fair: Working Class Leisure Patterns and the Role of the Scenic Film at the Turn of the Century

Author:

Samantha Wilson

Glasgow University
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Abstract

 

Working-class histories of leisure travel have traditionally existed at the periphery of Scottish travel narratives. There are many possible reasons for this partial exclusion including considerable gaps within the surviving documentation, the complexity of regional development across urban and rural communities, and, perhaps most importantly, the conceptual overlap between the realms associated with work and leisure. Modern definitions of tourism rely on a clear differentiation between work and leisure (Urry and Larsen 2011: 4). While working-class spatial narratives would eventually be forced into this regulated pattern, historically they remained far less fixed. As a consequence, any historical inquiry related to working-class leisure practices must be articulated in relation to class narratives about contested movement and labour. Early film can play a particularly interesting role in this regard. Many British production companies documented emerging tourist trends as well as establishing various forms of relationships with the existing excursion industry in Scotland throughout the first two decades of the twentieth century. This push and pull between traditional patterns of travel and the expanding number of tourists makes the scenic and local topical films which were produced important reflections of not only popular travel destinations but also how working-class audiences imagined their own place within the cultural practice.

How to Cite: Wilson, S., 2017. A Trip ‘Doon the Watter’ during the Glasgow Fair: Working Class Leisure Patterns and the Role of the Scenic Film at the Turn of the Century. International Journal of Scottish Theatre and Screen, 10, pp.92–110.
Published on 07 Dec 2017.
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